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Article
Publication date: 23 August 2021

Richard Badham

Taking issue with the predominance of reviews of James March’s writings that focus on his technical contributions to organizational studies, this study aims to emphasize…

Abstract

Purpose

Taking issue with the predominance of reviews of James March’s writings that focus on his technical contributions to organizational studies, this study aims to emphasize the central significance and contemporary relevance of his critical reflections on the meaning of life and work in modern organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses a novel framework illustrated by extensive original quotations for capturing and making more accessible March’s profound contribution to organization studies. His work on organizational behaviour and decision-making is viewed as identifying and grappling with three key paradoxes of modernity: of rationality, performance and meaning. His prescriptions on how to handle and address these paradoxes are explored through a focus on his reflections on the poetry of leadership.

Findings

Whilst March himself emphasized that not all of his insights can be captured in an article level overview, March, his collaborator Olsen and others who worked with and studied under him have confirmed the accuracy of the review and the value of the enterprise.

Practical implications

Capturing March’s advocacy of sensible foolishness and playful seriousness in the face of ambiguity, uncertainty and contestation hopefully contribute to enhancing practitioners’ “lightness of being” in coping with and finding meaning in challenging environments.

Originality/value

Through the range of ideas covered, the framework used and the extensive use of March’s own worlds, the study, hopefully, communicates the depth and richness of March’s humanitarian enterprise and the “playfully serious spirit” that he advocates and exemplifies – in a way that is often omitted from narrower, more technical and somewhat dry treatments of his work.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2007

Richard Badham, Karin Garrety and Michael Zanko

This paper seeks to raise for discussion and reflection some of the key dynamics of action research projects‐in‐practice. It focuses in particular on how action…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to raise for discussion and reflection some of the key dynamics of action research projects‐in‐practice. It focuses in particular on how action researchers broker academic and client interests, and how this brokering shifts over time.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on participant observation, drawing on the reflective and processual accounts of action researchers involved in a collaborative academic–industry–government project.

Findings

The paper argues that the scope of action research projects to effectively address the needs of both audiences is compromised by managerialism in universities and organizations. However, the emergent and chaotic nature of action research provides opportunities for researchers to overcome some of these limitations.

Research limitations/implications

The paper provides a model and case analysis to support critical reflection amongst action researchers.

Practical implications

If the argument of the paper is accepted, then action researchers are required to pay greater attention to the dangers of managerialism in universities, and explore how such dangers can be overcome.

Originality/value

The originality of the paper lies in its self‐critical sociological reflexivity. Its value depends on whether or not this is found to be valuable by action researchers.

Details

Management Research News, vol. 30 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2001

Richard Badham, Karin Garrety and Christina Kirsch

The political nature of technology design and implementation is explicitly addressed in “human centred” projects to introduce technologies that support job enrichment…

Abstract

The political nature of technology design and implementation is explicitly addressed in “human centred” projects to introduce technologies that support job enrichment, group autonomy and industrial democracy. Yet the political meaning of such projects does not simply manifest itself in pure form from the methods employed or the intentions of the humanistic actors but, rather, from the complex configuration of these and other factors present in the design and implementation context. Illustrates this theme in an analysis of a case study human centred project. Argues that an improved understanding of the configurational politics surrounding such projects is not only an important research area but is also of practical significance in improving humanistic and other interventions in innovation processes in modern organisations.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1989

Joel. I. Nelson

The course and development of capitalism is a central issue in socio‐logical analysis (Marx, 1936; Harrington, 1976; Bernstein, 1985; Badham, 1984; Baran and Sweezy, 1977;…

Abstract

The course and development of capitalism is a central issue in socio‐logical analysis (Marx, 1936; Harrington, 1976; Bernstein, 1985; Badham, 1984; Baran and Sweezy, 1977; Dahrendorf, 1959; Mandel, 1976). Though there is little agreement on the destiny of capitalism, there is general recognition that capitalism has been altered by recent social change. These changes have been widely discussed around ideas pertaining to the regulation of economic actors, legal constraints on wages and the general increase of welfare programmes. Of these developments, welfare and social services have been the most carefully monitored in the sociological literature. Since welfare programmes provide goods and services without regard to social and economic status, welfare has been correctly interpreted as a significant modification of capitalism.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 9 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2012

This paper aims to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting‐edge research and case studies.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting‐edge research and case studies.

Design/methodology/approach

This briefing is prepared by an independent writer who adds their own impartial comments and places the articles in context.

Findings

Great leaders will have fine strategic skills, communication skills, and business and financial acumen. They will recognize the need for change while also preserving the company's most important values, they will be self‐aware, self‐reflective, inspirational, willing to listen, able to influence people by their actions and oratory. And so on. Nobody embraces all these talents and some of them are not entirely complementary. The consummate definition of leadership also creates its own problems.

Practical implications

The paper provides strategic insights and practical thinking that have influenced some of the world's leading organizations.

Originality/value

The briefing saves busy executives and researchers hours of reading time by selecting only the very best, most pertinent information and presenting it in a condensed and easy‐to digest format.

Details

Strategic Direction, vol. 28 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0258-0543

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Article
Publication date: 20 June 2008

Andrew J. Sense and Richard J. Badham

The purpose of this paper is to briefly summarise a successfully completed doctoral thesis which longitudinally and intimately explored the social dynamics of learning…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to briefly summarise a successfully completed doctoral thesis which longitudinally and intimately explored the social dynamics of learning activity within a project team.

Design/methodology/approach

This research was pursued through participative action research applied to a case study project team.

Findings

The key findings of this study included the identification and analysis of five sociological elements which moderate the situated learning behaviour of participants while they are on‐the‐job. Combined, these elements form a model of project situated learning behaviour.

Practical implications

The findings generated focus attention on the complex social and practical issues involved in learning within projects and provide a framework that aids practitioners' systematic reflection and action on their learning activities.

Originality/value

This study provides deep and original insights into the learning phenomenon within the practice of project management. There has already been numerous journal publications generated from it, and in late 2007, the author of this thesis published a book largely based on this doctoral work entitled Cultivating Learning within Projects, by Andrew Sense, Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN: 0230006914 ISBN‐13: 9780230006911. This book can be sourced directly from Palgrave Macmillan at: www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?PID = 276502

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 1996

Richard Badham and Paul Couchman

Considers the Smart Manufacturing Techniques project designed to implement team‐based manufacturing cells in participating Australian companies. Draws on case studies of…

Abstract

Considers the Smart Manufacturing Techniques project designed to implement team‐based manufacturing cells in participating Australian companies. Draws on case studies of the three participating groups to explore the nature of socio‐technical implementation processes. Argues that an improved understanding of socio‐technical systems is needed, and that action research is the best method to do that. Concludes by presenting a configuration process model and applies this to show how it can illuminate the implementation of team‐based cells in the three case study companies.

Details

Integrated Manufacturing Systems, vol. 7 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-6061

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 May 2007

Robert MacIntosh and Marc Bonnet

Abstract

Details

Management Research News, vol. 30 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2016

Damian Hodgson and Svetlana Cicmil

The purpose of this paper is to review the formation and evolution of the “Making Projects Critical” movement in project management research.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the formation and evolution of the “Making Projects Critical” movement in project management research.

Design/methodology/approach

Retrospective and discursive paper.

Findings

Reflections on tensions and challenges faced by the MPC movement.

Originality/value

The paper establishes the historical trajectory of this movement and clarifies the tensions and challenges faced by MPC.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2000

Pekka Jokinen

This article discusses prospects of strengthening new increasingly global economic activities and environmental governance by focusing on the institutional relationship…

Abstract

This article discusses prospects of strengthening new increasingly global economic activities and environmental governance by focusing on the institutional relationship between information society policy issues and environmental policy issues. These two sets of issues have some common denominators insofar as they are both comprehensive and go beyond traditional sector policy rationalities, as illustrated by the notions of “sustainable development” and “ecological modernization” in the case of environmental issues, and neither can avoid the problem of governance subjects such as social legitimacy and institutional dynamics between the main actors. The article also identifies a more functional relationship between these issues and discusses challenges common to both as well as asking whether there is institutional potential and capacity to find “synergy” by integrating environmental policy elements into moves towards information society and vice versa. The case study of Finland reveals that information society strategy lacks environmental policy objectives and discusses the factors behind this failure. The lack of integration of different policy areas is an issue of organizational power with policy actors showing no real interest in radically changing prevailing bureaucratic institutions and socioeconomic structures. Beyond organizational factors the policy problems seem to be based on the inconsistency of different policy rationalities with information society reasoning being justified by economic‐technical rationality whereas environmental policies are justified by natural scientific rationality, which policy makers do not consider to be in their interests. The article concludes with the assertion that the principles of ecological modernization could potentially unite environmental policies and positive environmental aspects of information society policies.

Details

Foresight, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

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