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Article
Publication date: 28 May 2019

Anson Au

The purpose of this paper is to challenge the practice of having, using and constructing any canon in sociological theory. This paper argues that the elitism of American sociology…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to challenge the practice of having, using and constructing any canon in sociological theory. This paper argues that the elitism of American sociology and the forms of inequality it engenders are sustained by the construction of a canon itself.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper adopts a conceptual approach to examine the problems of research practice, academic writing, inequality and empirical translation that canonical thinking engenders within the academy and beyond.

Findings

Reflecting on the problems outlined, this paper articulates a more democratic agenda for treating canon in research and education by drawing upon standards of practice in ethnography, participatory action research and Southern Theory.

Originality/value

This paper interrogates the relations of domination that remain at work in the discipline and that which concern the elite position of American sociology itself.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 39 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 June 2018

Anson Au

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how the nature, gravity, and consequences of physician use of social media use surpass professional identity, by bringing to attention…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how the nature, gravity, and consequences of physician use of social media use surpass professional identity, by bringing to attention the nuanced, potential conflicts between patient-physician interests in current educational policies.

Design/methodology/approach

Analyzing a case study of a physician publicly posting and commenting on many of his patients’ information, conversations, and medical conditions on social media.

Findings

Physician social media use carries many issues that concern ethics and the patient, rather than professional identity and the physician. In response, two sets of ethical standards are developed: one that deals with what constitutes impermissible behaviors online, and another that stipulates appropriate punishments for violations of these codes.

Originality/value

Most medical education policies and the literature have emphasized professional identity- formation with regards to physician use of social media, rather than ethics. Furthermore, no study exists that presents a clear, concrete, insider perspective at physicians’ improper use of social media.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 38 no. 5-6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 February 2021

Anson Au

This paper aims to examine how financial technology (FinTech) knowledge from foreign firms flows into and among elite commercial banks in Hong Kong’s financial sector to drive…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine how financial technology (FinTech) knowledge from foreign firms flows into and among elite commercial banks in Hong Kong’s financial sector to drive innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

Using social network analysis and regression analysis on a novel database of patents held by Hong Kong’s elite commercial banks, this paper examines the relationships between network position and FinTech knowledge flow.

Findings

This paper finds four untold patterns of innovation and inequality in Hong Kong’s financial sector: only three banks are responsible for all the FinTech knowledge entering Hong Kong; most foreign FinTech comes from the USA through Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, whereas most FinTech from China enters through Fubon Bank and Development Bank of Singapore; older banks and banks with more connections to firms inside Asia are more likely to import FinTech; the most beneficial sources of FinTech for a bank’s network position are firms from outside Asia.

Originality/value

Despite the well-documented volumes of cross-border and cross-continental movement of financial institutions in Hong Kong, there is little work on the knowledge flows that underwrite this mobility. This paper addresses this gap by using FinTech knowledge flows to map the distribution of innovation, network position and competitive advantage in Hong Kong’s financial sector.

Details

Journal of Asia Business Studies, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1558-7894

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 22 October 2019

Anson Au

The purpose of this paper is to review the study of social capital focused on the level at which it is embodied, cross-comparing two prominent camps that have emerged in the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the study of social capital focused on the level at which it is embodied, cross-comparing two prominent camps that have emerged in the social capital literature: a communal level and an individual level.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reviews the intersections and departures between communal level and individual level conceptualizations of social capital according to the social dynamics of action within social exchanges that they stimulate, the processes by which social capital is activated/mobilized and the rewards they yield, and their linkages to inequality through network diversity.

Findings

This paper articulates new directions for future research in social capital: more analytical precision for studying returns to social capital; more efforts to transcend the individual-communal divide; the depreciation of social capital or tie decay; and recognizing the importance of ties whose value does not come from the ability to provide instrumental gain, but just from their very existence.

Originality/value

Social capital has informed many influential agendas in the social sciences, but the sheer volume of which has largely gone unscoped. This paper reviews this literature to provide an accessible introduction to social capital, organized by social processes foundational to sociology and a novel contribution to the literature by articulating new directions for future research in the area.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 39 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 January 2020

Anson Au

The purpose of this paper is to illuminate how inequality – in the way ethnography as a research tool itself is used – underwrites many of the methodological tensions in the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to illuminate how inequality – in the way ethnography as a research tool itself is used – underwrites many of the methodological tensions in the recently published and widely-debated On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City by Alice Goffman.

Design/methodology/approach

The author conducts an in-depth, critical analysis of On the Run as an epistemological case to visualize methodological and moral challenges that burden ethnographic practice at large.

Findings

The author opens dialogue on undercover ethnography, the overreach of institutional review boards, privilege in the use of ethnography as a research tool, “Othering” and the exoticization of the underclass, and the boundary shift from observer to participant roles with deep immersion. The author unpacks these areas of contention toward the construction of a potential alternative combining public sociology with what is called a sociology of compassion.

Originality/value

While the book provides an intimate, rich account of the experience of law among the underclass, the author demonstrates that it constitutes an epistemological case ideal for examining how the issues of pre-fieldwork preparation, positionality and deep immersion are conceived – and problematized – in mainstream ethnographic practice.

Details

Qualitative Research Journal, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1443-9883

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 May 2021

Anson Cheuk-Ho Au

This paper aims to examine the economic costs of protests at micro-to-firm, market sector and aggregate levels. This paper then develops institutional policy recommendations for…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the economic costs of protests at micro-to-firm, market sector and aggregate levels. This paper then develops institutional policy recommendations for allaying these costs.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper conducts a case study of the anti-extradition bill protests in Hong Kong by examining news articles, online discussions and economic indices from the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department. This paper further develops policy insights from an analysis of the Hong Kong Basic Law (the city’s mini-constitution) and insights from economic research.

Findings

This paper discovers that the protests may have caused overall volatility in firms, market sectors and the overall economy, measured in production disruptions, revenue losses and declines in employment. Among Hong Kong’s four major industries, the most severely stunted market sectors were tourism and retail, as well as trading and logistics, whereas financial services and professional and producer services experienced mixed effects. This paper develops two institutional policy recommendations for government and corporate policymaking for reducing volatility and ultimately safeguarding economic growth: the separation of political ideology and economics; the systematic use of public opinion analytics to pre-test the reception of policies.

Practical implications

Corporate strategists and policymakers would benefit from and advance the economy by better insulating business decision-making from political biases and by investing in public opinion analytics.

Originality/value

Much of economic theory treats social transformations as externalities. This paper adopts a different approach by foregrounding the role that social transformations play in shaping the economy. To this end, to the best of the author’s knowledge, this paper is among the first to examine the anti-extradition bill protests of Hong Kong, arguably the most significant and widespread protests in the city’s and the region’s history.

Details

Journal of Chinese Economic and Foreign Trade Studies, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-4408

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 November 2022

Anson Au

This article investigates how medical specialists as professionals and elective cosmetic surgery tourists as consumers relationally negotiate decisions within the cosmetic surgery…

Abstract

Purpose

This article investigates how medical specialists as professionals and elective cosmetic surgery tourists as consumers relationally negotiate decisions within the cosmetic surgery clinic. Drawing on a Goffmanian approach, this article explores the processual social structures that shape consumer logics in the clinic as a social space and as a type of professional institution.

Design/methodology/approach

This article is based on ethnographic fieldwork in cosmetic surgery clinics in South Korea.

Findings

This article identifies two genres of professional strategies (spatial arrangements and dramaturgical performances) that are leveraged by medical specialists to assert control over and persuade consumers to purchase cosmetic surgery.

Research limitations/implications

The valorization of surgery captured in this article suggests that surgical modifications may serve as another vehicle for entrenching class inequality between those able and those unable to afford surgery.

Practical implications

This article offers recommendations for future policymaking in terms of the regulatory oversight of the consumer profiles eligible for surgery and the marketing practices of clinics.

Originality/value

This article offers a micro-level account of how the high-risk good of cosmetic surgery is sold by medical specialists in charismatic and affective bids to enhance their legitimacy, authority and trust.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 43 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 August 2013

Wejendra Reddy, David Higgins, Mark Wist and John Garimort

To achieve long‐term performance, superannuation balanced funds typically invest in a range of defined asset classes based on a strategic asset allocation approach. In an…

1962

Abstract

Purpose

To achieve long‐term performance, superannuation balanced funds typically invest in a range of defined asset classes based on a strategic asset allocation approach. In an Australian context, the purpose of this paper is to examine the performance of the balanced investment option against eight different investment strategies and how the property allocation changes with different asset allocation models.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis is based on ex post data covering 17 years (1995 to 2011). The selected passive and active allocation models are set within the modern portfolio theory framework utilising Australian ten year bonds as the risk free rate. The Sharpe ratio is used as the key risk‐adjusted return performance measure.

Findings

Property provided the second highest risk adjusted return profile behind the alternative asset class. The different asset allocation models perform as well as the conventional strategic approach and in many instances property allocation is found to be under‐allocated on a return optimisation basis. Depending on the asset allocation model, property when included within a multi‐asset portfolio improves the portfolio risk‐adjusted return profile by 2 per cent to 28 per cent.

Practical implications

For an Australian superannuation balanced fund, the empirical results show that there is scope to increase the property allocation level from current 10 per cent to 23 per cent. This knowledge will be beneficial for funds currently re‐profiling investment portfolios to achieve stable risk‐adjusted returns.

Originality/value

The research contributes to both practical and academic fields, as it offers a methodological approach on how allocation to property assets can be improved using a series of passive and active asset allocation strategies.

Details

Journal of Property Investment & Finance, vol. 31 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-578X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 1998

Ann Marie Wood

Explores the extent of employee surveillance in the western world and queries why the USA uses surveillance measures to a greater extent than other developed nations. Suggests…

1548

Abstract

Explores the extent of employee surveillance in the western world and queries why the USA uses surveillance measures to a greater extent than other developed nations. Suggests that American managers choose surveillance methods which include the control of workers’ bodies in the production process. Lists the batteries of tests and monitoring to which US employees can now be subjected – including searching employee computer files, voice/e‐mail, monitoring telephone calls, drug tests, alcohol tests, criminal record checks, lie detector and handwriting tests. Notes also the companies which are opposed to worker and consumer privacy rights. Pinpoints the use of surveillance as a means to ensure that employees do not withold production. Reports that employees dislike monitoring and that it may adversely affect their performance and productivity. Argues that Americans like to address complex social problems with technological means, there are no data protection laws in the USA, and that these two factors, combined with the “employment‐at‐will” doctrine, have all contributed to make it possible (and easy) for employers to use technological surveillance of their workforce. Outlines some of the ways employers insist on the purification of workers’ bodies.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 18 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2021

Jeffrey Boon Hui Yap, Ban Leong Lim, Martin Skitmore and Jason Gray

Poor project knowledge and inadequate experience are frequently linked to construction time-cost overruns. This paper aims to expound on the criticality of project knowledge and…

Abstract

Purpose

Poor project knowledge and inadequate experience are frequently linked to construction time-cost overruns. This paper aims to expound on the criticality of project knowledge and experience in the successful delivery of projects in the construction industry.

Design/methodology/approach

Following a detailed literature review, a quantitative positivist approach with a questionnaire survey involving industry professionals is used to appraise the 30 prevalent causes of time-cost overruns according to frequency, effectiveness and importance indices. The data are then subjected to Spearman’s rank correlation tests and exploratory factor analysis.

Findings

Using the importance index, which assimilates both frequency and effectiveness indices, the criticality of knowledge and experience in the overall context is seen as fundamental for addressing the contractor’s faulty planning and scheduling, construction mistakes and defective work, site management and supervision, delayed/slow decision-making, incomplete drawings and design documents and change/variation orders. Spearman’s rank correlation tests indicate a good consensus of perceptions among the key parties involved. Next, an exploratory factor analysis uncovers six underlying knowledge-based factors affecting construction performance, relating to inaccurate resource estimates, design changes, resource shortages, lack of experience, incompetence and mistakes and defects.

Originality/value

The study draws out the repercussions of the hitherto limited research into the deficiencies in knowledge and experience in undertaking construction projects to enhance performance using knowledge management functions.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology , vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

Keywords

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