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Article
Publication date: 5 February 2016

Alberto Felice De Toni, Giovanni De Zan and Cinzia Battistella

Managing organizations in complex environments is a major challenge. Complexity is not only due to the external environment (market and/or technological turbulence) but…

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2166

Abstract

Purpose

Managing organizations in complex environments is a major challenge. Complexity is not only due to the external environment (market and/or technological turbulence) but also to the internal configuration and specificities. A recent stream of studies in organizational literature suggested that organizations should develop and deploy specific capabilities for facing complexity, namely dynamic capabilities. This means becoming more flexible. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper proposes four main capabilities to face four dimensions of complexity. It then investigates if it is more appropriate to focus on a specific capability when facing higher levels of a specific dimension of complexity. The research methodology is a multiple case study in seven different organizational units of the same super-store corporate.

Findings

Data showed some important results. First of all, internal complexity is unit specific rather than corporate or industry specific. Moreover, it can derive not only from unpredictability and rate of change, but also from variety of elements and their interactions. All these elements form complexity. Internal complexity is characterized by four main elements: uncertainty, dynamicity, diversity and interdependence. Finally, for each of these elements, different organizational strategies are used: in case of uncertainty, for example, a strategy used by the companies is the sharing of information and the development of redundancy.

Originality/value

Originality lies in linking different capabilities with different dimensions of internal complexity.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

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Article
Publication date: 20 January 2020

Mélanie Roussy, Odile Barbe and Sophie Raimbault

From the perspective of two groups of governance actors, this paper aims to understand how internal audit (IA) achieves and consolidates organizational significance.

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1405

Abstract

Purpose

From the perspective of two groups of governance actors, this paper aims to understand how internal audit (IA) achieves and consolidates organizational significance.

Design/methodology/approach

Interviews were conducted with audit committee chairs and chief audit executives from multinational corporations, and the participating corporations’ registration documents were analyzed.

Findings

The data indicate that IA achieves and consolidates organizational significance by activating the IA effectiveness “building blocks” (Lenz et al., 2014) all together so as to generate organizational learning and positive change. New IA effectiveness drivers also emerged from the field.

Research limitations/implications

This research contributes to the IA literature by establishing a connection, through the IA impact on organizational learning, between the constructs of IA effectiveness and organizational significance. It also contributes to the IA literature by identifying new drivers and illustrating the complementarity and interconnections between the IA effectiveness building blocks.

Practical implications

This paper encourages internal auditors to keep their eyes on the prize (i.e. organizational significance) instead of simply being focused on the mean (i.e IA effectiveness), in order to fight stakeholder disappointment.

Originality/value

The paper proposes a conceptual model of IA organizational significance and gives key insights for setting up effective IA to stimulate organizational learning and fostering positive change in the whole organization.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 35 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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Book part
Publication date: 5 November 2021

Yoshitaka Okada

A Novartis social business in India completely separated the activities of its social and business units—the former engaging in raising the health awareness of villagers…

Abstract

A Novartis social business in India completely separated the activities of its social and business units—the former engaging in raising the health awareness of villagers and encouraging them to visit free health camps, while the latter developed affordable medicine delivered directly to village pharmacies. Connections between these units were made through open and fluid market-type mechanisms, and by appealing to the needs and interests of villagers with incentives. This synchronized business model was developed partly because Novartis believed in villagers' self-initiated behavior for health improvements, which made it not interfere into marginalized institutions, and more significantly because it used its internalized control and coordination systems with clear goals of social contribution in operating the business unit. Consequently, Novartis achieved economies of scale, business sustainability, and social contribution.

Details

Institutional Interconnections and Cross-Boundary Cooperation in Inclusive Business
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80117-213-4

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Article
Publication date: 21 June 2011

Jocelyn Small and Derek Walker

The purpose of this paper is to emphasise projects as being part of a social process. It aims to move away from the traditional views that lay emphases on linear and…

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1177

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to emphasise projects as being part of a social process. It aims to move away from the traditional views that lay emphases on linear and predictable models of project practice to one that better highlights the complex nature of human interrelations.

Design/methodology/approach

The work reported upon involved a case study where one of the authors was embedded as a reflective practitioner undertaking action learning and elicitation of knowledge from colleagues using soft systems methodology as a primary research method.

Findings

Findings from the doctoral research implemented in the Middle East, indicate that socio‐cultural factors in project contexts affect knowledge creation processes critical to organisational change.

Research limitations/implications

Research results benefited from viewing the project organization as a “complex adaptive system” with a structurally open project entity facilitating the contextual interconnections necessary for detecting and creating environmental change.

Practical implications

Pragmatic knowledge was seen as emergent through movement of human interactions and contributed to the portrayal of the project organisation as a “becoming” cognitive system whose resilience is dependent upon producing meaning as opposed to processing information. When change management is viewed in a multicultural context such as this, within this paradigm, then greater emphasis will likely be placed upon complexity and uncertainty issues arising out of the interplay of culture and the political aspects of managing change in a more empathic way.

Originality/value

Complexity in project management and theory has traditionally focussed on technical and structural aspects of project practice; but given the heterogeneous nature of human capital residing in today's organisations, aligning social systems with nature where disorder and uncertainty prevail, provides a more relevant ecological model of social analysis. The paper shows that the challenge today for those working in culturally pluralistic project environments is to make sense of such multiple realities and disparities in language to effectively manage the inherent power relationships that influence project outcomes.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 19 July 2013

Sabrina Boulesnane and Laïd Bouzidi

This paper seeks to contribute to the management literature by providing a theoretical frame. The authors analyze the dynamic relationship and interactions that exist…

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1422

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to contribute to the management literature by providing a theoretical frame. The authors analyze the dynamic relationship and interactions that exist between three organizational capabilities (collective intelligence, knowledge management and innovation) and the correlation with decision‐making effectiveness. The aim is identifying the interaction between the different dimensions and the mediating role of information technology.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors’ research question is to determine how organization can combine these capabilities to create superior value and to understand the role played by information technology. Their conceptual model is founded on the interconnection between different dynamic propositions.

Findings

The authors find in the review of the literature that the different capabilities are interdependent and have a positive association with effective decision making and superior value creation.

Research limitations/implications

The authors’ theoretical model could incorporate other organizational capabilities, such as organizational performance. Additionally, ground experimentation and simulation are needed to confirm their proposal.

Practical implications

The findings carry theoretical implications for the decision‐making literature as they extend the scope of the research on information technology management. Moreover, this research allows managers to recognize better how to manage their employees effectively and to extend their strategy space with the aim of identifying new managerial practices.

Originality/value

The conceptual model links various organizational capabilities with strategic notions in the management of organizations. The goal of this theoretical article is to understand how three organizational capabilities affect firms’ decision making and how information technology can optimize the process.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 26 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2006

Jonathan Murphy

The purpose of this article is to contribute to the discussion on criticality in international business by proposing an interconnection between organizational

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1849

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to contribute to the discussion on criticality in international business by proposing an interconnection between organizational managerialism and the construction of a global managerial order.

Design/methodology/approach

Explores the theoretical divide within critical management studies and the challenge provided to theory by internationalization/globalization. Using the case study of the World Bank, examines its organic drive to global governmentality. Examines relevance of C. Wright Mills's theory of the power élite to the advent of a global managerial élite.

Findings

Neither purely realist nor constructivist accounts offer an adequate framework for critical study of international business. Using an approach acknowledging the interweaving of materiality and discourse in construction of a global order, argues that transnational institutions, including the World Bank, play a key role in implementing networked global managerialism. Updates critical élite theory to accommodate globalization and the rise of organized civil society.

Research limitations/implications

Further challenges include mapping global managerial élites and their interconnections.

Practical implications

Critical management researchers should pay more attention to the interconnection between organization‐based theories of control and broader human systems.

Originality/value

Contributes to the application of theories of managerial control beyond the intra‐organizational context.

Details

Critical perspectives on international business, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

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Article
Publication date: 19 February 2018

Campbell Heggen, VG Sridharan and Nava Subramaniam

The purpose of this paper is to examine why firms governed by the same environmental management standards within an industry exhibit contrasting responses, with some…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine why firms governed by the same environmental management standards within an industry exhibit contrasting responses, with some adhering to the letter and others achieving the spirit behind the standards.

Design/methodology/approach

Using Arena et al. (2010) as an analytical schema to examine the institutional dynamics behind such contrasting responses, the paper analyses archival and interview data relating to firm strategy, control technology and human expertise in two contrasting Australian forestry firms.

Findings

The embedding and decoupling of environmental standards with a firm’s environmental management practices is influenced, first, by the extent to which founder directors and senior management integrate environmental responsibility with the underlying business motives and, second, by the use of organisational beliefs and values systems to institutionalise the integrated strategic rationality throughout the firm. Finally, informed by the institutionalised strategic rationality, the participation and expertise of actors across the organisational hierarchy determine the level to which the design and execution of the eco-control technologies move beyond merely monitoring compliance, and act to facilitate continuous improvement, knowledge integration and organisational learning at the operational level.

Originality/value

This paper responds to institutional theorists’ call for a holistic explanation that considers the interactions among several intra-organisational factors to explain the dynamics behind why some firms decouple while others do not, even though the firms exist in the same social and regulatory context.

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Article
Publication date: 4 January 2011

Ian Smith

Which comes first – quality or change? Managing change is inherent in organisational quality enhancement. Managing organisational change and managing organisational

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25981

Abstract

Purpose

Which comes first – quality or change? Managing change is inherent in organisational quality enhancement. Managing organisational change and managing organisational quality go hand‐in‐hand. This paper seeks to look into quality enhancement initiatives to achieve organisational fitness for purpose.

Design/methodology/approach

This discussion focuses first on organisational quality – what quality means, why it is important and the means for achieving quality. The focus then shifts to effective management of organisational change including the nature of change and the high failure rate of change initiatives. Many models, approaches and prescriptions for understanding, and effectively managing, change are available. Two are discussed here: Kotter's eight‐step model of change and Doppelt's seven‐point “wheel of change”. Commonalities and differences of the two approaches are examined and pointers to “green” and “red” lights for change managers are highlighted. A large‐scale organisational reform program at La Trobe University (Australia) provides a case study of complex change in progress. Kotter and Doppelt's frameworks are used to reflect on aspects of that organisation's experience of working with change.

Findings

The discussion concludes by returning to the theme expressed in the title of this paper – quality and change go hand‐in‐hand. Libraries and librarians operating in an environment of rapid and complex change should add to their managerial “toolkits” an understanding of the intersecting issues of organisational quality and organisational change, and a proactive approach to managing both.

Originality/value

Managers and leaders seeking to make change and achieve organisational quality may be well served by keeping these basic green and red lights as markers and check points along the path to reaching change and/or quality objectives.

Details

Library Management, vol. 32 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 25 September 2007

Tara Fenwick

This article aims to discuss issues and strategies of developing practices of ecological sustainability in organizations. Three questions guide the discussion: how are…

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5830

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to discuss issues and strategies of developing practices of ecological sustainability in organizations. Three questions guide the discussion: how are practices of social responsibility and ecological sustainability developed and maintained in organizations? What learning in particular is involved in developing practices of ecological sustainability in organizations? How might this learning be fostered by organizational leaders?

Design/methodology/approach

The article draws from literatures in ecology, ecological learning and corporate social responsibility to describe the nature of ecological sustainability, intents and approaches of organizations developing it, and their challenges. Case examples drawn from studies of small business are examined to explore successful strategies of developing practices of ecological sustainability. These examples are analysed from a learning perspective.

Findings

Challenges that hinder adoption of ecological sustainability practice include low stakeholder understanding and support, low management focus and strategy, and insufficient cost‐benefit analysis. Organizations confronted these challenges by emphasizing education and enabling conditions that fostered learning in everyday action (decentralization, diversity, connections, shared focus, constraints, and feedback).

Research limitations/implications

The discussion shifts the emphasis from corporate social responsibility (CSR) – which has become a broad, contested area of multiple meanings – to ecological sustainability, and shifts the focus from measurement and reporting (prominent in CSR literature) to learning.

Practical implications

Strategies are suggested for organizational leaders to enable conditions for learning that support practices of ecological sustainability.

Originality/value

With the learning perspective, and particularly with the focus on ecological learning models based in complexity science, the article demonstrates a unique link between learning approaches and practices of ecological sustainability.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 28 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

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Article
Publication date: 11 March 2014

J. Augusto Felício, Eduardo Couto and Jorge Caiado

The aim of this paper is to evaluate the human capital and social capital of managers and the influence of these attributes on the performance of small and medium-sized…

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7977

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to evaluate the human capital and social capital of managers and the influence of these attributes on the performance of small and medium-sized Portuguese companies.

Design/methodology/approach

The structural modeling approach was applied to a sample of 199 small and medium-sized companies aged between 3 and 15 years, from five different sectors of activity.

Findings

It was found that human capital affects social capital, and that experience and cognitive ability influence personal relations and complicity. Organizational performance is strongly influenced by human capital through the cognitive ability of the manager.

Practical implications

Based on these findings managers can gain a better knowledge about how to improve the performance of their firms, for example through adjustments in communication methods or strategic decision capacities.

Originality/value

This work is innovative in the sense that it confirms the influence of human capital on social capital, and shows that it is cognitive ability that affects organizational performance.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 52 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

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