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Article
Publication date: 12 May 2020

Frank Einhorn, Jack Meredith and Carl Marnewick

Literature indicates that the business case for projects is difficult to use and suggests that there are organizational factors that can facilitate effective use of the…

Abstract

Purpose

Literature indicates that the business case for projects is difficult to use and suggests that there are organizational factors that can facilitate effective use of the business case. This paper aims to identify such facilitators, measure their presence and importance, and relate them to the actual practice of business case processes.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross sectional quantitative method was used, with data on facilitators and business case process usage gathered through an online questionnaire.

Findings

The findings for the 43 organizational facilitators are that each one is considered more important than its presence in the respondents' organizations. High correlations emerge between the presence of the facilitators and the use of business case processes, indicating the pivotal role of the facilitators.

Research limitations/implications

The research was conducted for business IT projects implemented by organizations based in South Africa. It furthers our understanding of project business cases and suggests additional research avenues in this area.

Practical implications

The findings indicate that organizations could improve key facilitators at an affordable cost. Such improvement would enable more effective use of the business case throughout the project's lifetime – from initial concept until planned benefits have been substantially realized. Better use of the business case would also support governance and increase the success rate of business IT projects.

Originality/value

Organizational facilitators of business case processes are identified and categorized for the first time, leading to measurements of their perceived importance and presence in organizations. Hence, the relationship between these facilitators and actual business case usage is determined, suggesting areas of optimum impact.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 13 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 21 January 2020

Alberto Lusoli

This paper aims to explore the early days of business education with the aim of understanding how the Harvard Business School (HBS) contributed to the constitution of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the early days of business education with the aim of understanding how the Harvard Business School (HBS) contributed to the constitution of “management” as a science-based profession. The research focuses on HBS signature pedagogy, the case method and its role in the institutionalization of managerial knowledge.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is based on a qualitative content analysis of HBS Annals published between 1908 and 1930. Through a manual coding of the Annals, the paper traces the diffusion of the case method in the curriculum and connects it with the institutional transformations that took place between 1908 and 1930.

Findings

The data show how HBS curriculum transitioned from lectures to case teaching in the aftermath of First World War. This pedagogy allowed HBS to demonstrate the possibility of systematically investigate management problems and to deliver business education at scale. The discussion argues that the case method, acting as a boundary object between business praxis and management theories, constituted management as a science-based profession.

Originality/value

Recent debates have emerged about case method’s ability to critically question socio-economic structures within which business is conducted. This paper contributes to the debate arguing that the historical and institutional factors leading to the affirmation of this pedagogical approach had a substantive role in the type of knowledge produced through its application. The findings challenge the idea that the affirmation of the case method is attributable to its epistemological primacy in investigating business problems.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 26 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2000

Andrew Kakabadse and Nada Korac‐Kakabadse

To meet the information processing needs of the new global organisation, IS/IT managers and their IS/IT staff need to develop new skills, so that they may be more focused…

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1820

Abstract

To meet the information processing needs of the new global organisation, IS/IT managers and their IS/IT staff need to develop new skills, so that they may be more focused on the business rather than on technical processes. In exploring the theme of the changing role and contribution of the IS/IT professional, this monograph provides a literature analysis of the changing skills of IS/IT professionals and identifies the new skills and competencies required for successful IS/IT development and utilisation. The monograph also presents capability‐related models that have been tested in two global corporations. The results of the two case studies suggest that there is a need for improvement in the area of IS/IT leadership for effective IS/IT development and utilisation. Strategies for developing IS/IT leadership capabilities are discussed at the end of the monograph.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Article
Publication date: 20 April 2010

Alan Smart

Although e‐procurement has been adopted in many industries, the business case for this technology has only partially been explored in the literature. This paper aims to…

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7617

Abstract

Purpose

Although e‐procurement has been adopted in many industries, the business case for this technology has only partially been explored in the literature. This paper aims to investigate, through a case study approach, the extent of the business case developed for e‐procurement adoption in three implementations.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper employs a case study method and examines three industrial firms through in‐depth interviews with managers involved in the projects. The cases were presented and explored individually, followed by identification of relevant drivers and problem factors.

Findings

The research identifies 18 drivers which can form the basis of a business case for e‐procurement. A further 17 problem factors are presented, which have the potential to militate the original case. It is apparent that the firms involved only developed a limited case for adoption and that there is a significant element of faith that the eventual results will justify the investment.

Practical implications

A framework of the business drivers for e‐procurement is introduced, in the form of a multi‐attribute hierarchy. This framework can assist managers to classify relevant issues in assessing and developing the case for e‐procurement adoption.

Originality/value

Whilst the literature offers theoretical benefits for e‐procurement, the paper provides managers and researchers with empirical evidence of the drivers for this technology and of the problems encountered in implementation.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 40 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article
Publication date: 26 August 2014

Rodney McAdam, Shirley-Ann Hazlett and Brendan Galbraith

Market deregulation in the utilities sector has led to increased competition and rising customer expectations in both established and new markets. This, in turn, has…

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1213

Abstract

Purpose

Market deregulation in the utilities sector has led to increased competition and rising customer expectations in both established and new markets. This, in turn, has forced organisations such as electricity and telecoms to make rapid, enterprise-wide changes on an increasingly frequent basis which in turn has led to problems with alignment. Misalignment can occur at many levels and can result in misused resources, loss of competitiveness, excessive cycle times, higher costs and loss of agility. The purpose of this paper is twofold. Given the lack of overarching theory, the paper begins by borrowing from contingency, dynamic capability and organisational learning constructs, to explore the role that performance measurement models can bring to improve the alignment between business strategy and functional strategy (level 1 alignment). Second, the paper analyses the role of performance measurement models in developing functional practices aligned with supply chain management (SCM) strategies (level 2 alignment).

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopts an exploratory theory-building approach using four case studies. These are used as key supply chains in both established and new business areas within two longitudinal university-industry research partnerships (each of three years duration). Data from repeat interviews (n=42), focus groups (n=10), documentation and observations is analysed and forms the basis for the development of a conceptual framework and a set of related propositions. The data analysis followed Radnor and Boaden's (2004) method for analysing interpretive research.

Findings

The findings show the role and impact of performance measurement models and methods on alignment at two levels, i.e. level 1 alignment – between business strategy and functional (SCM) strategy, and level 2 alignment – between the functional strategy (SCM) and SCM routines and practices.

Originality/value

To date, there are few studies which explore the development of theory and practice in relation to the role and impact of performance measurement models and methods in improving organisational alignment. This exploratory theory building study makes a contribution to this gap through the development of the conceptual framework and propositions.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 34 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 2 September 2014

Lars Moratis

The purpose of this paper is to provide a reaction to the paper of Nijhof and Jeurissen in IJSSP on limitations of business case approaches to CSR by nuancing some of…

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1358

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a reaction to the paper of Nijhof and Jeurissen in IJSSP on limitations of business case approaches to CSR by nuancing some of their critique as well as extending it by addressing a more fundamental flaw in such approaches. In addition, the paper aims to also provide a case of a company that integrates various approaches to CSR into its business model that goes beyond the CSR business case.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper both has a conceptual approach through drawing on critical studies and theoretical arguments on CSR as well as an empirical approach through examining the integrative sustainability business model developed by the company Patagonia, a recognized and innovative CSR leader.

Findings

The paper argues that the “cherry-picking argument” by Nijhof and Jeurissen on the limitations of the business case approach to CSR does not reflect the idiosyncrasy of the CSR concept. Also, their glass ceiling metaphor may not be well-chosen. Second, stage models of CSR maturity that detach ethics from CSR development should be revised to include these, also from a credibility perspective. Third, the theory of the firm perspective on CSR may be adjusted to capture the reality of new market relations that companies pioneering with sustainability business models are developing.

Originality/value

The paper formulates a new critique on business case approaches to CSR, adding to the stream of critical studies on CSR and provides an example of a company that pioneers an integrative approach to CSR.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 34 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 26 February 2018

Frank Peck, Keith Jackson and Gail Mulvey

The purpose of this paper is to examine the ways in which growth-oriented small and micro-businesses (SMBs) are affected by regulations. Case studies from North-West…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the ways in which growth-oriented small and micro-businesses (SMBs) are affected by regulations. Case studies from North-West England are used to investigate the relationship between attitudes and responses to regulation and the characteristics of business growth.

Design/methodology/approach

This research examines the relationship between regulation and growth using eight case studies of SMBs. The selected cases are proactive in seeking new market opportunities and innovative in terms of product development or business process.

Findings

Case studies confirm that owner-managers of SMBs experience high levels of regulatory burden. However, some growth-oriented businesses also recognise the advantages in being proactive in seeking regulatory knowledge. These advantages were particularly prevalent in cases where growth is driven by product innovation in relatively new product markets.

Research limitations/implications

The study is based on a limited number of case studies in one region of England. Even so, interviews facilitate probing to increase understanding of the underlying reasons for attitudes towards regulation. The cases demonstrate that even very small businesses can use regulatory knowledge as a basis for business growth.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that networking in order to engage with regulatory regimes can generate competitive advantages and open up new market opportunities for small businesses.

Originality/value

This research contributes towards the debate on the impact of regulations on the economy at the micro level and in doing so highlights important nuances in the relationship between business growth and the regulatory environment.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article
Publication date: 30 May 2008

Larry Alan Johnson and Marilyn M. Helms

The purpose of this article is to evaluate the inclusion of team case analyses and presentations in undergraduate finance courses that usually focus on analyzing provided…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to evaluate the inclusion of team case analyses and presentations in undergraduate finance courses that usually focus on analyzing provided financial statement data.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper the authors argue the early use of a local company case can illustrate key course concepts while offering students or participants in an academic or vocational training program a preview of the pedagogical techniques of case analysis. It is also argued that the use of a local company case can be extended to other business courses to improve students' interest and understanding. A survey of student perceptions was conducted at the end of the semester.

Findings

Overall, students preferred working on a local company case rather than a textbook case. Most felt the local company case helped them understand the theories and concepts of financial statement analysis from the course and prepared them for future case analysis. The student respondents also perceive a better understanding of the strategic issues facing the industry and of the use of, and interpretation of, financial ratios after completing the case. While the exploratory analysis did indicate student preferences for use of a local company case, further study and analysis is needed to move beyond perceptions of satisfaction to determine the actual improvement in learning of the key course concepts

Research limitations/implications

Future research should study the benefit of using a local company case throughout the business degree and study how it allows students to apply principles learned early in their curriculum to strategic analysis and decision making in capstone courses. Research could determine if students will build upon their previous knowledge of the company and business concepts in much the same way as business managers gain business and industry knowledge as they advance through their career. In addition, the benefit of using a local company continuation case through the upper division courses in the business curriculum should be investigated.

Originality/value

This article highlights the steps involved in preparing a local company case for classroom use and presents an analysis of student perceptions of satisfaction with a case‐enriched course and discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the case. The article also discusses ways to create a similar local company case for other business disciplines.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 50 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2006

Leslie A. Levin and Mary Mattis

To show how companies that address gender diversity issues as business issues, not just as human resources issues, will reap rewards both inside and outside the company…

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8065

Abstract

Purpose

To show how companies that address gender diversity issues as business issues, not just as human resources issues, will reap rewards both inside and outside the company. Also, to show how business schools can make a significant contribution toward the understanding of diversity as a business issue.

Design/methodology/approach

First, women's corporate managerial roles are examined: the economic and social reasons to focus on gender diversity and the costs of companies’ failure to address diversity issues, specifically, turnover and retention. Next, women's roles as consumers are studied. Finally, women's roles as business students are looked at, specifically, the negative stereotypes reinforced in business school and carried into the workplace. The study concludes with examples of programs developed by Avon Products and Deloitte and Touche, LLP, to address diversity issues.

Findings

Provides statistics on women's workforce participation, costs of corporate turnover, women's earned college and graduate degrees. Identifies the key barriers to female career advancement; discusses the role of female consumers and business owners; provides company examples and case studies that illustrate the successful integration of women into academic and corporate life.

Research limitations/implications

Only Stanford and Harvard Business school cases are looked at, although the latter is the largest producer of case studies used in business schools. One of the two longer corporate examples discusses diversity strategies in Avon Mexico which may limit its relevance to other US companies.

Practical implications

Good source for bibliography on corporate and academic diversity. Particularly useful for corporate human resources professionals and women about to enter business school or start their first corporate job. Also useful for researchers/academics writing business school case studies.

Originality/value

Presents a strong case for the retention and development of corporate women as well as the need for business school cases to model behavior and modify negative attitudes toward women in business.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

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Book part
Publication date: 14 December 2005

Noah P. Barsky, Anthony H. Catanach and Jr.

Abstract

Details

Advances in Accounting Education: Teaching and Curriculum Innovations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-869-8

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