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Article
Publication date: 7 March 2023

Mark N. Wexler and Judy Oberlander

Strategic pivoting, the decision to invest in shifting the attention of an organization, is no longer limited to early-stage organizations and entrepreneurs but has, without a…

Abstract

Purpose

Strategic pivoting, the decision to invest in shifting the attention of an organization, is no longer limited to early-stage organizations and entrepreneurs but has, without a discussion of complications, been applied to large corporations and public agencies.

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual paper defines strategic pivoting, highlights the centrality of pivoting in new and entrepreneurial organizations and critically examines its application as a strategy fostering organizational agility in corporations.

Findings

Pivoting in the corporate context complicates the ease of executing an attention shift by introducing a path-dependent momentum that requires modification of the time horizon, stakeholder strategy and the frequency of pivoting.

Practical implications

This comparative examination of pivoting highlights the importance of organizational size, complexity, degree of specialization and path-dependent history when deciding to pivot.

Originality/value

The present ease with which the strategic pivot is treated as an adaptive strategy to corporate leaders seeking greater flexibility overstates the ease of execution.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 45 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2021

Mark N. Wexler and Judy Oberlander

The purpose of this paper is to investigate COVID-19 as a super crisis in the design and management of places.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate COVID-19 as a super crisis in the design and management of places.

Design/methodology/approach

This theory-driven work outlines why and how, by treating COVID-19 as a super crisis, the immunological view rises in priority and swiftly ushers in short- and long-term implications for space design and place management.

Findings

First, this paper looks at the short-term impact of COVID-19 upon space and place management in addressing how porous bubbling, stippling and flexible curtaining respond to immediate retrofitting needs during the pandemic. Using the concept of COVID-19-induced collective trauma, this paper draws attention to health-care facilities, schools, workplaces, commercial buildings and public outdoor spaces. These sites require short-term improvisation in place and space design and will, where the collective trauma of COVID-19 leaves strong traces, require long-term redesign and rethinking.

Social implications

As a super crisis, COVID-19 generates contradictions in the existing trend in space and place studies from the notion of space and place as a container to one focusing on “flow.” A focus on flow highlights a focus on space and place as adaptable to changes in flow, especially as augmented and mediated by technology.

Originality/value

This treatment of COVID-19 as a super crisis is intended to stimulate the design and management of spaces and places in the post-COVID-19 period.

Details

Journal of Place Management and Development, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8335

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 May 2023

Mark N. Wexler and Judy Oberlander

The purpose of this study is to examine the new normal within a continuum of three types of disruption, each of varying duration. References to the new normal draw attention to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the new normal within a continuum of three types of disruption, each of varying duration. References to the new normal draw attention to the periodic and rising importance of different levels, types, and consequences of game-changing disruption for those in governance roles.

Design/methodology/approach

In this conceptual research, given the discussion of a return to normalcy near the expected end of the COVID-19 pandemic, the authors organize the literature on disruption in governance into a disruption continuum – emergency, crisis and super crisis – to demonstrate the differences in each type of disruption to establish a distinct view of the new normal.

Findings

Within the three types of disruption, the first two suit the rational authority model in which disruption is turned over to those in governance roles. However, the rational authority model comes under attack in the super crisis and is increasingly associated with the post-truth era.

Social implications

In Type 3 disruptions or super crises, the failure of those in control to set the parameters of the new normal raises concerns that the center no longer holds, and as a result, the assumption of an attentive public splinter into multiple contending publics, each with its version of data, facts and images.

Originality/value

The new normal is typically treated after the result of a black swan or rare and surprising long-lived disruption. In this work, the formulation of the recurrence, ubiquity and controversy engendered by super crises suggests that it is one of the features attenuating and giving rise to fractious incivility in the post-truth era.

Details

Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6166

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 September 2020

Mark N. Wexler and Judy Oberlander

This paper examines the relevance of the wicked problem continuum, particularly the emergence of super wicked challenges for public leadership researchers. Contemporary theorizing…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper examines the relevance of the wicked problem continuum, particularly the emergence of super wicked challenges for public leadership researchers. Contemporary theorizing on public leadership adequately deals with tame challenges, struggles with wicked problems and remains in the dark with regards to the implications of super wicked problems

Design/methodology/approach

The wicked problem continuum provides a typology or set of dilemmas running from tame to wicked through to super wicked problems. These different problem types are treated as if they were on a three-zone continuum in which the difficulty of solving or substantially reducing the problem varies from relatively low to very high.

Findings

We delineate the three-problem contexts in the wicked problem continuum and discuss the ideal type of organization thriving in each zone. We then posit two opposing wicked problem interpretations-taming and wilding- for those interested in public leadership. Taming calls for prudent, results-oriented leaders employing tried and tested practices. Wilding demands leaders who test the status quo by seeking alternatives.

Social implications

On the global leadership agenda, wilding problems—those calling attention to the super wicked zone—are escalating. Despite this, public leaders' training lacks a framework for making sense of these urgent and publicly contentious super wicked problems.

Originality/value

Public policy researchers are beginning to direct attention to super wicked problems such as climate change, and pandemics. This work introduces the wicked problem continuum and demonstrates its pertinence for researchers of public leadership.

Details

International Journal of Public Leadership, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-4929

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 January 2021

Mark N. Wexler and Judy Oberlander

This conceptual paper draws together an interdisciplinary approach to robo-advisors (RAs) as an example of an early and successful example of automated, programmed professional…

1567

Abstract

Purpose

This conceptual paper draws together an interdisciplinary approach to robo-advisors (RAs) as an example of an early and successful example of automated, programmed professional services.

Design/methodology/approach

Little is known about the forces driving this change in the delivery of professional service. This work explores the drivers of RAs, the degree of disruption incurred by the introduction of RAs, and how, as RAs advance, trust in algorithmic authority aids in legitimating RAs as smart information.

Findings

From the firms' perspective, the drivers include rebranding occasioned by the financial crisis (2008), the widening of the client base and the “on-trend” nature of algorithmic authority guided by artificial intelligence (AI) embedded in RAs. This examination of the drivers of RAs indicates that professional service automation is aligned with information society trends and is likely to expand.

Practical implications

Examining RAs as an indicator of the future introduction of programmed professional services suggests that success increases when the algorithmic authority in the programmed serves are minimally disruptive, trustworthy and expand the client base while keeping the knowledge domain of the profession under control of the industry.

Originality/value

Treating RAs as an early instance of successfully embedding knowledge in AI and algorithmically based platforms adds to the early stages of theory and practice in the monetization and automation of professional knowledge-based services.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 December 2021

Mark N. Wexler and Judy Oberlander

This conceptual paper explores the implications for the sociology of the professions of robo-advice (RA) provided by robo-advisors (RAs) as an early example of successfully…

Abstract

Purpose

This conceptual paper explores the implications for the sociology of the professions of robo-advice (RA) provided by robo-advisors (RAs) as an early example of successfully programmed algorithmic knowledge managed by artificial intelligence (AI).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors examine the drivers of RAs, their success, characteristics, and establish RA as an early precursor of commercialized, programmed professional advice with implications for developments in the sociology of the professions.

Findings

Within the lens of the sociology of the professions, the success of RAs suggests that the diffusion of this innovation depends on three factors: the programmed flows of automated professional knowledge are minimally disruptive, they are less costly, and attract attention because of the “on-trend” nature of algorithmic authority guided by AI. The on-trend nature of algorithmic governance and its increasing public acceptance points toward an algorithmic paradox. The contradictions arise in the gap between RA marketed to the public and as a set of professional practices.

Practical implications

The incursion of RA-like disembodied advice into other professions is predicted given the emergence of tech-savvy clients, the tie between RA and updatable flows of big data, and an increasing shift to the “maker” or “do-it-yourself” movements.

Originality/value

Using the success of RAs in the financial industry, the authors predict that an AI-managed platform, despite the algorithmic paradox, is an avenue for growth with implications for researchers in the sociology of the professions.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 43 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 January 1987

Mark N. Wexler

Grid‐group analysis is grounded in a humanistic conception of social science but, it is argued, it has flaws when applied to the analysis of the environmental movement…

141

Abstract

Grid‐group analysis is grounded in a humanistic conception of social science but, it is argued, it has flaws when applied to the analysis of the environmental movement. Environmentalism is not “border” country particularly as existing only in opposition to a “centre”. Grid‐group analysis loses clarity when forced into a “border versus centre” format. And the grid‐group analysis of sub‐cultures is not sufficiently well developed; the lack of a clear holistic frame plays havoc with efforts to derive solid policy.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 January 1990

Mark N. Wexler

To those concerned with challenges and challengers to conventional wisdom, the entirely credible perception of ours as a planet in the midst of a deep environmental crisis offers…

Abstract

To those concerned with challenges and challengers to conventional wisdom, the entirely credible perception of ours as a planet in the midst of a deep environmental crisis offers fruitful grounds for analysis. Crises stimulate those who have, in the existence of the crisis, firm proof that the wisdom which girds the status quo is deficient and/or those who apply it are. This is particularly true when the crisis is perceived to be grave and dread‐laden. Skin cancer due to the depletion of the ozone layer is on the increase. Large, at times devastating, climate changes are loose upon the planet. Whether given quasi‐ scientific names like the “greenhouse effect” or lumped together in a melange of “acid rain”, “toxic waste” and “industrial cancers”, the result is the same. Rational citizens of the everyday‐person‐on‐the‐street sort feel threatened. The threat is given shape and substance by the mass media. The environmental crisis is a credible crisis. One need not list radical political activism as one's vocation to list the environmental crisis as one of one's fears as we enter the 1990's.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Article
Publication date: 4 September 2009

Mark N. Wexler

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relevance for sociologically minded planners and policy analysts of the neglected moral dimension of wicked problems.

6355

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relevance for sociologically minded planners and policy analysts of the neglected moral dimension of wicked problems.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of the literature on the wicked‐tame problem distinction reveals three critical deficiencies: a fixed focus on dynamic complexity; a neglect of the applied knowledge market and the assumption that wicked problems, in time, are tamable. These deficiencies, in light of the call to dialogue and participation in working through wicked problems, result in four interrelated normative problems.

Findings

These normative problems are the: responsibility nexus; risk of false assurance; politics of urgency; and claim to be on the knowledge frontier.

Practical implications

Addressing these normative problems in working with wicked problems requires less marketing of the silver bullet elements of the solution and more attention to that portion of the wicked problem which still requires attention.

Originality/value

This is the first work to return to Churchman's call to policy analysts, planners and designers to take the moral dimensions of wicked problems in hand when working with intractable network‐based problems requiring ongoing client/user participation.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 29 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 April 2015

Mark N. Wexler

The purpose of this paper is to highlight both the contribution and the present need to reconfigure the literature on “queue culture” as a precursor of the sociology of waiting…

1466

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to highlight both the contribution and the present need to reconfigure the literature on “queue culture” as a precursor of the sociology of waiting.

Design/methodology/approach

The study employs a legal-structural lens in comparing the initial conceptual treatment of the archetypal “waiting line” with the “line” modifying sociology of waiting that results in waiting rooms, number and telephone queues and in the experience of online waiting.

Findings

The initial conception of the culture of the queue understates the importance of three factors: first, the role of third parties in the design, management and inculcation of rules binding those experiencing thick time; second the degree to which communication technology and its attachment to the “mobilities” paradigm has thinned the experience of thick time and lastly the degree to which the increasing commodification of the wait has resulted in the creation of waiting time as a form of pay as you go flexitime.

Social implications

The social construction of waiting and the experience of thick time are shown to be increasingly part of the privatized market experience where queue management innovations not only are commercialized but have strong implications for the egalitarian social assumptions imbedded in the initial queue culture based sociology of waiting. Policy implications support the present pay for use philosophy increasingly applied in the transition from public to private management of space.

Originality/value

The self-policing “fairness” of the waiting line is now open to scrutiny given the proliferation of the newly shaped distributional logics imbedded in the management, design and use of waiting spaces.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 35 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

1 – 10 of 123