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Article
Publication date: 14 March 2019

Tina Ollgaard Bentzen

Public organizations are constantly offered new ideas and concepts that involve a substantial investment of resources when it comes to translating them into organizational…

Abstract

Purpose

Public organizations are constantly offered new ideas and concepts that involve a substantial investment of resources when it comes to translating them into organizational practice. An especially powerful group of such concepts in the discourse of organizations comprises so-called “magic concepts” that both pose opportunities and challenges for public leaders trying to translate them. Although critical discussion about the value of popular concepts has been intense in existing research, there is still little knowledge about the factors that determine why some magic concepts have a pervasive influence, while others quickly go out of fashion and leave little trace in organizational practice. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

By combining insights from public leadership theory, implementation theory, institutional theory and organizational psychology, this paper outlines four dimensions that are central to the robustness of the organizational translation of magic concepts. The paper develops a conceptual model labeled “The Translational Diamond,” which suggests that the robust translation of organizational concepts depends on the level of both strategic and local anchoring, as well as the interplay between reflection and experimentation in the translation process. The Translational Diamond is applied in two embedded case studies, which offer insight into the variance between two organizational departments attempting to translate the same magic concept.

Findings

A central argument in the “translational diamond” is that bigger, balanced diamonds reflect more robust translations than smaller, warped diamonds. The results support this assumption. Although the translation of trust involves challenges in both departments, there are much more severe difficulties in the social department, which is characterized by a notably smaller and much more warped diamond than the health and care department.

Research limitations/implications

While this paper argues that strategic and local anchoring and the interplay between reflection and experimentation play a crucial role in the translation of magic concepts, there may be other factors at stake in the process. For example, Røvik argues that the skill of the individual translators engaged in the process is important for creating a robust translation (Røvik, 2007). In addition, magic concepts are potentially involved in a power battle with other magic concepts that are constantly competing for organizational attention (Hood, 2005). Such power dynamics may substantially influence actors’ engagement in translation, but are not within the scope of this paper.

Practical implications

For public leaders, the translational diamond may serve as a conceptual framework that can spur their understanding of, and reflection about, how to support the translation of magic concepts in their organization. For example, archetypically warped diamonds can illustrate the problems that might occur if translation is not sufficiently anchored in all four dimensions. Translating organizational concepts involves respect for the inherent dilemmas of securing a balance between strategic and local perspectives, as well as the strengths of securing feedback loops between reflection and experimentation. These dimensions will not necessarily be equally balanced at all times in the process of translating magic concepts. The conceptual model of the translational diamond may help leaders to understand the current status of a translation and guide them in their endeavor to support a better balance.

Originality/value

While symbolic change may serve other organizational purposes than effectiveness, this paper addresses the under-studied question of how organizational concepts are translated robustly into practice. The originality of the “translational diamond” is its focus on “how” rather than “whether” the translation of magic concepts should be attempted. In addition, the diamond’s integration of theoretical constructs from leadership theory, implementation theory, institutional theory and organizational theory offers a more nuanced understanding of central dimensions impacting organizational translation at a practical level.

Details

International Journal of Public Leadership, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-4929

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 April 2021

Jeanette Kirk, Thomas Bandholm, Ove Andersen, Rasmus Skov Husted, Tine Tjørnhøj-Thomsen, Per Nilsen and Mette Merete Pedersen

The aim of this study is to explore and discuss key challenges associated with having stakeholders take part in co-designing a health care intervention to increase…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study is to explore and discuss key challenges associated with having stakeholders take part in co-designing a health care intervention to increase mobility in older medical patients admitted to two medical departments at two hospitals in Denmark.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used a qualitative design to investigate the challenges of co-designing an intervention in five workshops involving health professionals, patients and relatives. “Challenges” are understood as “situations of being faced with something that needs great mental or physical effort in order to be done successfully and therefore tests a person's ability” (Cambridge Dictionary). Thematic content analysis was conducted with a background in the analytical question: “What key challenges arise in the material in relation to the co-design process?”.

Findings

Two key challenges were identified: engagement and facilitation. These consisted of five sub-themes: recruiting patients and relatives, involving physicians, adjusting to a new researcher role, utilizing contextual knowledge and handling ethical dilemmas.

Research limitations/implications

The population of patients and relatives participating in the workshops was small, which likely affected the co-design process.

Practical implications

Researchers who want to use co-design must be prepared for the extra time required and the need for skills concerning engagement, communication, facilitation, negotiation and resolution of conflict. Time is also required for ethical discussions and considerations concerning different types of knowledge creation.

Originality/value

Engaging stakeholders in co-design processes is increasingly encouraged. This study documents the key challenges in such processes and reports practical implications.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 35 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1999

Michelle Lynn Kaarst‐Brown and Daniel Robey

Much research on information technology (IT) emphasizes the rational aspects of IT use. However, cultural analyses have considered IT as a symbolic artifact open to social…

Abstract

Much research on information technology (IT) emphasizes the rational aspects of IT use. However, cultural analyses have considered IT as a symbolic artifact open to social interpretation. This article presents findings from ethnographic studies of two large insurance organizations to illustrate how cultural assumptions about IT are implicated in IT management. We employ the metaphor of magic as an interpretive lens to generate five archetypes of IT culture: the revered, controlled, demystified, integrated, and fearful IT cultures. Each of these archetypal cultural patterns reflects different assumptions about the “magic” of IT and the “wizards” who control its powers. These patterns are similar to social responses to the unknown that have been found in human cultures for hundreds of years. The metaphor itself was drawn from the language of the two organizations. All five archetypes were manifest in both of the companies studied, suggesting that organizations do not necessarily develop unified symbolic meanings of IT. Although separately each archetype invites novel insights into the management of IT in organizations, together they reveal even deeper interpretations consistent with contemporary theories of cultural differentiation and fragmentation.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1988

Howard S. Schwartz

The US manned space flight program is interpreted as an expression of American culture. Since the inception of the program one can detect a regression in the projected…

Abstract

The US manned space flight program is interpreted as an expression of American culture. Since the inception of the program one can detect a regression in the projected image from that which the original astronauts built around themselves to that which NASA constructed with Christa McAuliffe — the “teacher‐in‐space”. The first represents the theme of the American attaining immortality through competence. The second, characterized by the “denial of difference,” represents the American as a participant at “Disneyland‐in‐space”. The capacity to manage technological achievement is present in the former and absent in the latter, in which the concept of technology is replaced by the concept of magic. It is suggested that the same cultural regression may be found in the recent history of American organizational culture.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 17 April 2018

Yasu Coronado Martínez, Mara Rosas Baños and Hazael Cerón Monroy

This study aims to reveal the potential for ecotourism of a locality with high marginalisation index in the municipality of Tlalpujahua, a Magic Town in the State of…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to reveal the potential for ecotourism of a locality with high marginalisation index in the municipality of Tlalpujahua, a Magic Town in the State of Michoacán, Mexico.

Design/methodology/approach

This case study was based on several methodologies. First, socioeconomic, environmental, sustainability, geographic and institutional variables were used in the evaluation of 62 localities of the municipality. Geographic information systems identified study areas and determined their potential for ecotourism. Second, participatory diagnosis was used to collect specific information about the locality regarding their organisational aspects, development strategies, current socioeconomic problems, land use and resources availability and interest in developing projects related to ecotourism. Finally, the authors adapted the FAS Model (factors, attractors and support systems) to include environmental and organisational variables contributing to a theoretical approach to ecotourism. To identify attractors, they applied a questionnaire to determine the profile of tourists visiting Magic Towns and their potential interest in ecotourism.

Findings

The authors conclude that ecotourism is a possible alternative to highly marginalised localities within Magic Town municipalities and would be able to expand the benefits engendered by the program. Ecotourism can therefore represent a new option for tourists visiting marginalised communities in Mexico.

Originality/value

A diverse methodology applied key elements to identify localities suitable for ecotourism, characteristics of marginalisation and endowment of natural heritage. The authors conclude that the benefits to localities included in the Magic Towns Program can be expanded to surrounding spaces through strategies such as ecotourism.

Details

Journal of Tourism Analysis: Revista de Análisis Turístico, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2254-0644

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Book part
Publication date: 13 January 2021

Dieter Declercq

Abstract

Details

Satire, Comedy and Mental Health: Coping with the Limits of Critique
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-666-2

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Book part
Publication date: 5 April 2019

Anthony J. O’Tierney, Donncha Kavanagh and Kevin Scally

In this chapter, the authors explore the concept of actorial identity through analysing the construction of legal persons as actors, centred on the argument that there is…

Abstract

In this chapter, the authors explore the concept of actorial identity through analysing the construction of legal persons as actors, centred on the argument that there is an ontological separation between living men and women and their legal representations. The authors propose an analytical frame based in part on the games studies literature, wherein actorial identities known as ‘Avatars’ are created by performative declarations that articulate Avatars with Players (living persons). The Avatars act within a bounded ‘Matrix’ while being controlled by Players who are outside the Matrix. In applying the frame to the legal Matrix, the authors distinguish between living persons, natural persons and artificial persons, and introduce the concepts of first-order and second-order Avatars. The authors then employ the analytical frame to model the use of legal Avatars by Apple Inc. and illustrate how cryptocurrency technology enables the creation of Avatars that can transact outside legal systems. The frame also helps explain how autonomous systems could acquire actorial identity and then functionally participate in the legal Matrix.

Details

Agents, Actors, Actorhood: Institutional Perspectives on the Nature of Agency, Action, and Authority
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-081-9

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2000

Jacob Thommesen

Abstract

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Book part
Publication date: 4 January 2016

Tanja Klenk and Markus Seyfried

Quality management is high on the reform agenda of both universities and hospitals. This paper studies how quality management is implemented: who is responsible for QM and…

Abstract

Quality management is high on the reform agenda of both universities and hospitals. This paper studies how quality management is implemented: who is responsible for QM and which instruments are used? The guiding research question is whether these two very distinct professional organizations respond in similar or different ways to a common reform trend. To analyze the extent of isomorphic tendencies a cross-sectoral, descriptive data analysis with data from 135 hospitals and 83 universities in Germany has been conducted. The results show that QM in hospitals is more elaborated in terms of quality instruments and at the same time more standardized. Universities, in contrast, follow quite individualistic ways to organize quality management.

Details

Towards a Comparative Institutionalism: Forms, Dynamics and Logics Across the Organizational Fields of Health Care and Higher Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-274-0

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Article
Publication date: 10 August 2015

Aaron Wolfgang Baur, Julian Bühler and Markus Bick

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the development of software pricing, following the advent of cloud-based business intelligence & analytics…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the development of software pricing, following the advent of cloud-based business intelligence & analytics (BI & A) Software. A value-based conceptual software model is developed to ignite and structure further research.

Design/methodology/approach

A two-step research approach is applied. In step one, the available literature is screened and evaluated, and this is followed by ten semi-structured expert interviews. With that input, a conceptual software pricing model is designed. In step two, this model is validated and refined through discussions with representatives of the five leading business intelligence suites.

Findings

The paper sheds light on the value perception of customers and suggests a clear focus on the interaction between customers and vendors, and less on technical issues. The developed customer-centric, value-based pricing framework helps to improve pricing techniques and strategies.

Research limitations/implications

The research is focused on the pricing strategy of software houses and excludes differentiations of technical specifications and functionalities.

Practical implications

The research can support practitioners in the field of BI & A in rethinking their pricing methods. Placing the customer at center stage can lead to lower customer churn rates, higher customer satisfaction and more pricing flexibility.

Originality/value

This empirical study reveals the importance of a customer-centric pricing approach in the specific case of BI & A. It can also be applied to other fast-developing sectors of the software industry.

Details

Journal of Systems and Information Technology, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1328-7265

Keywords

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