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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2017

Juliane Jarke

The idea of “best practice” is very much built into information systems and the ways in which they organise and structure work. The purpose of this paper is to examine how…

Abstract

Purpose

The idea of “best practice” is very much built into information systems and the ways in which they organise and structure work. The purpose of this paper is to examine how “best practice” may be identified (produced) through a community-based evaluation process as opposed to traditional expert-based evaluation frameworks. The paper poses the following research questions: how does “best practice” (e)valuation in online communities differ depending on whether they are produced by community members or experts? And what role play these two practices of valuation for online community performance?

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a three-year ethnographic study of a large-scale online community initiative run by the European Commission. Participant observation of online and offline activities (23 events) was complemented with 73 semi-structured interviews with 58 interviewees. The paper draws on Science and Technology Studies, and in particular actor-network theory.

Findings

Promoting the idea of “best practice” is not just an exercise about determining what “best” is but rather supposes that best is something that can travel across sites and be replicated. The paper argues that it is crucial to understand the work performed to coordinate multiple practices of producing “best practice” as apparatuses of valuation. Hence if practices are shared or circulate within an online community, this is possible because of material-discursive practices of dissociation and association, through agential cuts. These cuts demarcate what is important – and foregrounded – and what is backgrounded. In so doing new “practice objects” are produced.

Research limitations/implications

The research was conducted in the European public sector where participants are not associated through shared organisational membership (e.g. as employees of the same organisation). An environment for determining “best practice” that is limited to an organisation’s employees and more homogeneous may reveal further dynamics for “best practice” production.

Practical implications

This paper sheds light on why it is so difficult to reach commensuration in crowd-sourced environments.

Originality/value

The paper provides an analysis of how online community members collaborate in order to identify relevant and meaningful user-generated content. It argues that “best practice” is produced through a process of commensuration.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2000

Yasar F. Jarrar and Mohamed Zairi

Presents the findings of a global survey, undertaken by the European Centre for Total Quality Management (UK), which was aimed at identifying the critical success factors…

Abstract

Presents the findings of a global survey, undertaken by the European Centre for Total Quality Management (UK), which was aimed at identifying the critical success factors for the “effective internal transfer of best practices”. Overall, 227 organisations took part in the study. Participant organisations came from 32 different countries, all involved in benchmarking. The participants represented a wide cross‐section of organisational sectors ranging from non‐profit and government agencies to environmental management services and auto parts manufacturers. The survey shed light on the process and methodologies used by organisations to identify and evaluate best practices, and the process used for post‐implementation evaluation to assess the benefits gained. The results have highlighted the importance of “involvement” (training, ownership, and open communication) of all employees for the effective transfer of best practices. Concludes with an overview of the future issues that are expected to influence the spread and application of benchmarking and best practice transfer.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1995

Philip Hanson and Chris Voss

Reports on a joint project between IBM and the London BusinessSchool, where over 700 factories have so far been visited in aninternational benchmarking study. The…

Abstract

Reports on a joint project between IBM and the London Business School, where over 700 factories have so far been visited in an international benchmarking study. The objective has been to understand how far they have adopted manufacturing best practice and what operational benefits they have achieved. Results have been independently published in the UK, Germany and The Netherlands while a consolidated report published in November 1994 combines these with those from an additional study in Finland. While 2 per cent of these sites across Northern Europe show practice and performance that could be described as world class, almost 50 per cent are well positioned to get there. Throughout the four countries, self opinion on global competitiveness runs ahead of that suggested by their use of manufacturing best practice. The effect of different geography, industry sectors, number of employees, ownership and major customers are all seen to affect the pattern of use of best practice and the consequent operational performance.

Details

Business Process Re-engineering & Management Journal, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2503

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Article
Publication date: 4 April 2008

Richard Dealtry and Keith Howard

The purpose of this paper is to present the key project learning points and outcomes as a guideline for the future quality management of demand‐led learning and development.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the key project learning points and outcomes as a guideline for the future quality management of demand‐led learning and development.

Design/methodology/approach

The research methodology was based upon a corporate university blueprint architecture and browser toolkit developed by a member of the team to provide depth in practice evidence and a searchable database for comparative case to case practice evaluation.

Findings

It was found that the corporate university organisation and business development concept is a subject area which is either well understood by company management and education institutions or there is considerable confusion about its role and purpose. In large part this arises from the very different interpretation in the concept's development and practice across the world, region by region. From a wide and diverse portfolio of companies and organisations who where invited to participate in the action research case studies, those who accepted have one very important characteristic in common: they are all intensively engaged in managing a major innovation, i.e. they already have the commitment to making new ideas work in practice. In addition it also demands serious reflection about the creative nature of the learning leadership role and also the style of its management.

Practical implications

The results of the project show that a successful corporate university intervention needs to be founded upon a sustainable commitment by top management who should promote, if not present already, a spirit of curiosity leading to better ways of doing business today and in the future. It requires an in‐depth understanding of the organisation's strategic learning needs and good knowledge of the models of corporate university development that are available and reliable.

Originality/value

The database of case foundation information, key performance indicators (KPIs) and best practice outcomes will be one of the most comprehensive and world class quality reference sources published to date. The variables that make up the portfolios of emergent best practices – process and management – have originality and value both individually and collectively. The impact of these best practice ways of working will have far reaching consequences for leadership and the future shape of lifelong interdependent learning between employers and employees and policy in government departments and education institutions.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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Article
Publication date: 31 May 2019

Riccardo Ricci, Alessandra Colombelli and Emilio Paolucci

The purpose of this paper is threefold. It is aimed at identifying: a broad set of entrepreneurial activities; different university entrepreneurial models; and the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is threefold. It is aimed at identifying: a broad set of entrepreneurial activities; different university entrepreneurial models; and the entrepreneurial best practices of advanced European S&T universities.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper has adopted a mixed-method design. By mainly relying on primary data, collected through questionnaires and interviews with those in charge of the technology transfer offices of 20 universities belonging to the CESAER association, the empirical analysis has combined both quantitative and qualitative approaches.

Findings

The results of the empirical analysis have allowed five entrepreneurial activities to be identified. Three main entrepreneurial university models, based on different configurations of entrepreneurial activities, on different organisational and ecosystem characteristics and on a set of entrepreneurial best practices: an “engage” model, which focusses on local economic development; a “formal” model, which focusses on the financial advantage of universities and their faculties; and a “comprehensive” model, which focusses on the local economic development and the financial advantage of universities and their faculties.

Research limitations/implications

The first limitation of the present paper concerns the limited number of sampled universities. Moreover, this paper is limited to the European area. Future research could enlarge this study by increasing the number of universities and by focusing on other geographical areas. Furthermore, the paper does not assess the effectiveness of the identified entrepreneurial models in supporting entrepreneurship and local economic development. Further research could extend the present analysis and fill these gaps.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the extant literature under many respects. First, it relies on original primary data. Moreover, it extends previous literature by encompassing the conventional distinction between formal and informal entrepreneurial activities. It also contributes to the emerging literature on entrepreneurial university models and the strategic approaches by identifying the different models of entrepreneurial universities in the European setting of S&T universities focusing on the role played by organisational and regional factors in affecting the adoption of a specific model by universities.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 57 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1999

Ton van der Wiele and Alan Brown

Based on two quality management self‐assessment survey projects conducted in Europe and Australia, the authors compare practices in these parts of the world. The main…

Abstract

Based on two quality management self‐assessment survey projects conducted in Europe and Australia, the authors compare practices in these parts of the world. The main questions addressed are: why do organisations use self‐assessment?, how do they implement self‐assessment?, and what are the benefits which they obtain from it? Findings suggest companies in both regions differ slightly in how they implement self‐assessment. Both internal and external factors driving self‐assessment are identified, although in the case of Australia there are two different internal factors. One is related to rejuvenating flagging interest in TQM. Several approaches to self‐assessment are also identified including: assessor driven, management driven, employee driven and tools and techniques driven. Some variations between the two samples were identified here. Analysis of the links between success with self‐assessment and methods used suggested that a management driven approach which may be combined with a quality maturity matrix tended to work best.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Abstract

Details

The Future of Corporate Universities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-346-5

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2019

Antonella Francesca Cicchiello

The purpose of this paper is to assess the role that public policies may have in re-shaping entrepreneurial ecosystems and supporting the creation of functioning…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the role that public policies may have in re-shaping entrepreneurial ecosystems and supporting the creation of functioning ecosystems based on new forms of finance, i.e. the equity-based crowdfunding.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper first identifies and examines the European policies developed to encourage the use of equity crowdfunding in entrepreneurial finance from 2003 to 2018. Then, it reviews national regulatory frameworks for crowdfunding, and analyses the barriers that constrain the growth of national crowdfunding markets. Finally, the paper addresses the issue of regulatory harmonisation by underlining its importance in building an entrepreneurial ecosystem based on crowdfunding.

Findings

Building an entrepreneurial ecosystem based on crowdfunding requires better policy coordination between European countries and readiness to take concerted actions. National authorities must look at the crowdfunding phenomenon from a European perspective and align their policies. European policymakers must import best practices from thriving national ecosystems by implementing less bureaucratic policies and with greater impact on entrepreneurial activity.

Social implications

In a post-crisis economy, the architecture of entrepreneurial ecosystems must evolve and focus on new financing alternatives ensuring the survival of successful businesses.

Originality/value

The paper offers a new perspective on entrepreneurship looking at the formation and development of new ecosystems around equity crowdfunding platforms. It also provides a relevant starting point for subsequent studies into this field.

Details

Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2045-2101

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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2012

Frerich Frerichs, Robert Lindley, Paula Aleksandrowicz, Beate Baldauf and Sheila Galloway

The purpose of this paper is to review good practice examples which promote recruitment and retention of older workers and/or the employability of workers as they age and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review good practice examples which promote recruitment and retention of older workers and/or the employability of workers as they age and to examine pathways of practice.

Design/methodology/approach

Analysis of qualitative data, drawing on a cross‐section selection of 83 good practice case studies in labour organisations in eight European countries: Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and the UK.

Findings

The study presented good practice examples and pathways of practice for the four most frequently found dimensions in the sample (training, lifelong learning and knowledge transfer; flexible working; health protection and promotion and job design; career development and mobility management) as well as examples from small to medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) (construction) and the public sector (transport) adopting strategies that fall within these dimensions. These examples show that innovative solutions to the challenge of an ageing workforce have been developed with good outcomes, often combining a number of measures, e.g. mobility management, health promotion and knowledge transfer. However, there is an uneven profile of age management debates and company strategies across Europe (with countries such as Germany and the Netherlands being more advanced). There is also some evidence of a standstill or roll‐back of measures during an economic crisis.

Originality/value

The paper reviews organisational measures facilitating the extension of working lives, of which many are longstanding and include sectors previously underrepresented in good practice databases (SMEs, public sector).

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 33 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article
Publication date: 22 June 2012

Maria‐Christina Georgiadou and Theophilus Hacking

The purpose of this paper is to investigate “best practice” building strategies and sustainability‐oriented techniques and tools used to assess the energy performance of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate “best practice” building strategies and sustainability‐oriented techniques and tools used to assess the energy performance of housing developments. The objective is to propose guidelines that can integrate futures thinking into the selection of energy‐related design responses, such as materials, building components and energy systems, from the early project stages.

Design/methodology/approach

An interdisciplinary approach is adopted with the inclusion of social, economic and environmental aspects of the energy supply and demand. A multiple case study approach is employed, which focuses on the residential sector of European mixed‐use developments that represent sustainable communities of “best practice”.

Findings

The investigation of “best practice” housing developments reveals that the majority of design responses cover mainstream environmental design strategies. Energy efficiency measures are still the “low hanging fruit” towards meeting the sustainability objectives. In addition, established sustainability‐oriented techniques and tools used focus mostly on projections of almost certain facts rather than explorations of a portfolio of plausible futures.

Originality/value

The paper represents a shift away from the short‐term mindset that still dominates design and construction practices. It provides an overview of building strategies and decision‐support techniques and tools for improving and incentivising sustainable energy solutions over the long term.

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