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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…

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

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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…

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

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1992

Linda Rouleau and Stewart R. Clegg

Draws a distinction, via the edited text of an interview, between asociology of postmodernity and postmodernism: the latter has an emphasison theory and its…

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1177

Abstract

Draws a distinction, via the edited text of an interview, between a sociology of postmodernity and postmodernism: the latter has an emphasis on theory and its intertextuality while the former would focus more evidently on discontinuities in the empirical world which serve to mark a difference from the ways in which that world has been appropriated and appreciated through a more modernist perspective. For organization theory the difference is articulated in particular by the awareness that there are now counter‐factuals available to challenge some predominant assumptions about the way in which organization occurs. The assumptions have a predominantly “Western” basis; some elements of the challenge come from an increasing knowledge of the specificities of Asian practice. A crucial axis for comparison between relevant tendencies towards “modernism” and “postmodernism” is that of “differentiation”. Proposes that modernist tendencies are towards the increase of differentiation, postmodern towards the increase of de‐differentiation – the throwing into reverse of the tendency towards differentiation. Considers contrasting models of what a postmodern, de‐differentiated future might look like in terms of their democratic potential.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2009

Miguel Pina e Cunha, Stewart R. Clegg and Arménio Rego

In this paper, some peculiarities of a Southern European country are made explicit, namely, how the attraction of new, “global”, management practices combines with deeply…

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262

Abstract

In this paper, some peculiarities of a Southern European country are made explicit, namely, how the attraction of new, “global”, management practices combines with deeply persistent, thus traditional, ways of imagining organization. The dominant Anglo‐Saxon and Protestant models of management may not be fully adequate to characterize management and organization in the Latin Catholic countries of the south, or those postcolonial societies that they inscribed in Latin America. We present an interpretation of why what are glossed by moderns as dysfunctional management practices persist, sometimes despite their recognized inadequacy. The contributions advanced here may thus be relevant to researchers interested in the route of transition from closed to open societies and who are concerned that all models need to be appreciated in context.

Details

Management Research: Journal of the Iberoamerican Academy of Management, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1536-5433

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2001

Alicia S.M. Leung and Stewart R. Clegg

Reports a study of female executives (n = 30) working in the public sector in Hong Kong. The research captures a set of organisational practices in transition: from a…

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2817

Abstract

Reports a study of female executives (n = 30) working in the public sector in Hong Kong. The research captures a set of organisational practices in transition: from a colonial to a post‐colonial setting, and from a bureaucracy that offered jobs for life to one that offers them on contract terms. The concept of career motivation is explored in the study through three dimensions of career resilience, career insight, and career identity. Overall, younger executives (n = 19) had higher levels of career motivation and were striving to attain additional responsibility and authority in work assignments, while senior executives (n = 11) were concerned with holding on to their previous accomplishments and competence in their occupational role. Moreover, the more ambiguity and uncertainty existing in the government office, the lesser the levels of career motivation. The results and their implications for future studies of career motivation are discussed.

Details

Women in Management Review, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-9425

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1992

Stewart R. Clegg

Taken from an inaugural address at the University of St Andrews,Scotland. Discusses postmodernism, particularly regarding Japaneseinfluences in this sphere but also looks…

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1090

Abstract

Taken from an inaugural address at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. Discusses postmodernism, particularly regarding Japanese influences in this sphere but also looks at the overview of organizational characteristics among other nations, particularly the US. Looks also at the changes which must happen regarding the labour market and for flexibility amongst workers and management to ensure future prosperity. Goes on to show that postmodernism is the improved model over modernist theories.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Book part
Publication date: 2 May 2012

Thomas Diefenbach and Rune Todnem By

Hierarchy and bureaucracy have been more or less welcomed companions of human civilisation from the very beginning. In almost every culture and epoch, ruling elites and…

Abstract

Hierarchy and bureaucracy have been more or less welcomed companions of human civilisation from the very beginning. In almost every culture and epoch, ruling elites and followers, superiors and subordinates can be identified. Hierarchy and bureaucracy are quite flexible, adaptable and they are fairly persistent – but why could, or even should we see this as a problem?

This introduction will first provide a brief history of no change, followed by the second section where the advantages and disadvantages and the contested terrain of hierarchy are elaborated in some length. The discussion focuses on three areas: the functional, social and ethical qualities of hierarchy. In the final section, the chapters of this volume will be briefly introduced. The chapters are grouped into three sections: (I) Fundamentals and historical accounts of bureaucracy, (II) Organisational, cultural and socio-psychological aspects of hierarchy and (III) Alternative views on, and alternatives to hierarchy.

Details

Reinventing Hierarchy and Bureaucracy – from the Bureau to Network Organizations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-783-3

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2005

Stewart R. Clegg, Carl Rhodes, Martin Kornberger and Rosie Stilin

To identify the distinguishing characteristics and future challenges for the business coaching industry in Australia.

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4697

Abstract

Purpose

To identify the distinguishing characteristics and future challenges for the business coaching industry in Australia.

Design/methodology/approach

A telephone survey of business coaching firms was used to identify the main structural characteristics of the industry. Structured interviews with selected business coaches were used to identify the key business and professional issues they faced.

Findings

Firms in the business coaching industry in Australia have three main characteristics: most firms are young and small; most are not exclusively dedicated to coaching; and most have a poor appreciation of the competitive environment in which they operate.

Practical implications

The research identified three main challenges for the business coaching industry that will need to be addressed if business coaching is to develop further: the challenge of defining standards of service and performance that do not inhibit the flexible and personal orientation of the coaching process; the challenge of developing a more coherent and well understood perception of the nature and benefits of business coaching amongst industry more generally; and the challenge of establishing robust and durable coaching businesses that can take leadership in growing and developing the industry.

Originality/value

Business coaching is an emerging industry that is increasingly being used to provide learning‐based interventions in organizations. To date there has been little formal research into the nature of this industry or the services it provides. This paper addresses this by examining the “state of play” of business coaching in Australia.

Details

Industrial and Commercial Training, vol. 37 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0019-7858

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Book part
Publication date: 2 May 2012

Stewart R. Clegg

Bureaucracy is under attack and has been for some time, specially these past 30 years. This chapter will outline the specific qualities of bureaucracy, the challenges to…

Abstract

Bureaucracy is under attack and has been for some time, specially these past 30 years. This chapter will outline the specific qualities of bureaucracy, the challenges to it that different critics have posed and the possible futures of bureaucracy that are being imagined. In the 1980s, as a key part of an extremely liberal and influential critique of bureaucracy, new imaginings of how to organize corporations and public sector organizations began to emerge. By the late 1990s these had morphed into a view of the network or hybrid organization as the way of the future. The chapter will suggest that the global future of bureaucracy is not as simple as some of these criticisms suggest when they see it left behind in the emergence of innovative new forms. Instead, it is suggested, there is a spatial disaggregation of organizations occurring that heralds some unsettling new futures of organizations emerging.

Details

Reinventing Hierarchy and Bureaucracy – from the Bureau to Network Organizations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-783-3

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 31 December 2003

Stewart R Clegg and Martin Kornberger

Modernism and postmodernism may be thought of as either moments or movements. We argue for thinking of them as moments, essentially related to each other, rather than…

Abstract

Modernism and postmodernism may be thought of as either moments or movements. We argue for thinking of them as moments, essentially related to each other, rather than movements that literally have historical specificity. From this perspective what is modern and what is postmodern is always shifting, such that their nature is problematic, essentially contested and shifting. Rather than use contemporary examples to make these points, we prefer to refer to quite historical examples, because the modalities become much sharper and can be seen in clearer focus. Hence, we discuss Machiavelli and Caravaggio as precursors of the postmodern and Hobbes and Boyle as precursors of the modern. Obviously, there is an irony in our intent: given the claims to currency of the debates with which we frame the paper then reference to some classical sources serves to hose down debate and fix it in a sharper, cleaner form. While it will become evident that our sympathies are not with “modernism”, it should become equally clear that we hold much of the representation of “postmodernism” to be as much at error as we do the fixing of the modern in the frame of the empiricist, the positivist, and the scientific. For us, all these terms are equally problematic, and have been so ever since we began to first think we might be modern – whether in art, social science or science. We conclude by addressing why, in the present, these classical debates should have migrated to the study of organizations.

Details

Post Modernism and Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-573-4

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