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Article

Bradley Bowden

Management history has in the past 15 years witnessed growing enthusiasm for “critical” research methodologies associated with the so-called “historic turn”. This paper…

Abstract

Purpose

Management history has in the past 15 years witnessed growing enthusiasm for “critical” research methodologies associated with the so-called “historic turn”. This paper aims to argue, however, that the “historic turn” has proved to an “historic wrong turn”, typically associated with confused and contradictory positions. In consequence, Foucault’s belief that knowledge is rooted in discourse, and that both are rooted in external structures of power, is used while simultaneously professing advocacy of White’s understanding that history is fictive, the product of the historian’s imagination.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper explores the intellectual roots of the historic (wrong) turn in the idealist philosophies of Nietzsche, Croce, Foucault, White and Latour as well as the critiques that have been made of those theories from within “critical” or “Left” theoretical frameworks.

Findings

Failing to properly acknowledge the historical origin of their ideas and/or the critiques of those ideas – and misrepresenting all contrary opinion as “positivist” – those associated with the historic (wrong) turn replicate the errors of their theoretical champions. The author thus witnesses a confusion of ontology (the nature of being) and epistemology (the nature of knowledge) and, consequently, of “facts” (things that exist independently of our fancy), “evidence” (how ascertain knowledge of a fact) and “interpretation” (how I connect evidence to explain an historical outcome).

Originality/value

Directed toward an examination of the conceptual errors that mark the so-called “historic turn” in management studies, this article argues that the holding contradictory positions is not an accidental by-product of the “historic turn”. Rather, it is a defining characteristic of the genre.

Details

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

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Connecting Values to Action: Non-Corporeal Actants and Choice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-308-2

Content available
Article

Wim Van Lent and Gabrielle Durepos

This paper aims to explore the turn in management and organization studies (MOS) and reflect on “history as theory” versus “history as method”.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the turn in management and organization studies (MOS) and reflect on “history as theory” versus “history as method”.

Design/methodology/approach

Looking at previous research and the evolution of MOS, this paper situates the special issue papers in the current climate of this area of research.

Findings

The special issue papers included here each make a theoretical contribution to methodology in historical organization studies.

Originality/value

The eight articles featured in the special issue offer examples of innovative and historically sensitive methodology that, according to the authors, increase the management historian toolkit and ultimately enhance the methodological pluralism of historical organization studies as a field.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 25 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

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Article

D. LANGFORD, S. ROWLINSON and E. SAWACHA

This paper identifies the critical factors that influence the attitudes of construction workers towards safe behaviour on construction sites. It studies these attitudes by…

Abstract

This paper identifies the critical factors that influence the attitudes of construction workers towards safe behaviour on construction sites. It studies these attitudes by using a research model that links three themes: safety management implementation strategies, attitudes of workers about safety and behavioural factors displayed by construction workers. This model is used to frame the responses of 126 directly employed construction workers in 10 companies. Some 56 variables were identified as having a potential influence upon attitudes to safety. The initial data analysis found that 12 technical factors significantly correlated to the development of strong positive attitudes towards safety management. Second‐order analysis, using factor analysis, isolated five variables that had a major influence on safety attitudes. The five factors were: organizing for safety supervision and equipment management, industry norms and culture, attitudes to risk taking and management behaviour.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article

MARCUS JEFFERIES, ROD GAMESON and STEVE ROWLINSON

Recent trends in the provision of infrastructure development indicate that the private sector is playing an increasingly important role in the procurement process. This…

Abstract

Recent trends in the provision of infrastructure development indicate that the private sector is playing an increasingly important role in the procurement process. This trend has partly arisen out of a necessity for the development of infrastructure to be undertaken at a rate that maintains and allows growth. This has become a major challenge for many countries where it is evident that these provisions cannot be met by government alone. The emergence of Build‐Own‐Operate‐Transfer (BOOT) schemes as a response to this challenge provides a means for developing the infrastructure of a country without directly impacting upon the government's budgetary constraints. The concepts of BOOT are without doubt extremely complex arrangements, which bring to the construction sector risks not experienced previously. This paper examines perceptions of BOOT schemes in order to develop a framework of critical success factors. The developed framework is then tested against a case study of Stadium Australia, and the outcomes of the comparison are discussed.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Book part

Roy Suddaby, William M. Foster and Chris Quinn Trank

This paper develops a framework for understanding history as a source of competitive advantage. Prior research suggests that some firms enjoy preferential access to…

Abstract

This paper develops a framework for understanding history as a source of competitive advantage. Prior research suggests that some firms enjoy preferential access to resources as a result of their past. Historians, by contrast, understand past events as more than an objective account of reality. History also has an interpretive function. History is a social and rhetorical construction that can be shaped and manipulated to motivate, persuade, and frame action, both within and outside an organization. Viewed as a malleable construct, the capacity to manage history can, itself, be a rare and inimitable resource.

Details

The Globalization of Strategy Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-898-8

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Article

Bradley G. Bowden

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, it seeks to trace the origins of the various strands of postmodernism within German philosophic idealism; traditions of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, it seeks to trace the origins of the various strands of postmodernism within German philosophic idealism; traditions of thought which placed emphasis – like postmodernism – on a subjective understanding of evidence and a supposed capacity of human consciousness to continually move beyond the bounds imposed by social convention and being; second, this paper states that postmodernism, rooted as it is in philosophic idealism, is methodologically and conceptually constrained. Its emphasis on consciousness and will marginalize its capacity to make meaningful contributions in areas such as economics, and the wider trends in human history.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is theoretical. It seeks to locate conflicting methodologies – most particularly those relating to postmodernism, positivism and philosophical realism – within the traditions of thought that have emerged since the enlightenment.

Findings

Postmodernism is rooted in philosophical idealism. As such, it places emphasis on consciousness, identity and being. The essential problem with postmodernism, this paper argues, is not this emphasis. These are legitimate areas of inquiry. Rather, the central problem with postmodernist-informed research is found in the limited range of methodological and conceptual tools in its kitbag.

Originality/value

Despite the growing influence of postmodernism in its various shades within academia, few of its proponents and critics trace its philosophic origins. In doing so this paper highlights the strengths and limitations of not only postmodernism but also its polar opposite, positivism.

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

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Article

Nicholous M. Deal, Milorad M. Novicevic, Albert J. Mills, Caleb W. Lugar and Foster Roberts

This paper aims to find common ground between the supposed incompatible meta-historical positioning of positivism and post-positivism through a turn to mnemohistory in…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to find common ground between the supposed incompatible meta-historical positioning of positivism and post-positivism through a turn to mnemohistory in management and organizational history.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on the idea of creative synthesis and positioning theory, the authors interject concepts from cultural memory studies in historical research on business and organizations to encourage management historians and organization theorists interested in joining the dialogue around how the past is known in the present. Using notions of “aftermath” and “events,” the idea of apositivism is written into historical organization studies to focus on understanding the complex ways of how past events translate into history. The critical historic turn event is raised as an exemplar of these ideas.

Findings

The overview of the emergence of the controversial historic turn in management and organization studies and the positioning of its adherents and antagonists revealed that there may be some commonality between the fragmented sense of the field. It was revealed that effective history vis-à-vis mnemohistory may hold the potential of a shared scholarly ethic.

Originality/value

The research builds on recent work that has sought to bring together the boundaries of management and organizational history. This paper explains how mnemohistory can offer a common position that is instrumental for theorizing the relationships among the past-infused constructs such as organizational heritage, legacy and identity.

Details

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

Keywords

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Article

Michael Regan, Peter E.D. Love and Jim Jim

Adversarial contracting methods are used for most public infrastructure procurement and timely delivery on budget remains a problem. In the past 20 years, OECD countries…

Abstract

Adversarial contracting methods are used for most public infrastructure procurement and timely delivery on budget remains a problem. In the past 20 years, OECD countries have adopted a number of alternative procurement methods that are based on collaborative principles including public private partnerships, long-term outsourcing arrangements and relationship/alliance contracts. We review the theoretical principles that operate for both adversarial and collaborative contracting methods. We identify the characteristics of non-adversarial contracting methods such as the output specification, qualitative selection criteria, the alignment of incentives, discrete allocation of residual control rights, life cycle costing, and risk-weighted value for money measurement that are delivering better procurement outcomes for government.

Details

Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

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Article

P.J. EDWARDS and P.A. BOWEN

The literature on construction and project risk management published during the period from 1960 to 1997 is reviewed and analysed to identify trends and foci in research…

Abstract

The literature on construction and project risk management published during the period from 1960 to 1997 is reviewed and analysed to identify trends and foci in research and practice. This analysis is used to identify gaps and inconsistencies in the knowledge and treatment of construction and project risk. The findings suggested that political, economic, financial and cultural categories of construction risk deserve greater research attention, as do those associated with quality assurance, and occupational health and safety. Temporal aspects of risk, and risk communication, are also important fields for investigation.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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