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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2017

Steven Segal and Kyle Bruce

The purpose of this paper is to disclose new pathways for research and for understanding the relationship between management, philosophy and history.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to disclose new pathways for research and for understanding the relationship between management, philosophy and history.

Design/methodology/approach

Textual exegesis of the key protagonists in terms of a critical explanation or interpretation of text.

Findings

In contrast to textbook forms of philosophy developed under conditions of abstraction from practice, it is in the context of practice that managers develop their way of thinking. More particularly, the authors have demonstrated through the exemplars of Semler and Welch, how as managers are disrupted in their workday practices of “living forward”, they are able to become reflexively attuned to the taken-for-granted common sense and ideas that have been implicit guides to them. As they are able to recognise their taken-for-granted background common sense, they are able to critique this, subject it to change and, thus, open-up new possibilities for living forward.

Originality/value

The focus of this paper has tended to be rather piecemeal and limited to the impact of particular philosophers on particular management thinkers. To date, there has been no philosophical contemplation of the practice of management per se nor, concomitantly, the pivotal but basically disregarded role of managers qua philosophers.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 June 2017

Kyle Bruce and Peter von Staden

Given managerial choices and the sociocultural context in which they are made are at the heart of management history, then an understanding of both is critical. This paper…

Abstract

Purpose

Given managerial choices and the sociocultural context in which they are made are at the heart of management history, then an understanding of both is critical. This paper argues that the “late” North (2005) provides such an understanding.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is a research review synthesizing much disparate but cognate literature across the new institutionalism in organizational sociology/studies and in economics.

Findings

“Late” North (2005) provides an important ontological frame for dealing with the so-called “paradox of embedded agency”, an approach that may afford management historians a more thorough account of how institutions are formed and change over time. North has always maintained that institutional change is the outcome of deliberate or intentional choices made by actors. However, and unlike his earlier work which ignores how humans come to make the said choices, North (2005) explicates the sociocognitive process by which intentionality emerges with expanded consciousness, as humans construct ideas and beliefs about reality, beliefs that shape decisions to alter the said reality via the process of institutional change.

Originality/value

It is rather curious that despite North’s status as a “historian”, management historians – or at least those publishing in this journal from its founding in 1995 – do not seem to be terribly interested in North’s work. Although North rates a mention in rival journals, other than Dagnino and Quattrone’s (2006) study, papers in this journal invoking institutional theory align with the new institutionalism in organizational sociology/studies (NIOS) rather than North’s new institutional economics (NIE). Even in the related sub-discipline of business history, those professing an interest in institutions are more interested in the NIE of non-historians Coase and Oliver Williamson than they are in North’s NIE. And, in recent work analysing the place and significance of institutional theory in historical research, the foundations are unmistakeably NIOS rather than North’s NIE.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 April 2016

Kyle Bruce

This paper explores the “proto-Keynesian” ideas of progressive members of the scientific management community with regard to micro- and macroeconomic planning/management.

2233

Abstract

Purpose

This paper explores the “proto-Keynesian” ideas of progressive members of the scientific management community with regard to micro- and macroeconomic planning/management.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a systematic exegetical analysis of articles published in a largely unexplored primary/archival source, the Bulletin of the Taylor Society between 1915 and 1934.

Findings

This paper surfaces a latent “proto-Keynesian” bedrock among progressive segments of the US management community that provides a more cogent explanation for the wholehearted reception, as well as the decisive impact, of Keynes’ ideas on US macroeconomic policy than do extant explanations in the history of economic thought. Further, it reveals that most of these progressive managers with views as to both cause of and solution for the 1930’s Depression were members of the Taylor Society, an epistemic community devoted to the ideas of Frederick Winslow Taylor, the father of scientific management.

Originality/value

The paper adds to the small but growing corpus of revisionist management history that seeks to problematize the received wisdom about scientific management or Taylorism. Few, if any, management historians appreciate that F. W. Taylor provided the basic planning tools which if developed, could enhance humanity’s control over anarchic market forces and aid the construction of a society based on democratic and effective planning.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

Kyle Bruce

This paper aims to identify and fill a gap in the knowledge of the contribution of Henry S. Dennison toward management and organization studies and problematize the…

1672

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to identify and fill a gap in the knowledge of the contribution of Henry S. Dennison toward management and organization studies and problematize the assumptions underlying the mainstream understanding of scientific management and human relations.

Design/methodology/approach

Primary sources are in the guise of archival papers, as well as published journal articles, books and book chapters; secondary sources in the guise of material about Dennison, as well as interviews with family and friends.

Findings

The paper concludes that Dennison made an original and enduring contribution to management theory including, but not isolated to, personnel management, organizational behavior and corporate governance that influenced key thinkers of his times.

Practical implications

Dennison was a practicing manager – in fact, he was the president of (what was) his family company which operates today as Avery Dennison – but he still found the time and energy for active public service and to peripatetically articulate his management “praxis”. The paper reveals that much of Dennison’s thoughts and deeds have much relevance today. Among other issues, in his concern with reducing labor turnover and unemployment, in devising and implementing effective personnel management and in his pioneering work on human motivation, group dynamics, goal congruence, worker empowerment and executive compensation, issues of profound importance to business leaders today can be found.

Originality/value

To date, only piecemeal attempts have been made to chronicle Dennison’s contributions to management and organization theory, but these have been scattered across the social sciences. There has been neither any systematic, consolidated synthesis of his contributions to management and organization studies nor of his impact on the thinking of key thinkers of his times.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 March 2016

Jimi Park and Shijin Yoo

This study attempts to answer why the predominant competitive reaction is non-reactive one in the previous literature by showing that some fluctuations of competitive…

Abstract

Purpose

This study attempts to answer why the predominant competitive reaction is non-reactive one in the previous literature by showing that some fluctuations of competitive reactions (CR) may average out to zero.

Design/methodology/approach

This research proposes a model for measuring competitive reaction volatility to examine whether a firm’s CR differs over time. A rolling-windows time series approach is applied to three different datasets.

Findings

The results show that firms indeed react to each other, but the types of reactions vary over time, thereby creating a misunderstood “no-reaction” in the literature.

Practical implications

This study may help understand the gap between academic findings (i.e., no-reaction) and managerial reality (i.e., marketing wars).

Originality/value

Although a firm’s CR should be understood as a series of managerial actions that may change over time, the extant literature has not considered this temporal variation of CR. This paper provides a systematic review of the empirically based literature and provides insights into the importance of strategic variation in competitive dynamics.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 54 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Article
Publication date: 3 March 2016

John Robert Anchor and Jehad Aldehayyat

The paper investigates the extent to which the institutional context impacts on strategic decision implementation in an emerging market. Previous studies of strategic…

1352

Abstract

Purpose

The paper investigates the extent to which the institutional context impacts on strategic decision implementation in an emerging market. Previous studies of strategic decision making in emerging markets have not examined decision implementation. Given the changes in the world economy during the past decade, and in particular the growing importance of emerging market multinationals, this is an increasingly salient issue.

Design/methodology/approach

Questionnaires were delivered to general managers in all Jordanian publicly quoted industrial firms. A 53.7% response rate was achieved. The structure of the questionnaire built on earlier studies in developed markets and, in particular, Alexander’s (1985) seminal study.

Findings

The strategic decision implementation problems which are found in Jordan are similar to those found in developed economies. However, external shocks are a more important influence on strategic decision implementation that has been found to be the case in developed economies. The success of companies in the emerging market of Jordan is associated with the frequency and extent of their experience of strategic decision implementation problems. Formal strategic planning helps Jordanian firms to deal with these problems more effectively.

Research limitations/implications

It was difficult to explore some of the “why” questions related to the implementation of strategic decisions in the sampled firms since most respondents agreed to complete the questionnaire but not to be interviewed. Single, rather than multiple, respondents participated in the research. A larger sample size would be desirable, although the results are statistically robust.

Practical implications

The results will help managers to make and implement strategic decisions, both in the context of market entry and market maintenance, in the Middle East and in other emerging markets.

Originality/value

Context (institutional) factors are found to be less influential in the case of decision implementation than strategic decision making itself. This is the first study of the problems associated with the implementation of strategic decisions in Jordanian firms and one of the first in any emerging market.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 54 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Content available
Article
Publication date: 13 June 2016

Bradley Bowden

232

Abstract

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

Content available
Article
Publication date: 12 June 2017

Bradley Bowden

162

Abstract

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

Article
Publication date: 1 July 2000

Kyle Bruce

Throughout his illustrious career Professor Clem Tisdell has displayed a holistic sense of scholarship rare amongst contemporary economists. Tisdell has been prepared to…

Abstract

Throughout his illustrious career Professor Clem Tisdell has displayed a holistic sense of scholarship rare amongst contemporary economists. Tisdell has been prepared to look both within and beyond his discipline and maintain a critical but balanced assessment of the shortcomings of mainstream microeconomic theory and the offerings of rival research programs on a broad range of economic issues, not the least of which includes the focus of this paper, business management. Having a penchant for Marshallian, “fieldwork‐driven” industrial economics and practical application of micro theory, Tisdell has traversed a range of topics of interest to management scholars including management motivation, R&D effort, business strategy, and institutional arrangements making for positive externalities and technology transfer. It is argued that this makes for a better “conversation” or dialogue between economists and management analysts, particularly strategy scholars, as both essentially have at heart a similar explanandum: the nature and causes of value and wealth creation conceived both in micro and in macroeconomic contexts.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 27 no. 7/8/9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 10 April 2017

Bradley Bowden

240

Abstract

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

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