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Book part
Publication date: 31 July 2009

Brayden G King, Teppo Felin and David A. Whetten

Comparative organizational analysis once dominated American organizational sociology, grounded in rich case studies about organizational processes and outcomes. The…

Abstract

Comparative organizational analysis once dominated American organizational sociology, grounded in rich case studies about organizational processes and outcomes. The Columbia school's approach to organizational research was exemplary in this regard. Following the publication of Robert K. Merton's (1940) essay, “Bureaucratic Structure and Personality,” he attracted a group of talented doctoral students to his formal organizations seminar (Crothers, 1990), the core of whom would go on to write dissertations, books, and articles forming the substance of American organizational sociology in the decades to come. Among those students were Philip Selznick, Alvin Gouldner, Peter Blau, Seymour Martin Lipset, Rose Coser, and James Coleman. While their work varied greatly in substantive content, their studies shared a theoretical interest in explaining intra-organizational dynamics and the unexpected outcomes of bureaucratic administration. Organizations, they demonstrated, developed “lives of their own,” quite outside the intents of their founders (Haveman, 2009; refer, especially, Selznick, 1957). Organizations, in other words, were adaptive to the needs of their constituents, but adaptations did not always produce the intended results. One of the unintended consequences of organizational development was increasing variety in the kinds of organizations that emerged to meet particular societal goals or ends. Thus, an inherent focus of this early comparative research was the explanation of variety in organizational types, policies, and outcomes and an emphasis on the ways in which organizations diverged from ideal types.

Details

Studying Differences between Organizations: Comparative Approaches to Organizational Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-647-8

Article
Publication date: 4 April 2017

Padmi Nagirikandalage and Ben Binsardi

The purpose of this paper is to critically explore the implementation of cost accounting systems (CAS) using content analysis. In particular, it aims to examine the impact…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to critically explore the implementation of cost accounting systems (CAS) using content analysis. In particular, it aims to examine the impact of Sri Lankan cultural and local characteristics on the adoption of CAS. In particular, it examines the factors that facilitate or hinder the adoption of CAS in Sri Lanka.

Design/methodology/approach

Primary data for the research were obtained by interviewing selected respondents from Sri Lanka’s manufacturing and service sectors. They were shortlisted using maximum variation sampling to obtain a representative cross-section of the national population. A total of 16 respondents were interviewed, which resulted in 57 interview paragraphs to be coded. Several theories were used to analyse them, namely, the theory of institutional isomorphism (homogeneity) and the theory of heterogeneity, as well as Clifford Geertz’s cultural theories.

Findings

A cross-comparison between the findings and relevant literature indicates the existence of complete institutional isomorphism and partial institutional heterogeneity in Sri Lanka. Heterogeneity exists in organisations such as foreign multinationals, which have adopted unique and sophisticated CAS. In addition, inadequate access to information and the orientation of the local culture has affected the implementation of CAS in Sri Lanka, with a lack of awareness of the importance of CAS, a sluggish approach to costing and cultural values forming prominent barriers to its implementation. These findings are plausible in light of the relationship between a sluggish approach towards costing (a low cost awareness), and local attitudes towards the implementation of more efficient accounting practices such as CAS.

Practical implications

This research is invaluable as a tool for Sri Lankan policymakers and practitioners, enabling the public and private sectors to provide education and training to enhance staff understanding and promote a positive attitude towards costing. With more efficient institutional CAS, the country’s economy will be more competitive internationally. As well as policymakers and practitioners, this research could be used by academicians for advancing theoretical development around the cultural triggers and barriers for adopting more innovative and fresher CAS in Sri Lanka.

Originality/value

The originality of this research can be justified on two counts. Firstly, although a wealth of research exists that examines the influence of culture on behaviour, this research specifically evaluates the impact of cultural factors on attitudes towards costing. These factors could be facilitators or obstructions for implementing CAS. Secondly, this research aims to combine both earlier and recent theories of institutionalism with Clifford Geertz’s cultural theory, to investigate how people and institutions in Sri Lanka adopt CAS. Earlier studies have focused merely on earlier theories of institutional homogeneity.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 32 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 May 2014

Arpita Agnihotri

– The purpose of this study was to analyze the impact of top management teams on firms' value chain action intensity and value chain activity heterogeneity.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to analyze the impact of top management teams on firms' value chain action intensity and value chain activity heterogeneity.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was conducted from an emerging market perspective. The sample was based on the secondary data collected from three fast-growing industries in India: automobile, pharmaceutical and fast-moving consumer goods over the three-year period from 2009 to 2012. The Panel Poisson and Tobit regression have been used to conduct this study.

Findings

Drawing upon the upper echelon theory, the author found that a top management team's educational level, functional heterogeneity and total organizational tenure influence value chain action intensity and value chain activity heterogeneity.

Originality/value

The author introduces the concept of value chain action intensity and value chain action heterogeneity and investigates the role of the upper echelon in influencing intensity and heterogeneity.

Details

Competitiveness Review, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1059-5422

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 September 2011

Iris Koall

The purpose of this paper is to describe and discuss complexity approaches of management theory, by focusing on their capacity to use efficiently contingence in

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe and discuss complexity approaches of management theory, by focusing on their capacity to use efficiently contingence in organizations. As a theoretical framework the theory of social systems (Luhmann) is used, where a difference is made between complexity reduction and condensation. Complexity reduction is related to certain functional needs to control a hierarchical system. Complexity condensation redesigns communicative structures towards participative norm development, offering discursive connectivity, and decision making in networks. It is described how heterogeneous cultures in organizations have the chance to be successful by focusing their functional needs to include, to orient, and to motivate.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper opted for discussing theoretical frameworks to reconstruct management approaches to develop towards more diversity capacity in organizations. Theory of social systems is employed as basic methodology.

Findings

The chosen research reconstructs management approaches to focus on functional imperatives of organizational systems as well as the development of functional equivalents. The logic figure of functional equivalents describes alternatives of exclusive organizational cultures. Heterogeneity in organizations is based on the redesign of communicative procedures, structures and cultures.

Research limitations/implications

The aim of the paper is diversity theory development. It offers heuristic moments which might be useful in empirical research, too. Following the suggestion homogeneity is just an outcome of certain organizational decisions to deal with contingency and complexity, it might offer practical relevance by testing the capacity to change communication and interaction patterns. The culture‐function matrix also might offer an opportunity to discuss the paradigms of organizational development towards more diversity.

Practical implications

There might be the possibility to enhance conditions of observing organizations, but the practical implications might be rather limited.

Originality/value

Using theory of social systems (Luhmann) as theory which focuses complexity traits is rather undeveloped. It could offer insights in the capacity to deal with contingency, and the attempts to suppress it. Complexity in social systems could offer a prerequisite to support the interdisciplinary research in diversity studies.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 30 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 10 December 2018

Metin Sengul

In this chapter, the author outlines the link between organization design and competitive strategy, focusing on rivalry. A firm’s organization design choices can affect…

Abstract

In this chapter, the author outlines the link between organization design and competitive strategy, focusing on rivalry. A firm’s organization design choices can affect its competitive advantage as well as the strategic decisions of its rivals. Therefore, organization design can influence the nature and intensity of competitive interactions between firms. To illustrate this effect, the author focuses on the literature on divisionalization and offers a set of propositions as examples. Taken together, the author makes three main observations: (1) a firm’s competitive position and objectives are reflected in its organizational choices; (2) heterogeneity in competitive position and objectives lead to heterogeneity in organization design choices across firms; and (3) organization design and competitive strategy are interdependent processes. The author concludes by discussing the implications for strategy and management research and pointing out some opportunities for future research.

Article
Publication date: 1 November 2006

Kong‐Hee Kim, G. Tyge Payne and James A. Tan

The purpose of this article is to better understand the nature of the decision maker's cognitive‐affective information processing behavior in the context of strategic…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to better understand the nature of the decision maker's cognitive‐affective information processing behavior in the context of strategic decision making.

Design/methodology/approach

Reviews of the psychological science, organizational behavior, and strategic management literatures serve as a foundation for the development of a model and a series of research propositions. Propositions and model development lead to a discussion regarding limitations of the current literature, as well as areas for future research that incorporates cognitive‐affective information processing issues in organizational research.

Findings

Organizational homogeneous and heterogeneous behaviors in the organizational adaptation process depend on a strategic decision maker's cognitive‐affective informational interpretation of both internal and external environmental stimuli.

Research limitations/implications

The focus of this article is limited to the individual level of analysis. Further theoretical and empirical research should investigate how the framework could be applied at the team and organizational levels and how it holds under various industrial and/or environmental conditions.

Practical implications

This article informs practicing managers of how their decision‐making behavior is influenced by both cognition and affect when they scan and process their strategic informational environment and, furthermore, how these influence their choice of organizational forms and practices.

Originality/value

Extends theoretical understanding of cognitive‐affective informational processing and its influence on the organizational homogeneous‐heterogeneous adaptation process.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 31 May 2018

Shubham, Parikshit Charan and L.S. Murty

Contemporary frameworks on institutional theory and corporate environmentalism observe that institutional fields positively influence a firm’s environmental response in

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Abstract

Purpose

Contemporary frameworks on institutional theory and corporate environmentalism observe that institutional fields positively influence a firm’s environmental response in the form of implementation of environmental practices. These frameworks, however, provide little evidence on why firms facing similar institutional field differ in their environmental response. This paper aims to incorporate the intra-organizational dynamics within the traditional institutional theory framework to address this heterogeneity, examining specifically the role of absorptive capacity for environmental knowledge in the organizational implementation of corporate environmental practices.

Design/methodology/approach

Integrating the institutional theory and resource-based view, this paper examines the mediating role of absorptive capacity in the relationship between institutional pressure for corporate environmentalism vis-a-vis the implementation of corporate environmental practices. Partial least square structural equation modeling was used for hypotheses testing based on data obtained from the Indian apparel and textile industry.

Findings

The results support the mediating role of absorptive capacity in the relationship between institutional pressure and implementation of corporate environmental practices. Further, this study highlights the importance of acquisition and utilization of environmental knowledge in driving environmentalism through developing absorptive capacity; the findings also suggest that the role of institutional pressure in the implementation of environmental practices should not be analyzed in isolation but rather in conjunction with the development of absorptive capacity that forms the internal basis of implementation.

Practical implications

Managers need to focus on the development of organizational capabilities for acquiring and exploiting environmental knowledge to complement their preparedness in responding to any institutional pressures for environmental sustainability. Firms also need to link their environmental orientation with various sources of environmental knowledge and capabilities residing outside the organizational boundaries. It is important to note here that the development of absorptive capacities for the exploration and exploitation of external knowledge is indeed both required and necessary to build sustainable organizational capabilities.

Originality/value

This paper is among the very few studies that address the issue of knowledge and development of related organizational capabilities for corporate environmentalism. Recognizing that environmental knowledge resides outside organizational boundaries with regulatory agencies and special interest groups, this paper highlights the importance of developing organizational capabilities for the acquisition and exploitation of environmental knowledge.

Article
Publication date: 27 September 2021

Jon Maskály, Sanja Kutnjak Ivkovich and Peter Neyroud

This study adds to the developing literature on how coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) affected policing. Unlike prior research, which focused on police agencies, the…

Abstract

Purpose

This study adds to the developing literature on how coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) affected policing. Unlike prior research, which focused on police agencies, the authors focus on the perceptions and experiences of police officers. Specifically, about changes in workload or activities during the peak of the pandemic compared to prior to the pandemic. Additionally, officers report on changes in potential second-order effects resulting in changes from the pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

The data come from the survey responses of 167 police officers from seven police agencies of various sizes from around the USA. The authors assessed mean level differences between organizations using a general linear model/ANOVA approach and report a standardized effect size.

Findings

There is a considerable heterogeneity in police officers' perceptions of organizational and operational changes made by their police agencies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The results show that perceptions of some changes were more strongly by the agency than were others. The study’s results show there are substantive differences in how police officers from different police agencies viewed these operational and organizational changes (i.e. between agency differences). Most of the variance was primarily explained by differences between police officers within the same agency (i.e. within organization differences).

Originality/value

This study moves beyond the monolithic approach to studying how the pandemic affected the police agency and moves to asking officers about their experiences with these changes and the second-order effects of these changes.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 45 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 March 2011

M.K. Nandakumar, Abby Ghobadian and Nicholas O'Regan

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between business‐level strategy and organisational performance and to test the applicability of Porter's generic…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between business‐level strategy and organisational performance and to test the applicability of Porter's generic strategies in explaining differences in the performance of organisations.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was focussed on manufacturing firms in the UK belonging to the electrical and mechanical engineering sectors. Data were collected through a postal survey using the survey instrument from 124 organisations and the respondents were all at CEO level. Both objective and subjective measures were used to assess performance. Non‐response bias was assessed statistically and it was not found to be a major problem affecting this study. Appropriate measures were taken to ensure that common method variance (CMV) does not affect the results of this study. Statistical tests indicated that CMV problem does not affect the results of this study.

Findings

The results of this study indicate that firms adopting one of the strategies, namely cost‐leadership or differentiation, perform better than “stuck‐in‐the‐middle” firms which do not have a dominant strategic orientation. The integrated strategy group has lower performance compared with cost‐leaders and differentiators in terms of financial performance measures. This provides support for Porter's view that combination strategies are unlikely to be effective in organisations. However, the cost‐leadership and differentiation strategies were not strongly correlated with the financial performance measures indicating the limitations of Porter's generic strategies in explaining performance heterogeneity in organisations.

Originality/value

This study makes an important contribution to the literature by identifying some of the gaps in the literature through a systematic literature review and addressing those gaps.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 60 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 1 August 2017

Alessia Sammarra, Silvia Profili, Fabrizio Maimone and Gabriele Gabrielli

Important demographic changes are causing organizations and teams to become increasingly age-diverse. Because knowledge sharing is critical to organizations’ long-term…

Abstract

Important demographic changes are causing organizations and teams to become increasingly age-diverse. Because knowledge sharing is critical to organizations’ long-term sustainability and success, both researchers and practitioners face a strategic dilemma: namely, finding ways to cultivate greater knowledge sharing among different age cohorts.

In this chapter, we claim that age diversity adds relevant opportunities and distinct challenges. On one hand, it increases demands for effective knowledge sharing: Employees of different ages are likely to hold diverse knowledge and capabilities that may be lost and/or poorly exploited if they are not effectively shared. On the other hand, age differences can activate age-related stereotypes and foster the formation of age subgroups, which can hamper social integration, communication, and ultimately, knowledge sharing.

Building on these insights, this chapter looks at the role of the human resource management (HRM) system as a key facilitator of effective knowledge sharing in age-diverse organizations. To this end, the chapter focuses on HR planning, training and development, performance appraisal, and reward systems, each of which can be used to develop the motivations, norms, and accountability structures that encourage employees of different ages to bridge their differences and integrate their unique perspectives and knowledge. This chapter suggests ways of tailoring HRM practices to unlock the benefits of age diversity, which may help organizations exploit and capitalize on the knowledge-based resources held by their younger and older employees.

Details

Age Diversity in the Workplace
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-073-0

Keywords

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