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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1991

David Perrow

Templeton College is a management education centre linked to Oxford University. In 1989 the existing micro‐CAIRS system was upgraded to the integrated CAIRS‐LMS system…

Abstract

Templeton College is a management education centre linked to Oxford University. In 1989 the existing micro‐CAIRS system was upgraded to the integrated CAIRS‐LMS system running over a newly installed network linked to a VAX mainframe. This article outlines the reasons for this upgrade and describes how CAIRS‐LMS is operated in the context of a small academic library.

Details

Program, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0033-0337

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1990

CAIRS‐LMS is the library management system produced by Leatherhead Food Research Association. It was written up in VINE in detail in the first issue of 1989 (number 74…

Abstract

CAIRS‐LMS is the library management system produced by Leatherhead Food Research Association. It was written up in VINE in detail in the first issue of 1989 (number 74, August 1989). Since then the number of CAIRS‐LMS customers has risen from 70 to 95 and major enhancements to the system have been undertaken or planned. Release +5 is the latest version of the software, currently in the process of being shipped to existing customers. It incorporates facilities such as a new OPAC, simpler print options and menus which link to security levels. Designed initially to be used by LFRA's own library, CAIRS‐LMS has not surprisingly proved to be particularly popular with special libraries. However, it is now beginning to take off in other areas with, for example, several college libraries taking the software on board. Reflecting this, LFRA has incorporated features into the system to meet the needs of such libraries, such as facilities for high volume loans.

Details

VINE, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-5728

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Book part
Publication date: 8 July 2010

Graham Sewell and Nelson Phillips

Joan undertook the ground-breaking project originally reported in the 1958 pamphlet, Management and Technology, not at one of Britain's great universities, but at the…

Abstract

Joan undertook the ground-breaking project originally reported in the 1958 pamphlet, Management and Technology, not at one of Britain's great universities, but at the unfashionable address of the South East Essex Technical College (then in the county of Essex but now part of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham). The Human Relations Research Unit had been set up at the college, which is now part of the University of East London, in 1953 with support from a number of agencies including funding ultimately derived from the Marshall Plan. Its express purpose was to enhance the performance of industry and commerce through the application of social science. Those readers familiar with the area will know that, at the time, it was economically and culturally dominated by the Ford assembly plant in nearby Dagenham, but it was also home to a diverse range of small- and medium-sized industrial workshops that were typical of the pre-war Greater London economy (Woodward, 1965; Massey & Meegan, 1982). It was into this diverse industrial milieu that Joan and her research team ventured (Fig. 1), completing their main study in 1958.

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Technology and Organization: Essays in Honour of Joan Woodward
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-984-8

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Book part
Publication date: 9 July 2010

Donald Palmer and Michael Maher

We use normal accident theory to analyze the financial sector, especially that part of the financial sector that processed home mortgages, and the mortgage meltdown. We…

Abstract

We use normal accident theory to analyze the financial sector, especially that part of the financial sector that processed home mortgages, and the mortgage meltdown. We maintain that the financial sector was highly complex and tightly coupled in the years leading up to the mortgage meltdown. And we argue that the meltdown exhibited characteristics of a system or normal accident; the result of a component failure (unusually high mortgage defaults) that, in the context of unique conditions (which included low interest rates and government policy encouraging home loans to less credit-worthy households), resulted in complex and tightly coupled interactions that financial elites and government officials were ill-equipped to control. We also consider the role that agency and wrongdoing played in the design of the financial system and the unfolding of the mortgage meltdown. We conclude that a fundamental restructuring of the financial system, so as to reduce complexity and coupling, is required to avert future similar financial debacles. But we also conclude that such a restructuring faces significant obstacles, given the interests of powerful actors and the difficulties of labeling those responsible for the meltdown as wrongdoers.

Details

Markets on Trial: The Economic Sociology of the U.S. Financial Crisis: Part A
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-205-1

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Article
Publication date: 21 October 2013

Prem Sikka and Hugh Willmott

– The paper aims to examine the involvement of global accountancy firms in devising and selling tax avoidance schemes euphemistically marketed as “tax planning”.

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to examine the involvement of global accountancy firms in devising and selling tax avoidance schemes euphemistically marketed as “tax planning”.

Design/methodology/approach

The study draws upon a range of secondary sources, including legal cases and government reports, to demonstrate how “tax planning” involves “wilful blindness” to complicity in dubious and sometimes fraudulent activity.

Findings

The study reveals in detail the construction and promotion of elaborate tax avoidance schemes by big accounting firms. It casts doubt upon the “business culture” that has become established in these firms.

Research limitations/implications

The study relies upon secondary sources. Subject to gaining adequate access to the big accounting firms, research based upon close-up investigation of “tax planning” would further illuminate such practices.

Practical implications

The study shows how normalised and institutionalised “tax planning” schemes have become in the big four accounting firms. It suggests that such schemes require closer scrutiny if payments of tax are to be made as intended, and thereby provide the revenues required to maintain public services such as education, health and pensions.

Social implications

The study informs a debate about the payment of taxes and the role of big accounting firms in creating aggressive tax avoidance schemes. It questions the appropriateness and adequacy of private regulation of these firms and so contributes to a public debate on the tax contribution of comparatively powerful and privileged parties.

Originality/value

The study “blows the whistle” on the role of big accounting firms in devising schemes that reduce the “tax take” on business and thereby reduces the revenues required to provide and maintain public services.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 31 July 2009

Omar Lizardo

The “first generation” (Lammers, 1978, p. 486) of comparative analysis of organizations in sociology (e.g., Blau, 1965; Stinchcombe, 1959) focused on the “nuts and bolts”…

Abstract

The “first generation” (Lammers, 1978, p. 486) of comparative analysis of organizations in sociology (e.g., Blau, 1965; Stinchcombe, 1959) focused on the “nuts and bolts” of organizational structure as the key criterion with which to derive organizational typologies (Perrow, 1967; Pugh, Hickson, & Hinings, 1969). This initial cohort of analysts saw the intrinsic features – or “organizational attributes” (Blau, 1965, p. 326) – constitutive of the “technical core” of the organization, such as features related to the organization of the production process (Perrow, 1967) or the structure of allocation of discretion and authority (e.g., Etzioni, 1961), as the royal road to the development of a cogent approach to comparative analysis of organizations.

Details

Studying Differences between Organizations: Comparative Approaches to Organizational Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-647-8

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1997

James L. Price

Addresses the standardization of the measurements and the labels for concepts commonly used in the study of work organizations. As a reference handbook and research tool…

Abstract

Addresses the standardization of the measurements and the labels for concepts commonly used in the study of work organizations. As a reference handbook and research tool, seeks to improve measurement in the study of work organizations and to facilitate the teaching of introductory courses in this subject. Focuses solely on work organizations, that is, social systems in which members work for money. Defines measurement and distinguishes four levels: nominal, ordinal, interval and ratio. Selects specific measures on the basis of quality, diversity, simplicity and availability and evaluates each measure for its validity and reliability. Employs a set of 38 concepts ‐ ranging from “absenteeism” to “turnover” as the handbook’s frame of reference. Concludes by reviewing organizational measurement over the past 30 years and recommending future measurement reseach.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 18 no. 4/5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 August 2010

David A. Buchanan and John Storey

This paper aims to explore the theoretical and practical management implications of a case involving the falsification of hospital patient waiting lists for elective…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the theoretical and practical management implications of a case involving the falsification of hospital patient waiting lists for elective orthopaedic surgery.

Design/methodology/approach

This case study is based on qualitative schedule‐structured interviews with 20 senior hospital staff (managerial and clinical), including the head of the investigation team, downloads from the hospital website, and internal hospital documentation. Those data were used to construct an event narrative exploring the underlying causes and implications of the incident.

Findings

The blame for misconduct pointed at three surgeons, a senior manager, a general manager, an assistant general manager, one administrative staff member, and several organizational factors. In addition to censuring some of those involved, an investigation recommended changes to training and working practices, policies and procedures, governance arrangements, and organization culture, and led to an external evaluation of the hospital board. However, one year later, another similar incident occurred.

Research limitations/implications

This is a single case, and events are viewed through a management lens, the individuals concerned being protected by research ethics considerations.

Practical implications

By detailing the sequence of events, surrounding conditions, and the reactions of multiple players, this analysis reveals typified responses to incidents of this kind, and the limitations inherent in post‐event investigations. If the benefits derived from national targets are to be realized in a manner which commands support from staff at all levels, then greater attention should be paid by managers and regulators to issues of transparency, responsiveness, and honesty. As core dimensions of good governance, managers must be accountable for helping to meet targets, and also for tracking how targets are met, ensuring that resources are made available, and that problematic issues raised are promptly and effectively addressed.

Originality/value

Studies of organizational misbehaviour are rare in healthcare where the focus often lies with patient deaths and injuries arising from system failures and gross individual misconduct. The analysis in this case explores the organizational conditions that contribute to such incidents.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 31 July 2009

Brayden G King, Teppo Felin and David A. Whetten

Comparative organizational analysis once dominated American organizational sociology, grounded in rich case studies about organizational processes and outcomes. The…

Abstract

Comparative organizational analysis once dominated American organizational sociology, grounded in rich case studies about organizational processes and outcomes. The Columbia school's approach to organizational research was exemplary in this regard. Following the publication of Robert K. Merton's (1940) essay, “Bureaucratic Structure and Personality,” he attracted a group of talented doctoral students to his formal organizations seminar (Crothers, 1990), the core of whom would go on to write dissertations, books, and articles forming the substance of American organizational sociology in the decades to come. Among those students were Philip Selznick, Alvin Gouldner, Peter Blau, Seymour Martin Lipset, Rose Coser, and James Coleman. While their work varied greatly in substantive content, their studies shared a theoretical interest in explaining intra-organizational dynamics and the unexpected outcomes of bureaucratic administration. Organizations, they demonstrated, developed “lives of their own,” quite outside the intents of their founders (Haveman, 2009; refer, especially, Selznick, 1957). Organizations, in other words, were adaptive to the needs of their constituents, but adaptations did not always produce the intended results. One of the unintended consequences of organizational development was increasing variety in the kinds of organizations that emerged to meet particular societal goals or ends. Thus, an inherent focus of this early comparative research was the explanation of variety in organizational types, policies, and outcomes and an emphasis on the ways in which organizations diverged from ideal types.

Details

Studying Differences between Organizations: Comparative Approaches to Organizational Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-647-8

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Article
Publication date: 20 April 2012

David McEntire

The following article seeks to expand comprehension of the concept of vulnerability in order to promote further scholarship in this area and provide policy guidance for…

Abstract

Purpose

The following article seeks to expand comprehension of the concept of vulnerability in order to promote further scholarship in this area and provide policy guidance for practitioners.

Design/methodology/approach

Various findings from the academic literature pertaining to vulnerability are discussed in order to generate a more holistic understanding of this key factor of disaster.

Findings

This exposition defines vulnerability, illustrates the causes of vulnerability, identifies those who may be vulnerable to disasters, and suggests ways to reduce vulnerability.

Research limitations/implications

Because this paper offers a preliminary view that both includes and goes beyond the traditional social vulnerability school, additional research on this matter will undoubtedly be required. However, it is hoped that the breadth and complexity of challenges we are currently facing will be made manifest in this discussion.

Originality/value

This paper extends the author's prior work in this area and reinforces the need to give greater priority to the concept of vulnerability in disaster research and emergency management.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

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