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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Sarah Powell

This article's purpose is to record an interview with Professor Michael Roberto.

Abstract

Purpose

This article's purpose is to record an interview with Professor Michael Roberto.

Design/methodology/approach

The article focuses on the importance of stimulating debate and the need to work towards cultivating constructive conflict. Describes the idea behind this approach and explores the challenges involved. Lists the steps to be taken in introducing the process, ensuring maximum participation and avoiding an impasse or the build‐up of potentially damaging bad feeling between participants with opposing viewpoints. Discusses problems of hierarchy and status. Urges leaders to interact closely with front‐line staff to ensure leaders are not fed biased or distorted information or shielded from bad news. Reports that while many companies still avoid conflict, others are recognising its potential benefits when constructively channelled.

Findings

Professor Michael Roberto provides his view of the importance of stimulating debate and the need to work towards cultivating constructive conflict.

Originality/value

This article provides an interview with Professor Michael Roberto focusing on the importance of stimulating debate and the need to work towards cultivating constructive conflict while simultaneously building consensus to optimise the decision‐making process.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 44 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2013

Brian D. Waddell, Michael A. Roberto and Sukki Yoon

Research shows that teams often fail to surface and use unique information to evaluate decision alternatives. Under a condition known as the hidden profile, each member…

Abstract

Purpose

Research shows that teams often fail to surface and use unique information to evaluate decision alternatives. Under a condition known as the hidden profile, each member uniquely possesses a critical clue needed to uncover the superior solution. Failure to share and adequately evaluate this information will result in poor decision quality. The aim of this paper is to examine the impact of the devil's advocacy technique on the decision quality of hidden profile teams.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to mitigate this team decision‐making bias, the present study utilizes experimental research to examine the impact of the devil's advocacy technique on the decision quality of hidden profile teams.

Findings

Results show that devil's advocacy groups achieved higher decision quality than groups under free discussion. However, devil's advocacy teams also had higher levels of affective conflict. As a result, while they selected the best solution, devil's advocacy introduced conditions that may hinder the solution's implementation

Research limitations/implications

Similar experiments with advocacy techniques suggest that the positive effect on decision quality found here may be reduced in the presence of stronger hidden profiles.

Practical implications

While the devil's advocacy technique has the potential to uncover hidden profiles and improve group decision making, the paper recommends that managers use this technique only in teams with strong critical thinking norms that foster constructive conflict.

Originality/value

To the authors' knowledge, no study has examined the impact of devil's advocacy in groups where information is not shared equally prior to deliberations.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 51 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 February 2008

This paper aims to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting‐edge research and case studies.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting‐edge research and case studies.

Design/methodology/approach

This briefing is prepared by an independent writer, who adds their own impartial comments and places the articles in context.

Findings

As cyclones, hurricanes, floods and fires wreak havoc with communities round the world, the warnings that global warming might make the weather even worse and less predictable are at last being recognized by even the most stubborn of “head‐in‐the‐sand” optimists. So how do you stay in business if you are flooded out, burned down or blown away? Surely you have a plan?

Practical implications

The paper provides strategic insights and practical thinking that have influenced some of the world's leading organizations.

Originality/value

The briefing saves busy executives and researchers hours of reading time by selecting only the very best, most pertinent information and presenting it in a condensed and easy‐to digest format.

Details

Strategic Direction, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0258-0543

Keywords

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Case study
Publication date: 1 October 2011

Michael Roberto, Grace Chun Guo and Crystal X. Jiang

Chang'an Automobile and the Chinese automotive industry.

Abstract

Title

Chang'an Automobile and the Chinese automotive industry.

Subject area

International business

Study level/applicability

Undergraduate/graduate/executive education.

Case overview

China has become the world's largest producer of automobiles, surpassing the USA and Japan. The Chinese auto industry differs quite significantly from those countries though. While the industry exhibits a substantial degree of concentration in the USA and Japan in early 2011, it remained highly fragmented in China. The Chinese Central Government had announced a desire for consolidation, yet it remained unclear whether a significant shakeout would occur in the near term.Like many Chinese automakers, Chang'an partnered with well‐known global auto makers to develop, produce, and distribute its products. In the coming years, Chang'an hoped to develop more independence from its foreign partners, including the production and distribution of self‐branded cars. However, the company grappled with how it could strive for independence while managing its existing joint ventures. Executives worried too about how to compete with foreign automakers who had achieved global economies of scale.The case provides a rich description of the evolution of the Chinese auto industry, and it documents how the Chinese industry differs from other global markets. Readers can analyze the extent to which they believe scale economies provide foreign firms an advantage over smaller Chinese rivals, and they can evaluate the conventional wisdom regarding the industry's minimum efficient scale. The case also provides a detailed account of Chang'an's rise to prominence. The case concludes by offering an in‐depth description of the firm's key rivals, and it presents the key questions being considered by Chang'an executives in 2011.

Expected learning outcomes

Enables students to examine how and why an industry's structure can differ substantially across geographic markets. Enables students to examine whether the need to achieve economies of scale may cause substantial consolidation in the Chinese auto industry. Provides an opportunity to evaluate the pros and cons of the joint venture strategies employed in China. Provides an opportunity to examine how a relatively small firm can position itself against large multinationals in a high‐growth emerging market.

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes.

Details

Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, vol. 1 no. 4
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2045-0621

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 31 December 2003

Abstract

Details

A Research Annual
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-574-1

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Book part
Publication date: 25 March 2010

Joanne Martin

Cultural portraits usually begin with a description of the context, but as this material is covered elsewhere in this volume, this introduction will be mercifully brief…

Abstract

Cultural portraits usually begin with a description of the context, but as this material is covered elsewhere in this volume, this introduction will be mercifully brief. At any time during the last four decades, there have been dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of Stanford University faculty and doctoral students interested in studying organizations. They have been scattered across the campus, often in small groups within larger schools and departments. They have been based in the Sociology Department and the Organizational Behavior and Strategy areas at the Graduate School of Business. There were always a handful at the Education and Engineering schools, as well as a scattering of individuals doing related work in Psychology, Political Science, and Anthropology. In spite of their numbers, before the Stanford Center for Organizational Research (SCOR) was founded in 1972, many of these faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and doctoral students felt rather isolated. They had little contact with colleagues across campus who shared their interest in organizations and little collective clout when resources were being distributed.

Details

Stanford's Organization Theory Renaissance, 1970–2000
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-930-5

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2003

Michael A. Roberto

This study explores how top management teams make strategic decisions. The findings indicate that the top management team performs a variety of monitoring and control…

Abstract

This study explores how top management teams make strategic decisions. The findings indicate that the top management team performs a variety of monitoring and control functions within most firms, but that a single team with stable composition does not make strategic choices in most organizations. Instead, different groups, with members from multiple organizational levels, form to make various strategic decisions. A stable subset of the top team forms the core of each of these multiple decision‐making bodies. The findings offer a possible explanation for inconsistent findings in the top management team literature, and suggest several new directions for future senior team research.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 41 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

Craig Henry

Abstract

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

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Article
Publication date: 19 January 2015

Joseph Calandro

Many firms did not have mechanisms in place prior to 2007 to identify and track the weak signals of an impending financial crisis, and as a result they were not prepared…

Abstract

Purpose

Many firms did not have mechanisms in place prior to 2007 to identify and track the weak signals of an impending financial crisis, and as a result they were not prepared for the stresses and opportunities the crisis generated. The author aims to offer a guide to identifying these weak signals and a system for mitigating the risk of being hurt by another such crisis.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a guide to strategic risk management (SRM), which defines a process of identifying, assessing and economically managing potentially enterprise-threatening losses. It is a way to mitigate developing ambiguous threats before they manifest themselves and then spiral out of control.

Findings

Corporate leaders can follow the example of savvy investors who use risk management insights to mitigate the effects of a potential crisis and to profit from one if it develops.

Practical implications

Market pressures can cause firms to loosen product or investment standards incrementally, which over time can radically change a business model’s risk profile without anyone acting to mitigate it.

Originality/value

This guide to Strategic Risk Management provides insight into how corporate leaders can identify the “weak signals” of a financial crisis well before the actual crisis develops and also describes how they can mitigate financial risk in their portfolios and make opportunistic investments and adopt hedging strategies at very favorable price levels.

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 43 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2009

Denis R. Towill

The aim of this article is to provide health leaders with a clear unambiguous description of a proven modus operandi for analysis, design, planning, implementation, and…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this article is to provide health leaders with a clear unambiguous description of a proven modus operandi for analysis, design, planning, implementation, and start‐up of effective and efficient healthcare delivery systems.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper builds on previously published reviews of the successful TV series centred on Rotherham General Hospital. This featured Gerry Robinson (GR), a top executive from the public sector, and his endeavours to interact with, and improve, the NHS. Those reviews covered emergent lessons directed at hospitals and the Department of Health plus the de‐briefing carried out by GR. They also detailed the Healthcare Balanced Scorecard, and emphasised the importance of minimising elapsed time.

Findings

TV programmes inevitably lack description of an infrastructure since “headline metrics” (preferably disputed) make the news and add to the viewing figures. Missing are some important steps along the way, identification of various key factors; resourcing issues; process monitoring; time scales; and team building. By showing that the GR approach can be related to a proven and well‐documented “engineering of change” methodology, a fully integrated approach to healthcare delivery system enhancement is evident.

Research limitations/implications

The comprehensive approach is based on the systems engineering concept of seamless patient flow achieved by eliminating problems rather than finding ad‐hoc ways around them. This requires team‐based activities involving clinicians, nurses, managers, secretaries, and everyone associated with the healthcare process. “No involvement” usually means “no commitment”.

Practical implications

Emphasis is on “institutional change” achieved via a sequence of carefully selected improvement projects in which the first acts as an “exemplar”. This requires a proactive people‐first organisation practising open‐learning and a culture of continuous plan‐do‐check‐act activity. The “seven deadly sins” indicate what may go wrong and why.

Originality/value

This article assists in the exposure and exploitation of TV healthcare narrative and established “engineering of change” practice by carefully relating one to the other.

Details

Leadership in Health Services, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1879

Keywords

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