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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 11 July 2017

Monder Ram, Paul Edwards, Trevor Jones and Maria Villares-Varela

The purpose of this paper is to assess ways in which informality can be understood and reviews an emerging area of management scholarship. The origins and nature of informality…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess ways in which informality can be understood and reviews an emerging area of management scholarship. The origins and nature of informality are discussed with the aid of two different theoretical tools: “workplace sociology” (WS) and “mixed embeddedness” (ME).

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis is grounded in empirical material reflecting different aspects of informality mainly within the ethnic economy, such as a study on the implementation of the National Minimum Wage regulations (Ram et al., 2007; Jones et al., 2004, 2006).

Findings

The authors argue that the combination of WS and ME provides a valuable means of content and character of informality. It can also help to explaining variations and patterns within the informal economy, as well as understanding new forms of informality in the ethnic economy and beyond in “superdiverse” contexts.

Originality/value

This paper bridges two different theoretical approaches to explain the interactions between the firm and state regulations, as well as the workplace relations between employer and employees.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 37 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 November 2017

Jo Bates

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to further develop Paul Edwards’ concept of “data friction” by examining the socio-material forces that are shaping data movements in…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to further develop Paul Edwards’ concept of “data friction” by examining the socio-material forces that are shaping data movements in the cases of research data and online communications data, second, to articulate a politics of data friction, identifying the interrelated infrastructural, socio-cultural and regulatory dynamics of data friction, and how these are contributing to the constitution of social relations.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper develops a hermeneutic review of the literature on socio-material factors influencing the movement of digital data between social actors in the cases of research data sharing and online communications data. Parallels between the two cases are identified and used to further develop understanding of the politics of “data friction” beyond the concept’s current usage within the Science Studies literature.

Findings

A number of overarching parallels are identified relating to the ways in which new data flows and the frictions that shape them bring social actors into new forms of relation with one another, the platformisation of infrastructures for data circulation, and state action to influence the dynamics of data movement. Moments and sites of “data friction” are identified as deeply political – resulting from the collective decisions of human actors who experience significantly different levels of empowerment with regard to shaping the overall outcome.

Research limitations/implications

The paper further develops Paul Edwards’ concept of “data friction” beyond its current application in Science Studies. Analysis of the broader dynamics of data friction across different cases identifies a number of parallels that require further empirical examination and theorisation.

Practical implications

The observation that sites of data friction are deeply political has significant implications for all engaged in the practice and management of digital data production, circulation and use.

Social implications

It is argued that the concept of “data friction” can help social actors identify, examine and act upon some of the complex socio-material dynamics shaping emergent data movements across a variety of domains, and inform deliberation at all levels – from everyday practice to international regulation – about how such frictions can be collectively shaped towards the creation of more equitable and just societies.

Originality/value

The paper makes an original contribution to the literature on friction in the dynamics of digital data movement, arguing that in many cases data friction may be something to enable and foster, rather than overcome. It also brings together literature from diverse disciplinary fields to examine these frictional dynamics within two cases that have not previously been examined in relation to one another.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 74 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2005

Paul Edwards

InterAct's Bridges to Work programme aims to help adults recovering from mental illness return to work or find employment for the first time. Since its inception in 1995, the…

Abstract

InterAct's Bridges to Work programme aims to help adults recovering from mental illness return to work or find employment for the first time. Since its inception in 1995, the programme has helped some 250 people find jobs or go into further education and supported 600 others towards this goal. Paul Edwards describes how recently the focus has switched to early intervention and fast‐tracking people back to work, to prevent the socially disabling effects of long‐term sickness absence.

Details

A Life in the Day, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-6282

Article
Publication date: 4 November 2013

Judy Foster Davis

The influence of research on decisions concerning black consumers by mainstream marketers between 1920 and 1970 is to be examined. Market opportunity analysis provides a…

6291

Abstract

Purpose

The influence of research on decisions concerning black consumers by mainstream marketers between 1920 and 1970 is to be examined. Market opportunity analysis provides a theoretical foundation. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is based on examination of rare books, archival and proprietary documents housed at the Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising and Marketing History at Duke University; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library; the Museum of Public Relations and relevant literature concerning research on black consumers.

Findings

Mainstream companies were motivated to pursue black consumers on the basis of attractive consumption habits, demographic and psychographic characteristics revealed by informal and formal research available as early as the 1920s. During and after the Second World War, research on black consumers became widely available to corporate executives through the trade press, trade associations, academic literature and internal corporate efforts. White and black scholars, entrepreneurs and marketing professionals were instrumental in collecting, disseminating and interpreting information regarding African-American consumers. Research not only prompted corporate interest in the black consumer market by appealing to profit motives, but also encouraged ground-breaking change in the way that blacks were addressed and portrayed in marketing materials.

Originality/value

This examination expands the literature by introducing information from materials not previously analysed which explains interest in black consumers from marketers' perspectives. Analysis indicates that economic self-interest, more so than social pressures driven by civil rights efforts, prompted mainstream marketers' interest in black consumers. At the same time, socioeconomic gains associated with civil rights advancements transformed African-Americans into an attractive consumer segment widely recognized by mainstream marketers.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 29 August 2017

Peter J. Edwards, Paul A. Bowen and Keith S. Cattell

In this chapter, the nature and extent of corruption in the construction industry is considered from a worldwide perspective, but particularly in the context of research conducted…

Abstract

In this chapter, the nature and extent of corruption in the construction industry is considered from a worldwide perspective, but particularly in the context of research conducted in South Africa. The definition of corruption is expanded to include conflict of interest and unethical conduct. Corruption in the construction industry is found to be universal and pervasive, occurring in all areas, at all stages, at all levels, and in all forms. A simple triangular model of corruption is replaced by a more complex four-dimensional risk-based model. The challenge for the construction industry, in combating corruption, will essentially require multilateral action in all four dimensions of the enhanced model: eliminating and reducing opportunities where possible; relieving the pressures to commit corrupt acts; rebutting the rationales and arguments used to excuse corruption; and substantially improving and innovating more forensic methods of detection. While the decision to engage in corruption is risk-based, particularly in terms of the capacity to evade detection; in essence corruption is a cultural and moral issue for society.

Details

The Handbook of Business and Corruption
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-445-7

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 7 August 2019

Paul N. Edwards

Many components of infrastructure are technological: pipes, asphalt, routers, buildings and other artifacts. Others are social: organizations, standards, laws, budgets or…

Abstract

Many components of infrastructure are technological: pipes, asphalt, routers, buildings and other artifacts. Others are social: organizations, standards, laws, budgets or political arrangements. Finally, some components are individual human beings who contribute to infrastructure development and maintenance, or simply make use of it in their daily lives. Relationships among these elements often shift. One typical trajectory reduces the role of individual action (choices, skills and behavior) by replacing it with social mechanisms such as organizations, laws and standards, and/or technological elements such as sensors and software. Another trajectory, equally possible and sometimes desirable, moves in the other direction, replacing technological mechanisms with social ones and/or with individual choice and action. While both trajectories create “automatic” systems, in the second case the automaticity is embodied in people and/or organizational routines. All infrastructures require users to learn and adopt these behavioral regularities. Once rendered fully habitual or incorporated into widely diffused organizational routines, such regularities can be regarded as components of infrastructure. They play a key role in the phenomenon of invisibility or transparency in well-functioning infrastructures.

This chapter explores examples from several different nations that show how infrastructures depend on habits, norms and routines, and how the persistence of automaticity in social systems and individuals creates its own forms of path dependence and structural inertia. My title plays on Anthony Giddens’s notion of “structuration” to evoke the mutually constructive character of agency and structure.

Details

Thinking Infrastructures
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-558-0

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 May 1986

Keith Sisson

The past two years have seen considerable changes in the organisation of the Industrial Relations Research Unit (IRRU) at the University of Warwick as well as its personnel. It is…

Abstract

The past two years have seen considerable changes in the organisation of the Industrial Relations Research Unit (IRRU) at the University of Warwick as well as its personnel. It is now a Designated Research Centre (DRC) for which the university is responsible, as opposed to the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). The unit now comprises members of the DRC and of the industrial relations teaching staff of the school. An overview of the main research projects being undertaken during the first phase of the eight‐year term of the DRC is given. These can be divided into three broad areas: those concerned with managing industrial relations; trade unions and collective bargaining; and the law and industrial relations. Some of the thinking behind these projects is given. It is argued that continuity is as important as change in the work of the unit, in particular in the value placed on theoretical developments and interdisciplinary research. There is no reason why new areas of investigation cannot be accommodated within additional definitions of industrial relations

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 8 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 1997

Martyn Wright and Paul Edwards

How globalization is shaping workplace change is increasingly debated. Much discussion has focused upon the forms of work organization, such as teamworking, which appear to be…

Abstract

How globalization is shaping workplace change is increasingly debated. Much discussion has focused upon the forms of work organization, such as teamworking, which appear to be associated with global production systems (Geary, 1995, Elger and Smith, 1994). This paper examines a teamworking initiative at a British aluminium smelter, part of a Canadian multinational company. At the smelter, direct supervision was largely abolished and team‐based, self regulating workgroups were introduced. The nature and effectiveness of this programme are assessed.

Details

Management Research News, vol. 20 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

Article
Publication date: 1 April 2000

Stein Inge Nesvag

Presents findings from a case study looking at African medicine vendors in Durban, South Africa. Compares the culturally repressive apartheid period with the post‐apartheid…

Abstract

Presents findings from a case study looking at African medicine vendors in Durban, South Africa. Compares the culturally repressive apartheid period with the post‐apartheid explosion of self‐realization of the African population. Shows that street vending is still seen as an eyesore and a problem but still plays an important role in the post‐apartheid era as a form of resistance to simplistic African policies.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 20 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 January 1966

LOUGHBOROUGH was the first of the post‐war schools to be established in 1946. This resulted from negotiations of representatives of the Library Association Council with technical…

Abstract

LOUGHBOROUGH was the first of the post‐war schools to be established in 1946. This resulted from negotiations of representatives of the Library Association Council with technical and other colleges which followed their failure to secure facilities within the universities on the terms of the L.A. remaining the sole certificating body. The late Dr. Herbert Schofield accepted their terms and added a library school to already varied fields of training within his college.

Details

New Library World, vol. 67 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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