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Article
Publication date: 29 July 2021

Stephen Macdonald

This study builds on a first study by Macdonald and Birdi (2019) that argues the concept of neutrality within library and information science (LIS) demands a sensitivity…

Abstract

Purpose

This study builds on a first study by Macdonald and Birdi (2019) that argues the concept of neutrality within library and information science (LIS) demands a sensitivity to context often omitted in existing literature. This study aims to develop the conceptual architecture of LIS neutrality in a way that is more conducive to reconciling the contextual nuance found in within the first study.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach taken develops LIS neutrality through a Wittgensteinian lens. Two distinct ideas are explored. First, Wittgenstein's notion of a “grammatical investigation” is used to map the varied contexts in which neutrality is used within professional practice. Liberal neutrality is explored as an analogy to lend plausibility to the concept's heterogeneity. Second, Wittgenstein's “family resemblance” develops the concept in a way that facilitates greater contextual understanding.

Findings

Three features of liberal neutrality literature: conceptual heterogeneity, distinct justifications for specific conceptions and the possibility that neutrality may operate with limited scope are applied to LIS neutrality. All three features successfully translate, leaving “latent conceptual space” to understand LIS neutrality as nuanced and multifaceted. Second, “family resemblance” also translates successfully, bringing its own pedagogical benefits.

Originality/value

This study's originality lies in its development of LIS neutrality using a descriptive Wittgensteinian lens. Understanding the concept via this paradigm may facilitate a more productive discussion of LIS neutrality and pave the way for a new, less polarised, normative response to it.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 8 October 2018

Thurid Hustedt and Heidi Houlberg Salomonsen

Neutrality has traditionally been considered a key trait of the civil service in Western democracies. The conception of the neutral bureaucracy is closely linked to the…

Abstract

Neutrality has traditionally been considered a key trait of the civil service in Western democracies. The conception of the neutral bureaucracy is closely linked to the notion of the prominent politics–administration dichotomy of the two spheres of politics and administration, as advocated by Max Weber (1980) and Woodrow Wilson (1887). According to conventional wisdom, the firm and encompassing implementation of the merit principle realises the idea of a neutral bureaucracy. In that respect, neutrality and merit-based recruitments are often considered the opposite of politicisation. Conventionally, a neutral bureaucracy is considered to assure competence and immunity against opportunistic ideas brought in by volatile, sometimes erratic political leadership. Because elected politicians come and go with elections, they cannot ensure that political decisions are carried out based on the ‘best’ available knowledge. In that sense, bureaucrats are conceived as neutral, obedient servants that subordinate their behaviour to the will of political masters, to the law and the common good. However, there is no strict politics–administration dichotomy in contemporary politico-administrative systems. Empirical findings from the late 1970s onwards demonstrated that bureaucrats are by no means as neutral and ‘apolitical’ as assumed, but rather remarkably involved in political processes. This chapter discusses the literature on neutral competence and presents an empirical analysis of Danish and British civil servants’ accounts of neutrality. This chapter concludes by suggesting the concept of competent neutrality and discussing implications for our understanding of bureaucratic neutrality.

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Article
Publication date: 30 June 2020

Shinta Hadiyantina

Comprehensive basis to measure civil servants’ neutrality in the effectuation of concurrent regional head elections, valid basis to determine the most appropriate strategy…

Abstract

Purpose

Comprehensive basis to measure civil servants’ neutrality in the effectuation of concurrent regional head elections, valid basis to determine the most appropriate strategy to enhance civil servants’ neutrality in the governance.

Design/methodology/approach

This research is a normative or doctrinal research. Secondary data are retrieved from the literature in the forms of legal documents and regulations concerning civil servants’ role in general elections. In this research, two products of law were analyzed as follows: first, the one related to the urgency of civil servants’ neutrality in regional head election and second, the one related to the synchronization of legal norms about civil servants’ neutrality during regional head elections. Data analysis was done using a juridical qualitative analysis model.

Findings

The urgency of neutrality is real in the implementation of concurrent regional head elections due to 3 reasons as follows: Historically, state civil apparatus neutrality and regulations. There is a synchronization of the neutrality of the civil state apparatus in the legislation concerning civil state apparatus with the laws and regulations concerning the implementation of concurrent regional head elections including the following: Act Number 5 of 2014, Act Number 10 of 2016 and Act Number 8 of 2012.

Originality/value

The study investigated the neutrality of civil servants during the concurrent regional head election in Indonesia. The objectives of this research were investigating, comprehending and analyzing the urgency of civil servants’ neutrality in regional head election, and describing and analyzing the synchronization of civil servants’ neutrality based on the laws related to civil servants and laws related to the effectuation of concurrent regional head election.

Details

Journal of Economic and Administrative Sciences, vol. 37 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1026-4116

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Article
Publication date: 11 July 2016

Katherine Chalkey and Martin Green

This paper aims to explore the appropriate role and approach of mediators and investigate whether mediator neutrality and party autonomy should prevail over mediators…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the appropriate role and approach of mediators and investigate whether mediator neutrality and party autonomy should prevail over mediators’ obligations to remain neutral where non-intervention would result in unfair settlements.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper arises from polarising and paradoxical opinions of the legitimacy of mediator intervention. This paper relies upon theories proposed in peer-reviewed journals, together with secondary data.

Findings

Mediator neutrality has no consistent or comprehensible meaning and is not capable of coherent application. Requirements for mediator neutrality encourage covert influencing tactics by mediators which itself threatens party autonomy. Mediator intervention ensures ethical and moral implementation of justice, removal of epistemological implications of subjective fairness and compensation for lack of pure procedural justice in the mediation process. Party autonomy requires mediators to intervene ensuring parties adequately informed of the law and equal balance of power.

Research limitations/implications

Peer-reviewed journals and secondary data give meaningful insight into perceptions, opinions and beliefs concerning mediator neutrality, party autonomy and fair outcomes. These data comprised unstructured-interviews and questionnaires containing “open-ended” questions.

Practical implications

Mediator neutrality and party autonomy are less important than fair settlements.

Social implications

Mediator neutrality should be given a contextual meaning; mediation should be more transparent affording the parties opportunity to select a particular type of mediator; transformative and narrative approaches to mediation should be further developed.

Originality/value

This paper exposes the myth of mediator neutrality – a popular concept demanded by and anticipated by the parties but which is practically impossible to deliver. It also shows the need for mediator intervention to ensure a fair outcome.

Details

International Journal of Law in the Built Environment, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-1450

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Article
Publication date: 30 September 2019

Stephen Macdonald and Briony Birdi

Neutrality is a much debated value in library and information science (LIS). The “neutrality debate” is characterised by opinionated discussions in contrasting contexts…

Abstract

Purpose

Neutrality is a much debated value in library and information science (LIS). The “neutrality debate” is characterised by opinionated discussions in contrasting contexts. The purpose of this paper is to fill a gap in the literature by bringing these conceptions together holistically, with potential to deepen understanding of LIS neutrality.

Design/methodology/approach

First, a literature review identified conceptions of neutrality reported in the LIS literature. Second, seven phenomenographic interviews with LIS professionals were conducted across three professional sectors. To maximise variation, each sector comprised at least one interview with a professional of five or fewer years’ experience and one with ten or more years’ experience. Third, conceptions from the literature and interviews were compared for similarities and disparities.

Findings

In four conceptions, each were found in the literature and interviews. In the literature, these were labelled: “favourable”, “tacit value”, “social institutions” and “value-laden profession”, whilst in interviews they were labelled: “core value”, “subservient”, “ambivalent”, and “hidden values”. The study’s main finding notes the “ambivalent” conception in interviews is not captured by a largely polarised literature, which oversimplifies neutrality’s complexity. To accommodate this complexity, it is suggested that future research should look to reconcile perceptions from either side of the “neutral non-neutral divide” through an inclusive normative framework.

Originality/value

This study’s value lies in its descriptive methodology, which brings LIS neutrality together in a holistic framework. This framework brings a contextual awareness to LIS neutrality lacking in previous research. This awareness has the potential to change the tone of the LIS neutrality debate.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 76 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 July 2014

Keri Szejda Fehrenbach and Amy S. Ebesu Hubbard

– The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive review of the neutrality literature and suggests areas ripe for future research.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive review of the neutrality literature and suggests areas ripe for future research.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors reviewed journal articles on the topic of neutrality in mediation, which included theoretical viewpoints and empirical research on practicing mediators’ understanding of neutrality.

Findings

The review of literature revealed that party perspectives are largely missing from current neutrality literature. Two potential concepts emerged from the authors' review of literature that could potentially influence parties’ attributions of mediator neutrality: symmetry and transparency. Symmetry refers to the equal treatment of parties, whereas transparency refers to providing an explanation of past or future behavior. Research on whether symmetry and transparency are key influences on party assessment of mediator neutrality could make a significant contribution to the field.

Research limitations/implications

The authors call on researchers with diverse methodological perspectives to examine, from the party’s perspective, important questions regarding the meaning of neutrality, mediator strategies to successfully enact neutrality and the impact of neutrality on mediation outcomes.

Originality/value

Neutrality is arguably one of the most important concepts to the mediation field. Despite its significance to the field, only limited research has been conducted to better understand how neutrality is enacted in practice. This paper provides a comprehensive review of the literature and provides a launching point for future research.

Details

International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2016

Daeho Lee and Dong-Hee Shin

The purpose of this study is to categorize network neutrality according to its issues under debate and assess the state of the debate based on such organization. In…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to categorize network neutrality according to its issues under debate and assess the state of the debate based on such organization. In addition, the study discusses the reasons that network neutrality is so difficult to solve and the future research directions that would do so.

Design/methodology/approach

This study presents a critical review of the current network neutrality issues and summarizes the economic background of each position in the debate. The relevant literature is organized by issue to examine the reasons that the network neutrality debate is so difficult to solve and determine the further study required to solve it.

Findings

An analysis of the relevant literature suggests that the proponents and opponents of network neutrality disagree on the best methods of developing the Internet. Therefore, future research and regulatory and practitioners’ applications would greatly benefit from a comprehensive review of that literature.

Originality/value

Network neutrality regulation is receiving increased attention because the development and significant influences of the Internet are becoming more apparent.

Details

info, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6697

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Article
Publication date: 25 July 2019

Keri Szejda and Amy S. Ebesu Hubbard

This study aims to investigate the relationship between perceptions of mediators acting symmetrically (treating parties equally) and transparently (providing an…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the relationship between perceptions of mediators acting symmetrically (treating parties equally) and transparently (providing an explanation of past or future behavior) with parties’ assessments of the neutrality of their mediator and satisfaction with the mediation process.

Design/methodology/approach

This mixed-method study surveyed parties and mediators from 35 naturally occurring mediation sessions at community mediation centers about their perceptions of neutrality, symmetry, transparency and satisfaction.

Findings

The results showed that parties overwhelmingly assessed their mediators as acting neutrally. Compared to parties’ assessments of mediator neutrality, mediators rated their own neutrality even higher. Symmetry and transparency were both positively correlated with parties’ assessment of mediator neutrality and also emerged as qualitative themes. Speaking order and talk time did not significantly correlate with perception of symmetry. Overall, symmetry appeared to be a more salient factor in parties’ assessment of mediator neutrality than transparency. Both neutrality and symmetry were positively correlated with party satisfaction with the mediation process, but transparency was not.

Research limitations/implications

The present study provides a foundation for future research in understanding neutrality from both parties and mediators’ perspectives. The primary limitation was a small sample size and possible selection bias in achieving the sample.

Practical implications

The study found that symmetry and transparency are useful strategies for managing party perceptions of mediator neutrality and party satisfaction with the mediation process.

Originality/value

This study is one of only a few empirical research studies that investigated the parties’ perspective of mediator neutrality. The study provides a foundation for future research in understanding neutrality from both parties and mediators’ perspectives.

Details

International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 November 2014

Kanwalroop Kathy Dhanda

This paper aims to explore the area of carbon offsets and carbon neutrality within the context of hotels and resorts. In theory, carbon markets assist organizations in…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the area of carbon offsets and carbon neutrality within the context of hotels and resorts. In theory, carbon markets assist organizations in reducing their carbon footprint by purchasing carbon offsets. This conceptual paper aims to explore this market, analyze its operations and evaluate the participants. The expectation is that this original research will provide a foundation for analyzing this market to make sense of the widely disparate views about carbon neutrality held by companies in the hospitality sector.

Design/methodology/approach

The research study aimed to uncover what claims are currently made about carbon neutrality, what properties are making these claims and are these claims legitimate? A broad Internet search was conducted to collect a sample of hotels and resorts that marketed carbon neutrality as a feature of their properties. Next, a five-point Likert type scale was constructed to analyze every hotel and resort in terms of legitimate reflection of market performance challenges or dimensions. In this study, the hotels that claim to be “Carbon Neutral” were scored according to four market performance dimensions: project quality, carbon calculations, quality information of providers and price per ton of carbon offset.

Findings

The paper’s findings offer a twofold contribution. First, hotels and resorts interested in entering the offset market can use the results as strategic information to bolster efforts to achieve legitimacy and viability in this market. Second, the findings offer a benefit to consumers concerned to reduce their carbon footprint, as the results include a determination of the best hotels and resorts in terms of carbon neutrality.

Research limitations/implications

This research found that the claim “carbon neutral” is used often to attract green consumers. The spectrum of claims ranged from hotels presenting comprehensive carbon management plans or online carbon footprint applications, to hotels that had minimal information and used the “carbon neutral” for marketing purposes only. In numerous cases, the claim of carbon neutrality is not substantiated and, in this case, might be construed as greenwashing.

Practical implications

The findings indicate that claims of carbon neutrality can be exaggerated and that the consumers must themselves be educated to be aware of claims that are unfounded.

Originality/value

Given the large and rising number of offset providers in the unregulated carbon offset industry and the hotel industry, this contribution promises to offer value. This study is one of the first formal analyses of carbon offsets in the hospitality market. The author hopes that this study will encourage others to research the growing market of voluntary carbon offsets further.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 26 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

Keywords

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Expert briefing
Publication date: 7 June 2018

Net neutrality.

Details

DOI: 10.1108/OXAN-DB235280

ISSN: 2633-304X

Keywords

Geographic
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