Search results

1 – 10 of over 14000
To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 14 March 2019

Tina Ollgaard Bentzen

Public organizations are constantly offered new ideas and concepts that involve a substantial investment of resources when it comes to translating them into organizational

Abstract

Purpose

Public organizations are constantly offered new ideas and concepts that involve a substantial investment of resources when it comes to translating them into organizational practice. An especially powerful group of such concepts in the discourse of organizations comprises so-called “magic concepts” that both pose opportunities and challenges for public leaders trying to translate them. Although critical discussion about the value of popular concepts has been intense in existing research, there is still little knowledge about the factors that determine why some magic concepts have a pervasive influence, while others quickly go out of fashion and leave little trace in organizational practice. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

By combining insights from public leadership theory, implementation theory, institutional theory and organizational psychology, this paper outlines four dimensions that are central to the robustness of the organizational translation of magic concepts. The paper develops a conceptual model labeled “The Translational Diamond,” which suggests that the robust translation of organizational concepts depends on the level of both strategic and local anchoring, as well as the interplay between reflection and experimentation in the translation process. The Translational Diamond is applied in two embedded case studies, which offer insight into the variance between two organizational departments attempting to translate the same magic concept.

Findings

A central argument in the “translational diamond” is that bigger, balanced diamonds reflect more robust translations than smaller, warped diamonds. The results support this assumption. Although the translation of trust involves challenges in both departments, there are much more severe difficulties in the social department, which is characterized by a notably smaller and much more warped diamond than the health and care department.

Research limitations/implications

While this paper argues that strategic and local anchoring and the interplay between reflection and experimentation play a crucial role in the translation of magic concepts, there may be other factors at stake in the process. For example, Røvik argues that the skill of the individual translators engaged in the process is important for creating a robust translation (Røvik, 2007). In addition, magic concepts are potentially involved in a power battle with other magic concepts that are constantly competing for organizational attention (Hood, 2005). Such power dynamics may substantially influence actors’ engagement in translation, but are not within the scope of this paper.

Practical implications

For public leaders, the translational diamond may serve as a conceptual framework that can spur their understanding of, and reflection about, how to support the translation of magic concepts in their organization. For example, archetypically warped diamonds can illustrate the problems that might occur if translation is not sufficiently anchored in all four dimensions. Translating organizational concepts involves respect for the inherent dilemmas of securing a balance between strategic and local perspectives, as well as the strengths of securing feedback loops between reflection and experimentation. These dimensions will not necessarily be equally balanced at all times in the process of translating magic concepts. The conceptual model of the translational diamond may help leaders to understand the current status of a translation and guide them in their endeavor to support a better balance.

Originality/value

While symbolic change may serve other organizational purposes than effectiveness, this paper addresses the under-studied question of how organizational concepts are translated robustly into practice. The originality of the “translational diamond” is its focus on “how” rather than “whether” the translation of magic concepts should be attempted. In addition, the diamond’s integration of theoretical constructs from leadership theory, implementation theory, institutional theory and organizational theory offers a more nuanced understanding of central dimensions impacting organizational translation at a practical level.

Details

International Journal of Public Leadership, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-4929

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 14 December 2020

Arild Wæraas

This paper compares the research traditions of organizational translation studies and adaptation studies. The purpose of this paper is to identify differences and…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper compares the research traditions of organizational translation studies and adaptation studies. The purpose of this paper is to identify differences and similarities in how these traditions approach the study of change in adopted constructs, and by doing so, provide a better understanding of each and how they can inform research into the connection between collective learning and the continuous transformation of circulating constructs.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is conceptual in that it discusses, critiques and compares other authors’ work and thinking. It also has similarities with a literature review in that it draws out the main tendencies of many scholarly contributions from translation and adaptation literatures, respectively.

Findings

Although the paper identifies differences between translation and adaptation literatures concerning their basic assumptions, it also calls for better integration of the insights provided by them. It argues that both are needed to better understand the learning aspects involved in the transformation of circulating constructs.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to compare translation studies with adaptation studies and to call for better integration of these literatures to better understand the change in circulating constructs.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 28 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 5 September 2018

Amanze Rajesh Ejiogu and Chibuzo Ejiogu

The purpose of this paper is to develop an understanding of the process through which ideas are translated across disciplines. It does this by focussing on how the idea…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop an understanding of the process through which ideas are translated across disciplines. It does this by focussing on how the idea that people are corporate assets was translated between the accounting and human resource management (HRM) disciplines.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on the interpretation of a historical case study of the travel of ideas between the accounting and HRM disciplines. Translation is used as an analytical lens as opposed to being the object of the study and is theorised drawing on insights from the Scandinavian Institutionalist School, Skopos theory and linguistic translation techniques.

Findings

Translation by individual translators involved the translator stepping across disciplinary boundaries. However, translation performed by interdisciplinary teams occurs in the “contact zone” between disciplines. In this zone, both disciplines are, at once, source and target. Ideas are translated by editing and fusing them. In both cases, translation is value laden as the motives of the translators determine the translation techniques used. Legitimacy and gravitas of the translator, as well as contextual opportunities, influence the spread of the idea while disciplinary norms limit its ability to become institutionalised. Also, differential application of the same translation rule leads to heterogeneous outcomes.

Originality/value

This is the first accounting translation study to use the theories of the Scandinavian Institutionalist School or indeed combine these with linguistic translation techniques. It is also the first study in accounting which explores the translation of ideas across disciplines.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 31 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 5 April 2021

Jonna Ristolainen, Virpi Outila and Rebecca Piekkari

The purpose of this paper is to explain the reversal of language hierarchy in a Finnish multinational corporation (MNC) from a political perspective. This paper situated…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explain the reversal of language hierarchy in a Finnish multinational corporation (MNC) from a political perspective. This paper situated the language hierarchy in the historical context of the colonial-style relationship between Finland and Russia. From a post-colonial perspective, the colonial legacy of Russia has had an influence on language strategy and everyday translation work in the Finnish multinational until the present day.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper undertook a case study based on qualitative secondary analysis of existing data sets. These data sets originated from two previously conducted studies of the same Finnish MNC.

Findings

The findings revealed a reversal of the traditional corporate language hierarchy. Russian, as the host country language of powerful local subsidiaries, rose to the top of the hierarchy at the expense of English, the common corporate language, and other languages. The colonial-style relationship was enacted by professional and paraprofessional translators who collaborated by using “the master’s language and imitating the master’s voice” to reap the strategic benefits of local responsiveness.

Originality/value

In contrast to previous work drawing on post-colonial theory in the study of MNCs, this paper represents the headquarters in Finland as the “colonised” party and the Russian subsidiaries as the “coloniser.” Owing to its colonial legacy, Russian, the host country language, became very powerful and influenced the language strategy of the entire MNC. This paper conceptualized translation as a multilevel phenomenon and offers a holistic explanation of why the language hierarchy in the Finnish MNC was reversed.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Rochelle Haynes and Phil Almond

This chapter will discuss the extent to which existing models on expatriate functions within the international business literature, still effectively capture the roles…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter will discuss the extent to which existing models on expatriate functions within the international business literature, still effectively capture the roles currently performed by expatriate managers. It analyse the Edstrom and Galbraith (1977) typology and present a conceptual framework on the roles currently performed by expatriate managers within MNCs. To do this, it will draw inspiration from the resource-based view (Barney, 1991; Peng, M. W. (2001). The resource-based view and international business. Journal of Management, 27, 803–829. Wernerfelt, 1984), and the organisation capability view (Grant, 1996). Following several propositions about managers’ key functions within MNCs, challenges of creating an all-encompassing framework on expatriate functions, and suggestions for future research and theoretical development will be identified.

Methodology/approach

This chapter will present a conceptual framework on expatriate functions.

Originality/value

Four decades since Edstrom and Galbraith’s seminal work, international developments have continued to impress upon the way MNCs organise and manage their worldwide activities. Yet, as the business environment progresses, theoretical models examining how international development impact the functions undertaken by expatriate managers within MNCs individuals are still relatively scarce. Hence, this chapter aims to contribute to the theoretical advancement in the area of expatriate functions by highlighting possible changes and expansion of expatriate managers within the current global business context.

Details

The Future Of Global Organizing
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-422-5

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 1 August 2005

Sven Modell

To examine the political and institutional processes surrounding the construction of consumer‐orientated performance measurement (PM) practices in the Swedish university sector.

Abstract

Purpose

To examine the political and institutional processes surrounding the construction of consumer‐orientated performance measurement (PM) practices in the Swedish university sector.

Design/methodology/approach

A longitudinal case study in the Swedish university sector drawing on neo‐institutional sociology (NIS) and adopting an organisational field‐level perspective.

Findings

Particular attention is paid to the political interplay between different actors competing to dominate the representation of student interests in this organisational field, the strategic discourses invoked to legitimise their actions and the unfolding (re‐)construction of PM practices, but also how this interplay is conditioned by institutionalised structures and existing power relationships. The findings suggest that the relative inertia in developing more consumer‐orientated PM is due in large part to the difficulties for an emerging challenger in constructing a legitimate power base enabling it to fully exploit institutional inconsistencies and the ability of a dominant incumbent organisation to accommodate seemingly incompatible institutional pressures.

Originality/value

The study provides deeper and more process‐orientated insights into the problems of translating consumerist notions into public sector PM practices than much prior research on the topic and explains this with reference to macro‐ rather than micro‐level (intra‐organisational) processes.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 4 March 2021

D. Eleanor Westney

International business (IB) emerged in the 1950s and 1960s when cross-border business was expanding rapidly. This expansion came to an abrupt halt in the 1970s, when…

Abstract

International business (IB) emerged in the 1950s and 1960s when cross-border business was expanding rapidly. This expansion came to an abrupt halt in the 1970s, when global economic growth stagnated and a series of crises and challenges raised for IB scholars the same question confronting us today: whether the contemporary crises marked a temporary interruption to the increasing global economic integration of the post-World War II era or a major turning point toward a more fragmented world. Reflecting back on how the IB field responded to this earlier era of disruption can provide some useful guidance for IB scholars today, especially in terms of the value of detailed sector-specific case studies, closer interaction with researchers in the social sciences, and a renewed focus on MNCs as actors engaged in shaping the multiple environments in which they operate.

Details

The Multiple Dimensions of Institutional Complexity in International Business Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-245-1

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 25 November 2019

Panita Surachaikulwattana and Nelson Phillips

Drawing on a case study of the adoption of an American organizational form – the “Academic Health Science Centre” (or “AHSC”) – in English healthcare, the authors develop…

Abstract

Drawing on a case study of the adoption of an American organizational form – the “Academic Health Science Centre” (or “AHSC”) – in English healthcare, the authors develop a model of the “translation work” required to translate an organizational form from one organizational field to another. The findings contribute to the literature on translation and shed light on the microfoundations of institutions by examining the complex relationship among agency, meaning, institutions, and temporality that underpin the translation of a contested organizational form. The authors also show the important, but limited, role of agency when translation occurs at the broad field level and argue that the translation of organization forms can, in at least some situations, best be understood as a “garbage can” rather than the linear and agentic view usually described in the translation literature.

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 20 August 2020

Maria Carmela Annosi, Lucia Marchegiani and Francesca Vicentini

The present study aims to describe the micro-dynamics of decision-making that refer to knowledge translation pursued by organizational actors to see how they affect the…

Abstract

Purpose

The present study aims to describe the micro-dynamics of decision-making that refer to knowledge translation pursued by organizational actors to see how they affect the travel of new ideas within the managerial practice of Project Portfolio Management (PPM). The study focuses on how the alignment of actors' meanings is reached at the organizational level and how they move towards a common direction by synthesizing information and negotiating meanings across the activities that constitute PPM. The study also investigates the intermediation function of information support systems in knowledge translation, which brokers information among those involved in the PPM practice.

Design/methodology/approach

This piece of research uses an inductive, qualitative research approach and a methodological combination of case study research and grounded theory to investigate and explore the processes of knowledge transfer and translation enacted by the organizational actors (both human and non-human) involved in innovation portfolio decision-making.

Findings

The findings of this research reveal the sequence of portfolio decision-making process that confirms that PPM occurs not only in a single hierarchical level or meeting, but that decisions are made across different organizational levels in a complex network of relationships where many actors are involved. We also show that the technological artefacts have an intermediate role in knowledge translation.

Research limitations/implications

Despite referring to a single case study, the results discussed in this piece of research provides insightful evidence for academics and practitioners alike. In fact, the paper discusses organizational pre-alignment and alignment as a crucial enabler of knowledge transfer. Moreover, the intermediate role of an information support system is discussed.

Practical implications

Our study highlights the positive effect on actors' meaningful participation in PPM associated with the adoption of information support systems in PPM. Moreover, our results highlight the importance of considering a horizontal perspective in the decision-making process, so that knowledge translation occurs by leveraging on all the actors' breadth of experience and expertise.

Originality/value

This research emphasizes two organizational routines termed as decision- making preparation processes that were identified as key enablers of portfolio decision-making: cross-functional pre-alignment and an information support system.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 58 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 16 March 2020

Rosa Lombardi, Raffaele Trequattrini, Benedetta Cuozzo and Paola Paoloni

Over recent decades, knowledge transfer processes and knowledge-intensive organizations have been increasingly investigated from several perspectives. Knowledge translation

Abstract

Purpose

Over recent decades, knowledge transfer processes and knowledge-intensive organizations have been increasingly investigated from several perspectives. Knowledge translation activated by knowledge-intensive organizations is supported by several factors, among which intangible assets play a significant role. Our research mainly investigates the relationship between the knowledge owned by knowledge workers in source organizations and the process of its translation to recipient organizations. Specifically, this paper aims at analyzing knowledge translation and organizational performance in the football industry, uncovering both the role of professional football players' skills transfer and the determinants of achieving positive performance at the organizational level.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative method is adopted, using both bivariate linear regression analysis and network analysis. Using key aspects of Nakauchi et al.'s (2007) knowledge transfer framework, intra-organizational dynamics are analyzed based on measurements of the performance of professional football players before and after transferring from one club (the source organization) to another (the recipient organization).

Findings

Our research results are mainly intended to show the factors that influence knowledge translation in the light of team performance improvement. Our empirical analysis shows the need for the coexistence of a combination of factors, especially the quality of the source and recipient organizations and of the relationship between them, to achieve the transferability of professional football players' capabilities and performance.

Practical implications

The academic community, practitioners and policymakers can draw on the theoretical and practical advances made by the findings to address knowledge translation issues with an improved understanding of its factors and determinants.

Originality/value

Despite some limitations to the study, we identify the factors, determinants and contexts that facilitate the transfer of knowledge and specialist knowledge and thus contribute to the successful operation of contemporary organizations. Moreover, the results of our analysis are applicable to all economic sectors.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 58 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

1 – 10 of over 14000