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Article
Publication date: 4 April 2008

Henrik Kock, Andreas Gill and Per Erik Ellström

The purpose of this paper is to increase our understanding of why firms, specifically small to medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs), participate in a programme for competence…

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1387

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to increase our understanding of why firms, specifically small to medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs), participate in a programme for competence development and why firms use different strategies for competence development.

Design/methodology/approach

A study of 17 SMEs that all received support from the European Social Fund, Objective 3 programme. The collection of data is based on semi‐structured interviews with management/owners, internal project leaders, employees and union representatives, feedback seminars with representatives from the studied enterprises, and on analysis of documents.

Findings

The findings demonstrate that all SMEs reported driving forces for competence development relating to both external organizational conditions and internal organizational conditions, to at least a certain degree. Furthermore, there appears to be a strong relationship between observed patterns of driving forces and the strategy for competence development used by the firm.

Practical implications

The SMEs that experience a relatively stronger driving force for competence development initiate problem‐solving efforts to design and implement more elaborated strategies for competence development. The SMEs that experience a lesser degree of driving force for competence development implement less elaborated strategies for competence development.

Originality/value

The paper finds that both external and internal organizational conditions are important in understanding why SMEs undergo competence development programme. Furthermore, the importance of external and internal organizational conditions is not only limited to why the companies participate in a programme for competence development, but also for how they participate, i.e. the strategies used for competence development.

Details

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

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Book part
Publication date: 29 July 2020

Stefano Grando, Fabio Bartolini, Isabelle Bonjean, Gianluca Brunori, Erik Mathijs, Paolo Prosperi and Daniele Vergamini

This chapter opens the second part of the Volume, focusing on the small farms' role and dynamics within the evolving food system. Assessing small farmers' actual and…

Abstract

This chapter opens the second part of the Volume, focusing on the small farms' role and dynamics within the evolving food system. Assessing small farmers' actual and potential contribution to the change towards a sustainable food and nutrition security requires a deep understanding of their strategic decision-making processes. These processes take place in a context highly conditioned by internal and external conditions, including the complex relations between farm and household, which are mapped and described. Building on an adaptation of Porter's model (Porter, 1990), the chapter investigates how farmers, given those conditions, define their strategies (in particular their innovation strategies) aimed at economic and financial sustainability through a multidisciplinary analysis of scientific literature. Internal conditions are identified in the light of the Agricultural Household Model (Singh & Subramanian, 1986) which emphasizes how family farming strategies aim at combining business-related objectives, and family welfare. Then, a comprehensive set of external conditions is identified and then grouped within eight categories: ‘Factors’, ‘Demand’, ‘Finance and Risk’, ‘Regulation and Policy’, ‘Technological’, ‘Ecological’, ‘Socio-institutional’ and ‘Socio-demographic’. Similarly, six types of strategies are identified: ‘Agro-industrial competitiveness’, ‘Blurring farm borders’, ‘Rural development’, ‘Risk management’, ‘Political support’ and ‘Coping with farming decline’.

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Article
Publication date: 10 June 2019

Zahra Ahmadi

The purpose of this paper is to examine how external factors moderate public housing companies’ (PHCs) market orientation (MO) and strategic performance (SP) relationship.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how external factors moderate public housing companies’ (PHCs) market orientation (MO) and strategic performance (SP) relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

The quantitative method is applied to data from a survey sent to 289 PHCs in Sweden.

Findings

The results reveal moderating factors. The companies take several initiatives to inform themselves about customers’ needs and distribute the information within the company, but economic conditions, market and technological turbulence in the municipalities moderate the relationship between MO and SP. Economic conditions make it difficult for PHCs to strategically act based on market needs when making decisions and planning construction strategies (SP).

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited by focusing on PHCs, a sector that differs radically from the open market. The study highlights the effects of moderating factors that are important for companies’ SP and long-term construction strategies. From this limited focus, researchers might use the results to compare both similar and different market situations.

Practical implications

The results of the study are useful for companies facing a similar market situation of external moderating constraints. The result might be used in future research related to the area in focus.

Originality/value

This research adds new knowledge to market research by including the impact of economic conditions, which provides insight into how to develop and use market knowledge in real estate and public housing markets.

Details

Baltic Journal of Management, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5265

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Article
Publication date: 4 January 2013

Vigdis Abrahamsen Grøndahl, Marie Louise Hall‐Lord, Ingela Karlsson, Jari Appelgren and Bodil Wilde‐Larsson

The aim is to describe patients' care quality perceptions and satisfaction and to explore potential patient satisfaction predictors as person‐related conditions, external

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1050

Abstract

Purpose

The aim is to describe patients' care quality perceptions and satisfaction and to explore potential patient satisfaction predictors as person‐related conditions, external objective care conditions and patients' perception of actual care received (“PR”) in relation to a theoretical model.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross‐sectional design was used. Data were collected using one questionnaire combining questions from four instruments: Quality from patients' perspective; Sense of coherence; Big five personality trait; and Emotional stress reaction questionnaire (ESRQ), together with questions from previous research. In total, 528 patients (83.7 per cent response rate) from eight medical, three surgical and one medical/surgical ward in five Norwegian hospitals participated. Answers from 373 respondents with complete ESRQ questionnaires were analysed. Sequential multiple regression analysis with ESRQ as dependent variable was run in three steps: person‐related conditions, external objective care conditions, and PR (p < 0.05).

Findings

Step 1 (person‐related conditions) explained 51.7 per cent of the ESRQ variance. Step 2 (external objective care conditions) explained an additional 2.4 per cent. Step 3 (PR) gave no significant additional explanation (0.05 per cent). Steps 1 and 2 contributed statistical significance to the model. Patients rated both quality‐of‐care and satisfaction highly.

Originality/value

The paper shows that the theoretical model using an emotion‐oriented approach to assess patient satisfaction can explain 54 per cent of patient satisfaction in a statistically significant manner.

Details

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0952-6862

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Article
Publication date: 11 September 2017

Ozcan Saritas, Yury Dranev and Alexander Chulok

Dynamic changes in the world bring challenges for making long-term future-oriented policy and strategy. A number of recent developments like drops in oil prices…

Abstract

Purpose

Dynamic changes in the world bring challenges for making long-term future-oriented policy and strategy. A number of recent developments like drops in oil prices, increasing global conflicts, mass immigration and economic stagnation have had disruptive effects on long-term policies and strategies. The purpose of this paper is to provide a dynamic and adaptive Foresight approach as required by the fast-changing global landscape.

Design/methodology/approach

The scenario approach presented in the paper aims to develop multiple time horizons by bringing together short-term forecasts and long-term exploratory and visionary scenarios. Each time horizon allows for re-considering and dynamically changing drivers and assumptions of scenarios and thus builds not a single linear, but multiple and dynamic pathways into the future. Following the presentation on the background and description of the methodology, the paper illustrates the proposed approach with a case study on science and technology (S&T) development in Russia.

Findings

The flexible scenario approach allows developing and strategies with similar adaptability and flexibility.

Practical implications

The scenario approach presented in the paper may be applicable for Foresight exercises at all levels of governance, including national, international, regional and corporate.

Originality/value

A novel scenario approach is presented for the formulation of S&T policy with an illustrative case study.

Details

foresight, vol. 19 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2018

Agneta Halvarsson Lundkvist and Maria Gustavsson

This study focuses on a transformation effort in a social welfare department of a Swedish municipality where continuous improvement, which is a Lean principle, was…

Abstract

Purpose

This study focuses on a transformation effort in a social welfare department of a Swedish municipality where continuous improvement, which is a Lean principle, was introduced in employees’ everyday work via a workplace development programme (WPDP). The aim of this paper is to explore the conditions (internal and external) that enabled or constrained employee learning during the introduction of continuous improvement into employees’ everyday work in a WPDP-supported social welfare department.

Design/methodology/approach

This case study is based mainly on 22 semi-structured interviews with individuals holding different positions in the department and overarching municipality.

Findings

The findings show that multiple and emerging conditions, both internal and external, shaped a predominantly restrictive learning environment during the introduction of continuous improvement into the social welfare department. The major conditions identified were related to the initial implementation and top management’s steering and monitoring of the “Lean investment”, activities and support provided by the WPDP, activities and support provided by the internal Lean support team and first-line managers’ abilities to facilitate employee learning.

Originality/value

Apart from unique empirical material depicting an effort towards change under conditions far from favourable for employee learning, the value of this study lies in the attention given to the external dynamics that drive change in line with the concept of new public management in public service organizations, including a WPDP that supported the social welfare department.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 30 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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Article
Publication date: 16 October 2009

Manuel De la Sen

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the properties of transparency and excitability of positive linear time‐invariant systems under internal point delays.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the properties of transparency and excitability of positive linear time‐invariant systems under internal point delays.

Design/methodology/approach

The problem is solved by combining the algebraic conditions for positivity, excitability, and transparency for the case of linear and time‐invariant dynamic systems in the presence of discrete lags.

Findings

It is shown that the excitability independent of delay is guaranteed if an auxiliary delay‐free system is excitable. Necessary and sufficient conditions for excitability and transparency are formulated in terms of the parameterization of the dynamics and control matrices, and equivalently, in terms of strict positivity of a matrix of an associate system obtained from the influence graph of the original system. Such conditions are testable through simple algebraic tests involving moderate computational effort.

Practical implications

The practical implications mainly rely on some biological and medical problems where delays are present by nature, excitability means the activation of all the state components under positive controls after a short time in the sense that it cannot remain identically zero. In the same way, it relays on the activation of all the output components under zero controls and non‐negative initial conditions.

Originality/value

The paper extends the concepts of excitability and transparency to dynamic systems with point time‐lags which are very common in nature and some practical problems.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 38 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Article
Publication date: 15 November 2011

Yi‐Ying Chang, Mathew Hughes and Sabine Hotho

Prior studies have suggested that organizational and environmental antecedents are influential to the development of a balance dimension of innovation ambidexterity, which…

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5348

Abstract

Purpose

Prior studies have suggested that organizational and environmental antecedents are influential to the development of a balance dimension of innovation ambidexterity, which are proposed to be central to superior firm performance. However, little is known about how such antecedents affect the shaping of innovation ambidexterity in small to medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) and how these innovations go on to shape firm performance. This paper aims to examine internal and external antecedents of SMEs' innovation ambidexterity outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

The research used a survey method to investigate the 1,000 small‐and medium sized enterprises in Scotland. Firms were randomly selected from the FAME database. Of this sample, 265 firms (26.5 percent) responded to the survey.

Findings

The data analysis reveals that internal organizational structures in a highly dynamic environment stimulate the appearance of innovation ambidexterity. Moreover, it is found that the relationship between organizational and environmental forces and firm performance is partially mediated by a balance dimension of innovation ambidexterity.

Practical implications

The results show how dangerous the lack of adequate research of these issues at the SME level is. By contrast to larger firms, the results show how internal organizational structures and external environmental conditions affect SMEs to pursue a balance dimension of innovation ambidexterity.

Originality/value

Prior studies have paid little attention to the effects of internal organizational structures and external environmental conditions on the appearance of a balance dimension of innovation ambidexterity within SMEs. This paper fills some of the gaps.

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Article
Publication date: 12 February 2018

Mercedes Segarra-Ciprés and Juan Carlos Bou-Llusar

This paper aims to analyze the extent to which the influence of external knowledge search on innovation performance is contingent on both a firm’s innovation strategy and…

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1501

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyze the extent to which the influence of external knowledge search on innovation performance is contingent on both a firm’s innovation strategy and the industry context in which it operates.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper adopts a contingent approach that centers analysis on the influence of situational factors, either exogenous or endogenous to the organization, as determinants of the external knowledge search in promoting the firm’s innovation performance. The empirical study is based on a large sample of 18,955 firms operating in 29 industries that belong to 13 European countries.

Findings

This analysis reveals that a broad knowledge search is more effective for firms that innovate in new goods, while a deeper knowledge search is more effective for firms that innovate in new services. The results of this study also indicate that external knowledge search varies across industries, with search depth being used more in industries in which the knowledge development process is cumulative and appropriable, while the external breadth search is preferred in industries with a high level of technological opportunity.

Originality/value

The current approach implies recognizing that the knowledge search strategies may not always be effective, and that firms should align the search strategy to both internal and external factors. Analyzing the influence of these factors can help managers to better choose the type of knowledge search (e.g. intensive or extensive search) that best aligns with the firm’s innovation objectives.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1995

William B. Wolf

Presents the thoughts on decision processes of Chester I. Barnard, one of the century’s greatest management theorists. Includes his classic article, “Mind in everyday…

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1755

Abstract

Presents the thoughts on decision processes of Chester I. Barnard, one of the century’s greatest management theorists. Includes his classic article, “Mind in everyday affairs”; his unpublished book, “The Significance of Decisive Behaviour in Social Action”; his correspondence with Herbert Simon, and significant comments found in his personal papers.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 1 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-252X

Keywords

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