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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2007

Dariusz Jemielniak

The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a qualitative study of software engineers' perception of dress code, career, organizations, and of managers.

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1495

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a qualitative study of software engineers' perception of dress code, career, organizations, and of managers.

Design/methodology/approach

The software engineers interviewed work in three European and two US companies. The research is based on ethnographic data, gathered in two longitudinal studies during the period 2001‐2006. The methods used in the study include open‐ended unstructured interviews, participant observation, collection of stories, and shadowing.

Findings

It was found that the majority of software engineers denounce formal dress‐codes. The notion of career was defined by them mostly in terms of occupational development. They perceived their own managers as very incompetent. Their view on corporations was also univocally negative. The findings confirm that software engineers form a very distinctive occupation, defining itself in opposition to the organization. However, their distinctiveness may be perceived not only as a manifestation of independence but also contrarily, as simply fulfilling the organizational role they are assigned by management.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the organizational literature by responding to the call for more research on high‐tech workplace practices, and on non‐managerial occupational roles.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article
Publication date: 13 September 2011

Chris Papenhausen

Previous research has shown that eras of managerial rhetorics have alternated between normative and rational ideologies. The purpose of this study is to test the influence…

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399

Abstract

Purpose

Previous research has shown that eras of managerial rhetorics have alternated between normative and rational ideologies. The purpose of this study is to test the influence of generational membership on this phenomenon.

Design/methodology/approach

Examining data for the past 130 years, eras of managerial rhetorics are matched with recurring generational archetypes.

Findings

Empirical evidence is analyzed and found to be generally supportive of the hypotheses: generational membership is associated with the timing of the alternation in managerial rhetorics.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of association suggest generational change could be a causal driver of long‐term change in managerial rhetorics.

Practical implications

The model tested implies a predictive ability to anticipate the movement from the current normative rhetoric to a new rational rhetoric in the near future.

Originality/value

This study is the first to find evidence that the alternation between rational and normative managerial rhetorics is related to generational effects.

Details

Management Research Review, vol. 34 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8269

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

Margitta B. Beil‐Hildebrand

This ethnographic investigation of a general hospital aims to critically analyse a much lauded corporate culture. Rather than accepting the managerial and academic claims…

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1398

Abstract

Purpose

This ethnographic investigation of a general hospital aims to critically analyse a much lauded corporate culture. Rather than accepting the managerial and academic claims concerning the mobilisation of corporate culture at face value, this study builds upon a labour process analysis and takes a close look at how it actually seems to work.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper explores and describes how executive managers seek to design and impose corporate culture change and how it affects the nursing employees of this organisation. This was achieved by means of a six month field study of day‐to‐day life in the hospital's nursing division.

Findings

The results lend little support to the official claims that, if managerial objectives are realised, they are achieved through some combination of shared values and employee participation. The evidence lends more support to the critical view in labour process writing that modern cultural strategies lead to increased corporate control, greater employee subjection and extensive effort intensification. The contradiction this brings into the working lives of the employees leads to the conclusion that the rhetoric of corporate culture change does not affect the pre‐existing attitudes and value orientations of nursing employees. However, there were considerable variations in how employees received the managerial message and thus, by their degree of misbehaviour and adaptation, affected the organisation itself as well as using the cultural rhetoric against the management for their own ends.

Originality/value

The paper concludes that an extended labour process analysis is necessary to challenge the way in which corporate culture change is explored and described by management academics and practitioners.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 19 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 January 2021

Margitta B. Beil-Hildebrand

This ethnographic revisit of a general hospital aims to critically explore and describe the mechanisms of corporate culture change and how institutional excellence is…

Abstract

Purpose

This ethnographic revisit of a general hospital aims to critically explore and describe the mechanisms of corporate culture change and how institutional excellence is facilitated and constrained by everyday management practices between 1996/1997 and 2014/2015.

Design/methodology/approach

A five-month field study of day-to-day life in the hospital's nursing division was conducted by means of an ethnographic revisit, using participant-observation, semi-structured interviews, free conversations and documentary material.

Findings

Using labour process analysis with ethnographic data from a general hospital, the corporate culture is represented as faceted, complex and sophisticated, lending little support to the managerial claims that if corporate objectives are realised, they are achieved through some combination of shared values, beliefs and managerial practices. The findings tend to support the critical view in labour process writing that modern managerial initiatives lead to tightened corporate control, advanced employee subjection and extensive effort intensification. The findings demonstrate the way in which the nursing employees enthusiastically embrace many aspects of the managerial message and yet, at the same time, still remain suspicious and distance themselves from it through misbehaviour and adaptation, and, in some cases, use the rhetoric against management for their own ends.

Practical implications

What are the implications for clinical and managerial practitioners? The recommendations are to (1) develop managerial practitioners who are capable of managing change combined with the professional autonomy of clinical practitioners, (2) take care to practise what you preach in clinical and managerial reality, as commitment, consent, compliance and difference of opinion are signs of a healthy corporate culture and (3) consider the implications between social structures and human actions with different work behaviours on different levels involved.

Originality/value

This ethnographic revisit considers data from a labour process analysis of corporate culture change in a general hospital and revisits the ways in which contradictory expectations and pressures are experienced by nursing employees and management practitioners spread 17 years apart.

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 1995

Paul Thompson and Julia O′Connell Davidson

The need for a permanent revolution in organizational structuresand use of human resources is legitimated by reference to the need toadapt to ever more turbulent times…

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994

Abstract

The need for a permanent revolution in organizational structures and use of human resources is legitimated by reference to the need to adapt to ever more turbulent times. This gives rise to and is sustained by a distinctive anti‐bureaucratic rhetoric based largely on over‐hyped, unrepresentative examples and misunderstood processes. However, though empirically unsustainable, the rhetoric survives, in part because this kind of managerial discourse is playing by different rules. Explores and challenges the internal dynamics of this discourse to show that the rhetoric of discontinuity has been a continuous feature. Uses case studies of privatized utilities and analysis of the literature to explore both the gap between rhetoric and reality, and how managers operate in that gap.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2006

Carlos Cabral‐Cardoso

Although the gap between rhetoric and reality is not a specific human resource management (HRM) feature, the disconnection between discourse and action seems to have…

Abstract

Although the gap between rhetoric and reality is not a specific human resource management (HRM) feature, the disconnection between discourse and action seems to have reached unusual stages in this case. Not much is known about HRM in Portugal, but it is clear that Portuguese academics and practitioners have extensively adopted the global HRM rhetoric. With an environment apparently unfavorable to the HRM normative model, this paper examines the ways in which global HRM rhetoric meets Portuguese reality.

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Management Research: Journal of the Iberoamerican Academy of Management, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1536-5433

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1996

David Collins

Attempts to reanalyze the concept of empowerment as it relates to management. Tracing the origins and nature of management, outlines a case for viewing empowerment as part…

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3879

Abstract

Attempts to reanalyze the concept of empowerment as it relates to management. Tracing the origins and nature of management, outlines a case for viewing empowerment as part of a larger system of management control innovations, or cocktails of control. Does not seek to debunk or dismiss empowerment as simply founded on control, and so unworthy of serious analysis. Instead, using the concept of governance, attempts to analyze how managers use the rhetoric of empowerment to secure control. From here analyzes the limits to managerial control, founded on empowerment. Offers observations and conclusions for future research on empowerment.

Details

Empowerment in Organizations, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4891

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Abstract

Details

The Ideological Evolution of Human Resource Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-389-2

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Article
Publication date: 22 June 2021

Binh Bui, Olayinka Moses and John Dumay

The authors unpack the critical role of rhetoric in developing and justifying the New Zealand (NZ) government's coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) lockdown strategy.

Abstract

Purpose

The authors unpack the critical role of rhetoric in developing and justifying the New Zealand (NZ) government's coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) lockdown strategy.

Design/methodology/approach

Using Green's (2004) theory of rhetorical diffusion, the authors analysed government documents and media releases before, during and after the lockdown to reconstruct the government's rationale.

Findings

The blending of kairos (sense of urgency and “right” time to act), ethos (emphasis on “saving lives”), pathos (fear of disruption and death) and selective use of health-based logos (shrinking infection rates), prompted fast initial adoption of the lockdown. However, support for the rhetoric wavered post-lockdown as absence of robust logos became apparent to the public.

Research limitations/implications

The authors implicate the role of rhetoric in decision-makers’ ability to successfully elicit support for a new practice under urgency and the right moment to act using emotionalisation and moralisation. The assessment of the NZ government's response strategy provides insights decision-makers could glean in developing policies to tame the virus.

Practical implications

This study’s analysis demonstrates the unsustainability of rhetoric in the absence of reliable information.

Originality/value

The authors demonstrate the consequences of limited (intermittent) evidence and disregard for accounting/accountability data in public policy decisions under a rhetorical strategy.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2001

Duane Windsor

Corporate social responsibility is one of the earliest and key conceptions in the academic study of business and society relations. This article examines the future of…

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6878

Abstract

Corporate social responsibility is one of the earliest and key conceptions in the academic study of business and society relations. This article examines the future of corporate social responsibility. Bowen's (1953) key question concerned whether the interests of business and society merge in the long ran. That question is assessed in the present and future contexts. There seem to be distinctly anti‐responsibility trends in recent academic literature and managerial views concerning best practices. These trends raise significant doubts about the future status of corporate social responsibility theory and practice. The vital change is that a leitmotif of wealth creation progressively dominates the managerial conception of responsibility. The article provides a developmental history of the corporate social responsibility notion from the Progressive Era forward to the corporate social performance framework and Carroll's pyramid of corporate social responsibilities. There are three emerging alternatives or competitors to responsibility: (1) an economic conception of responsibility; (2) global corporate citizenship; and (3) stakeholder management practices. The article examines and assesses each alternative. The article then assesses the prospects for business responsibility in a global context. Two fundamentals of social responsibility remain: (1) the prevailing psychology of the manager; and (2) the normative framework for addressing how that psychology should be shaped. Implications for practice and scholarship are considered.

Details

The International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1055-3185

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