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Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 38 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2018

Sarah Browne, Pamela Sharkey Scott, Vincent Mangematin and Patrick Gibbons

The purpose of this paper is to provide guidelines for practitioners for developing creative strategies and new business models.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide guidelines for practitioners for developing creative strategies and new business models.

Design/Methodology/Approach

This paper reviews more than 150 interviews with CEOs, directors and business unit heads from across functional areas over the past decade, and captures best practices in strategy development and business modelling.

Findings

Findings of this study were combined with a review of relevant research papers from leading academic and practitioner journals to identify three critical management practices: challenging mental models, looking beyond logic and encouraging openness for new ideas, which enable organizations to develop creative strategies for building better business models.

Originality/Value

This paper demonstrates how these three practices combined can serve as a much needed tool for creative strategy design and development, particularly for established companies, when confronted with new forms of competition.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 39 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

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Book part
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Dorota Piaskowska, Esther Tippmann, Tina C. Ambos and Pamela Sharkey Scott

Today’s MNCs need to adopt smart ways of organizing to tap into the potential of their complex internal and external relationships. This requires MNCs to identify the…

Abstract

Purpose

Today’s MNCs need to adopt smart ways of organizing to tap into the potential of their complex internal and external relationships. This requires MNCs to identify the relevant relationships and to develop appropriate relational skills and capabilities. Hence this chapter addresses two key questions: what kind of relational structures and qualities are conducive to value creation, and how can MNCs best develop and utilize their complex relationships?

Methodology/approach

The chapter reviews the main developments in the area of MNC organizing to date. Subsequently three examples of novel on-going research into MNC relationships are presented. Finally avenues for future research and links to related areas in international business research are discussed.

Findings

The relational perspective on the MNC is well-established. Past research, however, has mostly taken the view of the headquarters-subsidiary dyad without fully conceptualizing the multiplicity of relationships and interdependencies of individuals, groups, and units in the MNC. This chapter uncovers the relational skills required to improve MNC value creation abilities by influencing and leveraging connections among disparate units and individuals to tap their expertise and creative potential. This includes insights into abilities for managing and balancing multiple networks, abilities for mobilizing relevant network actors when driving bottom-up processes, and abilities for facilitating connections and collaboration among different actors.

Originality/value

This chapter advances the understanding and practice of multinational organizing. It presents novel ways to systematically address the complexities and interdependencies of relational effects on the ability of MNCs to create value.

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Book part
Publication date: 10 August 2016

Marty Reilly and Pamela Sharkey Scott

Increased global competition originating from both within the multinational corporation (MNC) and from global adversaries dictates that subsidiaries must be responsive to…

Abstract

Increased global competition originating from both within the multinational corporation (MNC) and from global adversaries dictates that subsidiaries must be responsive to change, adaptable, and capable of sensing and seizing new opportunities for capability development and growth. For many subsidiaries adhering to, or being seen to adhere to, the wider organizational goals dictated by their parent represents an additional complexity. While it may be necessary to divert slack resources towards capability development, subsidiaries which do so, on their own initiative, may well run the risk of being categorized as an unruly node in the MNC’s network. Further, by failing to show compliance with organizational strategy future subsidiary-driven efforts may be curbed or prohibited.

The need to demonstrate value to the MNC through developing new and novel capabilities while complying with parent-driven strategy thus represents a key subsidiary dilemma, yet remains an underexplored phenomenon in international business research. Framing this dilemma via an ambidexterity lens, our chapter explores how five subsidiary units balance and negotiate allegiances within a modern MNC context. We find that in the subsidiary context aligning and adapting may not be competing or exclusive strategies, but in effect two sides of the same coin. The structural context can shape relative levels of alignment via controlling mechanisms and monitoring of operations while the subsidiary’s behavioral context, idiosyncratic to the subsidiary, can dictate its capacity to generate initiatives and to create new and novel capabilities for diffusion across the MNC network.

Details

Perspectives on Headquarters-subsidiary Relationships in the Contemporary MNC
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-370-2

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Content available
Article
Publication date: 21 March 2019

Kirstin Scholten, Pamela Sharkey Scott and Brian Fynes

Organisations must build resilience to be able to deal with disruptions or non-routine events in their supply chains. While learning is implicit in definitions of supply…

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3971

Abstract

Purpose

Organisations must build resilience to be able to deal with disruptions or non-routine events in their supply chains. While learning is implicit in definitions of supply chain resilience (SCRes), there is little understanding of how exactly organisations can adapt their routines to build resilience. The purpose of this study is to address this gap.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is an in-depth qualitative case study based on 28 interviews across five companies, exploring learning to build SCRes.

Findings

This study uncovers six learning mechanisms and their antecedents that foster SCRes. The learning mechanisms identified suggest that through knowledge creation within an organisation and knowledge transfer across the supply chain and broader network of stakeholders, operating routines are built and/or adapted both intentionally and unintentionally during three stages of a supply chain disruption: preparation, response and recovery.

Practical implications

This study shows how the impact of a supply chain disruption may be reduced by intentional and unintentional learning in all three disruption phases. By being aware of the antecedents of unintentional learning, organisations can more consciously adapt routines. Furthermore, findings highlight the potential value of additional attention to knowledge transfer, particularly in relation to collaborative and vicarious learning across the supply chain and broader network of stakeholders not only in preparation for, but also in response to and recovery from disruptions.

Originality/value

This study contributes novel insights about how learning leads both directly and indirectly to the evolution of operating routines that help an organisation and its supply chains to deal with disruptions. Results detail six specific learning mechanisms for knowledge creation and knowledge transfer and their antecedents for building SCRes. In doing so, this study provides new fine-grained theoretical insights about how SCRes can be improved through all three phases of a disruption. Propositions are developed for theory development.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 13 July 2018

Deirdre McQuillan, Pamela Sharkey Scott and Vincent Mangematin

The management of reputation and status is central to creative professional service firms (CPSFs) rendering the internationalisation process a particular challenge. The…

Abstract

Purpose

The management of reputation and status is central to creative professional service firms (CPSFs) rendering the internationalisation process a particular challenge. The authors build on arguments that internationalisation requires moving from outsidership to insidership within client networks and focus on how CPSFs build signals about quality to start this process. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The exploration draws from the international business, professional services and organisational status bodies of literature. A multiple case study design was developed comprising ten Irish architecture firms. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted.

Findings

The findings clarify how relationships start in the internationalisation process through signal building about quality. This allows CPSFs to join client networks moving from outsidership to insidership. The findings systemise three different approaches for CPSFs: from outsidership to insidership within a local market network, within a global industry network and within a global project network.

Research limitations/implications

Research within other sectoral and geographical contexts could support transferability of the findings.

Practical implications

The study has implications for international business strategies as it identifies multiple paths to relevant network insidership and the tactical responses managers can use to achieve this.

Originality/value

The authors believe that incorporating signal-building mechanisms into the internationalisation process is a novel approach to theorizing about how CPSFs move from outsidership to insidership. The authors offer important theoretical insights into the international business, professional service firm and organisational status literatures. CPSF business leaders should benefit as it helps them to focus on a portfolio of signal-building approaches that can start the internationalisation process.

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Article
Publication date: 3 July 2009

Pamela Sharkey Scott and Patrick T. Gibbons

This paper aims to enhance the understanding of how subsidiary CEOs can move their unit's activities up the value chain and reduce the risk of subsidiary closure and

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1104

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to enhance the understanding of how subsidiary CEOs can move their unit's activities up the value chain and reduce the risk of subsidiary closure and relocation of its activities.

Design/methodology/approach

The entire population of over 1,100 subsidiaries of multinational corporations (MNCs) located in Ireland were sampled for this study, representing a diversified pool in terms of foreign ownership. Respondents were largely subsidiary CEOs. In addition, 24 subsidiary CEOs/directors from a cross section of eight subsidiaries were interviewed.

Findings

CEOs/directors are taking active steps to enhance their subsidiary's role within the MNC and to move their activities up the value chain. These include positioning to extend subsidiary autonomy, building information networks, creating a climate for entrepreneurship and promoting strategy development processes.

Research limitations/implications

Results from the survey are subject to the standard limitations and a larger pool of interviewees may have strengthened the findings.

Practical implications

Little practical guidance is available to subsidiary CEOs on how they can reduce their subsidiary's relocation risk. This paper addresses this gap and provides a stimulus to CEOs to be proactive in managing their subsidiary's ability to recognize and exploit opportunities to enhance subsidiary contribution and position within their MNC.

Originality/value

While other papers have focused on how subsidiaries can generate initiatives or promote entrepreneurship, the unique contribution of this paper is the identification of strategies CEOs can adopt to enhance their subsidiary's ability to respond to opportunities and position for survival and growth within their MNC.

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 37 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

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Book part
Publication date: 27 October 2015

Deirdre McQuillan and Pamela Sharkey Scott

The leading frameworks of internationalization have contributed significantly to our knowledge of how firms internationalize, but do not fully explain how firms actually…

Abstract

The leading frameworks of internationalization have contributed significantly to our knowledge of how firms internationalize, but do not fully explain how firms actually create and capture value from customers when internationalizing their activities. Understanding the value creation and capture activities defining their business model(s) is critical for firms moving into less familiar markets, and is particularly relevant for service firms where variability is an inherent feature of the firm/client experience. To address this gap, we take a business model perspective to analyze 144 internationalization events of 10 professional service firms. We find that the case firms adopted four different business models when internationalizing, and that single firms may utilize portfolios of business models. Our findings contribute to both the services internationalization and business model literatures by showing how variability in the internationalization process substantiates the need for business model portfolios.

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Article
Publication date: 10 May 2013

Deirdre Canavan, Pamela Sharkey Scott and Vincent Mangematin

Reliance on individual talent and motivation renders creative professional service firms (PSFs) highly dependent on their ability to attract and mobilise the right

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2534

Abstract

Purpose

Reliance on individual talent and motivation renders creative professional service firms (PSFs) highly dependent on their ability to attract and mobilise the right individuals. This paper aims to build an integrated framework showing firstly how creative industry PSFs can differ in their strategy for growth, and secondly how these alternative strategies for growth can influence the firm's approach to organising and the type of talent required.

Design/methodology/approach

The findings are based on a series of interviews with managing directors, senior management and practitioners of architectural organisations in a single country, combined with an extensive literature review.

Findings

The authors' framework illustrates how the proposed growth strategies for creative PSFs are aligned to alternative professional talent profiles – a product portfolio strategy where the firm structures for efficiency aligned to a managerial talent profile, and an artistic competency strategy where the firm structures for creativity aligned to a technical talent profile.

Research limitations/implications

The usual limitations apply in terms of generalisability of findings from case studies.

Practical implications

The authors' proposed framework represents a novel attempt to help management of creative PSFs to align their growth strategies with human resource practice to achieve the firm's objectives, and provide valuable practical advice to managers on achieving this “fit”.

Originality/value

By linking the firm's strategy and structure to identify the organisation's human resource requirements, the authors provide a novel framework for how creative PSFs can attract and retain the type of talent profile and motivational characteristics best suited to perform consistently and contribute to achieving the firm objectives.

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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2010

Kirstin Scholten, Pamela Sharkey Scott and Brian Fynes

The purpose of this paper is to explore the concept of agility in the context of supply chains of humanitarian aid (HA) organizations, particularly non‐government…

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4451

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the concept of agility in the context of supply chains of humanitarian aid (HA) organizations, particularly non‐government organizations (NGOs). This responds to the increasing pressure on NGOs to use their resources more strategically if they are to gain donor trust and long‐term commitment.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature‐based approach that extends the commercial supply chain concept of agility to NGOs is combined with the first exploratory semi‐structured interviews of these concepts with five NGO supply chain directors.

Findings

The commercial concept of agility when responding to disaster relief holds strong potential for increasing efficiency and effectiveness, but this application is restrained by the absence of supporting information technology (IT) and the relegation of supply chain management (SCM) to the “back office” by NGOs. This has potential implications for NGOs and other HA agencies.

Research limitations/implications

This paper represents an exploratory study, and an extended pool of interviewees would reinforce the qualitative findings. Planned future research will address this issue.

Practical implications

Practical guidance on how NGOs can proactively manage their organization's ability to respond with agility in a highly pressured environment is provided.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to offer practical guidance to managers of NGOs on strategies available to improve their organization's flexibility and agility, based on theoretical concepts and initial exploratory data. In addition, evidence of how commercial tools apply in a different arena may prompt commercial managers to be more innovative in utilizing and customizing supply chain principles to their particular context of operation.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 40 no. 8/9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

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