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Article
Publication date: 14 July 2020

Henry Adobor

The purpose of this paper is to develop a conceptual framework for extending an understanding of resilience in complex adaptive system (CAS) such as supply chains using…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a conceptual framework for extending an understanding of resilience in complex adaptive system (CAS) such as supply chains using the adaptive cycle framework. The adaptive cycle framework may help explain change and the long term dynamics and resilience in supply chain networks. Adaptive cycles assume that dynamic systems such as supply chain networks go through stages of growth, development, collapse and reorientation. Adaptive cycles suggest that the resilience of a complex adaptive system such as supply chains are not fixed but expand and contract over time and resilience requires such systems to navigate each of the cycles’ four stages successfully.

Design/methodology/approach

This research uses the adaptive cycle framework to explain supply chain resilience (SCRES). It explores the phases of the adaptive cycle, its pathologies and key properties and links these to competences and behaviors that are important for system and SCRES. The study develops a conceptual framework linking adaptive cycles to SCRES. The goal is to extend dynamic theories of SCRES by borrowing from the adaptive cycle framework. We review the literature on the adaptive cycle framework, its properties and link these to SCRES.

Findings

The key insight is that the adaptive cycle concept can broaden our understanding of SCRES beyond focal scales, including cross-scale resilience. As a framework, the adaptive cycle can explain the mechanisms that support or prevent resilience in supply chains. Adaptive cycles may also give us new insights into the sort of competences required to avoid stagnation, promote system renewal as resilience expands and contracts over time.

Research limitations/implications

The adaptive cycle may move our discussion of resilience beyond engineering and ecological resilience to include evolutionary resilience. While the first two presently dominates our theorizing on SCRES, evolutionary resilience may be more insightful than both are. Adaptive cycles capture the idea of change, adaptation and transformation and allow us to explore cross-scale resilience.

Practical implications

Knowing how to prepare for and overcoming key pathologies associated with each stage of the adaptive cycle can broaden our repertoire of strategies for managing SCRES across time. Human agency is important for preventing systems from crossing critical thresholds into imminent collapse. More importantly, disruptions may present an opportunity for innovation and renewal for building more resilience supply chains.

Originality/value

This research is one of the few studies that have applied the adaptive cycle concept to SCRES and extends our understanding of the dynamic structure of SCRES

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

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Article
Publication date: 29 March 2021

Henry Adobor

This paper aims to argue that national cultural context variables influence open strategy formation processes. This study suggests that country-specific differences may…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to argue that national cultural context variables influence open strategy formation processes. This study suggests that country-specific differences may influence open strategy, a form of strategic decision-making and present propositions linking national culture dimensions, national trust orientation and open strategy.

Design/methodology/approach

The conceptual framework links the literature on Hofstede’s cultural dimensions to the open strategy paradigm. This paper adopts a contingency approach linking national culture to open strategy.

Findings

The theoretical arguments demonstrate that uncertainty avoidance, time orientation, power distance, individualism versus collectivism and national trust culture all have a moderating influence on the antecedents and outcomes of open strategy. The findings extend the external validity of the open strategy paradigm and show that a culture-bound explanation of open strategy may be useful to the understanding of open strategy.

Practical implications

The findings highlight the challenges and opportunities that managers face when they adopt open strategy processes in multinational settings and across different cultures. Managers need to be aware that national cultural variables affect how employees behave and how they are likely to act when faced with opportunities for inclusion, shared decision-making and transparency. The findings suggest that training employees ahead of time on the cultural effects of their behavior may aid the successful adoption of open strategy in different cultures.

Originality/value

This manuscript to our knowledge, maybe one of the first to make a direct link between openness and national cultural values. In the process, the conceptual framework extends research on the role of context on openness, as well as research at the nexus of cross-cultural issues and strategic decision-making.

Details

Management Research Review, vol. 44 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8269

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Article
Publication date: 28 August 2019

Henry Adobor, Enyonam Kudonoo and Alireza Daneshfar

The purpose of this paper is to explore organizational memory (OM) in three public agencies in a developing country context. Research suggests that knowledge management…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore organizational memory (OM) in three public agencies in a developing country context. Research suggests that knowledge management (KM) can build a nation’s intellectual capital and improve the effectiveness of public sector management. Therefore, how knowledge is preserved is important.

Design/methodology/approach

The study targeted three large public institutions in Ghana. The study used a survey of 756 individuals in managerial and operational level positions in institutions to test the hypotheses in the study.

Findings

The findings confirm that knowledge management capability (KMC) has a positive and significant impact on OM. Knowledge acquisition and retention capabilities, in particular, are critical variables in building OM.

Research limitations/implications

The research relied on self-reports and so one cannot completely rule out social desirability and consistency biases. Using cross-sectional data also makes it difficult to make inferences about the causality.

Practical implications

Public agencies desirous of building their OM will need to build critical KMC and infrastructure.

Originality/value

This paper links KMC to OM in public institutions in an emerging country context.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 32 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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Article
Publication date: 28 July 2021

Henry Adobor, William Phanuel Kofi Darbi and Obi Berko O. Damoah

The purpose of this conceptual paper is to explore the role of strategic leadership under conditions of uncertainty and unpredictability. The authors argue that highly…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this conceptual paper is to explore the role of strategic leadership under conditions of uncertainty and unpredictability. The authors argue that highly improbable, but high-impact events require the upper echelons of management, traditionally the custodians of strategy formulation to offer a new kind of strategic leadership focused on new mindsets, organizational capabilities, more in tune with high uncertainty and unpredictability.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on strategic leadership, and complexity leadership theory, the authors review the literature and present a conceptual framework for exploring the nature of strategic leadership under uncertainty. The authors conceptualize organizations as complex adaptive systems and discuss the imperatives for developing new mental models for emergent leadership.

Findings

Strategic leaders have a key role to play in preparing their organizations for episodic disruptions. These include developing their adaptive capabilities and building resilient organizations to ensure their organizations cannot only bounce back after a disruption but have the capacity for transformation to new fitness levels when necessary. Strategic leaders must engage with complexity leadership by seeing their organizations as complex adaptive systems, reconfigure their leadership approaches and organizations to build strategic adaptive capability.

Research limitations/implications

This is a conceptual paper and the authors cannot make any claims of causality.

Practical implications

Organizational leaders need to reconfigure their mental models and leadership approaches to reflect the new normal of uncertainty and unpredictability. Developing the strategic adaptive capability of organizations should prepare them for dealing with high impact events. To assure business continuity in the face of disruptions requires building flexible, adaptable business models.

Originality/value

The paper focuses on how managers can offer strategic leadership for a new normal that challenges some of our most cherished leadership and strategic management paradigms. The authors explore the new mental models and leadership models in an era of great uncertainty.

Details

Journal of Strategy and Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-425X

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Article
Publication date: 27 March 2020

Henry Adobor

A core premise of the paper is that participative, democratic organizational forms have a direct effect on openness. A key proposition is that organizational forms that…

Abstract

Purpose

A core premise of the paper is that participative, democratic organizational forms have a direct effect on openness. A key proposition is that organizational forms that promote inclusion, transparency and shared decision-making more broadly as part of their structure and culture would enhance greater openness. However, democratic forms are not a panacea when it comes to openness, there are inherent paradoxes, leading to inevitable tradeoffs that democratic organizations must manage.

Design/methodology/approach

The theoretical framework in the study explores the interaction between open strategy making and organizational democracy. This paper reviews the literature on open strategy and organizational democracy and presents propositions linking openness and elements of democratic organizations.

Findings

Open strategy requires a level of inclusion and transparency not typically associated with hierarchical organizations. This paper proposed that an organizational context where there are institutionalized processes that promote both transparency and inclusiveness, shared decision-making and a supportive organizational culture would promote openness. At the same time, these organizations need to manage key paradoxes associated with organizational democracy to benefit from its positive effect on openness. The idea is not that hierarchies cannot be open; they may simply need to be more creative and work harder at providing the scaffolding for participation.

Research limitations/implications

This is a conceptual paper and we cannot make any claims of causality. It is also possible to refine the framework by adding or eliminating some of the conceptual variables.

Practical implications

Opening up the strategy process to non-traditional stakeholders can improve the strategy formation process. Non-traditional stakeholders can bring new insight, and be motivated and prepared for strategy implementation when they are part of the strategy formation process. Organizations need to focus on creating a climate that supports openness by emphasizing structural forms that promote openness. Sharing decision-making, profits and creating a democratic culture are important for successful openness. In addition, organizations need to manage the tradeoffs that arise as they link organizational democracy to openness.

Originality/value

This paper discusses the link between open strategy and organizational democracy. The research sheds light on how organizational forms, specifically structure affects openness, as well as the limits to structure and openness.

Details

Journal of Strategy and Management, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-425X

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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2020

Henry Adobor

This article extends the literature on agricultural entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial failure in Ghana, a country in sub-Saharan Africa by exploring failure in a cohort…

Abstract

Purpose

This article extends the literature on agricultural entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial failure in Ghana, a country in sub-Saharan Africa by exploring failure in a cohort of firms. As engines of economic growth, the performance of micro, small, and medium-sized firms is important. Agro-based enterprises, in particular, are vital because entrepreneurial failure in agribusiness affects food security, and is disruptive to social and economic stability.

Design/methodology/approach

Using qualitative data from interviews, we identified reasons for the failure of a group of entrepreneurs associated with a novel agribusiness activity in an otherwise economically attractive market in an emerging economy. The data for the study came from 69 respondents who started and exited aquaculture, a form of agribusiness within a period.

Findings

The results of this study show that there can be negative effects of social structure on entrepreneurial behavior and outcomes. The strong social ties that emerged among the farmer-entrepreneurs led to excessive peer-to-peer copying and knowledge sharing, leading to premature closure of the search for nonredundant ideas. One consequence of that was the narrowing of the pool of available knowledge, which if broadened, may have improved the chances of success of these businesses. Also, the results demonstrate that a lack of institutional support in the form of training in the appropriate management of a new technology adversely affected the farmer-entrepreneurs and their businesses. It is important for governments that introduce a new economic activity to provide the scaffolding, including an understanding of the value chain, to enhance the chances of the economic success of ventures. Entrepreneurs for their part need to broaden their search for new ideas outside their peer groups to increase their chances of accessing non-redundant knowledge.

Research limitations/implications

The sample size is small, limiting the generalization of findings and the recollection of events may fade with the passage of time, especially since most of the farmers did not keep written records.

Practical implications

First, entrepreneurship and economic development, long held as a panacea for moving developing countries out of poverty, may require consistent government support. Second, entrepreneurs venturing into business need to understand the particular challenges associated with a novel activity. Finally, entrepreneurs need to recognize that interconnectedness should not necessarily lead to the convergence of ideas and behavior.

Originality/value

The study extends and contextualizes the literature on agricultural entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial failure. Besides, the study focuses on entrepreneurial failure in Sub-Saharan Africa, an under-researched setting.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article
Publication date: 13 July 2018

Henry Adobor and Ronald S. McMullen

The purpose of this paper is to present a conceptual framework on resilience types in supply chain networks.

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1749

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a conceptual framework on resilience types in supply chain networks.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a complex adaptive systems perspective as an organizing framework, the paper explores three forms of resilience: engineering, ecological and evolutionary and their antecedents and links these to four phases of supply chain resilience (SCRES): readiness, response, recovery, growth and renewal.

Findings

Resilient supply chains need all three forms of resilience. Efficiency and system optimization approaches may promote quick recovery after a disruption. However, system-level response requires adaptive capabilities and transformational behaviors may be needed to move supply chains to new fitness levels after a disruption. The three resilience types discussed are not mutually exclusive, but rather complement each other and there are synergies and tradeoffs among these resilience types.

Research limitations/implications

The empirical validation of the theoretical propositions will open up new vistas for supply chain research. Possibilities exist for analyzing and assessing SCRES in multiple and more comprehensive ways.

Practical implications

The findings of the research can help managers refine their approaches to managing supply chain networks. A more balanced approach to supply chain management can reduce the risks and vulnerabilities associated with supply chain disruptions.

Originality/value

This study is unique as it conceptualizes SCRES in multiple ways, thereby extending our understanding of supply chain stability.

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2006

Henry Adobor

Cooperative strategies, both domestic and foreign, have become an important component of the strategic repertoire of firms. Various forms of interfirm alliances are…

Abstract

Cooperative strategies, both domestic and foreign, have become an important component of the strategic repertoire of firms. Various forms of interfirm alliances are redefining and transforming the very nature of competition. Considering their importance, a solid understanding of their fundamental dynamics is necessary. Different forms of alliances exist: from those that emerge because partners have some preexisting advantages such as geographic proximity or shared history to those that arise because third parties such as governments have created the enabling environment. Looking at the context and operational dynamics of various alliance configurations may help our understanding of how to manage them. This paper presents four configurations or clusters of alliances based on their origins and link the context to operational dynamics. The policy and research implications of the paper are also presented.

Details

Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1059-5422

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Article
Publication date: 25 January 2011

Henry Adobor

The management and strategy literature continues to show that many companies now rely on alliances for their long‐term success. This paper seeks to explain why some…

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1171

Abstract

Purpose

The management and strategy literature continues to show that many companies now rely on alliances for their long‐term success. This paper seeks to explain why some industries have an over‐representation of inter‐firm strategic alliances, relative to others.

Design/methodology/approach

A theory of group behavior is used to show that an inter‐organizational phenomenon, notably the interaction of convergent expectations, including shared patterns of behavior, beliefs and mindsets, are partially responsible for the disproportionate use of alliances in some industries relative to others. The theory of group behavior presented draws mainly on conceptual ideas from regime and new institutional theory.

Findings

The framework suggests that the presence of industry‐embedded factors, including shared mindsets, creates the conditions that transform the strategic interests and behavior of individual firms into a macro phenomenon that diffuses across an industry. Industry developed shared mindsets in turn provide the conditions for trust to endure, cooperation instead of opportunism to prevail, and lower transaction costs, all critical elements for alliance formation.

Practical implications

The research presented here shows that industry‐level factors may be an important factor for determining the incidence and perhaps the performance of value‐creating alliances.

Originality/value

This paper extends our understanding of strategic alliances as a source of a firm's competitiveness and fulfills a need for a greater understanding of the over‐representation of strategic alliances in some industries, relative to others.

Details

Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1059-5422

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Article
Publication date: 27 July 2020

This paper aims to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting-edge research and case studies.

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175

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting-edge research and case studies.

Design/methodology/approach

This briefing is prepared by an independent writer who adds their own impartial comments and places the articles in context.

Findings

This conceptual paper focuses on the relationship between the advancement of an open strategy and organizational democracy. The study reveals that both hierarchical and democratic organizational structures experience their own forms of tension. Hence organizational democracy in itself is not a panacea, and some rules are still needed for such an arrangement to operate reasonably efficiently. Openness is enhanced by an organization fostering greater inclusion, transparency, shared decision-making, and a supportive organizational culture, which are more likely to be consistent features of democratic organizations than of hierarchical ones. Yet hierarchical organizations can structurally enhance their openness with rule-based flexibility built-in.

Original/value

The briefing saves busy executives, strategists and researchers hours of reading time by selecting only the very best, most pertinent information and presenting it in a condensed and easy-to-digest format.

Details

Strategic Direction, vol. 36 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0258-0543

Keywords

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