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Article
Publication date: 5 April 2021

Frederick Ahen

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how “manias” in global health governance lead to health inequalities even before, during and in the aftermath of acute health…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how “manias” in global health governance lead to health inequalities even before, during and in the aftermath of acute health crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. “Manias” as used here refer to obsessive ir/rational behaviors, misguided policy/strategic choices and the exercise of power that benefit the major global health actors at the expense of stakeholders.

Design/methodology/approach

From post-colonial and historical perspectives, this study delineates how the major global health actors influence outcomes in global health governance and international business when they interact at the national–global level using an illustration from an emerging economy.

Findings

Power asymmetry in global health governance is constructed around the centralization of economic influence, medico-techno-scientific innovation and the geopolitical hegemony of a conglomerate of super-rich/powerful actors. They cluster these powers and resources in the core region (industrialized economies) and use them to influence the periphery (developing economies) through international NGOs, hybrid organizations, MNCs and multilateral/bilateral agreements. The power of actors to maintain manias lies in not only how they influence the periphery but also the consequences of the periphery’s “passivity” and “voluntary” renunciation of sovereignty in medical innovations and global health policies/politics.

Social implications

As a quintessential feature of manias, power asymmetry makes it harder for weaker actors to actually change the institutional conditions that produce structural inequalities in global health.

Originality/value

This timely and multidisciplinary study calls for a novel architecture of global health governance. Thus, democratizing global health governance with sufficiently foresighted investments that prioritize equitable access by and the inclusiveness of vulnerable stakeholders will help dismantle institutionalized manias while decreasing health inequalities.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 June 2019

Frederick Ahen

The purpose of this study is to revisit the interdisciplinary roots of international business (IB) by challenging the compartmentalized and obscured nature of certain…

1001

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to revisit the interdisciplinary roots of international business (IB) by challenging the compartmentalized and obscured nature of certain major themes in current IB research. Here, the author broadens IB’s natural scope by introducing the links with global health while preemptively removing the existing limits of critical perspectives.

Design/methodology/approach

The study synthesizes ignored common insights from IB and global health governance. It supplies a select composite of emerging themes mostly at the interface of IB and global health as foundational proposals for reengaging IB for radical social change. This is in response to the urgent calls for inquiries into the “extra dimensions” of IB in answering wicked questions of global sustainability, injustice and inequality and other emergent grand challenges whilst embracing novel conceptual, theoretical and empirical opportunities.

Findings

This study demonstrates that IB research in its current form is reductive, quintessentially compartmentalized and evidently weak in responding to the emergent wicked problems of global scale. This is because several layers of complex, burning interconnected questions with roots in IB hardly receive exposure in research although they are the very existential and emerging issues with massive impacts on populations both in home and host countries.

Practical implications

This study sets new research agendas for critically studying IB and global health topics of vital relevance to reflect the changing frontiers of knowledge production in the fourth industrial revolution.

Originality/value

This study calls for deeper and broader discussions about the limitless opportunities of cross-fertilization of IB and other disciplines whilst highlighting the heretofore-overlooked connections between IB and environmental and medico-techno-scientific disciplines.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. 15 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 January 2021

Frederick Ahen

This paper aims to determine the underlying structural foundations that explain why mega (large-scale) corruption exists in an ever-more sophisticated form and how and why…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to determine the underlying structural foundations that explain why mega (large-scale) corruption exists in an ever-more sophisticated form and how and why the phenomenon remains an intractable threat to global socio-economic stability and sustainable development.

Design/methodology/approach

Post-colonial theory is used along with critical perspectives on corruption in international business. The paper privileges the decolonization of the current paradigm where “hegemonic orthodoxy” is maintained and enforced through domesticated criticism of corruption in academic literature and in the media.

Findings

The author explains the foundations of “International mega-Corruption Incorporated” (ImC Inc.) and concludes that apart from being the results of greed and criminal intent, it is a designed and weaponized violent instrument for undermining human progress. ImC Inc. occurs through resource control and the manipulation of institutions. Thus, the same theories, the same analyses and the same media exposés on the “pandemic of ImC Inc.” are followed by the same inactions or lacklustre interventions that ignore the powerful international financial institutions serving as the major facilitators.

Social implications

The nature of ImC Inc. as an existential threat requires mass awareness about its historicity and deep-seated influence on institutions, in order for stakeholders to form a countervailing power to proactively disrupt it in its complexity and in contextually meaningful ways.

Originality/value

This paper provides useful clarifications about specific factors that determine how ImC Inc. exists and thrives in its current form and how to deploy sweeping, corrective and pre-emptive interventions rather than reactionary policies against ImC Inc.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 August 2019

Frederick Ahen

The purpose of this study is to explore in depth the anatomy of post-truth in the quest to set a new research agenda. The author interrogates knowledge…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore in depth the anatomy of post-truth in the quest to set a new research agenda. The author interrogates knowledge production/dissemination and the political positions of those behind them. This study diagnoses and challenges existing claims of supremacy of certain hegemonic epistemological and ontological orthodoxies that have been weaponized.

Design/methodology/approach

This study philosophically engages with different worlds of credible ‘pluriversal’ knowledge(s) and leads to the exposure of historically ‘taken-for-granted’ definitions of the nature and composition of acceptable truth and how it is deeply entrenched in interest group politics.

Findings

Each generation in different contexts has had to battle with specific troubling forces of deception and organized hypocrisy. Here, both new social actors and incumbents influence the disgruntled, deceive the gullible or connect with the enlightened masses at the emotional level whilst strongly undermining the rules-of-logic and fact-based discourses using disruptive social media technologies. The author specifies how the five P’s: political power, profits, populism, politics and the private visions of technologists and scientists will continue to play very influential roles in how knowledge production will affect future policies and global governance.

Social implications

Based on historicized explanations, the author argues that deception and mass ignorance as weaponized features of global governance and its capitalist order are typical Machiavellian strategies for gaining control over knowledge production/information dissemination. Massive changes are not expected in the future unless society and academia introduce novel science, technology and political platforms for engaging society and policy-makers.

Originality/value

The author provides ample historical illustrations to support the claims made in this study that public insights into the postulated structures of post-truth remain extremely superficial, making people insufficiently informed to engage in crucial discourses about knowledge production and dissemination that affect their futures. This study provides several ingredients for stimulating further debate.

Details

foresight, vol. 21 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 18 February 2013

Frederick Ahen is a PhD candidate at the University of Turku, Finland. Frederick holds a BSc in Economics and International Business from the Università Politecnica delle…

Abstract

Frederick Ahen is a PhD candidate at the University of Turku, Finland. Frederick holds a BSc in Economics and International Business from the Università Politecnica delle Marche, Italy and an MSc in International Business from London South Bank University. Frederick's main research interests include strategic corporate responsibility, global sustainability and global health diplomacy with particular focus on the comparative institutional analysis of emerging economies in West, East, Central and Southern (WECS) Africa and selected European economies.

Details

International Business, Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-625-5

Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

Dennis R. Morgan

The aim of this paper is to test and explore the hypothesis global ruling power, as well as review the six approaches featured in the special edition on global…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to test and explore the hypothesis global ruling power, as well as review the six approaches featured in the special edition on global governance/ruling power.

Design/methodology/approach

Anthropological and historical records are presented as support for the emergence of ruling power in society; moreover, evidence of global ruling governance/power is reviewed in the six papers featured in the special edition.

Findings

Alternatives for global governance are reviewed in two papers, while four papers present evidence in support of the thesis of the emergence of a transnational ruling power/class.

Research limitations/implications

Because global ruling power exists informally and surreptitiously, the exact mechanisms of control are difficult to delineate, especially due to the fact that the Powers that Be spend much effort to block research into this area; however, this special edition opens up a promising area for new research efforts into global ruling power and the potential for global democracy.

Practical implications

Practical implications, although minimal in the short-term, increase as awareness grows, and policy alternatives are considered for the transition to a long-term, democratic global future.

Social implications

Once social consciousness grows about the non-democratic, authoritarian nature of global ruling power/elite, the more the momentum will grow for reforms in the direction of global democracy – towards a more sustainable and equitable global system, politically, economically and ecologically.

Originality/value

This paper represents a relatively new area for interdisciplinary research into global futures. Futurists, political scientists and sociologists should find it valuable.

Details

Foresight, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 March 2015

Frederick Ahen and Peter Zettinig

This purpose of this paper is to integrate corporate responsibility (CR) doctrine into corporate strategy by problematizing existing notions of traditional corporate…

2646

Abstract

Purpose

This purpose of this paper is to integrate corporate responsibility (CR) doctrine into corporate strategy by problematizing existing notions of traditional corporate social responsibility. We provide a theoretical and empirical basis for the proposition that the bridge between CR and corporate irresponsibility is the embeddedness of strategic decisions in ethically oriented corporate practices toward sustainable value co-creation.

Design/methodology/approach

Analysis was performed by meta-theoretical and economic philosophical approaches. The contemporary trends which have led to the institutionalization of sustainability questions, are explained. Special attention is paid to the historical, cultural and the international institutional context within which organizational culture becomes saturated with deviance.

Findings

The main thrust is that competitive advantage, legitimacy for survival and success of the international firm in the 21st century hinges on innovative value co-creation that meets sustainability pressures and institutional expectations.

Research limitations/implications

The research approach opens itself to debate. No generalizability claims are made but the propositions and conceptual framework seek to direct the CR discourse to engage seriously with cooperative investments for sustainable value creation.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the debate on CR, global sustainability and the role of international firms in society. It offers clarity in the confusion and fills a theoretical gap through a novel conceptualization of strategic corporate responsibility. Here, consumer, environmental and institutional orientation rather than producer orientation form the basis of analysis on value co-creation.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 June 2015

Frederick Ahen and Peter Zettinig

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an issue-oriented substantive domain. Nevertheless, there are countless socio-economic, medico-techno-scientific, environmental…

2040

Abstract

Purpose

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an issue-oriented substantive domain. Nevertheless, there are countless socio-economic, medico-techno-scientific, environmental and ethical philosophical questions that are far from being settled. In pursuit of a more desirable and sustainable future, this work problematizes current corporate responsibility (CR) research, education and practice.

Design/methodology/approach

This contribution provides a critical perspective on the future of CR research and practice and offers a way forward based on theoretical prescience.

Findings

The paper delineates a taxonomy of typical crises, categorized as burning, existential, overlooked and neglected crises. This taxonomy can be used as a tool for all forms of scenario analysis, empirical work and policymaking. This allows various futures issues to be given targeted interventions, assigned a focal theory, or allocated differentiated resources and appropriate time and space depending on their technical nature and the institutional context within which the issues unfold.

Social implications

This paper argues that CR research risks losing steam despite its near ubiquitous nature and the major contributions hitherto made. Nevertheless, when problems are strategically thought out in the light of the taxonomy above, they provide promising avenues for insightful research and value-creating practice to meet the expectations of both business and society.

Originality/value

A profound chasm exists between CR practice and rhetoric. This void is particularly stark when we consider the interface between science and technology and developing economies. This paper explores desirable futures for CR while analyzing what is possible and probable.

Book part
Publication date: 18 February 2013

Frederick Ahen and Peter Zettinig

Purpose – This chapter seeks to theoretically demonstrate that authentic corporate strategy is entrenched in an ethical responsibility, and ethical responsibility requires…

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter seeks to theoretically demonstrate that authentic corporate strategy is entrenched in an ethical responsibility, and ethical responsibility requires a strategic framework to qualify as a sustainable value co-creation process that determines the long-term success of the firm.Design/methodology/approach – Through economic philosophical analysis and content analysis, we critically reviewed literature which argues for the integration of corporate responsibility (CR) and corporate strategy both in theory and practice by putting the concept into a proper context of institutional and time-based dynamics.Findings – The chapter delineates the salient dimensions of the dominant logic (D-L) of strategic corporate responsibility (SCR). The traditional notion of CSR is explained, compared and contrasted with the transitioning process of strategic CSR and the D-L of SCR which is at the civic level. We also identified four global forces that serve as enablers of strategic CR logic.Practical implications – The D-L of SCR explains how a firm defines and redefines itself and not what a firm does. We underscore what firms are in the ‘process of becoming’ through a co-evolutionary process with markets and institutions. Firms which want to go beyond mere survival in the 21st century must see the D-L of SCR not as a choice but as an imperative constrained by these global forces.Originality/value of chapter – The novelty of this chapter is that it challenges traditional CSR and provides a shift in thinking about the concept of CR where sustainability and innovative strategies become the source of institutional and market legitimacy and hence a competitive advantage.

Details

International Business, Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-625-5

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 July 2014

Frederick Ahen

This study aims to explain how sustainable global health presents an emerging new form of competition and socio-political and functional pressure for which strategic…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explain how sustainable global health presents an emerging new form of competition and socio-political and functional pressure for which strategic organizational renewal is a prerequisite for the organic resilience and co-evolution of pharmaceutical firms with their environment.

Design/methodology/approach

Through a meta-theoretical analysis in which theories themselves become the unit of creative synthesis, a wider framework is developed to allow a comprehensive and nuanced reinterpretation of the neo-institutional theory and the resource-based view. In focus is the practical utility and relevance of such theories within emerging economies where pharmaceutical firms respond to market and institutional changes.

Findings

The imperative for organizational change is very much dependent on the combination of ethically constrained managerial choices as well as entropic institutional pressures that allow firms to successfully adapt to their dynamic environment. This is achieved through legitimization and sustained competitive advantage, the results of innovation and contextually relevant differentiated value propositions.

Social implications

Contrary to popular perceptions, recent developments demonstrate that the simultaneous pursuit of efficiency and ethical preferences is possible, irrespective of the institutional matrix within which change occurs. Managers should, therefore, tap into the niche opportunities offered by favorable entropic pressures.

Originality/value

The novelty in this paper is the framework it provides for analyzing the massive role played by the micro-political power of managers and how the goals they pursue become fundamental to what the organization becomes as it coevolves with the turbulent era of emergent health needs.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

Keywords

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