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Book part
Publication date: 5 April 2012

Neil Fligstein and Doug McAdam

The discovery of meso-level social orders in organizational theory, political sociology, and social movement theory, what have subsequently been called sectors, policy…

Abstract

The discovery of meso-level social orders in organizational theory, political sociology, and social movement theory, what have subsequently been called sectors, policy domains, and most popularly, fields (or in organizational sociology, organizational fields), opens up a theoretical terrain that has not yet been fully explored (see Martin, 2003 for one view of fields). In this chapter, we propose that in fact all of these phenomena (and several others), fields, domains, policy domains, sectors, networks, and in game theory, the “game” bear a deep theoretical relationship to one another. They are all a way of characterizing how meso-level social orders, social spaces are constructed. We want to make a bold claim: the idea of fields is the central sociological construct for understanding all arenas of collective strategic action. The idea of fields is not just useful for understanding markets and political policy domains, but also social movements, and many other forms of organized social life. In essence, scholars working on their particular empirical corner of the world have inadvertently discovered something fundamental about social structure: that collective actors somehow manage to work to get “action” toward their socially and cultural constructed ends and in doing so, enlist the support of others in order to produce meso-level social orders.

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Rethinking Power in Organizations, Institutions, and Markets
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-665-2

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Book part
Publication date: 1 September 2015

Howard Lune

How do transnational social movements organize? Specifically, this paper asks how an organized community can lead a nationalist movement from outside the nation. Applying…

Abstract

How do transnational social movements organize? Specifically, this paper asks how an organized community can lead a nationalist movement from outside the nation. Applying the analytic perspective of Strategic Action Fields, this study identifies multiple attributes of transnational organizing through which expatriate communities may go beyond extra-national supporting roles to actually create and direct a national campaign. Reexamining the rise and fall of the Fenian Brotherhood in the mid-nineteenth century, which attempted to organize a transnational revolutionary movement for Ireland’s independence from Great Britain, reveals the strengths and limitations of nationalist organizing through the construction of a Transnational Strategic Action Field (TSAF). Deterritorialized organizing allows challenger organizations to propagate an activist agenda and to dominate the nationalist discourse among co-nationals while raising new challenges concerning coordination, control, and relative position among multiple centers of action across national borders. Within the challenger field, “incumbent challengers” vie for dominance in agenda setting with other “challenger” challengers.

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Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-359-4

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Book part
Publication date: 10 August 2015

Nicholas Hoover Wilson

This paper considers the East India Company’s emergence as a territorial power from the 1760s until the revocation of most of its commercial functions in 1834. While this…

Abstract

This paper considers the East India Company’s emergence as a territorial power from the 1760s until the revocation of most of its commercial functions in 1834. While this period has been a key episode for historians of the British Empire and of South Asia, social scientists have struggled with the Company’s ambiguous nature. In this paper, I propose that a profitable way to grasp the Company’s transformation is to consider it as a global strategic action field. This perspective clarifies two key processes in the Company’s transition: the enlargement of its territorial possessions; and the increased exposure of its patrimonial network to intervention from British metropolitan politics. To further suggest the utility of this analytic perspective, I synthesize evidence from various sources, including data concerning the East India Court of Directors and the career histories of Company servants in two of its key administrative regions, Bengal and Madras, during this period of transition.

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Chartering Capitalism: Organizing Markets, States, and Publics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-093-7

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Article
Publication date: 25 April 2020

Federico Brunetti, Dominik T. Matt, Angelo Bonfanti, Alberto De Longhi, Giulio Pedrini and Guido Orzes

This paper proposes adequate strategies that companies, public administrators and organisations in the education industry can undertake to successfully face the challenges…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper proposes adequate strategies that companies, public administrators and organisations in the education industry can undertake to successfully face the challenges of digital transformation in a regional innovation system. This research considers stakeholders that operate in the Tyrol–Veneto macroregion (the Tyrol, South Tyrol and Veneto areas), a significant case of moderately innovative European macroregion.

Design/methodology/approach

This study undertakes explorative research based on a qualitative method. It adopts a place-based multi-stakeholder approach to emphasise the role of three categories of stakeholders (companies, educational system and regional governments) in facing digital changes. More precisely, interviews with 60 stakeholders from the Tyrol–Veneto macroregion were conducted and examined via both text mining analysis and content analysis. First, correspondence factor analysis was performed using IRaMuTeQ software to identify homogeneous subsets of concepts (pillars–i.e., macroareas of strategic actions). Second, two coding phases were implemented using NVivo software to detect strategic fields of action and specific strategic actions undertaken to address the challenges of digital transformation.

Findings

The results highlight that digital transformation is a pervasive challenge of regional innovative system that requires a multifaceted set of strategic actions falling into three main pillars. The first pillar, named “culture and skills”, includes three strategic fields of action as follows: digital education, talents and digital culture. The second pillar, named “infrastructures and technologies”, points out the need of information, interaction and artificial intelligence as key strategic fields of action. The third pillar, named “ecosystems”, highlights the importance of investing in medium- to long-term visions, partnerships and life quality. In brief, this study shows that standalone interventions are insufficient to tackle digital transformation from a systemic perspective. Moreover, this study outlines the potential contribution of each category of stakeholder to foster the digitalisation of the Tyrol–Veneto macroregion.

Practical implications

This study highlights the importance of developing digital culture and skills before investing in digital infrastructure and technology in a moderately innovative macroregion. Companies should alter their vision before reconfiguring their business models, invest in smart working and establish contacts with start-ups. In addition, this study recommends that public administration should mainly invest in digital education and partnerships, while, in terms of education and training organisations, it suggests providing digital skills to several cohorts of both students and workers. Policy implications call for the creation of new occasions of cooperation among stakeholders by fostering “table talks” as strategic and policy actions and by making more financial resources available to encourage the digital transformation processes.

Originality/value

The results of this study may be adapted to the characteristics of other regional innovative systems and used as a reference point in terms of the improvement of business, market and local development.

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Article
Publication date: 28 January 2020

Marc K. Peter, Corin Kraft and Johan Lindeque

The purpose of this paper is to capture the collective understanding of digital transformation (DT) across Swiss businesses and establish a reference framework based on…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to capture the collective understanding of digital transformation (DT) across Swiss businesses and establish a reference framework based on the strategic action field (SAF) theory.

Design/methodology/approach

A number of Swiss associations provided their databases for an online survey. The large sample includes 2,590 participants from 1,854 organisations and delivered over 4,200 descriptions of DT, categorised into seven SAFs. A cross tabulation of SAF combinations by firm size identified 127 possible SAF combinations which constitute the common understanding of DT.

Findings

The data set allowed the identification of SAFs and the conceptualisation of DT based on a shared understanding. Drivers of digital transformation are: process engineering, new technologies and digital business development, supported by digital leadership and culture, the cloud and data, customer centricity and digital marketing.

Research limitations/implications

For practitioners, the study provides the SAFs that should be considered for DT strategies. For academic scholars, a unique data set has allowed the study of DT by analysing action field combinations, revealing a nuanced constellation of SAFs. Limitations are the focus on Swiss organisations and a convenience sample for collecting the analysed data.

Originality/value

For the first time, the shared understanding of DT in Swiss businesses – based on SAFs – has allowed a conceptualisation of DT in order to provide guidance to businesses managers and employees.

Details

Journal of Strategy and Management, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-425X

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Book part
Publication date: 21 July 2016

Victor J. Friedman, Israel Sykes, Noam Lapidot-Lefler and Noha Haj

Social space, the central construct in field theory, offers dialogic organization development a generative image similar to open systems for diagnostic OD. Social space…

Abstract

Social space, the central construct in field theory, offers dialogic organization development a generative image similar to open systems for diagnostic OD. Social space imagery enables people to think, feel, and act in ways that exercise greater choice over the realities they construct and that construct them. This process is illustrated through a “transitional space” that enabled people with severe disabilities to overcome stigma and isolation. Social spatial imagery moves dialogic OD away from systems imagery and language, addresses ambivalence about self and mind, clarifies the meaning of reality, and reconnects it to its Lewinian roots.

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Research in Organizational Change and Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-360-3

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Book part
Publication date: 22 July 2014

Elizabeth Popp Berman

Field theory is one of the most visible approaches in the new political sociology of science, and Fligstein & McAdam’s (F&M) Theory of Fields is the most visible recent…

Abstract

Field theory is one of the most visible approaches in the new political sociology of science, and Fligstein & McAdam’s (F&M) Theory of Fields is the most visible recent attempt to further it. This paper evaluates F&M’s theory of field transformation by comparing it with Berman’s (2012a) field-based explanation of the changes in the field of US academic science. While F&M’s general framework is quite useful, their explanation, which focuses on struggles between incumbents and challengers over whose conception of the field should dominate, does not map neatly onto the changes in academic science, which saw no such field-level struggles. This suggests that tools are also needed for explaining new settlements that do not result from intentional efforts to establish them. In particular, the case of US academic science shows that local innovations with practices based on alternative conceptions of the field can lead to field-level change. Attention to the interaction between local practice innovations and larger environments provides insights into how change ripples across fields, as well as the ongoing contention and dynamism within even relatively stable fields.

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Fields of Knowledge: Science, Politics and Publics in the Neoliberal Age
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-668-2

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Book part
Publication date: 17 June 2013

David Pettinicchio

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, disability rights found a place on the U.S. policy agenda. However, it did not do so because social movement groups pressured political…

Abstract

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, disability rights found a place on the U.S. policy agenda. However, it did not do so because social movement groups pressured political elites or because politicians were responding to changes in public preferences. Drawing from recent work in neo-institutionalism and social movements, namely the theory of strategic action fields, I posit that exogenous shocks in the 1960s caused a disability policy monopoly to collapse giving way to a new policy community. Using original longitudinal data on congressional committees, hearings, bills, and laws, as well as data from the Policy Agendas Project, I demonstrate the ways in which entrepreneurs pursued a new policy image of rights within a context of increasing committee involvement, issue complexity, and space on the policy agenda, and the consequences this had on policy.

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Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-732-0

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Article
Publication date: 16 October 2009

Allyson Stewart‐Allen and Michael Christ

Reviews the latest management developments and training programs within the Lufthansa School of Business and the London Business School.

Abstract

Purpose

Reviews the latest management developments and training programs within the Lufthansa School of Business and the London Business School.

Design/methodology/approach

Under the “Preferred Partnership Concept” the LHSB co‐operates with three internationally‐renowned business schools for major executive training programs. London Business School (LBS) is one of these three contracted partners. The main focus of the partnership is the General Management Programme (GMP), which has now been held successfully in close co‐operation between the LBS and the LHSB for the third time.

Findings

The key to the ongoing success of the GMP has been the communication within the team producing the three live events in three global locations. The program's success is a direct result of the consistency and quality of communication, of team members' desire to continuously improve the modules, project management, the briefing process for presenters (whether faculty members, Lufthansa Board members, guest speakers), and the detailed checklists and scheduling by the LBS Program Manager.

Practical implications

Provides strategic insights and practical thinking that have influenced some of the world's leading organizations.

Originality/value

The paper examines key areas in advanced management training (and development) and highlights two unique and interlinked strategic concepts.

Details

Strategic Direction, vol. 25 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0258-0543

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Article
Publication date: 29 June 2017

Orlagh Reynolds, Maura Sheehan and Rachel Hilliard

The purpose of this paper is to look at the role played by three archetypal constructs pertaining to the individual sustainability-oriented entrepreneur, namely prior…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to look at the role played by three archetypal constructs pertaining to the individual sustainability-oriented entrepreneur, namely prior knowledge, sustainability orientation and sustainability intention, in legitimation behavior and explores their strategic utility.

Design/methodology/approach

The author studies legitimacy-seeking behavior in the case of ten sustainability-oriented entrepreneurs. A qualitative case study approach is used, capturing evidence of legitimation behavior in the startup phase through interviews, participant observation and documentation analysis.

Findings

Prior knowledge and sustainability orientation appear to offer little value beyond their role as necessary factors in maintaining legitimacy. Both appear to have limited strategic value for legitimation in comparison to sustainability intention. Intention as a construct embodies the “paradox” of sustainability-oriented entrepreneurship, and learning to successfully overcome this paradox to strategically utilize intention in legitimation is crucial for these entrepreneurs.

Practical implications

Knowledge of these factors could assist sustainability-oriented entrepreneurs in strategically utilizing these factors as agency when dealing with diverse stakeholder expectations to achieve their enterprising goals. Strengthening knowledge on factors important for legitimacy is pertinent in supporting this shared value approach to entrepreneurship.

Originality/value

Little theoretical or empirical attention has been paid to the complexity of strategic legitimation behavior of sustainability-oriented entrepreneurs. This paper provides novel empirical insight into what role these archetypal factors play in legitimation behavior and how they can be strategically utilized.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

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