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Article
Publication date: 10 May 2011

Ed Brown and Jonathan Cloke

This introductory paper aims to serve a dual purpose. First, it seeks to trace some of the key elements of this emerging agenda in critical corruption studies and the…

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3421

Abstract

Purpose

This introductory paper aims to serve a dual purpose. First, it seeks to trace some of the key elements of this emerging agenda in critical corruption studies and the major directions in which the field has moved since 2006, exploring some of the connections between dominant discourses of corruption and anti‐corruption and the upheavals which have occurred in the global economy during this period along the way. Second, this discussion also aims to serve as a contextual introduction to this special issue by embracing some of the common themes elaborated in the other papers collected here.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents a brief personal reflection on developments in the field of critical corruption studies.

Findings

The paper reveals some of the limitations of the mainstream approach towards corruption.

Originality/value

The paper summarises recent developments in the field and provides a context‐setting narrative within which the other papers that comprise this special issue can be situated.

Details

Critical perspectives on international business, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 21 October 2013

Stephen Ackroyd and Jonathan Murphy

The paper's aim is to consider the effects of recurrent economic crisis on the management and organisational structures of transnational companies based in the UK by…

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1441

Abstract

Purpose

The paper's aim is to consider the effects of recurrent economic crisis on the management and organisational structures of transnational companies based in the UK by considering contemporary evidence and scholarly views of the processes involved, and especially to consider the contributions of the papers that follow in this special issue of the journal.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides a summary overview of some of the key evidence and arguments concerning the origin of recent continuing crises in Western capitalism. The paper places in context and assesses the contribution of five papers especially selected by the editors to be included in this special issue which bear on different aspects.

Findings

The paper suggests several key processes are at work in contemporary capitalism, which can be summed up as increasing financialisation. This is the process by which businesses are increasingly orientated to the extraction of value, and success is primarily assessed in terms of the rate of return to capital employed. In their different ways the papers in the special issue illustrate aspects of the process of financialisation, including: the operation of a new set of financial institutions including private equity and hedge funds, and the effects of these on the various policies and priorities of the executive leaders of large businesses in such areas as human resource management and the adoption of new organisational forms. The discussion extends to the consideration of the effects of change on international finance and argues for the origins of changes in changed class relations.

Research limitations/implications

The implications of this work are that the character and reach of current economic change are further illuminated – including especially the underlying causes of the present economic crisis.

Social implications

Financialisation represents both a reorganisation of the processes of capitalist production and a class strategy of international elites to entrench their advantages in the new conditions of international political economy opened through the intellectual and policy triumph of neoliberal thinking.

Originality/value

The work brings together scattered insights and viewpoints and builds them into a coherent synthesis. It thus moves beyond limited conceptions and insights.

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Book part
Publication date: 5 September 2013

Abstract

Details

Getting Things Done
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-954-6

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Book part
Publication date: 10 February 2015

Jonathan Murphy and Hugh Willmott

The paper adopts an organizational perspective to explore the conditions of possibility of the recent re-emergence of overt class-based discourse on one hand, epitomized…

Abstract

The paper adopts an organizational perspective to explore the conditions of possibility of the recent re-emergence of overt class-based discourse on one hand, epitomized by the ‘We are the 99%’ movement, and the rise on the other hand of a populist, nativist and sometimes overtly fascist right. It is argued that these phenomena, reflecting the increasingly crisis-prone character of global capitalism, the growing gap between rich and poor and a generalized sense of insecurity, are rooted in the dismantling of socially embedded organizations through processes often described as ‘financialization’, driven by the taken-for-granted dominance of neoliberal ideology. The paper explores the rise to dominance of the neoliberal ‘thought style’ and its inherent logic in underpinning the dismantling and restructuring of capitalist organization. Its focus is upon transnational value chain capitalism which has rebalanced power relations in favour of a small elite that is able to operate and realize wealth in ways that defy and often succeed in escaping the regulation of nation states.

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Article
Publication date: 10 May 2011

Jonathan Murphy

The purpose of this paper is to critically examine the international NGO Transparency International's (TI) role in combating corruption, focusing particularly on TI's…

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2698

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to critically examine the international NGO Transparency International's (TI) role in combating corruption, focusing particularly on TI's response to the global financial crisis of 2008.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a review of scholarly articles, newspaper reports, and TI publications.

Findings

The paper concludes that TI's uncritical approach to the functioning of international capitalism limits its ability to understand and challenge the systemic causes of corruption. Further, TI's attention to the manifestations rather than causes of corruption leads it to unfairly identify corruption as a failing of the global South rather than an inherent feature of international capitalism.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates how TI's failure to address the widespread unethical conduct which was at the root of the global financial crisis derives from the organization's partial, legalistic and superficial definition of corruption.

Details

Critical perspectives on international business, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 24 October 2008

Jonathan Murphy

This paper sets out to critically review recent publications on emerging market management, and propose an alternative, sociological approach, that emphasizes the…

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2146

Abstract

Purpose

This paper sets out to critically review recent publications on emerging market management, and propose an alternative, sociological approach, that emphasizes the hybridity of the emerging economy managerial class in the context of globalization.

Design/methodology/approach

Through a critical exploration of three books on emerging economies, the paper questions the meaning of the concept of “modern” in emerging country management. A case study of the treatment of Dalit sanitary workers in New Delhi is used to illustrate the interlay between global marketization and pre‐existing class and caste hierarchies.

Findings

Globalization does not result in the replacement of “traditional” with “modern” in India but rather creates hybrid relationships of domination in which an emergent global managerial class is built on and intertwined with pre‐existing class and caste hierarchies. This aspect of modernization is poorly understood in mainstream Indian management scholarship, and highlights the need for development of critical management studies within Indian business schools.

Research limitations/implications

This is a complex and important topic, and the paper has only sketched a conceptual framework that requires further elaboration as well as empirical research.

Practical implications

The debate around “modernization” in emerging economy management requires deepening. Normative issues regarding exploitation that have typically been applied only to the developed countries‐emerging countries relationship need to be expanded to examine internal social dynamics within globalizing/emerging economies.

Originality/value

The framework permits analysis of globalization beyond sterile pro‐ and anti‐dualities. It helps in explaining why globalization is attractive to developing country élites. The paper is a basis for further development of critical globalization theory as it applies to developing and transitional economies/societies.

Details

Critical perspectives on international business, vol. 4 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2006

Jonathan Murphy

The purpose of this article is to contribute to the discussion on criticality in international business by proposing an interconnection between organizational…

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1847

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to contribute to the discussion on criticality in international business by proposing an interconnection between organizational managerialism and the construction of a global managerial order.

Design/methodology/approach

Explores the theoretical divide within critical management studies and the challenge provided to theory by internationalization/globalization. Using the case study of the World Bank, examines its organic drive to global governmentality. Examines relevance of C. Wright Mills's theory of the power élite to the advent of a global managerial élite.

Findings

Neither purely realist nor constructivist accounts offer an adequate framework for critical study of international business. Using an approach acknowledging the interweaving of materiality and discourse in construction of a global order, argues that transnational institutions, including the World Bank, play a key role in implementing networked global managerialism. Updates critical élite theory to accommodate globalization and the rise of organized civil society.

Research limitations/implications

Further challenges include mapping global managerial élites and their interconnections.

Practical implications

Critical management researchers should pay more attention to the interconnection between organization‐based theories of control and broader human systems.

Originality/value

Contributes to the application of theories of managerial control beyond the intra‐organizational context.

Details

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

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 21 October 2013

Prem Sikka and Hugh Willmott

– The paper aims to examine the involvement of global accountancy firms in devising and selling tax avoidance schemes euphemistically marketed as “tax planning”.

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5265

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to examine the involvement of global accountancy firms in devising and selling tax avoidance schemes euphemistically marketed as “tax planning”.

Design/methodology/approach

The study draws upon a range of secondary sources, including legal cases and government reports, to demonstrate how “tax planning” involves “wilful blindness” to complicity in dubious and sometimes fraudulent activity.

Findings

The study reveals in detail the construction and promotion of elaborate tax avoidance schemes by big accounting firms. It casts doubt upon the “business culture” that has become established in these firms.

Research limitations/implications

The study relies upon secondary sources. Subject to gaining adequate access to the big accounting firms, research based upon close-up investigation of “tax planning” would further illuminate such practices.

Practical implications

The study shows how normalised and institutionalised “tax planning” schemes have become in the big four accounting firms. It suggests that such schemes require closer scrutiny if payments of tax are to be made as intended, and thereby provide the revenues required to maintain public services such as education, health and pensions.

Social implications

The study informs a debate about the payment of taxes and the role of big accounting firms in creating aggressive tax avoidance schemes. It questions the appropriateness and adequacy of private regulation of these firms and so contributes to a public debate on the tax contribution of comparatively powerful and privileged parties.

Originality/value

The study “blows the whistle” on the role of big accounting firms in devising schemes that reduce the “tax take” on business and thereby reduces the revenues required to provide and maintain public services.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 23 October 2009

Jonathan Murphy

The purpose of this paper is to argue for more widespread and consistent engagement of critical management scholars in influencing policy debates on globalisation, social…

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2105

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to argue for more widespread and consistent engagement of critical management scholars in influencing policy debates on globalisation, social and economic justice, and the proper role of international business.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper explores the reasons that critical management studies (CMS) scholars have been relatively absent from the policy debate surrounding the global economic crisis beginning in 2007. It begins by reviewing the opportunities for policy engagement provided by the crisis, and outlining some of the notable contributions to the debate that have been made by critical management scholars. The paper lists and discusses six factors that need to be addressed if CMS is to have a bigger practical policy impact in the future.

Findings

The paper asserts that the critical management scholarly community could have been more effective in the contemporary global economic crisis. Some common policy objectives need to be settled upon, including a global focus on egalitarianism. There is a need to move beyond the exhausted epistemological debate between Marxism and post‐structuralism, and to pay more attention to practical policy impact. CMS scholars should resist academic narrow‐casting, keep a focus on meta‐narratives, and treat each other more collegially.

Originality/value

The paper encourages discussion within the critical management scholarly community on the need for engagement in practical policy debate and advocacy.

Details

Critical perspectives on international business, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 21 October 2013

Jamie Morgan

The paper's aim is to explore the impact of statistical arbitrage and high-frequency trading as hedge fund investment strategies that have a significant impact on the…

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2068

Abstract

Purpose

The paper's aim is to explore the impact of statistical arbitrage and high-frequency trading as hedge fund investment strategies that have a significant impact on the environment of corporations.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is a meta-analysis of the role of investment strategies within complex systems.

Findings

The growth of hedge fund investment activity based on statistical arbitrage tends to produce a vulnerability; more funds using the strategy helps to create the profitable outcomes that the strategy relies upon. However, the growth also reduces the time lines of profitability and produces an underlying instability based on overlapping holdings and the use of leverage. The shortened timelines also create a further impetus towards technological competition and promotes high frequency trading, which then introduces further vulnerabilities based on “stop-loss cascades”.

Research limitations/implications

Much of the trading creates a superficial form of liquidity, which gives a limited sense of market vulnerabilities. The basis of complex interactions between high frequency traders is also not clearly understood. Researchers and agents of policy ought to pay greater attention to the issues than is currently the case.

Originality/value

The area is one that is under-researched.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

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