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Article
Publication date: 7 February 2014

Stuart Cooper, Carole Parkes and John Blewitt

Neo-institutional theory suggests that organisations change occurs when institutional contradictions, caused by exogenous and endogenous dynamics, increase over time to…

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2003

Abstract

Purpose

Neo-institutional theory suggests that organisations change occurs when institutional contradictions, caused by exogenous and endogenous dynamics, increase over time to the point where change can no longer be resisted. Human praxis will result, but only when sufficiently powerful interests are motivated to act. This paper aims to examine the role that the accreditation of business schools can play in increasing institutional contradictions and hence fostering organisational change towards stakeholder engagement and engagement with social responsibility and sustainability issues. Numerous accreditations are promulgated within the higher education and business school contexts and a number of these relate to, or have aspects that relate to, ethics, social responsibility and sustainability.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper first analyses the take up of accreditations across UK business schools and then uses a case study to illustrate and explore stakeholder engagement and changes related to ethics, social responsibility and sustainability linked to accreditation processes.

Findings

Accreditations are found to be an increasingly common interest for UK business schools. Further, a number of these accreditations have evolved to incorporate issues related to ethics, social responsibility and sustainability that may cause institutional contradictions and may, therefore, have the potential to foster organisational change. Accreditation alone, however, is not sufficient and the authors find that sufficiently powerful interests need to be motivated to act and enable human praxis to affect change.

Research limitations/implications

This paper draws on previous research that considers the role of accreditation in fostering change that has also been carried out in healthcare organisations, public and professional bodies. Its findings stem from an individual case study and as such further research is required to explore whether these findings can be extended and apply more generally in business schools and universities in different contexts.

Practical implications

This paper concludes by recommending that the newly established UK & Ireland Chapter of PRME encourages and supports signatory schools to further embed ethics, social responsibility and sustainability into all aspects of university life in the UK. This also provides an opportunity to engage with the accrediting bodies in order to further support the inclusion of stakeholder engagement and issues related to this agenda in their processes.

Originality/value

This paper contributes by introducing accreditation as an institutional pressure that may lead indirectly to organisational change and supports this with new evidence from an illustrative case study. Further, it draws on the role of institutional contradictions and human praxis that engender organisational change.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 6 June 2008

Carole Parkes

Describes a new breed of HR strategies that encourage employee involvement and commitment as part of high‐performance working (HPW).

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1519

Abstract

Purpose

Describes a new breed of HR strategies that encourage employee involvement and commitment as part of high‐performance working (HPW).

Design/methodology/approach

Focuses on managing employee attitudes and skills through careful attention to leadership, reward and job‐design policies. Highlights the differences between people's formal employment contracts and their less formal “psychological contracts”, and emphasizes the importance of the latter. Provides a case study of UK recruitment consultancy Angel Services Group Ltd, which allows staff who meet their daily targets to go home an hour early.

Findings

Urges companies to have processes in place to understand the needs of individual employees. This can be done through leadership policies that require all supervisors and managers not only to manage their staff but also to know them as people.

Practical implications

Emphasizes that organizations need to see HPW initiatives as part of the normal way of managing people, and not as “flavour of the month”.

Originality/value

Outlines a wide range of initiatives that could help organizations to gain their employees' commitment.

Details

Human Resource Management International Digest, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-0734

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2007

Carole Parkes, Judy Scully, Michael West and Jeremy Dawson

This paper sets out to contribute to the advancement of knowledge, particularly with regard to the processes of implementation and the role of managers engaged in such…

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5962

Abstract

Purpose

This paper sets out to contribute to the advancement of knowledge, particularly with regard to the processes of implementation and the role of managers engaged in such high commitment strategies and work practices.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is part of a research project investigating the extent to which employee involvement predicts job performance (as well as job satisfaction, wellbeing and organisational commitment) in the NHS, using both quantitative and qualitative methods. The main focus of this paper is to present evidence from four of the 20 case studies to show the barriers to implementing employee involvement as well as highlighting the techniques and practices that have proven to be most successful.

Findings

Employee involvement is used successfully by management and has enabled frontline staff to contribute their knowledge to their work. Research limitations/implications – The ethical issues of confidentiality and anonymity permeated the research process throughout.

Practical implications

The link between “high commitment” strategies and organisational performance is of great interest to academics and practitioners alike. One of these “high commitment” strategies, namely employee involvement, has been an important HR strategy for the NHS in the UK.

Originality/value

Other organisations can learn from the findings by implementing the successful parts.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 26 October 2010

Carole Parkes, Judy Scully and Susan Anson

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how the conceptual lens of corporate social responsibility (CSR), business and civil society can be used to explore “less…

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1529

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how the conceptual lens of corporate social responsibility (CSR), business and civil society can be used to explore “less popular causes” (in this case, a community‐based public sector empirical study of initiatives with offenders) and, in particular, respond to the question used by Walzer “In which society can lives be best led?”

Design/methodology/approach

This is a formative and summative evaluation study of a National Offender Management “community payback” offender scheme based in the UK using a mixed method, predominantly qualitative approach that integrates theory and practice.

Findings

The paper finds that citizenship actions of front‐line public sector employees, working in partnership with other agencies in the community, embody the essence of Walzer's notion of CSR and civil society by going beyond the call of duty to provide additional training and moral support for the community offenders.

Originality/value

The paper contributes towards an understanding of how CSR and civil society debates can inform wider aspects of public policy and business through its application to areas of society that are perceived to be “challenging” and “undeserving”.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 30 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 15 March 2013

Denise Baden and Carole Parkes

The complex challenges of sustainable development and the need to embed these issues effectively into the education of future business leaders has never been more urgent…

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2564

Abstract

Purpose

The complex challenges of sustainable development and the need to embed these issues effectively into the education of future business leaders has never been more urgent. The purpose of this paper is to discuss different approaches taken by two UK signatories to the UN Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME).

Design/methodology/approach

The two approaches examined are: MSc Entrepreneurship students opting for placements with social enterprises; and MBA students undertaking workshops using “live” case studies. A content analysis of the experiences of students from their written reflective narratives is presented. This is supplemented by reflections of the facilitators and tutors.

Findings

The analysis reveals that the opportunity to work with social entrepreneurs and/or “responsible” business professionals provides the business students with inspirational role models and positive social learning opportunities.

Research limitations/implications

This paper suggests that experiential learning is an effective way of integrating ethics, responsibility and sustainability into the curriculum but the research draws on the experience of two schools. Further research is important to explore these findings in other contexts.

Practical implications

The authors argue that direct exposure to a business culture (and/or behaviour) that is predicated upon ethical/social responsibility and sustainability is an effective means to embed these values in the curriculum.

Originality/value

This paper contributes by drawing on social psychological research related to behaviour change to examine how experiential learning on traditional Business Masters programmes can provide students with the knowledge, motivation and skills to contribute positively to society, in a way that more traditional pedagogies cannot.

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Article
Publication date: 27 September 2011

Carole Parkes and John Blewitt

The collapse of world economic systems brought the interconnectedness between business and global events sharply into focus. As Starkey points out: “leading business…

Abstract

Purpose

The collapse of world economic systems brought the interconnectedness between business and global events sharply into focus. As Starkey points out: “leading business schools need to overcome their fascination with a particular form of finance and economics […] to broaden their intellectual horizons […] (and to) look at the lessons of history and other disciplines”. The purpose of this paper is to provide evidence from three years of research on the Aston MBA suggesting that an emphasis on developing capabilities within a far broader, connected and reflexive business curriculum is what business students and practitioners now recognise as an essential way forward for responsible management education.

Design/methodology/approach

This research paper examines the reflective accounts of 300 MBA students undertaking a transdisciplinary Business Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability core module.

Findings

As Klein argues, transdisciplinarity is simultaneously an attitude and a form of action. The student reflections provide powerful discourses of individual learning and report a range of outcomes from finding “the vocabulary or the confidence” to raise issues to acting as “change agents” in the workplace.

Originality/value

As responsibility and sustainability requires learners, researchers and educators to engage with real world complexity, uncertainty and risk, conventional disciplinary study, especially within business, often proves inadequate and partial. This paper demonstrates that creative and exploratory frames need to be developed to facilitate the development of more connected knowledge – informed by multiple stakeholders, able to contribute heterogeneous skills, perspectives and expertise.

Details

Journal of Global Responsibility, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2041-2568

Keywords

Content available
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1836

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 30 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Content available
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1146

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Abstract

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 32 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Article
Publication date: 18 December 2019

Nan Greenwood and Carole Pound

The purpose of this paper is to describe how providing a wide variety of visual images facilitated discussions amongst older informal carers in focus groups.

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121

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe how providing a wide variety of visual images facilitated discussions amongst older informal carers in focus groups.

Design/methodology/approach

In all, 72 older (aged 70+ years) informal carers took part in nine focus groups discussing their experiences as older carers. Participants were provided with a wide selection of different, freely available printed images which included abstract and humorous images and countryside scenes.

Findings

These older carers appeared to enjoy using these pictures to facilitate introducing themselves and to describe their diverse caring experiences. Sharing often challenging experiences using the images and visual metaphors appeared to support the group to discuss difficult, sensitive issues in often light-hearted ways.

Research limitations/implications

This approach appeared to enhance data collection with these older participants in an enjoyable way by helping them focus on the topic at hand whilst facilitating them to give succinct descriptions of their experiences. However, further research is needed in order to be confident of the transferability of these findings to other older participant groups discussing different topics. Only informal carers were included and there were no direct comparisons with groups without images.

Practical implications

Using commonly available visual images in focus groups with older carers appeared to be an effective means of encouraging participant discussions and engagement.

Originality/value

To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first attempt to describe how using visual images facilitated focus group discussions with older informal carers. It therefore adds to the literature.

Details

Working with Older People, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-3666

Keywords

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