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Article
Publication date: 4 January 2008

Alex Lowy

The paper aims to analyze how the best leaders articulate a crucial issue that contains trade‐offs and risk and then blaze a new path for their group or organization. This

1904

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to analyze how the best leaders articulate a crucial issue that contains trade‐offs and risk and then blaze a new path for their group or organization. This is the “art” of dilemma management: the ability to address the shifting needs, drivers and opportunities occurring in and around the business, and then actively working to understand, defend and capitalize on them.

Design/methodology/approach

Dilemma analysis has five steps: step 1: map the symptoms in two stages; step 2: identify the core dilemma; step 3: analyze and reframe using eight archetypal dilemmas; step 4: resolve gaps; and step 5: plan and implement.

Findings

The paper reveals that every leader needs to have a dilemma agenda. The agenda should include two categories of leadership dilemmas: direction‐setting and culture‐setting. The direction‐setting agenda defines what is of competitive strategic importance (such as, diversify or grow) while the culture‐setting agenda focuses on the values, mood and energy of the enterprise (such as emphasize a task or relationship focus).

Practical implications

To successfully handle dilemmas, start by redefining what you mean by success itself. In place of “win”, think “understanding,” instead of “profit” think “sustainability”, and so on.

Originality/value

The paper reveals the big payoff for exploring organizational dilemmas is a more complete understanding of both sides of an issue and learning to transcend disabling impasses that are fueled by fear and ignorance.

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 36 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 6 September 2012

Tristan Bunnell

The 1980s and 1990s saw a significant phase of educational marketization reform in several countries. Schools began to operate within a ‘market’, and ‘marketing’ became…

Abstract

The 1980s and 1990s saw a significant phase of educational marketization reform in several countries. Schools began to operate within a ‘market’, and ‘marketing’ became more important. Research showed that teachers and school leaders were largely hostile to this ‘alien’ area of schooling. School leadership in this environment became more complex and stressful. Literature began to identify leadership tensions, conflicts and dilemmas. This chapter ‘revisits’ some of the more significant research at the time and examines some of the dilemmas posed by the need to market the school. The dilemma framework offered by Wildy and Louden (2000) is used to explore three key areas: accountability, efficiency and autonomy. The chapter offers insights into how this topic can be revitalized and explored within the operation of ‘new’ leadership paradigms such as ‘distributed leadership’ and ‘destructive leadership’. The chapter concludes by discussing how the topic of dilemmas can be taken forward.

Details

The Management and Leadership of Educational Marketing: Research, Practice and Applications
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-242-4

Article
Publication date: 26 July 2022

Marieke Born, Janna Küllenberg, Antonia Drews, Ulrike Bossmann, Julika Zwack, Harald Gündel and Jochen Schweitzer

Mid-level executives are confronted with many dilemma situations, in which they are forced to decide between conflicting options, none of them leading to the desired…

Abstract

Purpose

Mid-level executives are confronted with many dilemma situations, in which they are forced to decide between conflicting options, none of them leading to the desired result. If they fail to cope with them constructively, their individual risk for mental strains increases (Gerlmaier and Latniak, 2013). Initial findings focusing on executives in industry (Bossmann, 2020) show that fostering effective dilemma management in executives is a preventive factor against stress-related diseases. Yet, there is little empirical research that evaluates the contribution of dilemma management training on leadership’s mental health prevention in hospitals. This study aims to examine whether such a training program, adapted to current working conditions in German hospitals, promotes mid-level executives’ mental health.

Design/methodology/approach

A 10-month training program was administered to N = 69 senior physicians, senior nurses and senior service and administrative staff in four hospitals. To evaluate training effects on perceived stress reactivity, on cognitive and emotional irritation over time as well as the effects of the training dose on these results, participants’ self-reported measures were collected at four points in time: before (t0), during (t1), immediately after (t2) and three months after the intervention (t3).

Findings

Overall, participants showed less cognitive irritation and perceived stress reactivity over time. However, their emotional irritation did not change significantly. The dose of training participation did not moderate these results.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the prevention of stress-related diseases and the promotion of sensemaking in mid-level executives’ dilemma management routine in the face of increasingly aggravating working conditions due to financial restrictions in the German health-care system. Findings of this study are explained in greater depth using previously reported qualitative data from the same research project.

Details

Leadership in Health Services, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1879

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 28 May 2019

Enno Masurel

Abstract

Details

The Entrepreneurial Dilemma in the Life Cycle of the Small Firm
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-315-0

Book part
Publication date: 23 September 2009

Arnout van de Rijt and Michael W. Macy

Individual rationality sometimes leads to collectively irrational outcomes, a fundamental problem in the social and life sciences that has attracted sustained attention…

Abstract

Individual rationality sometimes leads to collectively irrational outcomes, a fundamental problem in the social and life sciences that has attracted sustained attention from experimentalists in sociology, psychology, biology, and economics. But what is it about individual rationality that sometimes gets us into trouble? Is the problem the egoistic pursuit of individual self-interest? Or does the problem with individual rationality lie elsewhere? To find an answer, this chapter closely examines the theoretical and experimental literature on social dilemmas, to see how researchers identify the source of the problem. The review suggests that the prevailing theory wrongly points to egoism as the problem. Failing to do what is best for everyone can also happen among rational altruists, and sometimes egoism is needed to prevent it. The chapter concludes by pointing to what we believe is the fundamental problem – a tension not between individual self-interest and collective welfare, but between individual autonomy and collective interdependence.

Details

Altruism and Prosocial Behavior in Groups
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-573-0

Book part
Publication date: 25 July 2008

Wilfred J. Zerbe

Scholars in philosophy have proposed that individuals who choose among two equally ethical alternatives will experience regret as a result of the “moral residue” that…

Abstract

Scholars in philosophy have proposed that individuals who choose among two equally ethical alternatives will experience regret as a result of the “moral residue” that remains from not having been able to select both alternatives. Although posed and often discussed by philosophers, the veracity of this proposition has not been empirically tested. This chapter proposes a theoretical framework which synthesizes propositions from Philosophy with theory and research on emotions in the workplace to address questions concerning how the characteristics of ethical dilemmas give rise to different emotions, how the characteristics of employees affect the experience of emotions, and the consequences of the experience of emotions as a result of ethical decision making.

Details

Emotions, Ethics and Decision-Making
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84663-941-8

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2015

Clifford P. McCue, Eric Prier and David Swanson

Procurement systems in democratic governments across the globe face competing demands, conflated values and goals, and are being called upon to address societies "wicked"…

Abstract

Procurement systems in democratic governments across the globe face competing demands, conflated values and goals, and are being called upon to address societies "wicked" problems under the rubric of government "reform." As a result, government purchasing professionals are being challenged to develop new flexible structures and processes that devolve purchasing responsibility, yet maintain accountability and control; limit the opportunity for fraud/mismanagement while reducing operational constraints; increase economic efficiency while satisfying political demands for minority/local/small and women owned business participation; increase open and transparent competition while achieving best value; and applying best practices while confronting legal limitations. Essentially these dilemmas have placed public procurement at the forefront of government reform efforts. The current study delineates the nature of five dilemmas that purchasing practitioners face, and the implications of these dilemmas for purchasing in the public sphere are explored. Given the complexity of these dilemmas, procurement professionals will be continually called upon to balance these inherent tensions with little guidance from policymakers or elected officials.

Details

Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

Article
Publication date: 8 May 2017

Dana Yagil and Tamar Shultz

Service employees are frequently exposed to moral dilemmas as a result of their boundary role, attending to the interests of both the organization and customers. The…

1399

Abstract

Purpose

Service employees are frequently exposed to moral dilemmas as a result of their boundary role, attending to the interests of both the organization and customers. The purpose of this paper is to explore organizational and personal values that generate moral dilemmas in the service context, as well as emotions related to employees’ moral decisions.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the critical incidents technique, data were collected from service providers about moral dilemmas in the workplace. The data were analyzed independently by each author, with an agreement rate of 84-88 percent.

Findings

The results show that service employees confront dilemmas as a result of conflicts between the following organizational and personal values: standardization vs personalization; profit vs integrity; and emotional display rules vs dignity. Moral decision making involves emotions generated by customer distress, negative emotions toward customers, and emotions of guilt, shame, or fear.

Originality/value

Little research has studied moral conflicts in service encounters from employees’ perspective. Using a qualitative approach, this study explores the role of personal values and moral emotions in such processes.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 22 May 2009

Clare Thornley

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the extent to which understanding information science (IS) and information retrieval (IR) as disciplines characterised by…

1129

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the extent to which understanding information science (IS) and information retrieval (IR) as disciplines characterised by intractable dilemmas is a useful conceptual framework through reviewing and re‐evaluating an important contribution to the field in light of more recent developments.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reviews the discussion of central dilemmas within IS and IR, through literature review and conceptual analysis. It assesses the extent to which they remain intractable problems or whether improved solutions have been developed and discusses the implications of these ongoing challenges. The main problem addressed is, in Neill's terminology, “the dilemma of the subjective in information organisation and retrieval” which is understood as the problem of how the meaning of documents can be represented to meet the needs of the user.

Findings

Many of the dilemmas discussed within IS and IR remain fairly intractable primarily because information and meaning have both subjective and objective qualities which often have a complex relationship. Recent technological developments have, however, altered the nature of some of these dilemmas and also created some new dilemmas for the subject.

Research implications/limitations

Historical perspectives within IR and IS should be used when discussing theoretical and technological developments in the subject. The conceptual framework of dilemmas remains a useful theoretical tool for IS and IR in terms of examining the nature of problems in research and practice.

Originality/value

This paper re‐visits an important theme in IS and IR and provides an updated perspective on some central issues.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 61 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 April 2015

Vilma Zydziunaite, Daiva Lepaite, Päivi Åstedt-Kurki and Tarja Suominen

– The purpose of this paper is to characterize issues related to head nurses’ decision making when managing ethical dilemmas.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to characterize issues related to head nurses’ decision making when managing ethical dilemmas.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is qualitative descriptive, in which researchers stay close to the data. The data were collected in the format of unstructured written reflections. Inductive conventional latent qualitative content analysis was applied to the data.

Findings

The issues of head nurses’ management of decision making in ethical dilemmas relate to the following aspects: taking risks in deviating from the formalities, balancing power and humaneness, maintaining the professional hierarchy, managing resistance to change, managing with limited options, and experiencing the decline of nurse’s professional and/or human dignity.

Research limitations/implications

Reflections in written form were preferred to semi-structured interviews and the researchers were unable to contact the participants directly and to ask additional questions. All the reflections were produced in a language other than English.

Practical implications

The issues of head nurses’ management of decision making in ethical dilemmas reveal the gap between societal expectations and the opportunities to improve nursing leadership in health care organizations.

Social implications

The issues of head nurses’ decision making when managing ethical dilemmas are related to contexts that reflect the attitudes of society and health care system toward nursing management.

Originality/value

The study adds to the understanding of issues of the management of decision making in ethical dilemmas. It is an ongoing systematic process that encourages head nurses to learn from practice and manage the quality of care by empowering themselves and nurses to take responsibility for leadership.

Details

Baltic Journal of Management, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5265

Keywords

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