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Article
Publication date: 11 June 2018

Michael Price, Charles Harvey, Mairi Maclean and David Campbell

The purpose of this paper is to answer two main research questions. First, the authors ask the degree to which the UK corporate governance code has changed in response to…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to answer two main research questions. First, the authors ask the degree to which the UK corporate governance code has changed in response to both systemic perturbations and the subsequent enquiries established to recommend solutions to perceived shortcomings. Second, the authors ask how the solutions proposed in these landmark governance texts might be explained.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors take a critical discourse approach to develop and apply a discourse model of corporate governance reform. The authors draw together data on popular, corporate-political and technocratic discourses on corporate governance in the UK and analyse these data using content analysis and the historical discourse approach.

Findings

The UK corporate governance code has changed little despite periodic crises and the enquiries set up to investigate and make recommendation. Institutional stasis, the authors find, is the product of discourse capture and control by elite corporate actors aided by political allies who inhabit the same elite habitus. Review group members draw intertextually on prior technocratic discourse to create new canonical texts that bear the hallmarks of their predecessors. Light touch regulation by corporate insiders thus remains the UK approach.

Originality/value

This is one of the first applications of critical discourse analysis in the accounting literature and the first to have conducted a discursive analysis of corporate governance reports in the UK. The authors present an original model of discourse transitions to explain how systemic challenges are dissipated.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 31 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 10 February 2015

Mairi Maclean, Charles Harvey and Gerhard Kling

Bourdieu’s construct of the field of power has received relatively little attention despite its novelty and theoretical potential. This paper explores the meaning and…

Abstract

Bourdieu’s construct of the field of power has received relatively little attention despite its novelty and theoretical potential. This paper explores the meaning and implications of the construct, and integrates it into a wider conception of the formation and functioning of elites at the highest level in society. Drawing on an extensive dataset profiling the careers of members of the French business elite, it compares and contrasts those who enter the field of power with those who fail to qualify for membership, exploring why some succeed as hyper-agents while others do not. The alliance of social origin and educational attainment, class and meritocracy, emerges as particularly compelling. The field of power is shown to be relatively variegated and fluid, connecting agents from different life worlds. Methodologically, this paper connects biographical data of top French directors with the field of power in France in a novel way, while presenting an operationalization of Bourdieu’s concept of the field of power as applied to the French elite.

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Article
Publication date: 7 October 2014

Mairi Maclean and Charles Harvey

The purpose of this study is to explore some of the distinctive features of organizing and organization in France which set it apart from organization in other nations…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore some of the distinctive features of organizing and organization in France which set it apart from organization in other nations, and which are fundamental to its modus operandi. In particular, this article is concerned with elite connectivity and concerted action by elite “connectors”.

Design/methodology/approach

The research underpinning this article stems from a cross-national comparative project on business elites and corporate governance in France and the UK. This has three dimensions, being quantitative, qualitative and case study-based. Concerted action by the ruling elite is explored through two illustrative vignettes: the ousting from office of Jean-Marie Messier and State-sponsored expansion as pursued by EDF. Both examples shed light on the French business elite’s response to globalization and the development of international business.

Findings

The paper finds elite cohesion to be achieved quite differently in the two countries. In addition, it finds that the ties that bind French connectors tend to be strong and institutionally based.

Practical implications

The case of EDF suggests that the most ambitious of State-sponsored strategies can also be the most successful. It implies that elite ideologies in France have deviated relatively little from sentiments expressed by Rousseau and de Gaulle concerning the primacy of the national interest and the conviction that firms can serve as an (expansionist) instrument of the nation. The Messier case illuminates the pattern of close relationships among the French business elite. It demonstrates how a strategy of expansion may come unstuck when it is not grounded in the customary modes of business regulation.

Originality/value

This research confirms a slight preference on the part of the French business elite for more homogenous ties. Against this, the paper demonstrates that a significant proportion of the French elite act as boundary spanners, brokering relationships with others from more distant parts of the wider network. The integration of the French elite in the Eurozone has potentially favored bridge-building relationships and weakened national embeddedness. This may contribute to the decline of indigenous interlocks, while promoting the further internationalization of top management teams. The implications of this for organizational strategy, firm survival and economic performance form an agenda for future research.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 21 November 2008

Nicholas O'Regan and Mairi Maclean

The purpose of this paper is to interview Richard Lapthorne, Chairman, Cable and Wireless plc.

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449

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to interview Richard Lapthorne, Chairman, Cable and Wireless plc.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper takes the form of an interview.

Findings

Richard Lapthorne gives his thoughts on corporate governance.

Originality/value

Provides valuable insights from the Chairman of a notable plc.

Details

Journal of Strategy and Management, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-425X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

David Sarpong and Mairi Maclean

The purpose of this paper is to emphasize the multi-ethnic marketplace as the site of the emergence of service nepotism: the practice where employees bestow relational…

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1235

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to emphasize the multi-ethnic marketplace as the site of the emergence of service nepotism: the practice where employees bestow relational benefits and/or gifts on customers on the basis that they share a perceived common socio-collective identity. The authors draw on the contemporary turn to practice in social theory to explore why ethnic employees may engage in service nepotism even when they are aware that it contravenes organizational policy.

Design/methodology/approach

Given the paucity of empirical research which investigates the multi-ethnic marketplace as a locus for the emergence of service nepotism, the authors adopted an exploratory qualitative research approach to advance insight into service nepotism. The study benefits from its empirical focus on West African migrants in the UK who represent a distinct minority group living in urban areas of the developed world. Data for the study were collected over a six-month period, utilizing semi-structured interviews as the primary method of data collection.

Findings

The research highlights the occurrence and complexities of service nepotism in the multi-ethnic marketplace, and identifies four distinct activities (marginal revolution, reciprocal altruism, pandering for recognition, and horizontal comradeship), that motivate ethnic employees to engage in service nepotism, despite their awareness that this conflicts with organizational policy.

Research limitations/implications

By virtue of the chosen theoretical lens, the authors were unable to demonstrate how service nepotism could be observed outside spoken language. Also, care should be taken in generalizing the findings from this study given the particularities of the sub-group involved. For example, since the study is based on a small sample of first generation migrants, the findings may not hold true for their offspring, whose socialization and marketplace experiences may be qualitatively different from those of their parents.

Practical implications

Service nepotism challenges fundamental western egalitarian ideals in the multi-ethnic marketplace. Organizations may wish to develop strategies to placate observers’ concerns of creeping favouritism in a supposedly equitable marketplace. The research could also serve as a starting point for managers objectively to assess the likely impact of service nepotism on the organizing value systems and competitiveness. In particular, the authors suggest that international marketing managers would do well to look beneath the surface to see what is really going on in international marketplaces, since ostensible experiences of marketplace consumption may not always reflect underlying reality.

Originality/value

By using service nepotism as an analytical category to explore the marketplace experiences of ethnic service employees living and working in industrialized societies, the research shows that the practice of service nepotism, whilst taken for granted, can have far-reaching impact on individuals, observers, and service organizations in an increasingly highly differentiated multi-ethnic society.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 32 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 22 August 2008

Nicholas O'Regan and Mairi Maclean

The purpose of this paper is to interview Sir John Parker, Chairman of the National Grid.

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356

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to interview Sir John Parker, Chairman of the National Grid.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper takes the form of an interview.

Findings

Sir John Parker shares his thoughts and advice on a range of topics, including leadership challenges, decision making and strategic direction.

Originality/value

Provides valuable insights from one of the most influential directors in British business.

Details

Journal of Strategy and Management, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-425X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2021

Rene Arseneault, Nicholous M. Deal and Jean Helms Mills

The purpose of this paper is to answer the question of where the course of the collective efforts in historical research on business and organizations has taken this…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to answer the question of where the course of the collective efforts in historical research on business and organizations has taken this discipline. By raising two key contributions that have sought to reshape the contours of management and organizational history, the authors trace the work of their field since their inception and, in doing so, critique the utility of these typologies as representative of diverse historical knowledge in management and organization studies (MOS).

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on elements of an integrative review that seeks to critically appraise the foundation of knowledge built in a scholarly field, the authors interrogate the historical knowledge that has been (and is being) produced in three leading management and organizational history journals by synthesizing the posture history takes as an object and subject of study in MOS. Over 400 articles were closely examined and categorized using Rowlinson et al.’s (2014) research strategies in organizational history and Maclean et al.’s (2016) four conceptions of history. Then, this research was used to examine the integrity of these two typologies and their practice by management historians.

Findings

The bulk of the work our field has produced mirrors an analytically structured history feel – where “doing history” straddles careful divide between data analysis and narrative construction. Narrating as a conception of history used in organization studies research remains the most subscribed representation of the past. It was found that while some work may fit within these typologies, others especially those considered peripheral of mainstream history are difficult to confine to any one strategy or conception. The authors’ examination also found some potential for a creative synthesis between the two typologies.

Research limitations/implications

Because only three management history journals are used in this analysis, bracketed by the choice of the periodization (between 2016 and 2019 inclusive), this study must not be viewed as being wholly representative of all historical research on business and organizations writ-large.

Practical implications

This research attempts to demonstrate the recent direction management and organizational historians have taken in crafting history. The authors embrace the opportunity to allow for this paper to act as a tool to familiarize a much broader audience to understand what has been constituted as historical research in MOS to-date and is especially useful to those who are already contributing to the field (e.g. doctoral students and junior scholars who have demonstrable interest in taking up historically inspired dissertations, articles, chapters and conference activities).

Originality/value

The research conducted in this article contributes to the debates that have sought to define the scholastic character of management and organizational history. The authors build on recent calls to take part in creating dialogue between and among each other, building on the collective efforts that advance history in both theory and practice.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 20 February 2009

Nicholas O'Regan and Mairi Maclean

The purpose of this article is to determine the views of Professor David Audretsch.

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375

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to determine the views of Professor David Audretsch.

Design/methodology/approach

The article takes the form of an interview.

Findings

Professor David Audretsch shares his thoughts and advice on an “entrepreneurial society” where there is a rethinking of fundamental economic and business ideas, where innovation and entrepreneurship emerge as the driving forces of competitiveness and growth, but institutions and public policies facilitating innovation and entrepreneurship play a key role.

Originality/value

The aricle provides valuable insights from one of the world's most frequently cited economists.

Details

Journal of Strategy and Management, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-425X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 19 October 2015

Carlos Ramirez, Lindsay Stringfellow and Mairi Maclean

The small accounting practice, despite being the most numerous part of the profession by number of firms, remains largely under-researched. Part of the reason the small…

Abstract

Purpose

The small accounting practice, despite being the most numerous part of the profession by number of firms, remains largely under-researched. Part of the reason the small practice category remains elusive is that researchers find it difficult to precisely define the object to study, and yet, this may be precisely the reason for studying it. Envisaging how this category is “represented” in institutionalized settings, constitutes a rich agenda for future research as it allows the small practitioner world to be connected to the issue of intra-professional segmentation. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper proposes reinvigorating research around Bucher and Strauss’ (1961) conceptualization of professions as “segments in movement”. At the same time as advocating a better investigation of the small practitioner segment itself, it suggests to take the latter as an example to further explore the vision of professions as segments “more or less delicately held together”. To this end, there is a potential for cross-fertilization between Bucher and Strauss’ research programme and a range of other theoretical frameworks.

Findings

The discussion points towards how small practice, as a segment whose history and characteristics reflect the different struggles that have led to the creation of the professional accounting body and marked its subsequent evolution, is far from insignificant. Segmenting the profession in categories related to “size” offers an opportunity to deal with an under-investigated aspect of professions’ sociology and history, which encapsulates its inherent diversity and hierarchy. Whilst the professional body may replicate the hierarchy that structures broader society, the meaning of small itself, within a hierarchy of organizations, is also a relative concept. It is politically charged, and must be delicately managed in order to maintain harmony within the polarized professional space.

Originality/value

The small practitioner has been much overlooked in the accounting literature, and the literature on the professions has overemphasized aspects of its cohesiveness. The authors contribute a revitalized agenda for researchers to explore the dynamics of heterogeneity and unity in the professional body, by focusing a lens on the small practice and extending the “segments in movements” premise beyond the functional division of professions.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 28 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 7 October 2014

Peter Stokes, Eric Davoine and Ewan Oiry

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536

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

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