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In this study, the authors unpack the micro-level processes of knowledge accumulation (experiential learning) and knowledge application (problem solving) to examine how…
In this study, the authors unpack the micro-level processes of knowledge accumulation (experiential learning) and knowledge application (problem solving) to examine how task allocation structures influence organizational learning. The authors draw on untapped potential of the classical garbage can model (GCM), and extend it to analyze how restrictions on project participation influence differentiation and integration of organizational members’ knowledge and consequently organizational efficiency in solving the diverse, changing problems from an uncertain task environment. To isolate the effects of problem or knowledge diversity and experiential learning, the authors designed three simulation experiments to identify the most efficient task allocation structure in conditions of (1) knowledge homogeneity, (2) knowledge heterogeneity, and (3) experiential learning. The authors find that free project participation is superior when the members’ knowledge and the problems they solve are homogenous. When problems and knowledge are heterogeneous, the design requirement is on matching specialists to problem types. Finally, the authors found that experiential learning creates a dynamic problem where the double duty of adapting the members’ specialization and matching the specialists to problem types is best solved by a hierarchic structure (if problems are challenging). Underlying the efficiency of the hierarchical structure is an adaptive role of specialized members in organizational learning and problem solving: their narrow but deep knowledge helps the organization to adapt the knowledge of its members while efficiently dealing with the problems at hand. This happens because highly specialized members reduce the necessary scope of knowledge and learning for other members during a certain period of time. And this makes it easier for the generalists and for the organization as a whole, to adapt to unforeseen shifts in knowledge demand because they need to learn less. From this nuanced perspective, differentiation and integration may have a complementary, rather than contradictory, relation under environmental uncertainty and problem diversity.
Since the late 1970s, research in accounting has been colonized by positive accounting theory (PAT) despite strong claims that it is fundamentally flawed in terms of epistemology and methodology. This paper aims to offer new insights to PAT by critically examining its basic tenets.
The paper subjects the language of the Rochester School to a deconstruction that is a transformational reading. This uncovers rhetorical operations and unveils hidden associations with other texts and ideas.
A new interpretation of the Rochester School discourse is provided. To afford scientific credibility to deregulation within the accounting field, Watts and Zimmerman used supplements and missing links to enhance the authority of PAT. They placed supplements inside their texts to provide a misleading image of PAT. These supplements rest on von Hayek's long‐term shaping blueprint to defeat apostles of the welfare state. Yet, to set PAT apart from normative theories that Watts and Zimmerman claimed were contaminated by value judgments, they made no reference in their text to the tight links between the Rochester School and the libertarian project initiated by von Hayek.
Any reading of PAT cannot present the infinite play of meaning that is possible within a text. Deconstruction involves a commitment to on‐going, eternal questioning.
The paper provides evidence of the relation between PAT and the neoliberal (libertarian) project of von Hayek. PAT is viewed as part of the institutional infrastructure and ideological apparatus that legitimates the hegemony of markets.
Herbert Simon's major contribution to decision‐making theory is the concept of “satisficing”. This was first posited in Administrative Behavior, published in 1947, and the…
Herbert Simon's major contribution to decision‐making theory is the concept of “satisficing”. This was first posited in Administrative Behavior, published in 1947, and the book, concerned as it was with establishing a scientific approach to administrative theory, puts forward an adjustment of then‐current economic theory, which viewed administrative choice as a process of maximising. While, over the ensuing decades, Simon adjusted his definitions of both “economic man” and of “satisficing” in several subsequent publications, the original exposition of these was a major contribution to the area of administrative theory. An attempt has been made here to explore what circumstances might have led Simon into putting forward the concept of “satisficing”.
Several paradoxes have been presented in the literature as inherent in supervision of doctoral students. The purpose of this paper is to explore these paradoxes and offer…
Several paradoxes have been presented in the literature as inherent in supervision of doctoral students. The purpose of this paper is to explore these paradoxes and offer the concept of praxis as a way of effectively engaging with complex and paradoxical dimensions of supervision, rather than denying or avoiding them.
Drawing on sometimes provocative offerings of others, and the seminal work of Grant, views are presented that problematise supervision, challenging its representation as something to be transparently understood, planned and managed. Sophisticated theories of supervision have been offered in literature to hold its inherent paradoxes while opening up its practice for inquiry. It is suggested that supervision is usefully understood as the development of praxis: challenging supervisor and student to understand their practice journey as one of interwoven, often tacit, dimensions of knowing, doing, being and becoming (that are personally and therefore distinctively resolved.
Generative metaphors drawn from other complex domains of human experience suggest useful ways of engaging with the intensity, individuality and murkiness of supervision. Such metaphors draw attention to the identities and authorities that are in play and offer markers that can be identified even through the fog.
Voice work is explored as a metaphor for supervision, suggesting reflective practices that ask supervisor and candidate to pay deep attention to the sounds of their voices as well as to the nuances of the dialogue they create together.
Worldwide efforts to transform the public sector under the theme of “New Public Management” have been concerned with the issues of organizational change management. The…
Worldwide efforts to transform the public sector under the theme of “New Public Management” have been concerned with the issues of organizational change management. The change in the Accounting sector is one of the pillars of such efforts. This paper promotes the importance of leadership roles within the accounting change process by studying them within the context of a corporatized public sector entity. It offers a longitudinal analysis (1998‐2005) through the framework of “levers of control”. Leadership roles within the accounting scenario are compared with leadership roles within the engineering scenario to demonstrate the importance of accounting in mediating leadership roles, and in the end, promote the organization’s operational and financial performance. Through the framework of levers of control, this paper examines the different approaches and styles of an organizational leader in aligning beliefs systems among the workers, and creating management control systems through the mobilization of accounting calculative and constitutive power. This paper argues the importance of studying the characteristics of good leadership with in the organizational transformation process, particularly within the change management accounting practice that could lead to better organizational performance of the organization.
Chester Barnard’s 1938 book The Functions of the Executive is re‐examined in the context of the emerging knowledge‐based dynamic theory of the firm. The key constructs and…
Chester Barnard’s 1938 book The Functions of the Executive is re‐examined in the context of the emerging knowledge‐based dynamic theory of the firm. The key constructs and the underlying principles for Barnard’s functions of the “executive” and organization as a cooperative open‐system are reassessed for the evolving knowledge‐driven firm competing in the twenty‐first century global economy. Surprisingly, after more than six decades, Barnard’s cooperative “executive,” well‐versed in the logical‐rational and the non‐logical‐intuitive decision‐making processes, still seems quite competent to effectively lead the knowledge‐driven e‐business enterprise evolving in the twenty‐first century. The Barnardian “executive,” however, must evolve by acquiring and integrating the newly available knowledge‐related technologies and other adaptive competencies to help develop new drivers of global competitiveness.
“Shared purpose,” understood as a widely shared commitment to the organization’s fundamental raison d’être, can be a powerful driver of organizational performance by…
“Shared purpose,” understood as a widely shared commitment to the organization’s fundamental raison d’être, can be a powerful driver of organizational performance by providing both motivation and direction for members’ joint problem-solving efforts. So far, however, we understand little about the organization design that can support shared purpose in the context of large, complex business enterprises. Building on the work of Selznick and Weber, we argue that such contexts require a new organizational form, one that we call collaborative. The collaborative organizational form is grounded in Weber’s value-rational type of social action, but overcomes the scale limitations of the collegial form of organization that is conventionally associated with value-rational action. We identify four organizational principles that characterize this collaborative form and a range of managerial policies that can implement those principles.
In a recent report into new research directions in management accounting a geographically and philosophically diverse group of eight scholars argued for a convergence of…
In a recent report into new research directions in management accounting a geographically and philosophically diverse group of eight scholars argued for a convergence of different and complementary approaches to the subject. They concluded that, “[n]ew directions and advances in management accounting research depend on researchers actively seeking synergy among different research methods and disciplines” (Atkinson et al. 1997, p. 98). The authors argued specifically that management accounting research can benefit from integration with advances in economic, organisational, and social theory. In another recent assessment, Foster and Young (1996, p. 75) have called for “management accounting academics to gain broader and deeper institutional knowledge [and]…a longer term perspective”. In this essay we particularise these general calls by arguing that powerful synergies exist between the study of accounting and business history in Australasia. Historical evidence can be usefully employed to further our understanding of how management accounting systems (hereafter MAS) develop in our leading contemporary corporations.
Grounded in case study research, the consultant‐client relationship is conceived as mediating between, and reconciling, competing enactments. Through their work…
Grounded in case study research, the consultant‐client relationship is conceived as mediating between, and reconciling, competing enactments. Through their work, consultants seek to achieve a separation from existing organisational frames of reference, commitments and routines. To achieve any separation, consultants have to challenge the world that is shared and lived out by members of the organisation. The enactments created and sustained by interventions are experienced as competitive versions of social reality, with diverse advocates, seeking to secure a critical mass of belief and acceptance. Consultants come under pressure to conform to, or to operate within, the constructs of this organisational reality, and their interventions create tensions and the need to accommodate differing views. The consultant‐client relationship, as experienced and perceived, is central to the process of generating shared constructions, and profoundly shapes the emergent organisational reality. Reviews traditional conceptualisations of the client‐consultant relationship and contrasts them to more critical and emancipatory perspectives. Then discusses the case study research and the role and nature of the consultant‐client relationship within the theoretical framework developed.
Organizational flexible integration capability equips organizations to deal with the whole range of problems presented by dynamic environments. Adopting the language of…
Organizational flexible integration capability equips organizations to deal with the whole range of problems presented by dynamic environments. Adopting the language of dynamic capability research we advance four components that constitute flexible integration capability. These are a dominant logic of opportunity, a wide variety of problem solving projects, the deployment of portable integration expertise, and organizational practices support the development of portable integration expertise. Of these four portable integration expertise is a purely individual level capability. Organization level flexible integration capability is founded on the development of portable integration expertise by individuals. Organizations can facilitate portable integration expertise by structuring careers, valuing long term goals and objectives, adopting knowledge management practices and being receptive to external sources of knowledge.