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Article
Publication date: 21 May 2018

Maria Major, Ana Conceição and Stewart Clegg

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the role of power relations in initiating and blocking accounting change that involves increased “responsibilisation” and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the role of power relations in initiating and blocking accounting change that involves increased “responsibilisation” and “incentivisation”, and to understand how institutional entrepreneurship is steered by power strategies.

Design/methodology/approach

An in-depth case study was carried out between 2010 and 2015 in a cardiothoracic surgery service (CSS) where a responsibility centre was introduced.

Findings

Introducing a responsibility centre within a CSS led to a change process, despite pressures for stability. The institutionalisation of change was conditioned by entrepreneurship that flowed through three circuits of power. Strategies were adapted according to changes in exogenous environmental contingencies and alterations in the actors’ relationships.

Originality/value

The contributions of the paper are several: first, it demonstrates that the existing literature discussing the implementation of responsibility centres cannot be isolated from power issues; second, it expands understanding of the power dynamics and processes of institutional entrepreneurship when implementing accounting change; third, it shows how change introduced by exogenous political economic events structured organisational circuits of power and blocked the introduction of the change initiative.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 3 June 2020

Mhamed Biygautane, Stewart Clegg and Khalid Al-Yahya

Existing public–private partnership (PPP) literature that explicitly adopts neo-institutional theory, tends to elucidate the impact of isomorphic pressures and organizational…

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Abstract

Purpose

Existing public–private partnership (PPP) literature that explicitly adopts neo-institutional theory, tends to elucidate the impact of isomorphic pressures and organizational fields and structuration on PPP projects. This paper advances this literature by presenting the institutional work and micro-level dynamics through which actors initiate and implement a new form of project delivery. The authors show how actors enact responses to institutional structuration in the expansion and transformation of an airport from a public entity into a PPP in Saudi Arabia.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use a single case study design that offers an empirically rich and thick description of events such as the dynamic processes, practices and types of institutional work carried out by actors and organizations to deliver the project under investigation.

Findings

Religious symbolic work as social integration triggered system integration work, which expanded the power capabilities of individual actors leading the project. Repair work then followed to alleviate the negative effects of disempowering the agency of actors negatively affected by the PPP model and to streamline the project implementation process.

Practical implications

This research offers several practical implications. For PPPs to operate successfully in contexts similar to the Gulf region, policymakers should provide strong political support and be willing to bear a considerable risk of losses or minimal outcomes during the early phases of experimentation with PPPs. Also, policymakers should not only focus their attention on technical requirements of PPPs but also associate new meanings with the normative and cultural-cognitive elements that are integral to the success of PPP implementation. In order to design strategies for change that are designed to fit the unique cultural and sociopolitical settings of each country, policymakers should empower capable individual actors and provide them with resources and access to power, which will enable them to enforce changes that diverge from institutionalized practices.

Social implications

This research connected the PPP literature with theoretical frameworks drawn from neo-institutional theory and power. It would be valuable for further research, however, to connect ideas from the PPP literature with other disciplines such as psychology and social entrepreneurship. PPP research examines a recent phenomenon that can potentially be combined with non-traditional streams of research in analyzing projects. Expanding the realm of PPP research beyond traditional theoretical boundaries could potentially yield exciting insights into how the overall institutional and psychological environments surrounding projects affect their initiation and implementation.

Originality/value

The paper contributes new insights regarding the roles of religious symbolic work, allied with social and system integration of power relations in implementing PPP projects. It suggests a theoretical shift from structures and organizational fields – macro- and meso-levels of analysis – to individuals – micro-level – as triggers of new forms of project delivery that break with the status quo.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 33 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 January 2019

Miguel Pina e Cunha and Stewart Clegg

This paper aims to describe the hidden presence of improvisation in organizations. The authors explore this presence through George Perec’s notion of the infra-ordinary applied to…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to describe the hidden presence of improvisation in organizations. The authors explore this presence through George Perec’s notion of the infra-ordinary applied to the study of the learning organization and its paradoxes.

Design/methodology/approach

Most studies of paradox and improvisation are qualitative and inductive. In this conceptual paper, the authors offer a conceptual debate aiming to redirect conceptual attention on studies belonging to the domains of learning, improvisation and paradox.

Findings

The authors defend the thesis that improvisation is an example of a paradoxical practice that belongs to the domain of infra-ordinary rather than, as has been habitually assumed in extant research, the extraordinary.

Research limitations/implications

The study draws research attention to the potential of the infra-ordinary in the domains of paradox, improvisation and learning.

Practical implications

For practice, the study shows that improvisation can be a relatively trivial organizational practice as people try to solve problems in their everyday lives.

Social implications

Most organizations depend upon the capacity of their members to solve problems as these emerge. Yet, organization theory has failed to consider this dimension. As a result, organizations may be unintentionally harming their capacity to learn and adapt to environments by assuming that improvisation is extra-ordinary.

Originality/value

The study of paradox and improvisation from an infra-ordinary perspective has not been explicitly attempted.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 26 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 April 2018

Miguel Pina e Cunha, Daniel Veiga Vieira, Arménio Rego and Stewart Clegg

The purpose of this paper is to ask why poor performance management practices persist in Portugal, in the middle of claims to increase productivity.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to ask why poor performance management practices persist in Portugal, in the middle of claims to increase productivity.

Design/methodology/approach

An inductive micro-practice analysis is used to understand barriers to management practice that do not require massive institutional changes.

Findings

The practice of performance management in Portugal typically displays three weaknesses: (1) insufficient planning (2) process and integrity issues, and (3) a non-meritocratic logic.

Research limitations/implications

The paper discusses the important topic of persistence of bad practices, showing how institutionalized patterns might be difficult to eradicate even they are suboptimal.

Practical implications

The authors identity key issues in the functioning of performance management, therefore helping managers in developing remedies to improve the quality of their practice.

Originality/value

The paper explains the persistence of bad management practice whose continuity hinders not only organizations’ effectiveness but also that of their members.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 67 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 November 2020

François-Xavier de Vaujany, Emmanuelle Vaast, Stewart R. Clegg and Jeremy Aroles

The purpose of this paper is to understand how historical materialities might play a contemporary role in legitimation processes through the memorialization of history and its…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand how historical materialities might play a contemporary role in legitimation processes through the memorialization of history and its reproduction in the here-and-now of organizations and organizing.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors briefly review the existing management and organization studies (MOS) literature on legitimacy, space and history; engage with the work of Merleau-Ponty to explore how organizational legitimacy is managed in time and space; and use the case of two Parisian universities to illustrate the main arguments of the paper.

Findings

The paper develops a history-based phenomenological perspective on legitimation processes constitutive of four possibilities identified by means of chiasms: heterotopic spatial legacy, thin spatial legacy, institutionalized spatial legacy and organizational spatial legacy.

Research limitations/implications

The authors discuss the implications of this research for the neo-institutional literature on organizational legitimacy, research on organizational space and the field of management history.

Originality/value

This paper takes inspiration from the work of Merleau-Ponty on chiasms to conceptualize how the temporal layers of space and place that organizations inhabit and inherit (which we call “spatial legacies”), in the process of legitimation, evoke a sensible tenor.

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 July 2018

Miguel Pina e Cunha, Pedro Neves, Stewart R. Clegg, Sandra Costa and Arménio Rego

The reorganization of the Portuguese national healthcare system around networks of hospital centers was advanced for reasons promoted as those of effectiveness and efficiency and…

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Abstract

Purpose

The reorganization of the Portuguese national healthcare system around networks of hospital centers was advanced for reasons promoted as those of effectiveness and efficiency and initially presented as an opportunity for organizational transcendence through synergy. The purpose of this paper is to study transcendence as felt by the authors’ participants to create knowledge about the process.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper consists of an inductive approach aimed at exploring the lived experience of transcendence. The authors collected data via interviews, observations, informal conversations and archival data, in order and followed the logic of grounded theory to build theory on transcendence as process.

Findings

Transcendence, however, failed to deliver its promise; consequently, the positive vision inscribed in it was subsequently re-inscribed in the system as another lost opportunity, contributing to an already unfolding vicious circle of mistrust and cynicism. The study contributes to the literature on organizational paradoxes and its effects on the reproduction of vicious circles.

Practical implications

The search for efficiency and effectiveness through strategies of transcendence often entails managing paradoxical tensions.

Social implications

The case was researched during the global financial crisis, which as austerity gripped the southern Eurozone gave rise to governmental decisions aimed at improving the efficiency of organizational healthcare resources. There was a sequence of advances and retreats in decision making at the governmental level that gave rise to mistrust and cynicism at operational levels (organizations, teams and individuals). One consequence of increasing cynicism at lower levels was that as further direction for change came from higher levels it became interpreted in practice as just another turn in a vicious circle of failed reform.

Originality/value

The authors contribute to the organizational literature on paradoxes by empirically researching a themes that has been well theorized (Smith and Lewis, 2011) but less researched empirically. The authors followed the process in vivo, as it unfolded in the context of complex strategic change at multiple centers.

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 March 2018

Alexandra Pitsis, Stewart Clegg, Daphne Freeder, Shankar Sankaran and Stephen Burdon

The purpose of this paper is to provide a brief overview from the literature on how best to define megaprojects in contemporary contexts. There is a need for a definition that…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a brief overview from the literature on how best to define megaprojects in contemporary contexts. There is a need for a definition that encompasses a complex matrix of characteristics, inclusive of positive and negative aspects, which are not necessarily industry or sector specific. Whilst megaprojects have often been described and defined in terms of cost, they are more accurately delineated by their convolutions. Intricacies arise from political intrigues surrounding funding of such projects and managing and governing complex social and organizational relations. Points for future research are also identified.

Design/methodology/approach

An analysis of international megaproject literature over the past five years combined with seminal works was undertaken, drawing on the broad literature of project and program management combined with elements of organizational theory. Whilst some examples are cited, in-depth case analysis has not been covered.

Findings

Albeit that the scale of some megaprojects is comparable to national GDPs, seven more characteristics beyond size have been identified, which distinguish megaprojects from large projects. These include: reach; duration; risks and uncertainties; widely disparate actors; areas of controversy such as dispute resolution; and legal and regulatory issues.

Research limitations/implications

The paper takes a broad overview and whilst some examples are cited, in-depth case analysis has not been covered. The overview does however provide a good synopsis of the future research areas that warrant exploration.

Practical implications

The paper identifies a range of analytical areas for major future research including further exploration of institutional analysis. Areas for further analysis include stakeholder issues; collaboration and understanding between technical and business personnel and reforming notions of procurement and contractual arrangements.

Social implications

Rigorous stakeholder engagement is critical for success in megaprojects, and collaborative learnings need to be exchanged. The longer term social and economic impacts need to be viewed as an imperative rather than a hindrance to the planning and execution of megaprojects and complexity rather than cost more aptly defines megaprojects.

Originality/value

The paper moves the definition of megaprojects to beyond measurement on the basis of cost to complexity and social and economic variables.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 December 2021

Miguel Pina e Cunha, Stewart Clegg, Arménio Rego and Marco Berti

Burrell (2020) challenged management and organization studies (MOS) scholars to pay attention to a topic they have mostly ignored: the peasantry, those 2 billion people that work…

Abstract

Purpose

Burrell (2020) challenged management and organization studies (MOS) scholars to pay attention to a topic they have mostly ignored: the peasantry, those 2 billion people that work in the rural primary sector. This paper aims to address the topic to expand Burrell’s challenge by indicating that the peasantry offers a unique context to study a paradoxical condition: the coexistence of persistent poverty and vanguardist innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors advance conceptual arguments that complement the reasons why researchers should pay more attention to the peasantry. They argue that continuation of past research into field laborers, transitioning from feudalism to industrial capitalism, still has currency, not just because of the good reasons listed by Burrell (enduring relevance of the phenomenon in developing countries; sustainability concerns; acknowledgment of common heritage) but also because some seemingly archaic practices are evident in the economically developed countries where most management and organizations scholars live.

Findings

The authors show that in advanced economies, the peasantry has not disappeared, and it is manifested in contradictory forms, as positive force contributing to sustainable productivity (in the case of digitized agriculture) and as a negative legacy of social inequality and exploitation (as a form of modern slavery).

Originality/value

The authors discuss contrasting themes confronting management of the peasantry, namely, modern slavery and digital farming, and propose that a paradox view may help overcome unnecessary dualisms, which may promote social exclusion rather than integrated development.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 31 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 May 2022

Shankar Sankaran, Stewart Clegg, Ralf Müller and Nathalie Drouin

The purpose of this paper is to investigate and discuss stakeholder issues faced by renewable energy megaprojects and in particular solar and wind power projects and their…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate and discuss stakeholder issues faced by renewable energy megaprojects and in particular solar and wind power projects and their relevance to socioeconomic evaluation of megaprojects.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses secondary data collected from the recent literature published on stakeholder issues face by mega solar and wind power energy generation projects around the world. The issues are then analysed across specific challenges in five continents where these projects are being developed. The paper then focuses on the literature on energy justice to elaborate the type of issues being faced by renewable energy megaprojects contributing to the achievement of UN Sustainable Goal 7 and their impact on vulnerable communities where these projects are situated.

Findings

Renewable energy megaprojects are rarely discussed in the project management literature on megaprojects despite their size and importance in delivering sustainable development goals. While these projects provide social benefits they also create issues of justice due to their impact of vulnerable populations living is locations where these projects are situated. The justice issues faced include procedural justice, distributive justice, recognition inequalities. The type of justice issues was found to vary intensity in the developed, emerging and developing economies. It was found that nonprofit organisations are embarking on strategies to alleviate energy justice issues in innovative ways. It was also found that, in some instances, smaller local projects developed with community participation could actually contribute more equitable to the UN sustainable development goals avoiding the justice issues posed by mega renewable energy projects.

Research limitations/implications

The research uses secondary data due to which it is difficult to present a more comprehensive picture of stakeholder issues involving renewable energy megaprojects. The justice issues revealed through thesis paper with renewable energy megaprojects are also present in conventional megaprojects which have not been discussed in the project management literature. Post-COVID-19 these justice issues are likely to become mor prevalent due to the pandemic's impact on vulnerable population exacerbating the issues and increasing their severity on these populations. Therefore it is becoming even more critical to take these into account while developing renewable energy megaprojects.

Practical implications

Proper identification and response to energy justice issues can help in alleviating stakeholder issues in renewable energy megaprojects.

Social implications

Contributes to the equitable achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 7.

Originality/value

This paper addresses a gap in the project management literature on the exploration of stakeholder issues on renewable energy megaprojects. It also brings out the importance of justice issues which can assist in expanding stakeholders issues faced by megaprojects as these issues have not received sufficient attention in the past in the project management literature.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 22 March 2021

Miguel Pina e Cunha, Maria João Soares Leitão, Stewart Clegg, Remedios Hernández-Linares, Horia Moasa, Kathleen Randerson and Arménio Rego

The purpose of the study is to explore inductively the unique paradoxical tensions central to family business (FB) and to analyze how FB's members face these tensions and their…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the study is to explore inductively the unique paradoxical tensions central to family business (FB) and to analyze how FB's members face these tensions and their implications in the personal and professional realms.

Design/methodology/approach

A multiple-case study with 11 parent–offspring dyads from Portuguese FBs was conducted putting the focus on the micro-level interactions.

Findings

The slopes of roles and relationality in FBs produces three persistent sets of tensions around cognition, emotion and action. These tensions exist in a paradoxical state, containing potentiality for synergy or trade-off.

Originality/value

Our study is the first to empirically demonstrate that paradoxical tensions between parent and offspring are interrelated, by emphasizing the uniqueness of FB as a paradoxical setting and offering insights to negotiating of these singular paradoxes.

Details

Journal of Family Business Management, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2043-6238

Keywords

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