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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2016

Nicolay Worren

The purpose of this paper is to describe an analytical approach – functional analysis – that can be used to evaluate the current design of an organization and identify…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe an analytical approach – functional analysis – that can be used to evaluate the current design of an organization and identify alternative designs that may increase the ability to realize strategic and operational goals.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach described in this paper is based on key concepts in systems theory and axiomatic design theory (Suh, 1990, 2001). A brief case example is used to illustrate the practical application of the approach.

Findings

It is shown that functional analysis can be used to map the design of an organization and identify key design challenges (e.g. related to overlapping or conflicting functions).

Research limitations/implications

The case study that is described is considered to be a pilot application of the approach as it is based on a limited number of interviews.

Practical implications

This paper should be relevant for applied researchers, management consultants, project managers and others who are analyzing the current structure of an organization and/or are involved in re-designing an organization.

Social implications

Application of the functional approach may improve design processes and thereby enhance the effectiveness of social systems, including public and private sector organizations.

Originality/value

This paper describes how key concepts in systems theory and axiomatic design theory can provide the basis for a new framework for analyzing organization designs.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 24 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 November 2015

Onno Bouwmeester and Jelmer Stiekema

The purpose of this paper is to explore the paradoxical image of consultants as “experts without expertise.” It examines the extent to which different stakeholders…

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1174

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the paradoxical image of consultants as “experts without expertise.” It examines the extent to which different stakeholders’ perceptions of consultants’ expertise are aligned, and why.

Design/methodology/approach

This research applies a creative approach to survey methodology by asking different stakeholder groups to react to consultancy expertise cartoons. This is followed by a rhetorical interpretation of the perceptions of consultants’ expertise using pathos.

Findings

This survey revealed that employees are the most critical of consultants, while clients and consultants retain positive impressions of consultants’ expertise. Unexpectedly, relative to other stakeholder groups, academics occupy a moderately critical position like outsiders. Given that consultants and clients value the same indicators of expertise, this explains the latter stakeholder group’s positive valuation.

Research limitations/implications

Since this study focusses on the expert image of consultants more generally, the authors cannot differentiate the conclusions for perceptions related to different types of consultants based on discipline or the image of their specific role (e.g. expert vs coach or change agent).

Practical implications

Consultants and academics need pathos that is stakeholder dependent, for getting their expertise better accepted.

Originality/value

This paper helps explain why managers, despite the many criticisms of the services consultants provide, continue to hire consultants for their expertise. Furthermore, it sheds light into why managers prefer the services of consultants vs those provided by academics. It also nuances the assumption that academics are the main critics of consultants. Instead, this paper identifies that the majority of consultant critiques come from employees in client organizations.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 53 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2017

Linh Chi Vo and Mihaela Kelemen

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to bridging the gap between researchers and practitioners. It does so by comparing the various models of academic-practitioner…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to bridging the gap between researchers and practitioners. It does so by comparing the various models of academic-practitioner collaboration and introducing Dewey’s democratic experimentalism as a promising alternative.

Design/methodology/approach

The conceptual implications are drawn from an analysis and discussion of the literatures in the field of organizational knowledge production, co-production and Deweyan studies.

Findings

Democratic experimentalism offers a much needed platform for a collaborative relationship between academics and practitioners that leads to knowledge that is rigorous and relevant to practice.

Originality/value

While the current models of academic-practitioner collaboration provide mechanisms for knowledge co-production, the Dewey’s democratic experimentalism goes further to emphasize the nature of the relationship between academics and practitioners in such common endeavor to ensure that all of them are equal co-creators of knowledge.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 30 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

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