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Myths in organisations are often portrayed as evolving gradually, and perhaps decaying even more slowly, whether the myth seeks to establish internal standards or to…
Myths in organisations are often portrayed as evolving gradually, and perhaps decaying even more slowly, whether the myth seeks to establish internal standards or to provide cause and effect in a turbulent environment. A detailed case study of the start‐up phase in a graduate management school is analysed, together with a dynamic model of organisation operation and adjustment recently developed in the field of corporate strategy.
Educational standards debates are a promising area of investigation for transnational study by historians of education. Drawing upon the work of Foucault, Kliebard, and…
Educational standards debates are a promising area of investigation for transnational study by historians of education. Drawing upon the work of Foucault, Kliebard, and Aldrich, the paper critically examines some of the outstanding features of the emerging debate over literacy and numeracy standards that sharply divided teachers, educational officials, parents, and employers in New Zealand during the mid-to-late 1950s. These included the polarisation of opinion across the nation, the involvement of the national media, and the tactics of mass persuasion adopted by the various protagonists.
The paper utilises contemporary theory to critically interrogate an historical episode in which controversy over literacy and numeracy standards in schools led first to an in-house report, and finally to a national inquiry. The paper draws upon contemporary newspaper commentary, professional journals and parliamentary debates, as well as a considerable amount of archival material held at Archives New Zealand repositories in both Wellington and Auckland.
The paper contributes to the field by illustrating the way in which historical debates over literacy and numeracy lie at the intersection of completing claims to truth. Behind such claims lie rival conceptions of education that make it unlikely that standards issues will ever be resolved satisfactorily. Hence the title of the paper, which refers to a jocular suggestion by a newspaper editor of the time that only an “August Assembly of Suave Venusians” could adjudicate in the debate.
The value of the paper is that it links current theories on transnationality with archival research in order to critically examine a national case study. Much of the primary source material has never been utilised previously for research as Archives New Zealand has only just released the relevant files for research purposes.
Over the last few years, several international studies have independently shown a significant correlation between the number and intensity of manufacturing practices in…
Over the last few years, several international studies have independently shown a significant correlation between the number and intensity of manufacturing practices in use and the performance of a firm. The conclusion is an unsettling: “the more the better.” This paper uses the Global Manufacturing Research Group’s (GMRG) second round database to deepen our understanding of this relationship. The shape of a scatterplot of practices versus performance resembles the shape of an American or rugby football and is often called the “performance football”. The performance football seems to be a general phenomenon so, as practices are added, a firm should garner earlier performance improvements if it followed the upper edge of the performance envelope. This is consistent with the “sandcone” model or sequential capability building model that suggests that a firm should first invest in quality practices and then add others over this base. We first demonstrate the relationship between practices and performance holds for the GMRG data and then we make detailed comparisons of the firms along the upper and lower edges of the football. The comparisons provide some evidence that there is a sandcone effect.
We all talk of logistical problems as if they were something which can be left to others ‐ you know, those less creative than ourselves; the slightly dull sorts with computer‐like brains who thrive on just this sort of basically mathematical problem. This may be an overstatement of the case, but how many senior executives regularly meet with the managers responsible for the movement of materials? And how often do the same executives physically visit the scenes of these activities? Often? Sometimes? Never? And how many equate the costs of logistics merely with warehouse rents plus road haulage or rail costs?
For those who like certainty, now is not a good time to be in logistics management ‐ for those who relish challenges, there are plenty to be had. There are challenges not just to the old certainties, but the new certainties which replaced them. Companies have, in recent years, looked to Japan for inspiration, only to find the Japanese economy beginning to falter. Japanese management practices were endorsed by, and imported into, many Western organizations and, when these transplanted practices failed to work, cultural difficulties were cited. It then becomes something of a shock, for example, to see the keiretsu distribution system fall into disrepute, and lean production methods become modified or abandoned by those who developed them.