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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2015

Tony Proctor

The purpose of this paper is to examine a particular aspect of the history of the watchmaking industry during the eighteenth century. Attention is drawn to overlooked…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine a particular aspect of the history of the watchmaking industry during the eighteenth century. Attention is drawn to overlooked ideas and inventions and how years later they may become profitable business opportunities for entrepreneurs. The approach adopted allows examination of the development and commercialisation of a watch escapement mechanism, the rack lever, within the context of the development of other escapements. The rack lever was an escapement which was initially overlooked in the early part of the eighteenth century but which many decades later was reinvented and became a commercial success in the early nineteenth century.

Design/methodology/approach

Reference is made to the literature on entrepreneurship and acquisition of knowledge in the eighteenth century and the nature of watchmaking in the same epoch. The literature on entrepreneurship produces a framework for examining the actions that were taken to bring the rack lever escapement to market. The historical context within which the innovations occurred was examined to establish the events and circumstances surrounding the times when commercialisation took place. An account of the commercialisation of the rack lever escapement is presented.

Findings

The entrepreneurial opportunity examined in this article relates to a need to satisfy consumers with a reasonably accurate and reliable portable time piece. The historical context within which commercialisation took place was found to be significant. Attention to the escapement mechanism in watches was identified as the key to improving performance, and the focus of the paper is placed upon how this opportunity was satisfied through the means provided by the rack lever escapement. Alertness to the potential of already discovered but undeveloped ideas appears to be an additional feature behind the entrepreneurial activity. The paper shows that innovation can be a discontinuous process. It also indicates the relevance of modern-day knowledge brokers in facilitating the process of new product innovation.

Originality/value

Entrepreneurship and innovation along with research and development are all intrinsically linked in producing goods and services to satisfy customer wants and needs. Together, they represent a cornerstone which helps to establish a business and maintain its continued survival. Importantly, the development of new products is a key contributor to this end and innovation and entrepreneurship play their part in bringing this about. The paper suggests that new ideas can occur which may be deemed unsuitable for commercialisation at one period in time but which can at a future time be considered a temporary solution to meet an unfulfilled need in the market place. It argues for the case for reserving judgement on new ideas that are not commercialised and ensuring that knowledge of them is kept for posterity and made accessible to future generations.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

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Article
Publication date: 6 October 2020

Tony Proctor

This paper aims to consider why creative problem-solving techniques may not always produce useful results and sets out to explain why this might be and what steps should…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to consider why creative problem-solving techniques may not always produce useful results and sets out to explain why this might be and what steps should be taken to avoid it happening. The paper provides an understanding of how different creative problem-solving techniques are best suited to gaining insights into problems requiring different degrees of paradigm shift. It argues that team members’ personalities and thinking styles and team composition should be taken into account when using the techniques. It examines the role the facilitator plays in planning and conducting the ideation process.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides simple illustrations of some of the creative problem-solving techniques. It reviews relevant literature and argues how individual differences of team members along with team composition can influence team performance in using the creative problem-solving techniques.

Findings

Personality, thinking styles and learning styles are relevant to the effective use of creative problem-solving techniques. Team composition, team motivation and mood factors should also be taken into account. The facilitator is key in ensuring the efficacy of the problem-solving process.

Originality/value

This paper will be helpful to academics who study creative problem-solving as well as informing management practitioners and trainers about the procedures and potential pitfalls to avoid.

Details

Team Performance Management: An International Journal, vol. 26 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2002

Tony Proctor and Philip Kitchen

Successful marketing strategies in the twenty‐first century require successful communication strategies and this requires more creative thinking allied to an integrated…

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21605

Abstract

Successful marketing strategies in the twenty‐first century require successful communication strategies and this requires more creative thinking allied to an integrated approach to all communication activities. A postmodernist perspective and the influence of societal pressure now challenge the assertion that marketing is a rational formal process of analysis, planning, implementation and control.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2000

Rebecca Burden and Tony Proctor

The article examines how customer needs are represented within the training evaluation framework of an organisation. The authors assert that meeting customer needs on…

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5104

Abstract

The article examines how customer needs are represented within the training evaluation framework of an organisation. The authors assert that meeting customer needs on time, every time, is a route to achieving and sustaining competitive advantage, and training is a tool that organisations should use to succeed at this. Information on good practice from the National Training Awards case studies was used as the basis of the research. The authors conclude that customers’ needs/wants are often not given the attention they deserve but that there is the potential for enhancing practice. Two gaps in the evaluation process are revealed: the ability to relate customer satisfaction to organisational aims and the ability to recognise the behavioural changes necessary to achieve these aims. The authors speculate that successful outcomes are most likely to be achieved if case‐study material is analysed rigorously, if outcomes are carefully articulated, if a range of measurement opportunities are employed and if managers are closely involved in action research processes.

Details

Team Performance Management: An International Journal, vol. 6 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2006

Tony Proctor and Louise Gray

Business process re‐engineering can be a very effective tool for introducing cost‐effective changes into an organisation to the benefit of the organisation and its…

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515

Abstract

Business process re‐engineering can be a very effective tool for introducing cost‐effective changes into an organisation to the benefit of the organisation and its customers. The article reports on the introduction of “One Stop Shops” into a UK metropolitan local government organisation commenting on the success of the venture and the problems encountered in introducing a new competency based pay structure for front office staff.

Details

EuroMed Journal of Business, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1450-2194

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2000

This article has been withdrawn as it was published elsewhere and accidentally duplicated. The original article can be seen here: 10.1108/01435120010309399. When citing…

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1694

Abstract

This article has been withdrawn as it was published elsewhere and accidentally duplicated. The original article can be seen here: 10.1108/01435120010309399. When citing the article, please cite: Bob Usherwood, Richard Proctor, Gordon Bower, Tony Stevens, Carol Coe, (2000), “Recruitment and retention in the public library – a baseline study”, Library Management, Vol. 21 Iss: 2, pp. 62 - 8.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 5 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1993

Tony Proctor

We live in a world that is undergoing continuous and rapid change. Situations are regularly encountered that have not previously arisen. Technology, competition, changes…

Abstract

We live in a world that is undergoing continuous and rapid change. Situations are regularly encountered that have not previously arisen. Technology, competition, changes in social values, new expectations of customers, economic upheaval and all the other kinds of changes that can occur in the business environment produce new problems for management. Often solutions to such problems requires insight that traditional, well used problem solving techniques are unable to provide. Under such circumstances the need for creative problem solving assumes a greater importance than ever before. Developments in world markets, shorter production cycles, the requirement to find new ways to resource the exploitation of opportunities, and the scarcity and cost of basic resources are just a few of the new challenges to the modern day executive. In order to respond to such challenges there is a need to think creatively.

Details

Management Research News, vol. 16 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1992

Tony Proctor and Paul Ruocco

Suggests a structured approach to decision making in the context ofgenerating appropriate marketing strategies. The method includes the useof a creative problem‐solving…

Abstract

Suggests a structured approach to decision making in the context of generating appropriate marketing strategies. The method includes the use of a creative problem‐solving method, brainstorming. Decisions often involve several people and different people may have different viewpoints on the suitability of various strategies which can be pursued. The approach facilitates the sharing of different viewpoints and the bringing together of disparate ideas in the formulation of specific marketing strategies. The approach employs a structured approach to identifying possible strategies using a combination of the “TOWS matrix” and brainstorming. The method has applicability to other areas, where strategy is being formulated.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 30 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1991

R.A. Proctor

Development in micro‐computer software packages is examined as theyimpinge on the area of creative problem solving in business. It isargued that skills in creative problem…

Abstract

Development in micro‐computer software packages is examined as they impinge on the area of creative problem solving in business. It is argued that skills in creative problem solving can do much to further organisational efficiency and effectiveness and that interactive computer systems have an important role to play. A review is provided of different computer aids to creative problem solving and an overview is given of the different approaches to management games. Many of the different kinds of management game are amenable to computerisation.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2005

David McElhinney and Tony Proctor

Informs executives of the dangers of entrapment which can occur when there is an increasing commitment to an ineffective course of action to justify previous allocation of…

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2557

Abstract

Purpose

Informs executives of the dangers of entrapment which can occur when there is an increasing commitment to an ineffective course of action to justify previous allocation of resources when managing new projects.

Design/methodology/approach

Reviews research studies on establishing call/contact‐centres in local government across the UK. Data were also collected via interviews with executives in authorities experienced in setting up call/contact centres.

Findings

Centres involve spending millions of pounds but there was only limited knowledge of capital or ongoing revenue costs. Evidence of internal resistance, lack of any shared vision, or knowledge of the level of risk existed as well as only limited understanding of the centres' organisational impact, potential benefits or added value. There was an absence of stated project objectives or formal project appraisal and a creeping commitment to the projects continuation. The potential for entrapment existed

Research limitations/implications

A single case study but one which adds to the existing literature on entrapment and focuses attention on the risks that can exist in the public sector.

Practical implications

Underlines the importance of setting out specific procedures for evaluating the potential costs/benefits and subsequent progress of new, particular large scale, business projects.

Originality/value

Shows that potential entrapment can be present in the context of projects of national importance. The paper is relevant to managers within the public sector engaged on new ventures and to all executives in any setting.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 43 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

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