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Article
Publication date: 12 July 2018

Laura Appignanesi

The purpose of this paper is to find a leading idea of the mid-twentieth century, demonstrating the pervasive nature of some concepts belonging to second-order systems…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to find a leading idea of the mid-twentieth century, demonstrating the pervasive nature of some concepts belonging to second-order systems theory. To achieve this objective, the paper looks at the art and literature of this era, to identify the principles developed by Luhmann in his late works. In particular, Escher’s drawings, Calvino’s stories and Luhmann’s concepts seem to express, in different ways, the same functioning mechanism of the complex social system.

Design/methodology/approach

With reference to theoretical approach and methodology, this paper carries out an interdisciplinary demonstration by alternative modes of logos and mythos. Some of the pillars of general systems theory are examined through the logical articulation of concepts developed by Spencer-Brown, von Foerster, and first of all through the late works of Luhmann, as well as through the analysis of Escher’s artworks and Calvino’s literary works. This paper interprets these artistic and literary works using cybernetic principles and systemic concepts, in particular, “two-sided forms,” “system–environment differentiation” and “second-order observation.”

Findings

In general, the main finding is the similarity of fascination with paradoxes and forms, with post-ontological reasoning, in twentieth century. The result of the cross-reading of Escher, Calvino and Luhmann reveals the presence of what Simmel called the “hidden king”: a philosophical paradigm of an era. In mid-1900s, this leading idea seems to express itself in the discoveries of biology and cybernetics, such as in Luhmann’s theory, art and literature. Escher’s drawings, Calvino’s stories and the concepts of Luhmann are projections of second-order system theory, in its constructivist value.

Originality/value

The originality of this paper lies mainly in the demonstration of theoretical concepts through the alternative modes of logos and mythos. These reflections can provide a new perspective to investigate social sciences from a cultural angle. This particular approach allows a deep awareness of the theory. The concrete value is to provide a better understanding to manage complexity.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 48 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 25 October 2018

Steffen Roth, Vladislav Valentinov, Jari Kaivo-oja and Léo-Paul Dana

Are entrepreneurial opportunities discovered or created? The debate around this question has crucial implications for successful organizational change management in the…

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1305

Abstract

Purpose

Are entrepreneurial opportunities discovered or created? The debate around this question has crucial implications for successful organizational change management in the business world. The present conceptual paper transcends this debate by embedding the concept of the entrepreneurial opportunities within a Luhmannian systems – theoretical framework which accentuates the unique role of organization and change in the age of functional differentiation. The purpose of this paper is to show how the strategic navigation of the borders between function systems such as politics, science, education, religion, art, or, of course, economy leads to the discovery or creation new opportunities for both business and social entrepreneurship.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper combines Niklas Luhmann’s theory of social differentiation with Kim and Mauborgne’s Blue Ocean Strategy. The key argument is that the alternative regimes of social differentiation, such as segmentation, centralization, stratification, and functional differentiation, create distinct pools of entrepreneurial opportunities to be discovered, created, and exploited by adequate business models. (Business) Organizations, therefore, need to strategically adjust the amount of attention they devote to the different forms of social differentiation. The argument is buttressed with illustrative examples of business models related to the regime of functional differentiation.

Findings

A paradoxical finding is that the multifunctional business models which explicitly draw on the value creation potential of the most recent form of social differentiation, functional differentiation, remain little known even though they infuse business organizations with a unique capacity of new venture discovery and creation in the modern society.

Originality/value

Multifunctional business models have so far remained unexplored in entrepreneurship theory and practice. This paper develops a first strategic approach to the discovery or creation of both multifunctional business models and a broader framework of multifunctional organization models.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 31 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2003

Sue Llewelyn

The value of qualitative empirical research in the management and accounting disciplines lies in its “conceptual framing” of organizational actions, events, processes, and…

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15198

Abstract

The value of qualitative empirical research in the management and accounting disciplines lies in its “conceptual framing” of organizational actions, events, processes, and structures. Argues that the possibilities for conceptual framing extend beyond the highly abstract schema generally considered as “theories” by academics. In support of this argument, distinguishes five different forms of theorization. Explores the relationship between these theoretical “levels” and the different issues that empirical research explores, arguing that, as the “level” of theorizing “rises”, issues of agency give way to a focus on practice and, in turn, to a concern with structure. As this happens, research aims directed towards abstraction and explanation supersede those for contextualization and understanding. Concludes that views on “what counts as theory” are, currently, too narrow to conceptualize agency, emergence and change adequately in organizational life and, hence, the full range of significant empirical phenomena that characterize the management and accounting areas are not being researched.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 31 January 2018

Henry F.L. Chung and Tsuang Kuo

This study aims to present two new contingent frameworks that hypothesize the moderation role of managerial ties (MTs) in the international competitive strategy-export…

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1265

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to present two new contingent frameworks that hypothesize the moderation role of managerial ties (MTs) in the international competitive strategy-export financial and strategic performance framework. The purposes of this study are to explore whether a common standardized or individual customized conceptualization consisting of MTs, international competitive strategy and performance can be used to achieve export financial and strategic performance; to offer contingent factors for the current international competitive strategy-export performance framework; and to generalize the roles of MTs in the developed vis-à-vis developing region.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses the experience of 114 exporting firms operating in the European Union region to test its theoretical frameworks. MTs include both business and political ties.

Findings

Business and political ties have completely different moderation effects on the relation between international differentiation/low-cost strategy and export financial/strategic performance. Business ties have a positive influence on the international differentiation strategy-export strategic performance and international low-cost strategy-export financial performance dyads, but a negative effect in the international low-cost strategy-export strategic performance framework. In contrast, political ties are revealed to have a negative effect on the international differentiation/low-cost strategy-export financial performance framework.

Originality/value

This research advances extant international competitive strategy-export performance literature by revealing the bright and dark sides of business ties and the down side of political ties in the framework. Performance should be investigated in terms of financial and strategic performance. The moderation effect of business ties is more complex than that reported in the developing region; thus, a cross-regional generalization on these ties’ effects is more difficult to establish. In contrast, the dark side effect of political ties is consistent across developed and developing regions; a cross-regional generalization on these ties is more viable. Collectively, the results show that a standardized process for achieving both export financial and export strategic performances is not feasible, while a customized process for each export performance is needed.

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2017

Steffen Roth

Cross tables are omnipresent in management, academia and popular culture. The Matrix has us, despite all criticism, opposition and desire for a way out. This paper draws…

Abstract

Purpose

Cross tables are omnipresent in management, academia and popular culture. The Matrix has us, despite all criticism, opposition and desire for a way out. This paper draws on the works of three agents of the matrix. The paper shows that Niklas Luhmann criticised Talcott Parsons’ traditional matrix model of society and proceeded to update systems theory, the latest version of which is coded in the formal language of George Spencer Brown. As Luhmann failed to install his updates to all components of his theory platform, however, regular reoccurrences of Parsonian crosstabs are observed, particularly in the Luhmannian differentiation theory, which results in compatibility issues and produces error messages requesting updates. This paper aims to code the missing update translating the basic matrix structure from Parsonian into Spencer Brownian formal language.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper draws on work by Boris Hennig and Louis Kauffman and a yet unpublished manuscript by George Spencer Brown, to demonstrate that the latter introduced his cross as a mark to indicate NOR gates in circuit diagrams. The paper also shows that this NOR gate marker has been taken out of and may be observed to contain the tetralemma, an ancient matrix structure already present in traditional Indian logic. It then proceeds to translate the basic structure of traditional contingency tables into a Spencer Brownian NOR equation and to demonstrate the difference this translation makes in the modelling of social systems.

Findings

The translation of cross tables from Parsonian into Spencer Brownian formal language results in the design of a both matrix-shaped and compatible test routine that works as a virtual window for the observation of the actually unobservable medium in which a form is drawn, and can be used for consistency checks of expressions coded in Spencer Brownian formal language.

Originality/value

This paper quotes from and discusses a so far unpublished manuscript finalised by Spencer Brown in April 1961. The basic matrix structure is translated from Parsonian into Spencer Brownian formal language. A Spencer Brownian NOR matrix is coded that may be used to detect errors in expressions coded in Spencer Brownian formal language.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 46 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 30 September 2020

Ye Duan, Zenglin Han and Hailin Mu

There are certain differences in the production products of enterprises. What are the impacts of product differentiation on the iron and steel industry? Based on the macro…

Abstract

Purpose

There are certain differences in the production products of enterprises. What are the impacts of product differentiation on the iron and steel industry? Based on the macro background of CO2 emission reduction, this paper aims to analyze the economic benefits and environmental changes of the iron and steel industry under the dual influence of CO2 emission reduction policy and product differentiation policy.

Design/methodology/approach

Taking the basic data of iron and steel industry in six regions of China as an example, this paper constructed an extended two-stage dynamic game model to analyze the impact of product differentiation and carbon tax policy on the production, economic indicators and CO2 emission levels for the overall industry and regional enterprises.

Findings

As the CO2 emission reduction target increased, the unit carbon tax and total tax increased, whereas the macro-environmental losses, social welfare, consumer surplus and outputs decrease. Emission reduction pressures and other economic indicators showed obvious regional differences. Differentiated products promoted various indicators of enterprises and industries; higher degrees of product differentiation resulted in greater promoting effects on economic indicators.

Originality/value

This paper constructed multiple emission reduction and production backgrounds, and discusses the impact of the comprehensive implementation of these policies, which has been practically absent in previous studies. The results of this study are consistent with the current industrial policy for stable production and environmental protection, and also provides a reference for the formulation of detailed policies in the future.

Details

International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, vol. 12 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-8692

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Case study
Publication date: 1 April 2011

Ravindra P. Saxena

Retail marketing management.

Abstract

Subject area

Retail marketing management.

Study level/applicability

Undergraduate management; MA; Master's in Business Administration and Master's in Strategic Marketing programs.

Case overview

Opening of the “Dubai Mall” in November 2008 set a new benchmark in retail history. The mall is considered the largest in the world by space and 6th largest in the world in terms of gross leasable area. The Dubai Mall is the UAE's most ambitious retail launch to date. This case examines how in today's highly competitive retail environment, added-value retailing, experiential retailing, or retailtainment has become a major component of the retail strategy mix to establish a competitive advantage. The new phenomenon of “retailtainment” has caught the momentum worldwide and success of Dubai Mall is the live example of its strategic role in the retail mix. The case also highlights the importance of “good location” in the success of retail establishments, whilst examining primary retail location theories and there relation to the phenomenal success of Dubai Mall.

Expected learning outcomes

Through this case study students will be able to: understand the roles of “entertainment” and “location” in retail mix strategy; analyse the new trend of “retailtainment” and “quality location” in creating value-added services and gaining competitive advantage in global competitive retail environment; ascertain the importance and application of “retailtainment” and “strategic location” in the real world's successful example of “Dubai Mall”; and diagnose the role of these learnt concepts in the retailing strategies practiced by other retail establishments in their cities/country.

Supplementary materials

Teaching note.

Details

Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2045-0621

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Article
Publication date: 10 February 2012

Garry D. Carnegie and Christopher J. Napier

The purpose of this paper is to revisit the special issue of Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal published in 1996 on the theme “Accounting history into the…

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11783

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to revisit the special issue of Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal published in 1996 on the theme “Accounting history into the twenty‐first century”, in order to identify and assess the impact of the special issue in shaping developments in the accounting history literature, and to consider issues for future historical research in accounting.

Design/methodology/approach

A retrospective and prospective essay focusing on developments in the historical accounting literature.

Findings

The special issue's advocacy of critical and interpretive histories of accounting's past has influenced subsequent research, particularly within the various research themes identified in the issue. The most significant aspect of this influence has been the engagement of increasing numbers of accounting historians with theoretical perspectives and analytical frameworks.

Research limitations/implications

The present study examines the content and impact of a single journal issue. It explores future research possibilities, which inevitably involves speculation.

Originality/value

In addressing recent developments in the literature through the lens of the special issue, the paper emphasises the unifying power of history and offers ideas, insights and reflections that may assist in stimulating originality in future studies of accounting's past.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 September 2021

R. Bret Leary, Thomas Burnham and William Montford

This paper aims to introduce the implicit firm theory, distinguishing between the belief that firms can (incremental firm theory) or cannot (entity firm theory) readily…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to introduce the implicit firm theory, distinguishing between the belief that firms can (incremental firm theory) or cannot (entity firm theory) readily change in response to marketplace demands. It is proposed and shown, that firm theory beliefs influence customer-engagement attitudes and intentions.

Design/methodology/approach

Study 1 tests the relationship between firm theory, self-theory and knowledge-sharing attitudes. Study 2a tests differences between incremental and entity firm theorists in response to firm failure. Study 2b examines the relationship between firm theory and blame attributions on post-failure loyalty. Study 3 explores the effect of firm theory on perceptions of control and blame attributions following repeated firm failures.

Findings

Study 1 shows firm theory influences consumer knowledge-sharing attitudes beyond the effect of self-theory. Study 2a shows incremental firm theorists are more likely to remain loyal to a firm following failure and less likely to share negative word-of-mouth. Study 2b shows that blame attributions mediate the relationship between firm theory and loyalty intentions, with incremental theorists ascribing less blame. Study 3 shows incremental firm theorists significantly increase blame following multiple failures, while entity firm theorists do not.

Research limitations/implications

Results are based on scenario-based surveys and experimental methods; their applicability in more complex real-world customer-firm relationships warrants additional study.

Practical implications

Firms should account for a customer’s firm theory in their communications, emphasizing situational factors to reduce post-failure blame among incremental firm theorists.

Originality/value

Establishes that consumers hold beliefs regarding the malleability of firm traits, which influence their firm engagement intentions.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 2 September 2009

Terrill L. Frantz and Kathleen M. Carley

We apply a contemporary approach to study the effect of organizational complexity on post-merger integration. A computational, virtual experiment was carried out to…

Abstract

We apply a contemporary approach to study the effect of organizational complexity on post-merger integration. A computational, virtual experiment was carried out to determine how the level of structural complexity, a characteristic of all formal organizations, impacts the dynamics of organization performance during the post-merger integration period. We found that performance during this period is affected by the pre-existing complexities of the two merging organizations; surprisingly, the organizations’ size was found to be only a marginally relevant factor, instead, the number of work groups had a greater consequence. Moreover, we found that the homogeneity tendencies of the actors may be the source of an upper constraint on the merged organization's performance. Consistent to these findings, we develop hypotheses for later empirical study. Broadly, this chapter puts forth computational modeling as a vital methodology for advancing mergers and acquisitions research; in addition, this chapter uncovers previously unpronounced, phenomenological discoveries that were found using this promising approach. Throughout this chapter, we endeavor to advance the broad use of computational modeling into the fore of leading-edge post-merger integration and related research and practice.

Details

Advances in Mergers and Acquisitions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-781-9

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