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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2001

Robin Holt and Andrew Graves

Benchmarking is introduced as a practice of non‐financial assessment that promotes continual performance improvement. Its relevance to and possible consequences for the…

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2315

Abstract

Benchmarking is introduced as a practice of non‐financial assessment that promotes continual performance improvement. Its relevance to and possible consequences for the public sector are discussed in relation to a case study in construction procurement. A pilot study investigating the achievements of government clients in construction procurement has identified a need for better client “ownership” of project risk and opportunity. The article argues that benchmarking can provide the vehicle for this “ownership”. In conjunction with the clients and HM Treasury, a second stage of project assessment has just been completed and the methods and results described. The aim is to realize consistent, relevant and feasible metrics, co‐operatively authored by client practitioners and academics with reference to private construction organizations, that will then be used for purposes of on‐going self‐assessment at both project and strategic levels.

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Measuring Business Excellence, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-3047

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Article
Publication date: 16 October 2020

Kevin Daniel Tennent

The purpose of this paper is to reflect back over his career as a management and business historian so far as to consider opportunities for the future of management and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to reflect back over his career as a management and business historian so far as to consider opportunities for the future of management and business history as a disciplinary area.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper consists of two segments – the first half is an auto-ethnographic personal reflection looking at the author’s research journey and how the discipline as experienced by the author has evolved over that time. The second half is a prescriptive look forward to consider how we should leverage the strengths as historians to progress the discipline forward.

Findings

The paper demonstrates opportunities for management and business history to encompass new agendas including the expansion of the topic into teaching, the possibility for the advancement of empirical contributions and opportunities for findings in new research areas, including the global south and public and project management history.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates that historians should be more confident in the disciplinary capabilities, particularly their understandings of historic context, continuity, change and chronologies when making empirical and theoretical contributions.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

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Book part
Publication date: 7 February 2011

Robin Holt and Jörgen Sandberg

Phenomena are what we as researchers begin with, and to study phenomena is to appreciate how any determination of things and events always relates back to the context in…

Abstract

Phenomena are what we as researchers begin with, and to study phenomena is to appreciate how any determination of things and events always relates back to the context in which they appeared. Phenomenology is the study of such relations of appearance and the conditions of such relations. Appearance is an active rather than superficial condition, a constant bringing together of experiencing beings and experienced things (including sentient beings), in what the modern “father” of phenomenology Edmund Husserl called conditions of intentionality, and what his errant, one-time student Martin Heidegger called conditions of thrownness and projection. This chapter delves into the philosophical background of this mode of study, before opening up into consideration of, first, where phenomenology has been influential in organization studies, and, second, the potential of the approach. In so doing, we suggest much can be made of reorienting research in organization studies away from an entitative epistemology in which things are seen in increasingly causally linked, detailed isolation, and toward a relational epistemology in which what exists is understood in terms of its being experienced within everyday lives.

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Philosophy and Organization Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-596-0

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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2007

Robin Holt

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538

Abstract

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International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

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Article
Publication date: 6 March 2009

Robin Holt

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831

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

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Article
Publication date: 22 February 2008

Oswald Jones and Robin Holt

The paper seeks to draw on the work of Engeström to set out an activity theory framework for the analysis of entrepreneurs engaged in the creation of new business ventures…

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3052

Abstract

Purpose

The paper seeks to draw on the work of Engeström to set out an activity theory framework for the analysis of entrepreneurs engaged in the creation of new business ventures (NBVs). Adopting an activity‐based approach involves analysing the actions of individual and groups that are mediated through a range of devices, including language and physical artefacts.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical data are based on a small sample of “scholars” taking part in a UK government‐sponsored initiative to promote enterprise: the New Entrepreneur Scholarship (NES). The data were collected by means of semi‐structured interviews with the entrepreneurs. NVivo software was then used to systemise the data according to the six dimensions of the activity theory triangle.

Findings

The cases illustrate the contradictions and tensions that confront nascent entrepreneurs as they consider the horizon of possibilities associated with their business idea. The paper demonstrates that the new business actually emerges from a contested set of relationships within which the entrepreneur plays a critical, creative, but far from solitary, role.

Research limitations/implications

The use of activity theory helps provide a better understanding of how entrepreneurs engaged in relatively mundane business start‐ups actually identify and develop “new” opportunities. This is in contrast to many studies of entrepreneurial activity which focus on “high‐tech” or fast‐growing firms.

Originality/value

This is an exploratory study which utilises the activity theory framework to understand the difficulties and rewards for individuals with limited human and social capital to create successful new firms.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2000

Robin Holt and David Rowe

The effective and efficient use of resources in public project management requires a commitment to driving down costs and exploiting value opportunities. In achieving…

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2994

Abstract

The effective and efficient use of resources in public project management requires a commitment to driving down costs and exploiting value opportunities. In achieving this, public management, being a civil service, must also be aware of social, political and ethical requirements that can impinge upon strict economic reasoning. Opening public management to market pressures has been criticized as potentially weakening concerns of social justice, but in areas like civil construction, it is vital if procurement, build and operation are to improve. A hypothesis was formulated that uses a total quality perspective to link improvements in project performance with the effective promotion of public interest. This hypothesis – that a total quality orientation can reconcile and enhance economic and public interests – was tested through a survey of major stakeholders in public construction projects. It was found that, by developing a concept of critical leadership to drive through quality commitment, there were cogent reasons for further developing this total quality research.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 17 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Article
Publication date: 22 August 2008

Robin Holt and Terry McNulty

The paper aims to show how resource‐based views of the firm inadequately address the strategic importance of acquiring and using symbolic capital within the wider…

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2341

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to show how resource‐based views of the firm inadequately address the strategic importance of acquiring and using symbolic capital within the wider discursive institutional environment.

Design/methodology/approach

A single case using publicly available data on the strategic activities of the oil and gas firm BP was constructed.

Findings

Combining case data with a review of literature on firm capabilities and organization studies, the paper identifies a previously unacknowledged foundational strategic capability: securing a licence to act. It finds BP strategists understanding this capability as the realization of credibility and authority arising from the conscious and skilled articulation of firm commitments and activities.

Originality/value

Generalising from the case, the paper argues for the importance to firm performance of an understanding of how capabilities evolve in relation to the use of symbolic capital within inherently complex institutional environments. This leads beyond a purely economic view of institutional settings to cover market‐based political and social interests.

Details

Journal of Strategy and Management, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-425X

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Book part
Publication date: 9 November 2020

Alexander D. Hoppe

How do cultural organizations handle the competing demands of isomorphism and differentiation? Strategic balance theory is a promising point of departure. Proponents argue…

Abstract

How do cultural organizations handle the competing demands of isomorphism and differentiation? Strategic balance theory is a promising point of departure. Proponents argue that while isomorphism contributes to legitimacy, differentiation minimizes competition through innovation or niche control. However, most research has focused on successful cases of optimal performance in core or world cities. I introduce data from three seasons (250+ hours) of ethnographic research on fashion weeks in both a core city and semi-peripheral city. I find that geography acts as a structural barrier to competition: while semi-peripheral producers pursue some standards of fashion capitals in world cities, they cannot compete on the basis of style. Rather than optimizing through strategic balance, cultural organizations embrace a double edge of legitimation. Their sub-optimal vision of organizational survival cultivates legitimacy from available but symbolically polluting sources. Imperfect imitation is suggested instead as a viable legitimation strategy. I call for more attention to semi-peripheral geography and imperfect imitation in culture industry research.

Details

Aesthetics and Style in Strategy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-236-9

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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2009

Matthew M.C. Allen

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429

Abstract

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

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