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Article
Publication date: 11 December 2018

Alasdair Marshall, Udechukwu Ojiako and Maxwell Chipulu

Risk appetite is widely accepted as a guiding metaphor for strategic risk management, yet metaphors for complex practice are hard to critique. This paper aims to apply an…

Abstract

Purpose

Risk appetite is widely accepted as a guiding metaphor for strategic risk management, yet metaphors for complex practice are hard to critique. This paper aims to apply an analytical framework comprising three categories of flaw – futility, perversity and jeopardy – to critically explore the risk appetite metaphor. Taking stock of management literature emphasising the need for metaphor to give ideation to complex management challenges and activities and recognising the need for high-level metaphor within strategic risk management in particular, the authors propose a means to scrutinise the risk appetite metaphor and thereby illustrate its use for further management metaphors.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors apply a structured analytical perspective designed to scrutinise conceivably any purportedly progressive social measure. The three flaw categories are used to warn that organisational risk appetite specifications can be: futile vis-a-vis their goals, productive of perverse outcomes with respect to these goals and so misleading about the true potential for risk management as to jeopardise superior alternative use of risk management resource. These flaw categories are used to structure a critical review of the risk appetite metaphor, which moves towards identifying its most fundamental flaws.

Findings

Two closely interrelated antecedents to flaws discussed within the three flaw categories are proposed: first, false confidence in organisational risk assessment and, second, organisational blindness towards contributions of behavioural risk-taking to true organisational risk exposure. A theory of high (over-optimistic, excessive or inappropriate) risk-taking organisations explores flaws within the three flaw categories with reference to these antecedents under organisational-cultural circumstances where the risk appetite metaphor is most needed and yet most problematic.

Originality/value

The paper is highly original in its representation of risk management as an organisational practice reliant on metaphor and in proposing a structured means to challenge it as a dominant guiding metaphor where it has gained widespread uncritical acceptance. The discussion is also innovative in its representation of high risk-taking organisations as likely to harbour strong managerial motives, aptitudes and capacities for covert and illicit forms of risk-taking which, being subversive and sometimes reactionary towards risk appetite specifications, may cause particularly serious futility, perversity and jeopardy problems. To conclude, the theory and its implications are summarised for practitioner and educational use.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

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Article
Publication date: 29 October 2019

Senthilkumar Venkatachalam, Alasdair Marshall, Udechukwu Ojiako and Chamabondo Sophia Chanshi

The purpose of this paper is to explore, using fine-grained exploratory multi-case studies, organisational learning practices – and associated constraints – impacting the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore, using fine-grained exploratory multi-case studies, organisational learning practices – and associated constraints – impacting the performance of four small- and medium-sized project organisations which deliver energy efficiency projects in South Africa and whose learning practice mixes are of wider significance for the emerging project society in the region.

Design/methodology/approach

The unit of analysis is the Energy Efficiency Demand Side Management (EEDSM) programme; a US$104m grant funded the initiative directed at supporting energy efficient retro-fit projects across local municipalities in South Africa. Thematic analysis is undertaken, based on multiple exploratory interviews with project practitioners working for small- and medium-sized EEDSM project organisations.

Findings

Recognising the criticality of tacit knowledge as a focus for learning, within unstructured, novel, non-routine and technically specialised learning contexts in particular, the widespread lack of organisational harnessing through linkages to strategy and performance are noted, and advocacy is offered for the development of appropriate learning cultures linked to communities of practice that bring specialists together from across regional project societies.

Research limitations/implications

The socio-political context of the EEDSM programme, although briefly addressed for its organisational cultural implications, was not given detailed consideration in the exploratory interviews. This would have enhanced the idiographic complexity of the findings, while also reducing prospects for distilling generalisable organisational learning improvement opportunities for emerging project societies. However, the study does not seek to provide evidence for specific learning practice effects on performance as this was not something the interviewees felt able to comment on in significant detail.

Originality/value

Learning practice studies for small- and medium-sized project organisations remains sparse, so are studies of business environments within developing countries, in general, or sub-Saharan Africa, in particular. Looking beyond narrow individual project views of performance, the present study’s project society-based business environment is theorised as both constraining and benefiting from the project-learning practices discussed by the respondents.

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Article
Publication date: 12 June 2018

Alasdair Marshall, Hamdi Bashir, Udechukwu Ojiako and Maxwell Chipulu

This conceptual paper aims to explore how supply chain managers deal with social threats to supply chains, in the process of demonstrating the potency of a largely…

Abstract

Purpose

This conceptual paper aims to explore how supply chain managers deal with social threats to supply chains, in the process of demonstrating the potency of a largely neglected strand of realist social theory. This theory, as posited, sheds a great deal of light on the behavioural reality of how supply chain managers operate within the social aspects of their risk environments.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is presented as a narrative synthesis of classical realist sociological literature.

Findings

The Machiavellian approach provides a template that can be used to help academics and practitioners understand how and why supply chain managers orient themselves to the social threats they confront in very different ways. The theory’s contention that the behavioural reality can be subdivided between two basic patterns allows it to serve as a constructively simple template for becoming attuned to ways in which supply chain managers socially construct and act within their social threat environments.

Research limitations/implications

The growing social complexity of supply chains gives behavioural responses a complexity reduction function. The authors theorise that such patterns, once activated, may not necessarily adapt rationally as guides to optimise the chance of success against the full range of social threats they are likely to encounter.

Originality/value

Cross-disciplinary supply chain management research is increasingly drawing upon sociology and behavioural science to facilitate greater understanding of not only the supply chain environment but also the roles of supply chain managers as relationship influencers and managers of conflict. The authors posit that Machiavellian–realist social theory can contribute to supply chain management scholarship by offering a constructively simple approach to evaluate the behavioural realities associated with social threats.

Details

Management Research Review, vol. 41 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8269

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 2 September 2019

Fenfang Lin, Jake Ansell, Alasdair Marshall and Udechukwu Ojiako

This paper aims to distil the management challenge pertaining to B2B SME branding strategy, communication and constraint in the emerging market context of Chinese manufacturing.

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3760

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to distil the management challenge pertaining to B2B SME branding strategy, communication and constraint in the emerging market context of Chinese manufacturing.

Design/methodology/approach

Complemented by 19 interviews, this paper adopted a novel methodological approach – netnographic analysis – to investigate a selection of Chinese manufacturing SMEs.

Findings

Findings revealed three managerial approaches to B2B brand management: conservative, flexible and integrated-exploratory.

Practical implications

Understanding the three approaches offers managerial implications for Chinese manufacturer SMEs to redesign their branding practice. Informed with a better understanding of the available option, they will be able to achieve high value-added production through branding to gain competitiveness. This study sheds light on B2B SME branding from an emerging market perspective, an area that has been largely neglected in the existing literature.

Originality/value

Findings make a novel contribution to B2B SME brand management literature by clarifying practical management issues pertinent to Chinese emerging market manufacturers in particular, and offering widely generalizable lessons for B2B brand management research.

Details

PSU Research Review, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2399-1747

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 30 April 2021

Fouzeya M. Albastaki, Hamdi Bashir, Udechukwu Ojiako, Mohammad Shamsuzzaman and Salah Haridy

Despite the increasing number of studies investigating environmentally sustainable practices in different sectors, no research exists on the issues related to the success…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite the increasing number of studies investigating environmentally sustainable practices in different sectors, no research exists on the issues related to the success factors for implementing environmentally sustainable practices in the utilities sector. To partially fill this research gap, the purpose of this study is to empirically examine these success factors in a public utilities organization in the United Arab Emirates.

Design/methodology/approach

An integrated interpretive structural modeling and fuzzy cross-impact matrix multiplication applied to classification approach was implemented to identify the critical success factors (CSFs) and to model and analyze the relationships among them.

Findings

Thirteen CSFs were identified and the relationships among them were represented by a seven-level hierarchical graphical model, and six CSFs were identified as drivers of success: government policies, regulations and environmental awareness programs; organization sustainability strategies; top management commitment; organizational capabilities; social and environmental responsibility; and eco-knowledge.

Originality/value

This is first kind of study to identify CSFs for implementing environmentally sustainable practices in the utilities sector. The results could guide government policymakers and decision-makers in utilities organizations that are interested in implementing environmentally sustainable practices.

Details

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7835

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 19 November 2020

Thiago de Almeida Rodrigues, Caroline Maria de Miranda Mota, Udechukwu Ojiako and Fikri Dweiri

The purpose is to identify the main characteristics of dry ports (DPs) in Brazil, discussing the role of this logistic player, challenges and opportunities. Furthermore…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose is to identify the main characteristics of dry ports (DPs) in Brazil, discussing the role of this logistic player, challenges and opportunities. Furthermore, this study provides a structured framework to drive DP decision-makers, identifying and assessing a network of means–end objectives, which could be replicable to other contexts.

Design/methodology/approach

This article approached initially a literature review and exploratory research to discuss the main characteristics of DPs in Brazil. The second step was to conduct a qualitative analysis following the value-focused thinking (VFT) approach in two case studies in Pernambuco state to assess the achievement of the main objectives.

Findings

This article identified that the main characteristics of DPs in Brazil are offering additional services with a cheaper storage cost, handling mainly import cargo and being connected to seaports through highways. Moreover, this study resulted in a framework to assess the objectives of DPs, which could be replicable in other contexts, improving the current operations of DPs.

Practical implications

The framework to assess DPs' objectives bridged the gap between the literature and the practice working as a tool to drive decision-makers to improve the current performance of DPs in Brazil. Additionally, the main issues, challenges and opportunities discussed provide managers, policymakers and DPs operators with valuable insights into this theme.

Originality/value

This paper is the first study to present a framework to assess the objectives of DPs as a valuable tool to drive decision-makers to improve DPs operations. From this study, lessons could be learned and the process described could be replicable in other countries.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 23 August 2013

Hector Hidalgo, Maxwell Chipulu and Udechukwu Ojiako

The objective of this study is to identify how risk and social variables are likely to be impacted by an increase in private sector participation in health insurance…

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this study is to identify how risk and social variables are likely to be impacted by an increase in private sector participation in health insurance provision. The study focuses on the Chilean health insurance industry, traditionally dominated by the public sector.

Design/methodology/approach

Predictive risk modelling is conducted using a database containing over 250,000 health insurance policy records provided by the Superintendence of Health of Chile.

Findings

Although perceived with suspicion in some circles, risk segmentation serves as a rational approach to risk management from a resource perspective. The variables that have considerable impact on insurance claims include the number of dependents, gender, wages and the duration a claimant has been a customer.

Practical implications

As shown in the case study, to ensure that social benefits are realised, increased private sector participation in health insurance must be augmented by regulatory oversight and vigilance.

Originality/value

As it is clear that a “community-rated” health insurance provision philosophy impacts on insurance firm's ability to charge “market” prices for insurance provision, the authors explore whether risk segmentation is a feasible means of predicting insurance claim behaviour in Chile's private health insurance industry.

Details

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, vol. 26 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0952-6862

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 February 2010

Stuart Maguire, Udechukwu Ojiako and Al Said

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems if successfully implemented bring about competitive advantages. On the other hand, project failure could, in an extreme case…

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12484

Abstract

Purpose

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems if successfully implemented bring about competitive advantages. On the other hand, project failure could, in an extreme case, cause an organisation to go out of business. Mapped against existing literature on ERP critical success factors, this paper examines environmental factors that impacted on the adoption of ERP by The Oman Telecommunication Company (Omantel).

Design/methodology/approach

A case study methodology is used to study perceptions of the ERP system implementation project in Omantel.

Findings

This paper highlights the particular problems of large organisations that operate disparate legacy systems.

Research limitations/implications

A single case study is conducted. This provides opportunities for further research in a number of varied settings.

Originality/value

It is very important that experiences of ERP projects are shared across countries and sectors. This is because many ERP implementations are rolled out by multi‐national corporations in several countries, often simultaneously. This is one of the few ERP studies that have been conducted by an internal member of staff. In these situations, it is not just a case of access, but that the respondents feel able to give practical answers.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 110 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article
Publication date: 24 July 2009

Bhaskar Choudhuri, Stuart Maguire and Udechukwu Ojiako

Today's global business is heavily dependent on information and communication technology (ICT). The reality for most organisations is that the rate of technology change…

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1261

Abstract

Purpose

Today's global business is heavily dependent on information and communication technology (ICT). The reality for most organisations is that the rate of technology change has been extremely fast. To cope with these changes, some organisations are committing a large amount of resources. Such challenges make it difficult for some companies to invest in ICT, resulting in a need to re‐think their business models. One such approach which has proved popular over the last few years is to outsource ICT. However, not all ICT outsourcing projects have been totally successful. The paper aims to explore various constructs in ICT outsourcing.

Design/methodology/approach

The aim is achieved by conducting studies on 11 ICT outsourcing projects within the service sector.

Findings

In future, customers will be looking for value‐added services while focusing less on outsourcing as a cost‐cutting exercise. There is also an added pressure on the customers and vendors to ensure that the original business case to justify outsourcing is robust.

Research limitations/implications

The research is conducted with a limited sample of ICT outsourcing projects. For this reason, many of the conclusions in this paper are generalisations. Further research will need to be conducted in order for the lessons that emerge to be applicable across a wider business perspective.

Originality/value

The paper takes a longer term perspective on the interface between customers and vendors in outsourcing projects. However, globally, this sector is very fluid and it is crucial that organisations understand the complexity of the relationships. This paper does not specifically seek to add to the existing body of knowledge on ICT outsourcing, but rather it serves as an opportunity to reflect on the full complexity of ICT outsourcing.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

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Article
Publication date: 20 January 2012

Udechukwu Ojiako

The purpose of this paper is exploratory. The author seeks to put forward propositions on how firms may best conceive business risks in an environment characterised by…

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961

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is exploratory. The author seeks to put forward propositions on how firms may best conceive business risks in an environment characterised by constant change and uncertainty. To construct such a reality, the author examines how the military manages its engagement with strategic risk and uncertainty.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents a summated examination of literature published over the last four decades covering three major areas of management literature; risk management, competitive strategy and military tactics are conducted.

Findings

The propositions which are put forward provide the foundation for the empirical development of an appropriate framework for strategic risk management.

Originality/value

The major contribution of the study is that it has focused readers on not only strategic risk and competition, but on how lessons can be drawn from the military's experience of dealing with irregular forms of competition.

Details

Management Research Review, vol. 35 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8269

Keywords

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