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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.
With the increasing adoption of integrated reporting and the subsequent interest of the accounting discipline in its development, this paper aims to examine the enablers…
With the increasing adoption of integrated reporting and the subsequent interest of the accounting discipline in its development, this paper aims to examine the enablers and barriers to the involvement of accountants in integrated reporting.
The paper adopts a case study approach by collecting interview data from six organisations that have adopted integrated reporting internationally. In the selected organisations, face-to-face and telephone interviews were conducted with professionals who are involved in the preparation of an integrated report. The interviewees in this study included key integrated report preparers including accountants, corporate reporting managers, sustainability managers and other report preparers. Institutional entrepreneurship provided the theoretical insights for this study.
The study found that accountants’ expertise in corporate reporting and especially their knowledge of the assurance process was one of the major reasons why they were involved in integrated reporting. Accountants’ in-depth understanding of an organisation in addition to their general analytical and interpersonal skills were also found to be useful in preparing an integrated report. However, the voluntary nature of integrated reporting along with the lack of sufficient guidelines deterred accountants from being involved in integrated reporting. The study also found that accountants themselves did not see value in integrated reporting and found it challenging to convert numerical information to narratives, thus limiting their involvement in integrated reporting.
Whilst prior studies have underlined accountants’ institutionalised practices, this study uncovers the strategies applied by accountants to maintain their institutionalised practices. The specific application of the institutional entrepreneurship concept identifies mechanisms and strategies through which accountants restrict their practices to narrow taken-for-granted roles.
This study uncovers practical implications by highlighting the factors that limit the involvement of accountants within integrated reporting. One of the major implications identified relates to the training of accountants to apply their existing skills and expertise in non-financial reporting to contribute effectively to multi-disciplinary teams that contribute towards integrated reporting in organisations. This study also provides an impetus for the International Integrated Reporting Council to provide more guidance for preparing an integrated report.
This is one of the initial studies that has explored the enablers and barriers to the involvement of accountants in integrated reporting through its focus on organisations that are already practising this form of reporting. The use of institutional entrepreneurship theory adds to the theoretical insights for exploring the involvement of the various actors in integrated reporting.
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…
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.
In today’s business world, competition is no longer about resources accumulated, but the emphasis is now placed more on the actual accumulation and utilization of…
In today’s business world, competition is no longer about resources accumulated, but the emphasis is now placed more on the actual accumulation and utilization of knowledge within the organization. Attention has shifted drastically from just acquiring wealth in the organization to an era where knowledge and learning within the organization becomes more critical and important to the organizational survival and continuous growth as put forward by this paper. This paper investigated the effect of organizational learning and effectiveness on operations, employee productivity and management performance. This paper aims to add to scholarly works and knowledge on organizational learning.
Random and stratified sampling techniques were used. Data collection was done with the use of a questionnaire and analyzed using confirmatory factor analysis and hierarchical multiple regression.
The result from the data analyzed shows that there is a positive relationship between organizational learning and effectiveness, operations, employees’ productivity and management performance suggesting that organization learning impact is encompassing because it affects and influences the effectiveness and efficiency of all the staff at every level within the organization.
Organizations should strive and do everything possible to ensure organizational learning because this study is in an era where knowledge and learning within the organization are more critical and important to organizational survival and continuous growth.
The study demonstrates that the only way to fast-track growth in every sphere of the organization is to ensure organizational learning as it influences the effectiveness and efficiency of all the staff at every level within the organization.