Most of the 50 largest organizations in Finland have undertaken business process re‐engineering (BPR) projects during the last five years. This study concentrated on…
Most of the 50 largest organizations in Finland have undertaken business process re‐engineering (BPR) projects during the last five years. This study concentrated on business process re‐engineering projects in 21 large Finnish organizations. Of the 21 organizations interviewed, six represent manufacturing industry, seven large public institutions or enterprises, and eight belong to the trade and services sector. The objectives of the study were to shed light on BPR projects in large Finnish organizations in terms of their scope, focus and adopted change management practices. Respectively, a threefold conceptual framework was developed for the study. The findings of the study show that the firms in the trade and services sector have undertaken very comprehensive BPR initiatives. BPR projects in the public sector have been slightly more limited. Manufacturing companies seemed to have the most limited approach to BPR. In change management, all studied organizations identified questions related to change navigation as the most important problem area in the actual management of the BPR projects. On the other hand, management involvement was clearly perceived as the area where the organizations’ capabilities were the strongest. As to the preconditions for a successful BPR project, four major conclusions can be drawn on the basis of the study. First, the broader the projects are in terms of scope and focus, the better the overall results. Second, strong management involvement is a basic requirement for a BPR project to succeed. Third, change navigation is the most critical area of concern, clearly differentiating successful BPR projects from the less successful ones. It is also the area where organizations encounter the greatest problems in BPR project implementation. Fourth, personnel involvement, as well as training and development projects, play a supportive role in BPR and are usually handled quite well in the organizations.
This paper presents the major findings of recently completed research in the UK concerning the attributes of information as an asset and its impact on organisational…
This paper presents the major findings of recently completed research in the UK concerning the attributes of information as an asset and its impact on organisational performance. The research study employed an automated information asset- and attribute-scoring grid exercise and semi-structured open-ended interviews with 45 senior UK managers in four case study organisations. The information asset-scoring grid was developed to provide a simple visual representation of information assets and attributes using Excel charts. The semi-structured open-ended interviews aimed to identify the attributes of information assets considered significant by 45 senior UK managers and to explore relevant issues such as the value of information and organisational effectiveness.
During the last 10 years, there have been several calls for a postmodern epistemology in organization studies (e.g. Hassard, 1994; Kilduff & Mehra, 1997). While most…
During the last 10 years, there have been several calls for a postmodern epistemology in organization studies (e.g. Hassard, 1994; Kilduff & Mehra, 1997). While most organization studies researchers would probably not think of themselves as postmodernists, one response to these calls is that the callers are preaching to the already converted. That is, the implicit norms that govern what are considered desirable scholarly contributions in organization studies today already bear the stamp of a postmodern epistemology. It is an epistemology that has not been consciously adopted by most organization studies scholars, but nevertheless has left its imprint on their work. The purpose of this chapter is to develop that argument, focusing first on three scholarly norms that are prominent in contemporary organization studies. These three scholarly norms are: (1) the positive valuation of the attribute “insight”; (2) the use and positive valuation of broad-scope theoretical constructs; and (3) the positive valuation of multiple schools of thought. I will discuss each of these norms in turn and argue that each is consistent with, and supported by, underlying currents of thought in postmodernist epistemology. I will identify the elements of postmodernist epistemology that I believe support each norm and then critically appraise the norm in light of reservations I have about postmodernist thought. While the three norms identified above certainly do not cover the entire range of scholarly “best practices” in organization studies today, I believe they are sufficient to illustrate the link between everyday scholarly practice in the discipline and postmodernist views of knowledge.
Phenomena are what we as researchers begin with, and to study phenomena is to appreciate how any determination of things and events always relates back to the context in which they appeared. Phenomenology is the study of such relations of appearance and the conditions of such relations. Appearance is an active rather than superficial condition, a constant bringing together of experiencing beings and experienced things (including sentient beings), in what the modern “father” of phenomenology Edmund Husserl called conditions of intentionality, and what his errant, one-time student Martin Heidegger called conditions of thrownness and projection. This chapter delves into the philosophical background of this mode of study, before opening up into consideration of, first, where phenomenology has been influential in organization studies, and, second, the potential of the approach. In so doing, we suggest much can be made of reorienting research in organization studies away from an entitative epistemology in which things are seen in increasingly causally linked, detailed isolation, and toward a relational epistemology in which what exists is understood in terms of its being experienced within everyday lives.
Based on a study of 523 medical sales representatives, the present study investigates the relationships among employees' perception about organizational image…
Based on a study of 523 medical sales representatives, the present study investigates the relationships among employees' perception about organizational image, organizational support, and the way they perform their emotional labor during customer interaction. As predicted, the study found support for a positive relationship of both perceived organizational support and perceived external prestige with the way in which employees perform emotional labor. The study further found the importance of perceived external prestige of the organization in influencing the relationship between perceived organizational support and emotional labor. Implications of the study to practitioners and researchers were discussed.
This paper illuminates the distinction between individual and organizational actors in business-to-business markets as well as the coexistence of formal and informal…
This paper illuminates the distinction between individual and organizational actors in business-to-business markets as well as the coexistence of formal and informal mechanisms of coordination in multinational corporations. The main questions addressed include the following. (1) What factors influence the occurrence of personal contacts of foreign subsidiary managers in industrial multinational corporations? (2) How such personal contacts enable coordination in industrial markets and within multinational firms? The theoretical context of the paper is based on: (1) the interaction approach to industrial markets, (2) the network approach to industrial markets, and (3) the process approach to multinational management. The unit of analysis is the foreign subsidiary manager as the focal actor of a contact network. The paper is empirically focused on Portuguese sales subsidiaries of Finnish multinational corporations, which are managed by either a parent country national (Finnish), a host country national (Portuguese) or a third country national. The paper suggests eight scenarios of individual dependence and uncertainty, which are determined by individual, organizational, and/or market factors. Such scenarios are, in turn, thought to require personal contacts with specific functions. The paper suggests eight interpersonal roles of foreign subsidiary managers, by which the functions of their personal contacts enable inter-firm coordination in industrial markets. In addition, the paper suggests eight propositions on how the functions of their personal contacts enable centralization, formalization, socialization and horizontal communication in multinational corporations.
Scanning both the academic and popular business literature of the last 40 years puzzles the alert reader. The variety of prescriptions of how to be successful (effective, performing, etc.) 1 Organizational performance, organizational success and organizational effectiveness will be used interchangeably throughout this paper.1 in business is hardly comprehensible: “Being close to the customer,” Total Quality Management, corporate social responsibility, shareholder value maximization, efficient consumer response, management reward systems or employee involvement programs are but a few of the slogans introduced as means to increase organizational effectiveness. Management scholars have made little effort to integrate the various performance-enhancing strategies or to assess them in an orderly manner.
This study classifies organizational strategies by the importance each strategy attaches to different constituencies in the firm’s environment. A number of researchers divide an organization’s environment into various constituency groups and argue that these groups constitute – as providers and recipients of resources – the basis for organizational survival and well-being. Some theoretical schools argue for the foremost importance of responsiveness to certain constituencies while stakeholder theory calls for a – situation-contingent – balance in these responsiveness levels. Given that maximum responsiveness levels to different groups may be limited by an organization’s resource endowment or even counterbalanced, the need exists for a concurrent assessment of these competing claims by jointly evaluating the effect of the respective behaviors towards constituencies on performance. Thus, this study investigates the competing merits of implementing alternative business philosophies (e.g. balanced versus focused responsiveness to constituencies). Such a concurrent assessment provides a “critical test” of multiple, opposing theories rather than testing the merits of one theory (Carlsmith, Ellsworth & Aronson, 1976).
In the high tolerance level applied for this study (be among the top 80% of the industry) only a handful of organizations managed to sustain such a balanced strategy over the whole observation period. Continuously monitoring stakeholder demands and crafting suitable responsiveness strategies must therefore be a focus of successful business strategies. While such behavior may not be a sufficient explanation for organizational success, it certainly is a necessary one.
In this introduction, the authors outline some critical reflections on the sociology of knowledge within management and organization theory. Based on a review of various…
In this introduction, the authors outline some critical reflections on the sociology of knowledge within management and organization theory. Based on a review of various works that form a sociology of organizational knowledge, the authors identify three approaches that have become particularly prominent ways by which scholars explore how knowledge about organizations and management is produced: First, reflective and opinion essays that organization studies scholars offer on the basis of what can be learned from personal experience; second, descriptive craft-guides that are based on more-or-less comprehensive surveys on doing research; third, papers based on systematic research that are built upon rigorous collection and analysis of data about the production of knowledge. Whereas in the studies of organizing the authors prioritize the third approach, that is knowledge produced based on systematic empirical research, in examining our own work the authors tend to privilege the other two types, reflective articles and surveys. In what follows the authors highlight this gap, offer some explanations thereof, and call for a better appreciation of all three ways to offer rich understandings of organizations, work and management as well as a fruitful sociology of knowledge in our field.
Lack of individual awareness of knowledge sharing practices to prevent identity theft is a significant issue for online retail organisations (OROs). Agile learning…
Lack of individual awareness of knowledge sharing practices to prevent identity theft is a significant issue for online retail organisations (OROs). Agile learning processes and sharing of knowledge is essential, but the lack of relevant training inhibits these processes within the online industry. This study aims to identify the inhibiting factors in agile learning and knowledge sharing process with recommendations for best practice for organisations and staff to effectively share knowledge on identity theft prevention.
Three qualitative case studies were undertaken in OROs in the UK. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews, internal documents and related external material. The data were analysed using a thematic analysis method.
The findings identified that individual staff members within OROs from the information security and fraud prevention departments often share their knowledge as a community. However, there is no formal knowledge sharing process or any related training facilitating this exchange. There is a need for agile learning environment in OROs of the UK.
The study offers both theoretical and practical contributions to the extant literature of agile learning of knowledge sharing to prevent identity theft in OROs. Existing learning opportunities are not being used to enhance the knowledge of individuals, and OROs need to increase the skills and trust of their staff to share knowledge efficiently. This study identifies the systemic weaknesses inherent in the process of knowledge sharing and existing training provision within OROs. It provides ORO managers with practical guidelines in facilitating trust between individuals and developing appropriate training systems to educate staff on sharing organisational knowledge. This study contributes by extending the knowledge sharing framework proposed by Chong et al. (2011) for enhanced individual knowledge sharing processes to prevent identity theft within OROs. It also identifies OROs’ weaknesses in knowledge sharing learning processes for theft prevention and offers prevention guidelines and recommendations for developing effective agile learning environments.
Blockchain possesses the potential to disrupt and reshape a plethora of industries in the next decade. However, blockchain adoption rates in technology developed…
Blockchain possesses the potential to disrupt and reshape a plethora of industries in the next decade. However, blockchain adoption rates in technology developed countries, such as Ireland, are relatively low. Motivated by blockchain’s potential to transform sociotechnical systems, the lack of systematic inquiry pertaining to blockchain studies from an information system perspective, the authors propose the following research question: “How do organizational factors influence blockchain adoption in organizations based in a developed country?” Specifically, the purpose of this paper is to elucidate the impact of organizational factors on the adoption of blockchain and the adoption of blockchain in companies based in Ireland.
A comprehensive literature review was conducted, and the methods of qualitative content analysis were used to identify the most important technology–organization–environment (TOE) blockchain adoption factors. Organizational factors are often viewed as the most significant determinants of IT innovation adoption in organizations. Consequently, using a multiple-case study of 20 companies based in Ireland, the authors investigate how the top three organizational factors identified from the blockchain literature affected these companies decision to adopt or not adopt blockchain.
The literature review on blockchain adoption identified specific technological, organizational and environmental factors. Furthermore, the case study findings identified three patterns: top management support and organizational readiness are enablers for blockchain adoption, and large companies are more likely to adopt blockchain than small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The authors explain these patterns by examining the nature of blockchain and the characteristics of Ireland as a developed country. Practical and scientific contributions are also presented.
This study makes several important scientific contributions. First, the findings revealed that top management support and organizational readiness are significant enablers of blockchain adoption. Ireland is recognized as a technology developed country; however, the findings in relation to top management support contradict existing IT adoption literature pertaining to developed countries. Second, previous IT innovation adoption literature suggests that organizations size has a positive influence on a company’s IT innovation adoption process. This study demonstrates that large organizations are more likely to not only adopt blockchain but are also more likely to conduct increased levels of blockchain research and development activities. Finally, and most significantly, the authors identified several patterns, which relate specifically to Ireland as a developed country that influenced the findings. These findings could hold particular relevance to governments and organizations of other developed countries in terms of accelerating blockchain adoption.
The findings about the low level of blockchain awareness and the lack of information pertaining to viable business use cases indicate that the Irish government could play a more significant role in promoting the benefits of blockchain technologies. Further, the findings could also encourage IT providers to formulate enhanced strategies aimed at disseminating information pertaining to blockchain technologies. Second, the positive influence of top management support and organizational readiness, particularly about core competencies, on blockchain adoption suggests that equipping managers with the requisite knowledge and skills will be crucial in adopting these IT innovations. Finally, organizations who adopted blockchain used cloud-based blockchain platforms and tools to overcome the constraints of their initial low levels of organizational readiness.
This is one of the first studies to identify specific TOE blockchain adoption factors. Further, the authors examine how the three most identified organizational adoption factors impact organizations decisions to adopt blockchain. Finally, the authors discuss how the resulting three patterns identified by examining the nature of blockchain and the characteristics of Ireland as a technology developed country.