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Article
Publication date: 23 May 2008

Nick Oliver, Matthias Holweg and Mike Carver

The aim of this paper is to understand how large and apparently successful organizations enter spirals of decline that are very difficult to reverse. The paper examines…

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Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to understand how large and apparently successful organizations enter spirals of decline that are very difficult to reverse. The paper examines the case of Rover, once one of the largest car producers in the world, which collapsed in 2005. An analysis of strategic and operational choices made over a period of 40 years investigates the reasons for, and consequences of, a growing mismatch between the context faced by the company (industry dynamics, market conditions) and its operational capabilities, a mismatch that ultimately brought about the company's demise.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on interviews with 32 people, including senior managers (including four chief executives), government ministers and union officials who were key decision makers within, or close to, the company during the period 1968 and 2005. Secondary sources and documentary evidence (e.g. production and sales data) are used to build up a historical picture of the company and to depict its deteriorating financial and market position from 1968 onwards.

Findings

The company was formed from a multitude of previously independent firms as part of a government‐sponsored agenda to build a UK National Champion in the car industry. The merged company failed due to several factors including poor product development processes, poor manufacturing performance, difficult labour relations, a very wide product portfolio and a lack of financial control. Although strenuous efforts were made to address those issues, including periods of whole or part ownership by British Aerospace, Honda and BMW, the company's position deteriorated until eventually production volumes were too low for viable operation.

Practical implications

The case of Rover highlights the importance of what has been termed “the management unit” in complex systems. The management unit comprises processes and routines to deal with challenges such as managing product portfolios, connecting strategic and operational choices, and scanning and responding to the environment. In the case of Rover, a number of factors taken together generated excessive load on a management unit frequently operating under conditions of resource scarcity. We conclude that viewing corporate failure from a systems perspective, rather than in terms of shortcomings in specific subsystems, such as manufacturing or product development, yields insights often absent in the operations management literature.

Originality/value

The paper is of value by showing corporate failure from a systems perspective, rather than in terms of shortcomings in specific subsystems, such as manufacturing or product development; and yields insights often absent in the operations management literature. The Rover case featured in the paper demonstrates the usefulness of systems ideas to understanding at least some types of failure, not as an alterative to capability‐based approaches, but in addition to them.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 28 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 27 June 2015

Michael W. Stebbins and Judy L. Valenzuela

This chapter describes two change efforts involving participatory action research within the pharmacy operations division of Kaiser Permanente. Focus is on a parallel…

Abstract

This chapter describes two change efforts involving participatory action research within the pharmacy operations division of Kaiser Permanente. Focus is on a parallel learning mechanism that has been used to support communications and change during two large-scale information technology interventions. It begins with basic background information on participatory action research in organizations. Since the case setting is Kaiser Permanente, the chapter provides some information on the U.S. healthcare industry context and then shifts to Kaiser’s communication forum, a learning mechanism that has been in place for 35 years. Cognitive, structural, and procedural aspects of the learning mechanism are explored, and the chapter features interviews with some of the key forum players. Both in the forum’s infancy and in its current more institutionalized state, the pharmacy organization has been in crisis. Implications for the use of parallel learning structures on a long-term basis to support long-term participatory action research are explored along with contributions to theory on insider/outsider action research.

Article
Publication date: 18 September 2017

Sian Sullivan and Mike Hannis

The purpose of this paper is to consider and compare different ways of using numbers to value aspects of nature-beyond-the-human through case analysis of ecological and…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consider and compare different ways of using numbers to value aspects of nature-beyond-the-human through case analysis of ecological and natural capital accounting practices in the UK that create standardised numerical-economic values for beyond-human natures. In addition, to contrast underlying ontological and ethical assumptions of these arithmetical approaches in ecological accounting with those associated with Pythagorean nature-numbering practices and fractal geometry. In doing so, to draw out distinctions between arithmetical and geometrical ontologies of nature and their relevance for “valuing nature”.

Design/methodology/approach

Close reading and review of policy texts and associated calculations in: UK natural capital accounts for “opening stock” inventories in 2007 and 2014; and in the experimental implementation of biodiversity offsetting (BDO) in land-use planning in England. Tracking the iterative calculations of biodiversity offset requirements in a specific planning case. Conceptual review, drawing on and contrasting different numbering practices being applied so as to generate numerical-economic values for natures-beyond-the-human.

Findings

In the cases of ecological accounting practices analysed here, the natures thus numbered are valued and “accounted for” using arithmetical methodologies that create commensurability and facilitate appropriation of the values so created. Notions of non-monetary value, and associated practices, are marginalised. Instead of creating standardisation and clarity, however, the accounting practices considered here for natural capital accounts and BDO create nature-signalling numbers that are struggled over and contested.

Originality/value

This is the first critical engagement with the specific policy texts and case applications considered here, and, the authors believe, the first attempt to contrast arithmetical and geometrical numbering practices in their application to the understanding and valuing of natures-beyond-the-human.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 30 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 July 2013

Damien Page

The purpose of this paper is to document the coping styles of first tier managers in English further education (FE) colleges, in relation to the most significant stressors…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to document the coping styles of first tier managers in English further education (FE) colleges, in relation to the most significant stressors and to create an original, grounded scale of coping based on the data.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopted a qualitative approach to coping strategies and involved semi‐structured interviews with 23 first tier managers in four colleges.

Findings

The study identified 16 distinct coping strategies employed by the first tier managers that ranged from “compliant” strategies, such as increased effort and self‐coaching, to “affective” strategies, such as exercise and tension reduction; and finally, those strategies that were “non‐compliant” such as escape and dissent.

Research limitations/implications

This research presents a tentative coping scale for first tier managers that could potentially inform the design of structured development programmes according to their particular needs.

Originality/value

This is the first coping scale of first tier managers in FE and its findings may have implications for first tier managers in other organisational settings.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 32 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 October 2019

Debadutta Kumar Panda

The purpose of this paper is to examine how business ecosystems evolve, what is the identity of business ecosystem and is the ecosystem identity static or dynamics. To…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how business ecosystems evolve, what is the identity of business ecosystem and is the ecosystem identity static or dynamics. To understand the above questions, this paper is conducted on stone carving clusters in India.

Design/methodology/approach

The author engaged the ethnographic approach in this study. To sample stone carving clusters of India, the author followed the snowball sampling method. Further, the author did collect the information by informal personal discussions, focus group discussions and participant observations. Furthermore, the thematic analysis and interpretative phenomenological analysis were applied to process the data. The validity and reliability of the method was ascertained by testing the credibility, dependability, confirmability and transferability.

Findings

The author found that the business ecosystem of stone carving was dynamic, and it was transformed from the buyer-driven ecosystem to the supplier-driven ecosystem. The identities of the early stage business ecosystem and the late stage ecosystem were analyzed through product, network and information flow. The author developed a structural framework to conceptualize the identity domain of the business ecosystem and the author named it as “nature-conduct-performance model.” Also, the author conceptualized the identity evolution, the influence of social system on business ecosystem identity, and identity-based conflicts and identity-based cooperation in the stone carving business ecosystem.

Originality/value

This study is making additional theoretical contribution in conceptualize the business ecosystem from the identity construct.

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 January 2007

Mike Berrell and Jeff Wrathall

The purpose of this paper is to examine aspects of the social, cultural, political and legal architecture of intellectual property rights (IPR) in China. The paper aims to…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine aspects of the social, cultural, political and legal architecture of intellectual property rights (IPR) in China. The paper aims to identify inhibiting and facilitating factors in the Chinese environment as they pertain to establishing of a workable regime for IPR in China. The paper also offers some practical strategies that foreign managers can employ to reduce the risk of piracy of intellectual property (IP) in China.Design/methodology/approach – A literature review of the main influences on the formation of Chinese attitudes to IPR are identified and discussed. Against this background, a model for the establishment of a new regime for IPR in China is proposed.Findings – While the cultural architecture of IPR in China is often identified as the major influence on the level of IP piracy, other aspects of the Chinese political, business and social environment may actually facilitate the acceptance of, and respect for, IPR. Indeed, the experience of Taiwan in building new norms for IPR suggests that a new regime for IPR in China is clearly possible. This is because new norms of respect for IPR can emerge when sufficient facilitating factors are present in the environment. Nevertheless, while the potential to reduce IP piracy exists, foreign managers must continue to remain vigilant in the marketplace and use a combination of strategies to protect IP as new norms of respect for IPR emerge in the coming period.Research limitations/implications – Foreign managers in China can gain significant advantages by understanding the deeper influences of the social, cultural, political and legal architecture on the formation of attitudes to IP and IPR in China. Through such knowledge, this group will be better equipped to contribute to the process of establishing new norms of respect for IPR in China in the medium term.Practical implications – This study contributes to the literature on IPR in China. Armed with this knowledge, foreign managers are better placed to negotiate the difficult and complex Chinese business environment.Originality/value – This paper presents a model for developing a workable IPR regime in China and describes low‐cost strategies to reduce the current level of IP piracy.

Details

Management Research News, vol. 30 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 8 June 2022

Mike McLaughlin and Elaine Cox

Abstract

Details

Braver Leaders in Action
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80382-178-8

Abstract

Details

Braver Leaders in Action
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80382-178-8

Abstract

Details

Corbynism: A Critical Approach
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-372-0

Book part
Publication date: 26 March 2020

Steven Gerrard

Through all the villains that James Bond has encountered on his globe-trotting adventures – from Dr No to Auric Goldfinger, Drax to Le Chiffre and Rosa Klebb to Xenia…

Abstract

Through all the villains that James Bond has encountered on his globe-trotting adventures – from Dr No to Auric Goldfinger, Drax to Le Chiffre and Rosa Klebb to Xenia Onatopp – one villain has remained a constant threat to both Bond and world security. Whether hiding behind a corrugated screen, living on a mountain top lair, working from a hollowed-out volcanic rocket site, or sitting in a wheelchair, Ernst Stavro Blofeld has proved time and time again to be a thorn in Bond’s side.

This chapter will investigate the changing appearances of Blofeld across the Eon Productions’ film franchise. It will consider the concept of Blofeld as Bond’s alter-ego, whilst offering in-depth analysis of just how – and why – this master-nemesis remains firmly rooted in Bond’s filmic adventures, whilst cementing his position as the villain most associated with the series.

Details

From Blofeld to Moneypenny: Gender in James Bond
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-163-1

Keywords

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