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Article

Lawrence T. Corrigan and Daphne Rixon

Electric cooperatives may be seen as an alternative form of organizing in the shadow of investor-owned utilities. They are presumed able to meet financial challenges while…

Abstract

Purpose

Electric cooperatives may be seen as an alternative form of organizing in the shadow of investor-owned utilities. They are presumed able to meet financial challenges while simultaneously honoring cooperative principles of member-owners. This paper aims to investigate such a balancing act and conceptualize “key performance indicators” (KPIs) as a dramatic accounting discourse.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses a dramaturgical approach to cooperative performance accounting, and claims that KPIs are a simplification of a complex and shifting reality which they also socially construct. Data were gathered from annual financial reports and websites of rural electric cooperatives along with semi-structured interviews conducted with senior cooperative officials.

Findings

The cooperatives in this case study reported a huge number of KPIs. However, this paper reveals that the performance indicators serve impression management goals and operational demands rather than reporting on fulfillment of the “Seven Cooperative Principles” that are fundamental to the cooperative movement.

Research limitations/implications

Extant inquiry regarding electric cooperatives tends toward a positivist research approach and a realist worldview. This overlooks dramatic and critical possibilities of KPIs as a management construction project. Expanding beyond mainstream research, this paper calls attention to artistic production of knowledge and applies a qualitative framework to problematize accounting disclosures.

Originality/value

Prior KPI research has often been instrumental, looking for predictive evidence that KPIs have strategic value as a “tool” for organizations to attain competitive advantage. This paper introduces the notion that performance measures are theatrical, and applies this to rural electric cooperatives, an industry mostly ignored in the academic literature.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

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Article

Mary A. Furey, Lawrence T. Corrigan and Jean Helms Mills

This study aims to examine the textual performance of the Ocean Ranger Disaster inquiry, thus responding to recent calls to “practice context” in historical writing. This…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the textual performance of the Ocean Ranger Disaster inquiry, thus responding to recent calls to “practice context” in historical writing. This study goes beyond the epistemological assumptions about the grounds for knowing about the past as the authors explore how history is produced in the context of power relations.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper imagines history-making as a storytelling performance. The authors combine critical historiography and critical sensemaking because these qualitative perspectives help us to understand the composition of the Ocean Ranger Royal Commission Report.

Findings

This case study makes a contribution within the genre of disaster inquiry reporting. The study explains how a formal historical record (the public inquiry report) may be created and how the report is related to aspects of power embedded in a writer’s sense of reality.

Social implications

The Ocean Ranger Disaster continues to be of tremendous importance to the people of Newfoundland, Canada. There have been numerous studies of the disaster, but these have been overwhelmingly focused on technical matters. To authors’ knowledge, this study is the first to consider the inquiry from an historical context perspective.

Originality/value

The study site enables reflection on a question not often asked in the management history literature: How can we critically understand the composition of an official disaster inquiry report in the context of its power relations?

Details

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

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Article

Peter Secord and Lawrence T. Corrigan

The purpose of this paper is to theorize the social role of management systems and their political connections using ANTi-History. In so doing, it engages with academic…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to theorize the social role of management systems and their political connections using ANTi-History. In so doing, it engages with academic conversations around the writing of business history. The paper focuses on subjective experience in the context of colonial privateers and the vice-admiralty court in the Napoleonic Wars era.

Design/methodology/approach

ANTi-History is proposed as a theoretical lens to examine the entrepreneurial work of privateers. ANTi-History destabilizes the idea of history as a dominant account of the past and is interested in controversies as to how history is produced. This paper also brings-in Bourdieu’s notion of officialization because historical knowledge is situated in official practices that conceal translations and political strategies that enable actor-networks to act as one.

Findings

The controls of the vice-admiralty court not only perpetuated the inherited British class system, but also created versions of reality that came to be accepted as recorded history. This shows that the rules and regulations of the court were not neutral accounting activities. The systems constituted the identity of actors and produced privateer history as a modernist knowledge of the past and officialized by western, white, male, elites.

Originality/value

The “historic turn” in management and organization studies has not been fully realized more than a decade after its introduction. This paper engages with the historic turn by providing a specific exemplar of history as applied to officialized accounts of colonial privateers. Using ANTi-History as a methodological approach also makes a contribution by promoting it beyond a prolonged descriptive phase.

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Connecting Values to Action: Non-Corporeal Actants and Choice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-308-2

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Insights and Research on the Study of Gender and Intersectionality in International Airline Cultures
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-546-7

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Book part

Lawrence T. Corrigan and Albert J. Mills

In this chapter we explore the relationship between current gendered practices and past conditions through the lens of actor-network theory (ANT). In particular we are…

Abstract

In this chapter we explore the relationship between current gendered practices and past conditions through the lens of actor-network theory (ANT). In particular we are interested in the viability of ANT as a lens for studying the past and in ways that can be reconciled with feminist thought. We argue that although there is some nonresonance between ANT and feminist theorizing, using ANT in a critically historicist way allows some of the barriers between ANT and feminism to be broken down. We synthesize an approach to study gendered organizational processes that exist in and over time, identifying and surfacing some of the actants (i.e., human and material factors that encourage people to act) that work together within networks to produce gendered effects such as ongoing discriminatory practices. We trace these effects using the history of Air Canada as an exemplar, in the process noting the conceptual and ontological differences between the past and history. Finally, the advantages of a critically historical ANT are discussed as a way to achieve a level of fusion between ANT and feminist thought.

Details

Insights and Research on the Study of Gender and Intersectionality in International Airline Cultures
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-546-7

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Article

Lawrence T. Corrigan and Louis Beaubien

The purpose of this paper is to develop and apply Goffman's dramaturgical perspective to the study of organizations in the context of their internet presence(s), or as…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop and apply Goffman's dramaturgical perspective to the study of organizations in the context of their internet presence(s), or as Goffman might have called it, internet play-acting. The paper responds to recent criticism of dramaturgy, and advocates its continuing relevance for organizational studies on the contemporary stage – the internet.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper studies the proposed merger of three accounting bodies in Canada using data obtained from publically available sources and employing dramaturgical techniques. Data includes documents (such as position papers, PowerPoint slides and practitioner journal articles). Particular attention was paid to sources of data from the internet such as YouTube videos, web sites, on-line media stories and chat from discussion boards.

Findings

The paper concludes that the criticisms of dramaturgy are overstated, and that dramaturgy enables robust recovery of complex organizational stories providing insights into how and why individual behaviour unfolds in organizations.

Originality/value

The paper is directed to qualitative researchers working in the interpretive tradition. It engages with the recent discussion in the literature which considers the significance of dramaturgy as a useful methodology to understand the emergence of behaviour and action, and how internet activities unfold in such a powerful and ubiquitous communication medium.

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

Keywords

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Abstract

Details

Connecting Values to Action: Non-Corporeal Actants and Choice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-308-2

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Book part

Ho Kwan Cheung, Eden King, Alex Lindsey, Ashley Membere, Hannah M. Markell and Molly Kilcullen

Even more than 50 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited discrimination toward a number of groups in employment settings in the United States, workplace…

Abstract

Even more than 50 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited discrimination toward a number of groups in employment settings in the United States, workplace discrimination remains a persistent problem in organizations. This chapter provides a comprehensive review and analysis of contemporary theory and evidence on the nature, causes, and consequences of discrimination before synthesizing potential methods for its reduction. We note the strengths and weaknesses of this scholarship and highlight meaningful future directions. In so doing, we hope to both inform and inspire organizational and scholarly efforts to understand and eliminate workplace discrimination.

Details

Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-263-7

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Connecting Values to Action: Non-Corporeal Actants and Choice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-308-2

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