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Can managers prepare their organisations for the unexpected and unforeseeable? The purpose of this paper is to argue that organisations that endure and survive a serious…
Can managers prepare their organisations for the unexpected and unforeseeable? The purpose of this paper is to argue that organisations that endure and survive a serious disruption to homeostasis may as a consequence be better equipped to survive further and more devastating attacks.
This hypothesis is based on a naturally occurring biological survival mechanism termed hormesis. Hormesis describes a controversial biological phenomenon where the organism overcompensates and adaptation occurs after exposure to low doses of toxins. Hormesis protects the organism against subsequent repeat exposure to more lethal doses.
Hormetic effects may occur in an organisation just as it does in a biological entity following exposure to a life‐threatening disruption, inoculating it against potentially more lethal recurrences. Disruption in an organisational context may include negative environmental impacts, incidences of management incompetence, or consequences of competitive hostilities. It is argued that lessons can be applied from examples of biological hormesis, particularly lessons related to the hormetic recovery stages of overcompensation and adaptation as part of an evolutionary survival mechanism for organisations.
Organisational hormesis may have the potential to produce growth and advancement that would not normally occur under ordinary circumstances. Hormesis demonstrates more than a step in an organisational learning process as it conveys an adaptive response designed to prevent future disruptions. Hormesis is a healing process with foresight, “designed” with the intent of increasing organisational fitness within a rapidly changing environment. It has been “designed” with the knowledge that the environment may yet dispense an even greater challenge, still to be met. In this respect the hormetic process defies evolutionary dogma which claims that evolutionary processes are blind that evolution can only react to and compensate for past pressure rather than being able to predict and prepare for future threats. After recovery from disruption, managers may, for cost cutting and other expedient purposes, cease recovery or restructuring activities. This action may unwittingly interfere with the hormetic overcompensation stage, thereby interfering with evolutionary adaptation processes. As a consequence, the organisation's ability to repel more severe disruptions may be compromised. Some firms are prematurely liquidated or downsized before they can develop hormetic response mechanisms. As demonstrated by the Xerox example, liquidation in 2000 would have been a catastrophic mistake.
Provides a post‐mortem examination searching for possible explanations for organisational phenomena that have as yet been adequately explained.
There has been substantial interest in US cesarean rates, which increased from 5% of deliveries in the 1970s to nearly one-third of births by the mid-2000s. Explanations…
There has been substantial interest in US cesarean rates, which increased from 5% of deliveries in the 1970s to nearly one-third of births by the mid-2000s. Explanations typically emphasize individual risk factors (e.g., advanced maternal age, increased BMI, and greater desire for control over delivery) of women giving birth, or address institutional factors, such as the medicalization of childbirth and the culture of liability leading physicians to practice defensive medicine. We focus here on another non-medical explanation – childbirth education (CBE). CBE is an important, underexplored mechanism that can shape women’s expectations about labor and birth and potentially lead them to expect, or desire, a cesarean delivery as a normalized outcome. We analyze data from three waves (2002, 2006, 2013) of the Listening to Mothers national survey on US women’s childbearing experiences (n = 3,985). Using logistic regression analysis, we examined both mode of delivery (vaginal versus cesarean), and attitudes about future request for elective cesarean among both primiparous and multiparous women. Despite previous research suggesting that CBE increased the likelihood of vaginal delivery, we find that CBE attendance was not associated with likelihood of vaginal delivery among either primiparous or multiparous women. However, both primiparous and multiparous women who attended CBE classes were significantly more likely to say they would request a future, elective cesarean. Furthermore, these effects were in the opposite direction of effects for natural birth attitudes. Our findings suggest that contemporary CBE classes may be a form of “anticipatory socialization”, potentially priming women’s acceptance of medicalized childbirth.
There is extensive research documenting the physical outcomes of childbirth, but significantly less on socio-psychological outcomes. Investigating women’s perception of…
There is extensive research documenting the physical outcomes of childbirth, but significantly less on socio-psychological outcomes. Investigating women’s perception of dignified treatment during birth contributes to a salient, under-examined aspect of women’s childbirth experiences.
We use a two-part conceptualization of dignity, respect and autonomy, to understand how birth experiences and interactions either facilitate or undermine women’s perceived dignity. Data came from the Listening-to-Mothers I survey, the first nationally representative study of postpartum women in the United States (n = 1,406). Through linear regression analysis, we separately modeled women’s perception of respectful treatment and women’s perception of medical autonomy during birth.
Overall women reported high scores for both autonomy and respect. Differences between the models emerged related primarily to the role of interventions and provider support. While women’s perceived dignity is related to elements that she brings in to the delivery room (e.g., birth knowledge, health status), much variation was explained by the medical encounter itself (e.g., type of medical interventions, pain management, nurse support, and number of staff present).
This study is cross-sectional, and required either a telephone or internet access, thus limiting the full generalizability of findings. Two findings have direct practical relevance for promoting women’s dignity in childbirth. First, the number of staff persons present during labor and birth was negatively associated with both respect and autonomy. Second, that women with high levels of knowledge about their legal rights during childbirth were more likely to report high scores on the dignity scale. Limiting staff in the delivery room and including knowledge of legal rights in childbirth education or during prenatal visits may be two mechanisms to promote dignity in birth.
These findings address an important, under-examined aspect of women’s childbirth experiences. This study investigates how different birth experiences and interactions either promote or violate childbearing women’s perception of dignity, and has significant implications for the provision of maternal healthcare. The results reinforce the importance of focusing on the socio-psychological dimensions of childbirth.
This paper aims to offer an account of the research process and reflects on feminist research practice. It discusses methodological issues based on the author's experience…
This paper aims to offer an account of the research process and reflects on feminist research practice. It discusses methodological issues based on the author's experience as a PhD student in sociology carrying out fieldwork with women in Latin America. The paper makes the research process transparent and shows how feminist epistemologies inform the research strategies the author used in the field.
This is a reflexive piece about the methodology and method used and the dilemmas encountered in the author's empirical work as a feminist doctoral researcher. It considers biographical issues and personal interests in relation to the research.
The article discusses methodological assumptions and feminist epistemologies. It examines the interview as a research method as well as interviewing skills. It reflects on research practice, considering power issues, feminist challenges in the field, and the topic of reflexivity and otherness.
The article provides an account of feminist research practice, and considers the roles and skills of the researcher when interviewing. It contributes to knowledge by providing real examples of feminist research in Latin America.
This article reviews the contents of the previous year's editions of the Journal of Children's Services (Volume 2, 2007), as requested by the Journal's editorial board. It…
This article reviews the contents of the previous year's editions of the Journal of Children's Services (Volume 2, 2007), as requested by the Journal's editorial board. It draws out some of the main messages for how high‐quality scientific research can help build good childhoods in western developed countries, focusing on: the need for epidemiology to understand how to match services to needs; how research can build evidence of the impact of prevention and intervention services on child well‐being; what the evidence says about how to implement proven programmes successfully; the economic case for proven programmes; the urgency of improving children's material living standards; how to help the most vulnerable children in society; and, lastly, the task of measuring child well‐being.
This article looks at girls who fight in order to evaluate theories of education for marginalized girls. As oppositional culture and educational resistance theories…
This article looks at girls who fight in order to evaluate theories of education for marginalized girls. As oppositional culture and educational resistance theories suggest for boys’ misconduct in school, girl fights are found to be a product of deindustrialization, family expectations, and peer culture. Within peer groups of marginalized students an oppositional culture develops such that girls gain respect from their peers by fighting because they demonstrate a necessary toughness. Girls who fight have a complicated relationship to education. Contrary to oppositional culture theory, these girls value educational achievement. However, the girls’ relationships with teachers are strained. Teachers do not appreciate “tough” girls. Race, class, and gender together construct a student culture that produces girls who fight in school.
Presents the results of an investigation into effective methods of peer‐led sexual health promotion work with young gay and bisexual men. The study recruited a group of…
Presents the results of an investigation into effective methods of peer‐led sexual health promotion work with young gay and bisexual men. The study recruited a group of young gay and bisexual men from Southampton who underwent training to participate in a peer‐led sexual health intervention in which they conducted one‐to‐one interviews with a selection of their peers. Reports briefly on the key learning to arise from the process of recruiting and training peer educators, and in greater depth concerning the quasi‐experimental evaluation of the intervention the peer educators participated in to promote sexual health. The study found that rapport and familiarity between project workers and potential recruits aided the recruitment process, and that informal, confidence‐building activities were key factors in the effectiveness of the peer educators’ training. The peer educators were most effective in terms of information provision, but weaker on the exploration of attitudes and beliefs, or the encouragement of safer sexual behaviour. The advantages associated with the intervention included its ability to target individuals in a range of community settings, to stimulate in‐depth discussion about sexual health, to identify individual needs and to facilitate outcome evaluation over time.
In 1899 the medical practitioners of Dublin were confronted with an outbreak of a peculiar and obscure illness, characterised by symptoms which were very unusual. For want of a better explanation, the disorder, which seemed to be epidemic, was explained by the simple expedient of finding a name for it. It was labelled as “beri‐beri,” a tropical disease with very much the same clinical and pathological features as those observed at Dublin. Papers were read before certain societies, and then as the cases gradually diminished in number, the subject lost interest and was dropped.