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Book part
Publication date: 24 August 2011

Morten H. Abrahamsen

The study here examines how business actors adapt to changes in networks by analyzing their perceptions or their network pictures. The study is exploratory or iterative in…

Abstract

The study here examines how business actors adapt to changes in networks by analyzing their perceptions or their network pictures. The study is exploratory or iterative in the sense that revisions occur to the research question, method, theory, and context as an integral part of the research process.

Changes within networks receive less research attention, although considerable research exists on explaining business network structures in different research traditions. This study analyzes changes in networks in terms of the industrial network approach. This approach sees networks as connected relationships between actors, where interdependent companies interact based on their sensemaking of their relevant network environment. The study develops a concept of network change as well as an operationalization for comparing perceptions of change, where the study introduces a template model of dottograms to systematically analyze differences in perceptions. The study then applies the model to analyze findings from a case study of Norwegian/Japanese seafood distribution, and the chapter provides a rich description of a complex system facing considerable pressure to change. In-depth personal interviews and cognitive mapping techniques are the main research tools applied, in addition to tracer studies and personal observation.

The dottogram method represents a valuable contribution to case study research as it enables systematic within-case and across-case analyses. A further theoretical contribution of the study is the suggestion that network change is about actors seeking to change their network position to gain access to resources. Thereby, the study also implies a close relationship between the concepts network position and the network change that has not been discussed within the network approach in great detail.

Another major contribution of the study is the analysis of the role that network pictures play in actors' efforts to change their network position. The study develops seven propositions in an attempt to describe the role of network pictures in network change. So far, the relevant literature discusses network pictures mainly as a theoretical concept. Finally, the chapter concludes with important implications for management practice.

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Interfirm Networks: Theory, Strategy, and Behavior
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-024-7

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Book part
Publication date: 24 May 2017

Dermot Breslin

Interpreting venture creation as a process of learning allows potential entrepreneurs to help themselves, and develop the skills and competences they required for…

Abstract

Interpreting venture creation as a process of learning allows potential entrepreneurs to help themselves, and develop the skills and competences they required for business. The effectiveness of a learning-based approach to enterprise education is explored here. This study examines changing perceptions and performances of business students as they complete a new venture creation module. In this course, students are invited to interpret the start-up process as a process of learning, using an evolutionary metaphor. Several key findings were revealed. First, the evolutionary learning approach increased the self-efficacy of participants, as their self-belief and confidence in their ideas and abilities increased over the course of the module. This increase was even more pronounced within a sub-group who started their businesses within six months of completion of the course. Second, by adopting the ‘learning to evolve’ approach, participants increasingly focused changes made to their ideas on marketing-related issues. The more the individual focused on marketing as a source of change, the better the improvement in quality of the idea. This research has implications for enterprise educators and practicing entrepreneurs. When one shifts the focus of attention to the external world, and when changes are driven by signals from that external world, the quality of emerging opportunities is enhanced. Moreover, self-efficacy increases as nascent entrepreneurs gain confidence and self-belief both in their ideas, and the skills needed to make them happen. The shift in perspective towards the external market is the key driver in triggering the entrepreneurial process. The approach thus promotes the notion that the entrepreneurship option is open to all who can ‘learn to evolve’.

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Histories of Economic Thought
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76230-997-9

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1981

Most of the managers I meet (and I reckon to have met a few thousand over the last ten years) are dissatisfied with their lot. Many have an ambition to “retire at…

Abstract

Most of the managers I meet (and I reckon to have met a few thousand over the last ten years) are dissatisfied with their lot. Many have an ambition to “retire at forty‐five” (or thirty‐five, depending on their age); a perceptible minority “drop out”, watched more or less wistfully by many of their colleagues; most of all, they tell you they want to do their own thing, to work for themselves.

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Management Decision, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1987

John Stewart

Management in education departments must cater for the special nature of professional administration within them. The problems to be faced in managing such changes

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Abstract

Management in education departments must cater for the special nature of professional administration within them. The problems to be faced in managing such changes required are outlined and the main areas of management development described.

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International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Book part
Publication date: 17 August 2016

Ruthanne Huising

Organizations that adopt new practices employ managers to make decisions about how to materialize these practices. I examine how these managers move between the meanings…

Abstract

Organizations that adopt new practices employ managers to make decisions about how to materialize these practices. I examine how these managers move between the meanings and resources found in extra-local and local realms. I find that managers’ practices shift over time from adapting BPR practices to inhabiting BPR as an idea. Managers’ approaches are shaped by each organization’s history of efforts to introduce extra-local ideas. Rather than adapting BPR practices, managers draw on change tools, techniques, and methods that have worked in the organization and integrate BPR work into ongoing interactions, activities, and language in the local context.

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The Structuring of Work in Organizations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-436-5

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2006

Hind Benbya and Bill McKelvey

Existing literature acknowledges information systems development (ISD) to be a complex activity. This complexity is magnified by the continuous changes in user…

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Abstract

Purpose

Existing literature acknowledges information systems development (ISD) to be a complex activity. This complexity is magnified by the continuous changes in user requirements due to changing organizational needs in changing external competitive environments. Research findings show that, if this increasing complexity is not managed appropriately, information systems fail. The paper thus aims to portray the sources of complexity related to ISD and to suggest the use of complexity theory as a frame of reference, analyzing its implications on information system design and development to deal with the emergent nature of IS.

Design/methodology/approach

Conceptual analysis and review of relevant literature.

Findings

This article provides a conceptual model explaining how top‐down “official” and bottom‐up “emergent” co‐evolutionary adaptations of information systems design with changing user requirements will result in more effective system design and operation. At the heart of this model are seven first principles of adaptive success drawn from foundational biological and social science theory: adaptive tension, requisite complexity, change rate, modular design, positive feedback, causal intricacy, and coordination rhythm. These principles, translated into the ISD context, outline how IS professionals can use them to better enable the co‐evolutionary adaptation of ISD projects to changing stakeholder interests and broader environmental changes.

Originality/value

This paper considers and recognizes the different sources of complexity related to ISD before suggesting how they could be better dealt with. It develops a framework for change to deal with the emergent nature of ISD and enable more expeditious co‐evolutionary adaptation.

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Information Technology & People, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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The Technology Takers
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-463-7

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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2019

Hamilton Coimbra Carvalho and Jose Afonso Mazzon

This paper aims to expose the inadequacy of social marketing to tackle complex social problems, while proposing an expansion in the discipline’ conceptual repertoire. The…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to expose the inadequacy of social marketing to tackle complex social problems, while proposing an expansion in the discipline’ conceptual repertoire. The goal is to incorporate complexity tools, in particular from the system dynamics field, and the promotion of mindware within a true transdisciplinary paradigm.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses literature review to support the proposed theoretical development. It also presents a short case study.

Findings

Most problems that plague our modern societies have a distinctive complex nature that is not amenable to traditional social marketing interventions. Social marketing has simplified the problem of bringing about societal change by thinking that upstream social actors can be influenced in the same way as downstream individuals. This paper shows that this is not the case while proposing a framework to close this gap.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed framework is a theoretical one. It depends on further refinements and actual application to wicked problems.

Practical implications

Complex social problems – or wicked problems – remain widespread in modern societies. Moreover, they are getting worse over time. The paper presents a proposal to redefine the limits of the social marketing discipline so it can be more useful to tackle such problems. Practical approaches such as measuring the success of mindware in the marketplace of ideas are implied in the proposed framework.

Social implications

The increase in complexity of social problems has not been accompanied by an evolution in the discipline of social marketing. The lack of proper conceptual tools has prevented the discipline from contributing to tackling these problems effectively. Some interventions may actually worsen the underlying problems, as illustrated in the paper.

Originality/value

This paper identifies two major gaps associated with the social marketing discipline, in particular the lack of complexity and systems thinking and the forsaking of ideas (mindware) as a legitimate goal of the discipline. This realization corroborates the claim that boundaries among disciplines are often artificial, hindering the proper understanding of complex social problems. In turn, only the use of adequate conceptual lenses makes it possible to devise interventions and programs that tackle actual causes (instead of symptoms) of complex social problems.

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Journal of Social Marketing, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6763

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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2012

David J. Hansen, Javier Monllor and Leslie McMurchie

The purpose of this exploratory study is to examine the development of entrepreneurial opportunities within the context of environmentally‐sustainable business. The “4P”…

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754

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this exploratory study is to examine the development of entrepreneurial opportunities within the context of environmentally‐sustainable business. The “4P” creativity framework (person, process, press/situation, and product) was used.

Design/methodology/approach

Three cases were used to examine opportunity development. Each case involved an entrepreneur in the process of starting a new environmentally‐friendly business. The entrepreneurs were interviewed on a weekly basis.

Findings

Findings suggest that the 4Ps are useful framework for examining entrepreneurial opportunity development. Furthermore, they are strongly interrelated.

Research limitations/implications

Given their inherent creative nature, a creativity perspective is useful for examining opportunities. Additionally, the findings suggest that future research should consider the interaction within the constellation of creative factors – person, process, press and product – when using a creativity perspective.

Originality/value

This study provides one of the few accounts of the development of entrepreneurial opportunities in which data were collected contemporaneously.

Details

Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-5201

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