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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1998

Deena Weinstein and Michael A. Weinstein

The practitioners of postmodern organization theory have had to respond to the charge that postmodernism has a declivity toward skepticism. Their response to…

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3111

Abstract

The practitioners of postmodern organization theory have had to respond to the charge that postmodernism has a declivity toward skepticism. Their response to organizational skepticisim is to decenter dominant theories, paradigms and organizational forms, rather than to negate them. Decentering supplements discourse by augmenting its repertoire; the opposite of skepticism, which diminishes its object. The main ways in which postmodern organization theories try to overcome the specific sceptical position of paradigm incommensurability (the reduction of discourse about organizations and organizational discourse to a solipsism of private language games) are described and assessed in terms of three positions: John Hassard’s “multiple paradigm” approach on the level of methodology, Stewart Clegg’s “embedded rationalities” on the level of empirical conceptualization, and Kenneth Gergen’s “heteroglossia” on the level of discursive practice. Hassard and Clegg are engaged in the mapping function of postmodern organization theory, whereas Gergen is engaged in deconstraining organizations.

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

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Article
Publication date: 31 August 2010

John Hassard, Jonathan Morris, Jackie Sheehan and Xiao Yuxin

The purpose of this paper is to examine how the Chinese economic reform process has engendered significant changes in the structure and management of work organizations…

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5329

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how the Chinese economic reform process has engendered significant changes in the structure and management of work organizations. Central to this process has been the “marketization” of state‐owned enterprises (SOEs). The paper reviews the attempts to reform SOEs as conducted, primarily, under the modern enterprise system (MES) and group company system (GCS) programmes.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper analyses institutional issues relating to organizational restructuring, describes the evolution of the SOE “problem” in China, and discusses case evidence of enterprise reform in one of the largest SOE‐dominated industries, iron and steel. Qualitative field data, collected regularly (mostly yearly) since 1995, were derived from in‐depth interviews with executives of ten large SOEs that have restructured as part of MES and GCS programmes.

Findings

It is suggested that the historic reluctance of SOEs to embrace reform stems from three main factors – the opaque nature of property rights, the failure of ministries to produce a firm strategy for channelling surplus labour and the inability of government agencies to offer a sense of managerial autonomy to SOE executives. Recent policies designed to overcome these problems together with kindred ones for separating government functions from business operations in the drive to prepare SOEs for global markets are described. It can be argued that China's preference for gradual reform reflects the wider reform context where economic restructuring has not been accompanied by a greater expression of political democracy.

Originality/value

The paper's findings offer insights from a major longitudinal field study of two of the main programmes of China's reform period.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 23 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2017

John Hassard, Paula Hyde, Julie Wolfram Cox, Edward Granter and Leo McCann

The purpose of this paper is to describe a hybrid approach to the research developed during a multi-researcher, ethnographic study of NHS management in the UK.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe a hybrid approach to the research developed during a multi-researcher, ethnographic study of NHS management in the UK.

Design/methodology/approach

This methodological paper elaborates a hybrid approach to the sociological analysis – the critical-action theory – and indicates how it can contribute to the critical health management studies.

Findings

After exploring the various theoretical, methodological and philosophical options available, the paper discusses the main research issues that influenced the development of this perspective and the process by which the critical-action perspective was applied to the studies of managerial work in four health service sectors – acute hospitals, ambulance services, community services and mental healthcare.

Research limitations/implications

This methodological perspective enabled a critical analysis of health service organisation that considered macro, meso and micro effects, in particular and in this case, how new public management drained power from clinicians through managerialist discourses and practices.

Practical implications

Healthcare organisations are often responding to the decisions that lie outside of their control and may have to enact changes that make little sense locally. In order to make sense of these effects, micro-, meso- and macro-level analyses are necessary.

Originality/value

The critical-action perspective is presented as an adjunct to traditional approaches that have been taken to the study of health service organisation and delivery.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 31 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

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Article
Publication date: 31 August 2010

Christopher J. Rees and John Hassard

The purpose of this paper is to explore the wide‐ranging nature of organizational change research and practice with reference to the diverse context of Asia.

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5816

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the wide‐ranging nature of organizational change research and practice with reference to the diverse context of Asia.

Design/methodology/approach

Specific reviews of literature are highlighted which have identified the relative dearth of research which could be used to inform the theory and practice of management in Asia. The paper proceeds to offer an overview of the four papers included in this themed section on organizational change in Asia.

Findings

After reviewing the four papers, a summary is presented of two key themes which emerge from this body of work, that is, in the process of considering various aspects of organizational change in Asia, the four papers tend to place a relatively heavy emphasis upon the ownership of organizations, and issues directly associated with human resource management. These two themes are identified as recommended areas for future research.

Originality/value

This paper provides an introduction to the themed section on perspectives on organizational change in Asia.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 23 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2002

Pawan Budhwar, Andy Crane, Annette Davies, Rick Delbridge, Tim Edwards, Mahmoud Ezzamel, Lloyd Harris, Emmanuel Ogbonna and Robyn Thomas

Wonders whether companies actually have employees best interests at heart across physical, mental and spiritual spheres. Posits that most organizations ignore their…

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35397

Abstract

Wonders whether companies actually have employees best interests at heart across physical, mental and spiritual spheres. Posits that most organizations ignore their workforce – not even, in many cases, describing workers as assets! Describes many studies to back up this claim in theis work based on the 2002 Employment Research Unit Annual Conference, in Cardiff, Wales.

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Management Research News, vol. 25 no. 8/9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2000

Jonathan C. Morris

Looks at the 2000 Employment Research Unit Annual Conference held at the University of Cardiff in Wales on 6/7 September 2000. Spotlights the 76 or so presentations within…

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28358

Abstract

Looks at the 2000 Employment Research Unit Annual Conference held at the University of Cardiff in Wales on 6/7 September 2000. Spotlights the 76 or so presentations within and shows that these are in many, differing, areas across management research from: retail finance; precarious jobs and decisions; methodological lessons from feminism; call centre experience and disability discrimination. These and all points east and west are covered and laid out in a simple, abstract style, including, where applicable, references, endnotes and bibliography in an easy‐to‐follow manner. Summarizes each paper and also gives conclusions where needed, in a comfortable modern format.

Details

Management Research News, vol. 23 no. 9/10/11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1992

Stephen Procter, Louise McCardle, Michael Rowlinson, John Hassard and Paul Forrester

Pollert's latest contribution to the flexibility debate has been to denounce the concept as an appropriate framework for research and to state that it should be replaced…

Abstract

Pollert's latest contribution to the flexibility debate has been to denounce the concept as an appropriate framework for research and to state that it should be replaced by one that takes into account the complexities and relations of the real world (Pollert 1991, p. 31). Similarly, Wood has argued that the problem with the flexibility debate is that the organisational model of the flexible firm has over‐emphasised management's pursuit of flexibility as though it were an end in itself. Flexibility should be seen as only one of management's aims and ought to remain attached to other goals and interests of management (Wood 1989).

Details

Management Research News, vol. 15 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 1991

Louise McArdle, John Hassard, Paul Forrester and Stephen Proctor

The 1980s was a decade of far reaching change in the relations between management and the workforce. Flexibility can no longer be considered a ‘flash in the pan’, while…

Abstract

The 1980s was a decade of far reaching change in the relations between management and the workforce. Flexibility can no longer be considered a ‘flash in the pan’, while the ‘Japanisation’ of production is probably the most influential concept since Fordism. Combining these two elements has enabled employers to introduce whole packages for the organisation of work and production where quality of product and process are no longer considered optional, rather a pre‐requisite for firms competing on a global scale.

Details

Management Research News, vol. 14 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1990

John Hassard

In an ideal world harmonisation would be a good idea. So why should there be any resistance to it?

Abstract

In an ideal world harmonisation would be a good idea. So why should there be any resistance to it?

Details

Management Research News, vol. 13 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

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Article
Publication date: 17 October 2010

Marianna Fotaki, Steffen Böhm and John Hassard

This paper aims to link the process of “transition”, which started in the former Soviet system about 20 years ago, to the recent global financial and economic crisis. The…

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2000

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to link the process of “transition”, which started in the former Soviet system about 20 years ago, to the recent global financial and economic crisis. The paper considers “transition” as a shift from one socio‐economic “dreamworld” to another, rather than as a real change towards freedom and democracy, as most mainstream commentators would have it. The argument is that this “transition” to a capitalist, free market society was bound up with a host of dream‐like imaginations of social and economic progress, which were also found on the imaginary horizon of the Soviet system. It is argued that the two systems, and hence also the recent global capitalist crisis, can be understood as being determined by complementary economies of desires, which, however, cannot be fulfilled.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper combines a critical theory perspective, influenced by Buck‐Morss and Benjamin, with a Lacanian analysis of subjectivity to critically analyze collective fantasies as the key organizational principle behind the workings and eventual demise of the socialist utopia as well as the more recent downfall of the neoliberal discourse.

Findings

The paper demonstrates why both socialism and capitalism can be understood as “real existing” systems where social processes, institutions, ideologies and identities are organized at the interface of political‐agonistic and symbolic‐imaginary dimensions.

Social implications

The paper calls for assuming responsibility for our work as public intellectuals and academics, aiming at the continuous unmasking of illusions, fantasies and ideologies at work in society, which we see as politics proper.

Originality/value

The paper uses critical‐theoretic, psychoanalytic and post‐structuralist frames in order to unravel the fantasmatic kernel at work of both socialist and capitalist utopias. These fantasies do not only struggle to uphold their hegemonic grip on the economy but on the very production of subjectivity.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 23 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

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