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Article
Publication date: 31 July 2007

Julie Verity

The purpose of this article is to raise issues about how managers think strategically. Specifically, it concerns issues about the appeal of relatively simple, economic…

1277

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to raise issues about how managers think strategically. Specifically, it concerns issues about the appeal of relatively simple, economic concepts at the expense of those that are more complex and involve an understanding of human nature.

Design/methodology/approach

Learning in the article is drawn from two sets of observations: the study of a successful company, conducted over a period of eight years since 1997, and teaching the case study to classes of business students, managers and executives.

Findings

Managers find relatively simple economic concepts, such as economies of scale, attractive in explaining why companies are successful, and are keen to hold to this reasoning even when there is evidence that challenges the basis of their thinking. The article suggests that this is true in the classroom and in practice. This way of thinking is compared with the reality in the case where competitive advantage arises from complex combinations of tangible and intangible resources, the source of which is the motivations and passions of leaders or deeply held philosophies and beliefs in the company's culture.

Practical implications

The article argues against the inclination of managers to focus too strongly on rational, economic concepts in their strategic thinking and practice. It gives examples of why this is dangerous. The article also postulates the length of time it might take a leader to fully appreciate the nature of a company's success and illustrates the fragility of sustainable competitive advantage if this knowledge is not transferred from leader to successor.

Originality/value

Sound strategic decisions are not made with rational thinking alone. A deep understanding of human nature, especially what motivates people, is at least as important and could be vital to prevent destroying competitive advantage.

Details

Business Strategy Series, vol. 8 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-5637

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 April 2008

Richard Olivier and Julie Verity

The paper explores the potential of Mythodrama as a leadership learning intervention. It suggests that the new leadership capabilities required for future organizational…

849

Abstract

Purpose

The paper explores the potential of Mythodrama as a leadership learning intervention. It suggests that the new leadership capabilities required for future organizational success, can be built with this methodology.

Design/methodology/approach

Henry V – Shakespeare's greatest inspirational leader – is used as case study to explain the Mythodrama methodology and some of the lessons that can be learnt about leadership from Henry's story.

Findings

Mythodrama is a powerful intervention for learning and rehearsing leadership behaviors. Great leaders have a repertoire of styles and demonstrate judgment about which style is relevant to the context. Authentic leadership requires self‐knowledge, belief and commitment, there is the potential to explore these personal traits through the mythodrama methodology.

Practical implications

Effective leaders are increasingly recognized as one of the most valuable assets of the organization. Hence, truly transforming learning methodologies – those that can touch people personally and deeply – promise to add future value to organizations that employ them.

Originality/value

Introduces and explores the potential of a leadership learning intervention. Explains how the methodology works and describes some of the skills and behaviors leaders can rehearse.

Details

Business Strategy Series, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-5637

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 September 2005

Reviews the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoints practical implications from cutting‐edge research and case studies.

4278

Abstract

Purpose

Reviews the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoints 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

With an inherent history of decentralization, a belief in local autonomy and consensus decision making, a sudden shift in the balance of power from local advertising campaigns to a global strategy was a major change for oil giant Shell.

Practical implications

Provides strategic insights and practical thinking that have influenced some of the world's leading organizations.

Originality/value

The briefing saves busy executives 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. 21 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0258-0543

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 January 2005

Julie Verity

Between 1997 and 2002, Shell changed the way it organised its advertising activity, switching from a local approach to a global organisation. The transition was…

3887

Abstract

Purpose

Between 1997 and 2002, Shell changed the way it organised its advertising activity, switching from a local approach to a global organisation. The transition was significant, given the group's long history of decentralisation. It was also very successful. This paper explores how this transition was made by applying the theoretical lenses of the resource‐based view (RBV) and dynamic capability view (DCV).

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative data were collected in 2002 from key executives in Shell and J.W. Thompson from which observations were made about Shell's transition and the change process. These observations are then explored further by applying the theoretical lens of the RBV and its natural extension, the DCV, testing what could be learned from the practical application of these theories.

Findings

A dynamic capability is identified as a significant reason for Shell's success. A second important factor was that Shell did not attempt to copy an organisation with an apparent superior capability. The paper concludes that firms generally should search for internal asymmetries on which to build resources.

Originality/value

The RBV and DCV are not new as approaches to strategic thinking, but they do remain mainly of interest to the academic community at the theoretical level. There is little empirical work that makes the concepts easily accessible to practitioners through example and translation into “everyday” experience. This paper makes a contribution in this area.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 43 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 October 2008

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

634

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

The paper finds that being the best company means having the best leaders at the helm. Effective leadership development should therefore be high on any organizational agenda. But that might not be enough. Today's global business environment makes wide ranging demands on leaders to the extent that only training of the highest quality will ensure they measure up to the task. Standing out from the crowd often involves doing things differently. With regard to leadership development, that can involve looking beyond the usual context in order to succeed. Many organizations realize this and some are recognizing the potential of drama to make a valuable contribution to training programs. According to Harvard University professor George P. Baker, “drama is a great revealer of life”. One translation of this in business terms is that it helps highlight the skills and qualities needed to turn ordinary people into great leaders.

Practical implications

The paper provides strategic insights and practical thinking that have influenced some of the world's leading organizations.

Originality/value

The briefing saves busy executives 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

Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, vol. 22 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7282

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 January 2005

Kazem Chaharbaghi, Andy Adcroft and Robert Willis

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the relationship between three concepts: organisations, transformability and the dynamics of strategy. These three concepts…

2895

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the relationship between three concepts: organisations, transformability and the dynamics of strategy. These three concepts together with their interrelationships are central in explaining the life cycle of organisations, their survival and renewal.

Design/methodology/approach

The development of this explanation has been based on bringing together a diversity of perspectives. Each perspective provides a horizon of understanding by directing attention in a particular way. The benefits of this approach are that it avoids the pitfalls of one‐dimensionalism. This approach more accurately reflects the multi‐faceted reality within which organisations operate.

Findings

Discusses, compares and contextualises the findings and approaches of the papers in this special issue.

Originality/value

The perspectives considered represent a small sample of the diversity that exists. However, this sample as serves a starting‐point in developing a wider, more holistic debate that aims to bring theory and practice together.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 43 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1994

The Technology Collaboration Agreement signed by SilverPlatter and CARL Corporation is symptomatic of the way boundaries between electronic delivery technologies are…

Abstract

The Technology Collaboration Agreement signed by SilverPlatter and CARL Corporation is symptomatic of the way boundaries between electronic delivery technologies are eroding. CDROM specialist SilverPlatter and CARL, a provider of integrated library systems and document delivery services, made the agreement to work together long term with the aim of cutting out duplication and complementing each other's strengths.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

Article
Publication date: 1 August 2001

Clive Wynne, Pierre Berthon, Leyland Pitt, Michael Ewing and Julie Napoli

The Internet is an important new channel for commerce in a wide range of industries. While the opportunities afforded by this phenomenon seem readily apparent, there is…

12311

Abstract

The Internet is an important new channel for commerce in a wide range of industries. While the opportunities afforded by this phenomenon seem readily apparent, there is still much debate and speculation on exactly how the use of the Internet and in particular the World Wide Web will affect established industries. In this article we analyse the value chain of the tourism industry, using as a case study the tourism industry in South Africa. Specifically, we examine the roles played by intermediaries in the distribution chain and explore the threats and opportunities that the emergence of the Internet, and other associated trends, present for the industry. Based on this, a profile is made for successful new intermediaries and, finally, we assess the implications of this profile on the control of the electronic channel.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1998

Julie Froud, Colin Haslam, Sukhdev Johal, Jean Shaoul and Karel Williams

Using the example of capital charging in UK hospitals, this paper shows how new public policy initiatives are justified through forms of persuasion without numbers and can…

1289

Abstract

Using the example of capital charging in UK hospitals, this paper shows how new public policy initiatives are justified through forms of persuasion without numbers and can be challenged with empirics. A reading of official and academic texts shows how the official problem definition focuses on poor asset utilisation. Hospital accounts are then reworked to show that, although poor asset utilisation was never a major problem, the introduction of capital charges could disrupt service provision. The conclusion is that the operation of NHS hospitals should be understood in terms of distributive conflict, rather than inefficiency. Through practical demonstration, the authors of this article aim to encourage accounting researchers to use numbers to challenge public policy definitions.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 July 1993

Dorothy Day, Geoff McKim, Douglas Orchard, April Purcell, David Wachsmann and Elisabeth Davenport

The authors consider a group of commercial vendors who may be potential agents or players in electronic document supply. The group examines five potential providers of…

Abstract

The authors consider a group of commercial vendors who may be potential agents or players in electronic document supply. The group examines five potential providers of products/services: Dow Jones, Geac, OCLC, Faxon, RLG using Malone's 1989 comments on electronic markets as a framework, and using Porter's analytics to describe competition, and the role of technology in conferring advantage. The authors suggest that electronic document supply has produced an observable shift in exchange relationships between suppliers and buyers: the former are regrouping into partnerships which offer a confusing range of options to clients.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 45 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

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