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Article

T.A. Lee

The purpose of this paper is to introduce counterfactual analysis and reasoning to the study of accounting history. The counterfactual focus is the institutionalisation of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce counterfactual analysis and reasoning to the study of accounting history. The counterfactual focus is the institutionalisation of public accountancy in the UK.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopts a counterfactual research design using Ferguson and Bunzl and asks a “what if” question of an event of importance to accounting historians in order to create a plausible counterfactual outcome that is grounded in rationality and causal analysis. The specific counterfactual question relates to the royal charter granted to public accountants practicing in Edinburgh in 1854. The counterfactual outcome is compared to the actual timeline of public accountancy institutionalisation in the UK.

Findings

The “alternative” history reveals uncertainties that confronted public accountants in the past and provides a basis for suggesting that the current fractured and inefficient state of institutionalised public accountancy in the UK has its origins at least partially in the 1854 royal charter. It also suggests that attempts to register and unify public accountants in the UK have been hindered by nineteenth century royal charters.

Research limitations/implications

The study argues that counterfactual analysis is a useful historical tool with which to understand the consequences of historical decisions made in the professional project of British public accountancy. In addition, the study reveals the potential for counterfactual analysis to illumine the consequences of decisions in other areas of accounting and auditing history.

Originality/value

This study is the first counterfactual analysis in the accounting history literature and therefore provides a template for further studies and improved research design.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 19 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article

Alberto Bramanti and Sofia Ricci

The competitiveness of the Alpine regions is strongly influenced by environmental constraints and its relationship with the urban network in the valley floor, which cannot…

Abstract

Purpose

The competitiveness of the Alpine regions is strongly influenced by environmental constraints and its relationship with the urban network in the valley floor, which cannot be one of pure dependence. This study aims to analyse the health of the Italian Alpine economy through the performance of its capital companies, defined as those operating in the strictly mountainous are-as within the territories covered by the Alpine Convention. The authors compare the performance (2012-2018) of the “inner core” firms with a counterfactual sample of companies from neighbouring territories to delineate the strengths and weaknesses of the Alpine enterprises. The paper addresses policymakers and practitioners who will design the future policies for the high lands, exploiting a vast collaborative planning network.

Design/methodology/approach

The study analyses two broad strands of literature on territorial competitiveness. It uses the coarsened exact matching techniques for the selection of a counterfactual sample at the enterprise level. The study follows a policy-oriented design, offering answers to future challenges.

Findings

The Alpine region has several different local production systems, with a significant level of heterogeneity among firms that differentiate the top 25% from the rest. The counterfactual analysis carried out does not provide clear evidence of significant differences. Instead, it con-firms strong similarities between the Alpine core and the peri-Alpine belt. It is only in terms of employment growth that the core grows less (with a high statistical significance). Finally, the authors introduce the analysis of sustainable value added (SVA) in the core area and use the “tourism chain” to compare different models. The focus here is on two keywords – rarefied and uncontaminated – that enable the transformation of some typical weaknesses of the “minor (or marginal) mountain” into assets for development, provided that place-based and network policies are activated.

Research limitations/implications

The study focusses on the Italian Alps and could be extended in the future to the other countries participating in the Alpine Convention. It may also be enriched by qualitative analyses of partnerships and sole proprietorships that are not identified by the balance sheet analysis.

Practical implications

The study follows a policy-oriented design, offering possible solutions to future challenges.

Social implications

The study offers some suggestions on the post-COVID-19 phase. The bottom-up, reluctant and community dimension are possible strengths to face the challenges that are opening up.

Originality/value

The study is one of the very few to carry out a counterfactual analysis of Alpine enterprises. It offers evidence on the strengths and weaknesses of the productive fabric of the high lands and updates the assessment of the health status of Alpine enterprises to accompany future fact-based policies after the COVID pandemic.

Details

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-4217

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Article

David Sarpong

The aim of this paper is to draw on the social theory of practice to show scenario thinking as an everyday practice and how the practice could be theorised at the meso‐level.

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to draw on the social theory of practice to show scenario thinking as an everyday practice and how the practice could be theorised at the meso‐level.

Design/methodology/approach

Counterfactual analysis, scenario analysis and peripheral vision are presented as the constituting methodological triad through which scenario thinking comes into representation.

Findings

Scenario thinking is a temporally emerging everyday organizational practice. By placing emphasis on the mundane and taken for granted activities that come together to form the nexus of the practice, often deep underlying structures of organizational behaviour contributing to scenario thinking can be theorised.

Research limitations/implications

The practice conceptualisation of scenario thinking inverts and challenges existing management and practitioners' conventional understanding of the practice as an episodic phenomenon in waiting to be facilitated by an expert with specific end points and conformity.

Practical implications

Foresight practitioners and researchers can use this as an analytical starting point for the study and theorising of scenario thinking in self organized groups.

Originality/value

The paper provides a new angle of vision to extend understanding of the development and theorising of scenario thinking in autonomous working groups.

Details

Foresight, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Book part

Esfandiar Maasoumi and Yifeng Zhu

We examine the potential effect of naturalization on the U.S. immigrants’ earnings. We find the earning gap between naturalized citizens and noncitizens is positive over…

Abstract

We examine the potential effect of naturalization on the U.S. immigrants’ earnings. We find the earning gap between naturalized citizens and noncitizens is positive over many years, with a tent shape across the wage distribution. We focus on a normalized metric entropy measure of the gap between distributions, and compare with conventional measures at the mean, median, and other quantiles. In addition, naturalized citizen earnings (at least) second-order stochastically dominate noncitizen earnings in many of the recent years. We construct two counterfactual distributions to further examine the potential sources of the earning gap, the “wage structure” effect and the “composition” effect. Both of these sources contribute to the gap, but the composition effect, while diminishing somewhat after 2005, accounts for about 3/4 of the gap. The unconditional quantile regression (based on the Recentered Influence Function), and conditional quantile regressions confirm that naturalized citizens have generally higher wages, although the gap varies for different income groups, and has a tent shape in many years.

Details

Essays in Honor of Aman Ullah
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-786-8

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Article

Paul Hughes, Ian Richard Hodgkinson, Karen Elliott and Mathew Hughes

Developing and implementing strategies to maximize profitability is a fundamental challenge facing manufacturers. The complexity of orchestrating resources in practice has…

Abstract

Purpose

Developing and implementing strategies to maximize profitability is a fundamental challenge facing manufacturers. The complexity of orchestrating resources in practice has been overlooked in the operations field and it is now necessary to go beyond the direct effects of individual resources and uncover different resource configurations that maximize profitability. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on a sample of US manufacturing firms, multiple regression analysis (MRA) and fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) are performed to examine the effects of resource orchestration on firm profitability over time. By comparing the findings between analyses, the study represents a move away from examining the net effects of resource levers on performance alone.

Findings

The findings characterize the resource conditions for manufacturers’ high performance, and also for absence of high performance. Pension and retirement expense is a core resource condition with R&D and SG&A as consistent peripheral conditions for profitability. Moreover, although workforce size was found to have a significant negative effect under MRA, this plays a role in manufacturers’ performance as a peripheral resource condition under fsQCA.

Originality/value

Accounting for different resource deployment configurations, this study deepens knowledge of resource orchestration and presents findings that enable manufacturers to maximize profitability. An empirical contribution is offered by the introduction of a new method for examining manufacturing strategy configurations: fsQCA.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 38 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article

Graca Miranda Silva, Filipe Coelho, Cristiana R. Lages and Marta Reis

This study aims to investigate the configurations that drive employee service recovery. Rather than analyzing the net effects of individual antecedents of service…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the configurations that drive employee service recovery. Rather than analyzing the net effects of individual antecedents of service recovery, which is the common approach in the literature, this study uses a configurational approach to investigate how five antecedents (customer service orientation, rewards, teamwork, empowerment and customer service training) combine to yield employee adaptive and proactive service recovery behaviors.

Design/methodology/approach

The study collects responses from 90 frontline employees through an online survey. Building on configurational theory, the authors developed and empirically validated four research propositions by using a fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis.

Findings

Three equifinal configurations of managerial practices result in either employee proactive or adaptive service recovery behaviors. Two of these three configurations result in both adaptive and proactive behaviors. In addition, the findings show that two out of the three configurations that lead to proactive behavior in service recovery also lead to the simultaneous existence of proactive and adaptive behaviors in service recovery. None of the sufficient configurations require the presence of all managerial practices. These results underscore that managers do not have to act on every single managerial intervention area to promote service recovery.

Research limitations/implications

The study advances the knowledge on the antecedents of employee behavior in service recovery by investigating how these antecedents combine to yield different recipes for developing either employee adaptive or proactive behavior in service recovery.

Practical implications

The findings provide insights for managers into the different combinations of practices that can be used to develop employee proactive or adaptive behavior in service recovery.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study that relies on a configurational approach to understand the combinations of managerial practices that result in employee proactive and adaptive behaviors in service recovery.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 54 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Book part

Thomas Greckhamer and Kevin W. Mossholder

Purpose – This chapter examines the potential of qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) for strategy research.Methodology/approach – We introduce the set-theoretic…

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter examines the potential of qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) for strategy research.

Methodology/approach – We introduce the set-theoretic framework of QCA and provide an overview of recent methodological developments.

Findings – We utilize a variety of examples relevant to strategy research to illustrate the action steps and key concepts involved in conducting a QCA study.

Originality/value of paper – We develop examples from core research areas in strategic management to illustrate QCA's potential for examining issues of causality and diversity in strategy research, and in settings involving medium-N samples. We conclude by emphasizing that QCA offers an alternative mode of inquiry to open and redirect important lines of strategy research.

Details

Building Methodological Bridges
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-026-1

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Article

Qingyao Wan, Yang Yuan and Fujun Lai

The purpose of this paper is to explore how external pressures, internal capability and transaction attributes of logistics outsourcing synergically influence the extent…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how external pressures, internal capability and transaction attributes of logistics outsourcing synergically influence the extent of asset-based and non-asset-based logistics outsourcing.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the data surveyed from 250 manufacturing companies in China, this study employed fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) to deduce multiple configurations for logistics outsourcing decisions.

Findings

The results suggest that asset-based logistics outsourcing is primarily driven by external imitation pressures or internal demands for logistics technologies, while non-asset-based logistics outsourcing is mainly driven by the demands for external management-based logistics services. Asset specificity plays a positive role in promoting both asset-based and non-asset-based logistics outsourcing. The requirement for third-party logistics (3PL) management capability depends on the outsourcing types and outsourcing causes.

Practical implications

This study provides guidance to practitioners for them to make outsourcing decisions. It suggests that asset-based logistics outsourcing is more appropriate when there are high external imitation pressures or more internal logistics demands, while non-asset-based logistics outsourcing should be used only when a firm needs management-based logistics services. Besides, 3PL users are suggested to outsource their logistics when their 3PL providers are required to make specific investments. In addition, managers should carefully evaluate firms’ capabilities in managing outsourcing relationships.

Originality/value

Previous studies largely ignored the interaction effects of a set of factors on logistics outsourcing decisions, and to date, little research empirically examined how outsourcing is driven in terms of different types of outsourcing. Drawing on the institutional theory, dynamic capability view, and transaction cost theory and overarching under the complexity theory, this study examines how institutional, organizational and transactional factors interplay with each other to influence different types of logistics outsourcing (i.e. asset based and non-asset based). Methodologically, the configural analysis (i.e. fsQCA) is applied to explore complex causal configurations that drive logistics outsourcing.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 32 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

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Article

Louis Raymond, François Bergeron, Anne-Marie Croteau, Ana Ortiz de Guinea and Sylvestre Uwizeyemungu

As purveyors of knowledge-based and high value-added services to the manufacturing sector, industrial service small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) must develop the…

Abstract

Purpose

As purveyors of knowledge-based and high value-added services to the manufacturing sector, industrial service small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) must develop the information technology (IT) capabilities that, in combination with other non-IT capabilities, enable their capacity for organizational learning (OL) and for explorative learning in particular. In this context, this study aims to identify the different causal configurations that account for the nonlinear complex interplay of IT capabilities for exploration and strategic capabilities for explorative learning as they affect these firms’ competitive performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey data obtained from 92 industrial service SMEs were analyzed with a configurational approach, using fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA).

Findings

As it allows for equifinality, the fsQCA analysis identified two sets of causal configurations that characterize the sampled firms’ explorative learning capability as it relates to competitive performance. In the first set, two configurations were equally associated with high innovation performance, whereas in the second set, four configurations were equally associated with high productivity.

Originality/value

By viewing explorative learning as a dynamic capability that is enabled by the firm’s IT and strategic capabilities, the study contributes to OL theory by providing a more concrete or “operational” grounding, which allows for a greater practical applicability of this theory. By taking both the configurational and capability-based views of the OL-IT-performance causal framework, the authors provide an empirical basis for unraveling, explaining and understanding the complex non-linear relationships embedded within this framework.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 24 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article

Hossein Olya, Timothy Hyungsoo Jung, Mandy Claudia Tom Dieck and Kisang Ryu

This paper aims to explore a complex combination of four realms of the experience economy in formulating memories and satisfaction among festival visitors by using…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore a complex combination of four realms of the experience economy in formulating memories and satisfaction among festival visitors by using augmented reality (AR), thus engaging visitors in the physical science experience. This study also identifies necessary conditions to achieve desired responses from visitors.

Design/methodology/approach

Asymmetrical modelling with fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) was used to investigate causal recipes of two configurations of the experience economy and evaluation of experience leading to both high and low scores from visitor engagement. Necessary condition analysis was applied to examine necessary predictors in visitor engagement. The proposed configuration model was tested by using data obtained from visitors to science festivals in the UK.

Findings

Five causal recipes explained the complex conditions in which visitors were more likely engaged in AR. Aesthetics, education, entertainment and satisfaction were necessary for high engagement among festival visitors.

Research limitations/implications

The results from fsQCA and analyses of necessary conditions help festival organizers improve visitor satisfaction and engagement in a memorable AR experience.

Originality/value

This empirical study deepens current festival understanding of how visitors experience AR by exploring combinations of complex configurations of the experience economy and evaluations of visitor experience based on memories and satisfaction. Unlike symmetrical approaches, asymmetrical modelling by using fsQCA can explore recipes for both high and low scores of visitor satisfaction and engagement. This is the first empirical study investigating necessary predictors of festival visitor behaviour.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 32 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

Keywords

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