A burgeoning literature refers to the effect of hypercompetitive conditions on organizations. The new orthodoxy involves reference to the disintegration of vertical…
A burgeoning literature refers to the effect of hypercompetitive conditions on organizations. The new orthodoxy involves reference to the disintegration of vertical, rational bureaucracies and the corresponding emergence of widespread innovation in new organizational practices such as delayering, outsourcing, and reducing organizational boundaries. Differing assumptions occur regarding the compatibility of new organizational practices with more traditional practices such as centralization and formalization. We present systematic, survey‐based data in order to assist in assessing these differing assumptions about compatibility. Our results confirm greater use of new organizational practices by organizations operating in dynamic environments. They also show that greater use of new organizational practices is not associated with less use of either centralization or formalization—indeed it is associated with an increased use of formalization. We argue the need to move beyond a compatibility/incompatibility dichotomy and propose a research agenda for achieving this. The implications for management include the need to view with caution evangelical calls for radical restructuring that ignore the subtleties of the relationship between traditional and new organizational practices.
The paper focuses on the question of the extent to which individual preference-based values are suitable in guiding environmental policy and damage assessment decisions…
The paper focuses on the question of the extent to which individual preference-based values are suitable in guiding environmental policy and damage assessment decisions. Three criteria for “suitableness” are reviewed: conceptual, moral and legal. Their discussion suggests that: (i) the concept of economic value as applied to environmental resources is a meaningful concept based on the notion of trade-off; (ii) the limitations of the moral foundations of cost-benefit analysis do not invalidate its use as a procedure for guiding environmental decision making; (iii) the input of individual preferences into damage assessment is compatible with the basic foundations of tort law; (iv) using individual preference-based methods provides incentives for efficient levels of due care; (v) determining standing is still very contentious for various categories of users as well as for aggregating non-use values. Overall, the discussion suggests that the use of preference-based approaches in both the policy and legal arenas is warranted provided that they are accurately applied, their limitations are openly acknowledged and they assume an information-providing rather than a determinative role.
Consulting firms cite knowledge management as a core capability for achieving competitive advantage. Consistent with this claim has been their increasing investment in…
Consulting firms cite knowledge management as a core capability for achieving competitive advantage. Consistent with this claim has been their increasing investment in systems that seek to formalize knowledge management and allow firms to leverage the knowledge held within the firm. However, despite some successes, knowledge management remains a major challenge. Investigates this situation, using a framework that distinguishes between input and output challenges. Input challenges relate to the production of a knowledge base that is able to be shared within the firm. Output challenges relate to the capacity for effective utilization of any such knowledge base. Concludes with a discussion of the way in which changes in the pattern of consulting services has implications for the sort of knowledge that various consulting firms wish to codify, the dangers associated with codification and the means by which these can be managed.
The concept “flexibility” is ubiquitous as a rationale for organizational change. However, its broad application is accompanied by a general lack of definitional agreement…
The concept “flexibility” is ubiquitous as a rationale for organizational change. However, its broad application is accompanied by a general lack of definitional agreement or theoretical cohesion. The purpose of this paper is to propose the merits of an alternative approach – applying a discourse perspective to the use of flexibility as a rationale for organizational change.
This paper first illustrates the broad referencing of flexibility as a desired organizational characteristic. It then discusses the associated lack of theoretical coherence associated with the use of the concept “flexibility” before arguing the merits of a discourse perspective on flexibility as a rationale for organizational change.
This paper identifies a set of questions to frame a discourse perspective on the use of “flexibility” as a rationale for organizational change.
The questions derived in this paper provide a research agenda for an investigation of the use and effects of the concept “flexibility” in the context of organizational change.
The questions derived in this paper provide practice‐based insights into how the concept “flexibility” is and/or could be used in the context of organizational change.
“Flexibility” is a ubiquitous concept as a rationale for organizational change and its use is accompanied by a diversity of definitions and conceptual frameworks. The originality of this paper is that rather than seeking to provide yet another definition – or attempting a resolution of definitional differences – it argues the merits of a discourse perspective on the use and effect of the concept flexibility in the context of organizational change.
Since the mid‐1980s, there has been strong advocacy of the use of reframing through the application of organizational metaphors as one of the skills of the “new” manager…
Since the mid‐1980s, there has been strong advocacy of the use of reframing through the application of organizational metaphors as one of the skills of the “new” manager. The reframing approach champions the virtues of analysing and responding to organizational situations through the use of multiple frames and is centrally implicated in the process of organizational change. The underlying message is that it enables both analysis and action to occur. Argues that this link has not been adequately explored in the literature which tends to assume that “appropriate” actions are able to be taken and that they will be successful. Explores four main constraints: cognitive limits; frame dominance and the limits of language; conceptions of action and their limits on reframing; and knowledge and power as limits to reframing.
INDUSTRIALLY the two ‘in’ words today seem to be participation and consensus, the first leading to the second. How these can become a reality in modern business was discussed recently by the London Region of the Institute of Work Study Practitioners.
A common argument is that organizations should adopt new organizational practices, in order to respond to the hyper‐competitive business environment. The assumption…
A common argument is that organizations should adopt new organizational practices, in order to respond to the hyper‐competitive business environment. The assumption underlying this argument is that such adoption generally entails the replacement of traditional practices. We suggest, instead, that managers are more likely to be managing simultaneously both new and old organizational practices. We explore our position through an investigation of the use of remote collaboration technologies in film production. In our study of US, UK and Australian film production houses we identify seven organizational dualities which characterize remote collaborations: creative work/routines, freedom/constraint, trust/control, artistic excellence/cost effectiveness, collaboration/competition, emotional/rational and closeness/remoteness. One side of each relationship represents organizational practices commonly associated with traditional forms of organizing, while the other represents those practices commonly associated with new forms of organizing. The coexistence of these dualities suggests that new organizational forms are not replacing traditional forms but rather co‐exist with, and become incorporated into, remolded traditional forms.
Woller, Dunford, and Woodworth (1999) and Morduch (2000) were among the first to discuss the existence of a “schism” in the study of microfinance. Although the exact dimensions of this divide are stated differently by various authors, the existence of alternative schools of thought is widely accepted (Brett, 2006; Bhatt & Tang, 2001; Mitlin, 2002; Robinson, 2001; Rhyne, 1998).