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Examines a European Commission Institute survey investigating TQM and its application to the European construction industry and suggests that the short‐term nature of construction projects means that obtaining long‐term benefits of TQM can be difficult. Uses the experience of BP Chemicals to investigate what TQM offers in these circumstances, comparing the results of the ECI study with one from the University of Manchester Institute of Science & Technology on a similar theme. Concludes that if TQM simply speeds up the integration of different construction industry “cultures”, that is in itself beneficial.
The question of violence in hunter-gatherer society has animated philosophical debates since at least the seventeenth century. Steven Pinker has sought to affirm that…
The question of violence in hunter-gatherer society has animated philosophical debates since at least the seventeenth century. Steven Pinker has sought to affirm that civilization, is superior to the state of humanity during its long history of hunting and gathering. The purpose of this paper is to draw upon a series of recent studies that assert a baseline of primordial violence by hunters and gatherers. In challenging this position the author draws on four decades of ethnographic and historical research on hunting and gathering peoples.
At the empirical heart of this question is the evidence pro- and con- for high rates of violent death in pre-farming human populations. The author evaluates the ethnographic and historical evidence for warfare in recorded hunting and gathering societies, and the archaeological evidence for warfare in pre-history prior to the advent of agriculture.
The view of Steven Pinker and others of high rates of lethal violence in hunters and gatherers is not sustained. In contrast to early farmers, their foraging precursors lived more lightly on the land and had other ways of resolving conflict. With little or no fixed property they could easily disperse to diffuse conflict. The evidence points to markedly lower levels of violence for foragers compared to post-Neolithic societies.
This conclusion raises serious caveats about the grand evolutionary theory asserted by Steven Pinker, Richard Wrangham and others. Instead of being “killer apes” in the Pleistocene and Holocene, the evidence indicates that early humans lived as relatively peaceful hunter-gathers for some 7,000 generations, from the emergence of Homo sapiens up until the invention of agriculture. Therefore there is a major gap between the purported violence of the chimp-like ancestors and the documented violence of post-Neolithic humanity.
This is a critical analysis of published claims by authors who contend that ancient and recent hunter-gatherers typically committed high levels of violent acts. It reveals a number of serious flaws in their arguments and use of data.
This chapter adopts a reflective approach exploring and setting out the contrasting factors that led to the establishment of the subdiscipline in both countries. The…
This chapter adopts a reflective approach exploring and setting out the contrasting factors that led to the establishment of the subdiscipline in both countries. The factors included the role of key individuals and their respective academic backgrounds and specialisations within each country’s higher education system. Furthermore, attention is given to the particular circumstances in a case analysis comparison of the oldest programs in Aotearoa/New Zealand and Australia. This sheds light upon the factors linked to the disproportionate success profile for the sociology of sport in Aotearoa/New Zealand. An analysis of scholars and programs within each country reveals important differences aligned with the politics of funding and the variety and extent of systematic structures. Additionally, scholars’ specialisations and preferences reveal a broad offering but are primarily linked to globalisation, gender relations, indigeneity and race relations, social policy, and media studies. This work has been undertaken variously via the critical tradition including Birmingham School cultural studies, ethnographic and qualitative approaches and, more recently by some, a postmodern poststructuralist trend. Lastly, along with a brief discussion of current issues, future challenges are set out.
At a time when the future of the British state pension is being debated events in Australia provide an interesting example of an alternative approach. This article…
At a time when the future of the British state pension is being debated events in Australia provide an interesting example of an alternative approach. This article examines the introduction in Australia of the 1992 Superannuation Guarantee Charge Bills (SGC). The article considers the key debates which accompanied the SGC along with the role of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), the poverty lobby and employer organisations in the reform process. The Australian model can not simply be transposed to the UK but the politics of reform in this case illustrate the issues of equity, exclusion and social division that are likely to arise.
This article argues that existing research poorly specifies the link between planning and performance because of omitted variable bias. Researchers agree planning is a…
This article argues that existing research poorly specifies the link between planning and performance because of omitted variable bias. Researchers agree planning is a critical part of creating any new venture. Many researchers assess planning by whether a small firm has a written business plan. Unfortunately, efforts empirically to validate this relationship have been inconclusive. This article proposes that researchers should assess business plans both on the quality of the plan (and the planning process that produced it), and on the quality of the underlying business opportunity. Failure to account for both aspects of a business plan amounts to omitted variable bias, frustrating attempts to accurately estimate the true relationship.
Although organizations change on a regular basis, much of what we know about the impacts of organizational change can best be described as macro‐level information. Only…
Although organizations change on a regular basis, much of what we know about the impacts of organizational change can best be described as macro‐level information. Only recently have scholars begun to examine the impact of organizational change at the level of the individual employee (i.e. micro level). The purpose of this paper is to assess the importance of a supervisor's support for a change initiative in relation to employee job satisfaction and job involvement.
This research made use of archival data. Police officers (n=88) were randomly selected from across the USA to complete phone interviews meant to assess, in part, supervisor support for a change from traditional policing to community policing, job satisfaction, and job involvement.
While supervisor support for the change initiative was found to be related to job satisfaction and job involvement, job satisfaction mediated the supervisor support‐job involvement relationship.
The major limitation of this study is its small sample, which precluded the use of more advanced statistical techniques (i.e. structural equation modeling). The major implication is that both employees and the organization stand to benefit during a change initiative if the supervisor demonstrates his or her support for the initiative.
This research is of value given the prevalence of organizational change and the need for more research examining the impact of change on micro‐level issues.