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Article

Colin Knox and Saltanat Janenova

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the emergence of e-government in post-Soviet countries using Kazakhstan as a case study. Extant research on e-government in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the emergence of e-government in post-Soviet countries using Kazakhstan as a case study. Extant research on e-government in developing countries highlights significant benefits including improved public services, reduced corruption, and more open and inclusive government. The paper asserts the presence of an e-government paradox which limits its potential to improve public services.

Design/methodology/approach

Primary data were collected from a number of sources: 6 focus groups with central government agencies, local authorities and civil society organisations; 25 structured and semi-structured interviews; and participant observation.

Findings

The research finds evidence of an e-government paradox in five forms: an emphasis on technological development; transactional services are faster but have displaced attention from core public services; petty corruption has been reduced but grand corruption remains; isomorphic mimicry; and greater participation by citizens has been limited.

Research limitations/implications

The focus of the research is Kazakhstan. Applying the lessons learned to other post-Soviet countries has limitations given their different stages of development since independence.

Practical implications

The key practical implication of this research is that countries can become absorbed by e-government technology without questioning the fundamental business model which underpins how public services are delivered. Ultimately, this impacts on the social value of e-government.

Originality/value

While existing research has examined how e-government has been implemented in developing countries, this paper focusses on Kazakhstan as an authoritarian state with wider implications for post-Soviet countries.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 32 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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Article

Colin Knox

Pico is a major Tier 1 supplier to the North American automotive market that has merged with Estil, a similar supplier to the European market. One of Pico’s areas of…

Abstract

Pico is a major Tier 1 supplier to the North American automotive market that has merged with Estil, a similar supplier to the European market. One of Pico’s areas of expertise is intelligent automation solutions for chassis, trim and final assembly and systems are now being offered to the European market. Three systems, using the Perceptron laser sensor, are described. The first is screen insertion using robots and fixed frame‐mounted sensors. The second is body‐in‐white measurement to verify the quality of robot welding. The final, and most recent, system is to aid the accurate alignment of split transmission shafts. It involves measurement of the angle of inclination between the two halves of the shaft and calculation of the shim thickness necessary to achieve the required angle.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

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Article

Joanne Hughes

The role of macro‐level processes in determining the effectiveness or otherwise of micro‐level initiatives is a theme that is developed in this paper. Based on efforts to…

Abstract

The role of macro‐level processes in determining the effectiveness or otherwise of micro‐level initiatives is a theme that is developed in this paper. Based on efforts to tackle division between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland through cross‐community contact, the paper will argue that the structural context within which contact occurs has important implications for the extent to which achievements of particular encounters are extrapolated to the wider community.

Details

International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

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Article

Colin Knox and Zhang Qun

Legislative hearings are a relatively new way of encouraging citizen participation in administrative law making within China. The first such hearing in Liaoning Province…

Abstract

Purpose

Legislative hearings are a relatively new way of encouraging citizen participation in administrative law making within China. The first such hearing in Liaoning Province (Dalian City) was held in April 2005. The purpose of this paper is to examine the detail of the hearing process and attempts to assess its effectiveness as a mechanism for engagement between citizen and the state.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors consider both the practicalities of running a public hearing and its influence on the legal regulations under scrutiny. More generally, and within the limits of one case study, we consider whether hearings have the potential to shift the balance of power away from the state and its officials towards a more inclusive form of decision‐making.

Findings

Legislative public hearings appear to offer the opportunity for public engagement. The out‐workings of these in practice, if the Dalian case study and secondary evidence from five other Chinese cities is typical, suggests practical limitations, some of which are bound up with the cultural origins of a paternalistic public sector in China and deference to authority.

Originality/value

This paper examines whether citizen participation has been influenced by the wider global reform process of new public management and modernisation, synonymous with developed countries and offers insight into a more inclusive form of decision making for other public services.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 20 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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Article

At the annual meeting of Cow & Gate Ltd., in April, the Chairman of the Company said: “I think everyone looks forward to the day when the Ministry of Food ceases to exist…

Abstract

At the annual meeting of Cow & Gate Ltd., in April, the Chairman of the Company said: “I think everyone looks forward to the day when the Ministry of Food ceases to exist. This is not meant in any way to reflect upon the ability with which this Ministry was administered during the war and immediate post‐war years, but a Ministry of Food should not really be necessary in peace‐time. Before the war the milk industry was largely governed by the Milk Marketing Board, and we have great admiration for the Board’s activities; but it was representative only of the producers’ side of this great industry. The distributive and manufacturing trade in the British Isles has grown out of all knowledge since 1939, and this country has relied more and more upon home manufacture as well as home production, both during and since the war. If some of the powers at present delegated to the Ministry of Food are to be placed in other hands, they should in all fairness be shared by the producers, distributors and manufacturers, who have at least an equal stake financially and who should be equally capable of discharging these duties in a conscientious and publicspirited manner. In my opinion, moreover, the day is long outlived when it can possibly be expedient or in the public interest to allow a statutory body representing purely producers’ interests to be the sole arbiter in regard to such a vital matter as the nation’s milk supply.”

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 55 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article

Michael Polonsky and Colin Jevons

There is general agreement that global brands should ensure that they incorporate social responsibility. To do this properly, organisations must understand what it means…

Abstract

Purpose

There is general agreement that global brands should ensure that they incorporate social responsibility. To do this properly, organisations must understand what it means to be socially responsible and how they can leverage their actions. The paper proposes consideration of three distinct areas: the range of social responsibility issues, what the organisations actually do and how to leverage those corporate social responsibility (CSR) actions. This paper seeks to conceptually develop these three areas of complexity – Issue, Organisational and Communication – as it is only after organisations understand these three areas that they can effectively leverage socially responsible activities in their brands.

Design/methodology/approach

This research undertakes a review and synthesis of the academic, practitioner and industry literature examining CSR and the brand, addressing the three areas of complexity – issue, organisational and communication.

Findings

The research finds that within these three areas of complexity there are a number of sub‐issues that must be addressed if CSR is to be strategically integrated into a global brand. This includes sub‐issues associated with social issue complexity (identification, heterogeneity, measurement, and interpretation); organizational complexity (overall corporate brand, multiple products and brands, functional activities, and supply chain); and communication complexity (intensity of action/positioning, communicating action, types of programs utilised, and integration issues.) It thus provides an agenda for future research.

Research limitations/implications

There is limited academic literature examining how global organisations incorporate CSR activities into their brand and the research proposes the issues that need to be considered when integrating CSR into branding strategy. Future research needs to be undertaken to explore the internal processes that global firms use to develop their CSR positioning strategies and some research propositions for future research are proposed. Additionally further exploration of each of the issues (and sub‐issues) identified in this paper is warranted, and some suggestions are made for this.

Practical implications

The results of this study show that developing a CSR leveraged brand in a consistent way that is salient to all stakeholders is no simple task for global organisations. By considering the three areas of complexity developed here organisations will be able to better understand and align their activities in line with CSR related issues. Being global means that organisations will likely need to ensure they address the highest set of global expectations, as any lower level may be criticised as being less than appropriate.

Originality/value

The paper develops the sub‐issues of issue, organisational and communication complexity associated with global brands' CSR activities. This strategic perspective goes beyond focusing on the tactical activities undertaken or the philosophical issue of whether CSR should be undertaken. The work therefore allows global organisations to look at CSR more strategically as a branding issue.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 26 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

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Article

Michael Jay Polonsky and Colin Jevons

To discuss the importance of understanding corporate social responsibility (CSR) by analysing the issues that comprise CSR. Without this understanding it will not be…

Abstract

Purpose

To discuss the importance of understanding corporate social responsibility (CSR) by analysing the issues that comprise CSR. Without this understanding it will not be possible for organisations to develop responsible brands.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on the existing business and marketing literature to define four aspects of issue complexity. It also draws on a range of real and hypothetical examples affecting local and global organisations to explain the four components.

Findings

Developing CSR requires intensive corporate commitment and failure to deliver on stakeholder expectations will result in reputational damage. It is essential to understand CSR issue complexity and to consider carefully CSR‐linked brand positioning. Basically, the implementation of CSR activities requires something substantial and communicable in the first place.

Research limitations/implications

The work is conceptual in nature and additional research needs to be undertaken to better understand how organisations define the CSR issues that they will integrate into activities and how the management of these issues can be undertaken to ensure system‐wide implementation.

Practical implications

The work suggests that by understanding the four components of issues complexity organisations will be in a better position to integrate CSR‐related branding. Without understanding these issues, organisations may potentially unintentionally exaggerate claims or set themselves up to be criticised that they are unfairly exploiting consumers' interest in CSR issues.

Originality/value

Previous research has documented the value of CSR, but to date there have been only limited attempts to systematically examine how managers could know whether they have considered the issue completely and realistically.

Details

European Business Review, vol. 18 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

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Article

The next month or two behind us and this decade will have passed, to merge in the drab background of the post‐war years, part of the pattern of frustration, failure and…

Abstract

The next month or two behind us and this decade will have passed, to merge in the drab background of the post‐war years, part of the pattern of frustration, failure and fear. The ‘swinging sixties’ some called it, but to an older and perhaps slightly jaundiced eye, the only swinging seemed to be from one crisis to another, like the monkey swinging from bough to bough in his home among the trees; the ‘swingers’ among men also have their heads in the clouds! In the seemingly endless struggle against inflation since the end of the War, it would be futile to fail to see that the country is in retreat all the time. One can almost hear that shaft of MacLeodian wit christening the approaching decade as the ‘sinking seventies’, but it may not be as bad as all that, and certainly not if the innate good sense and political soundness of the British gives them insight into their perilous plight.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 71 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article

In the last four years, since Volume I of this Bibliography first appeared, there has been an explosion of literature in all the main functional areas of business. This…

Abstract

In the last four years, since Volume I of this Bibliography first appeared, there has been an explosion of literature in all the main functional areas of business. This wealth of material poses problems for the researcher in management studies — and, of course, for the librarian: uncovering what has been written in any one area is not an easy task. This volume aims to help the librarian and the researcher overcome some of the immediate problems of identification of material. It is an annotated bibliography of management, drawing on the wide variety of literature produced by MCB University Press. Over the last four years, MCB University Press has produced an extensive range of books and serial publications covering most of the established and many of the developing areas of management. This volume, in conjunction with Volume I, provides a guide to all the material published so far.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 21 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article

Stephen Donohoe

To consider the recent decision by the Court of Appeal in the case of Hurst Stores v. M L Europe Property Ltd (2004) and the possible important implications for building…

Abstract

Purpose

To consider the recent decision by the Court of Appeal in the case of Hurst Stores v. M L Europe Property Ltd (2004) and the possible important implications for building surveyors and other construction professionals.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of literature and case law. Possible developments in this area of law are considered.

Findings

A person described as a “project manager” does not necessarily have authority to make legally binding agreements. Where a building surveyor is acting as a project manager, the extent of authority ought to be clarified, preferably in writing. Where a building surveyor is dealing or negotiating with a project manager, he/she cannot take it for granted that any agreement reached will be legally binding. Furthermore, as a consequence of the decision in the Court of Appeal, a document with the heading “Final Account” might not be a final account at all!

Research implications

Increasingly, building surveyors are involved in adjudication, either as witnesses or as adjudicators. In the latter case, the building surveyor ought to be aware that as a result of this case, the probability of a legal challenge to an adjudicator's decision is greatly increased. Another consequence of cases such as Hurst means that building surveyors are more likely rather than less likely to be involved in adjudication if they are operating in the UK.

Originality/value

Applies recent case law to the work of building surveyors.

Details

Structural Survey, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-080X

Keywords

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