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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2011

Timothy M. Shaw

Africa faces an unanticipated ‘second chance’ at the start of the second decade of the 21st century: how many ‘developmental’ versus ‘fragile’ states by 2020? The…

Abstract

Africa faces an unanticipated ‘second chance’ at the start of the second decade of the 21st century: how many ‘developmental’ versus ‘fragile’ states by 2020? The interrelated prospects for both BRICs & the continent are being transformed by the current global financial crisis: as the South expands & the North contracts, what S‐N relations in future? The EU of 27 now includes the PIIGS: a disincentive to African regions to sign EPAs unlike the Caribbean? African political economies are now located in second, third & fourth worlds: will they identify with the G20 and/or the G192 (G193 once Southern Sudan independent at start 2011?). Half the dozen fastest growing countries identified in the Economist’s World in 2011 are African (Economist 2010a): from Ghana to Liberia; the CGD in DC now suggests that 17 African countries are ‘leading the way’ & the BCG has identified 40 African corporations as global ‘challengers’. To maximize its development & security, Africa would need to advance ‘network’ or ‘public’ rather than traditional ‘club’ diplomacy, involving civil society & private companies as well as states & intergovernmental agencies. But climate change may yet emerge as the spoiler, hence the importance of COP17 in Durban before the end of 2011! This paper has four parts which stake out paths to a brighter future for the continent, including its myriad diasporas. First: post‐Washington Consensus, ODA from the OECD is of declining importance or attraction. Rather, a range of ‘innovative sources of finance’ are appearing, encouraged by the ‘Leading Group’: global solidarity fund, currency transaction tax, carbon taxes/trading, climate change funds, controls on money laundering & remittance taxes etc. Plus emerging donors like the BRICs & Gulf states, some with SWFs; FBOs; & new private foundation like Gates, Clinton & Ibrahim leading to GAVI etc.Second, Africa has generated an innovative range of ‘new regionalisms’ involving non‐state actors: from Maputo Corridor & Kgalagadi trans‐frontier peace‐park to Nile Basin Initiative/Dialogue; and from International Conference on the GLR to corporate supply chains.Third, ‘new multilateralisms’ or ‘transnational governance’ with African dimensions, from ICBL & Ottawa Process & PAC/GW & Kimberley Process & now DDI to EITI, FCS & MCS to IANSA & ATT; yet coalitions over SALW & children/women’s security are stalled due to US vetoes. And finally, fourth, what implications of this trio of novel directions & players for our analyses & policies, state & non‐state: who are the ‘drivers’, innovators & animators? How to transit from dependency & neoliberalism towards a Beijing Consensus? Where ACBF & its partners in 2030/2040/2050?

Details

World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, vol. 8 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-5945

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 16 December 2016

Tamami Komatsu, Alessandro Deserti, Francesca Rizzo, Manuela Celi and Sharam Alijani

The chapter provides empirical research results on the peculiarities of social innovation and the specific features that its business model must support. It concludes by…

Abstract

Purpose

The chapter provides empirical research results on the peculiarities of social innovation and the specific features that its business model must support. It concludes by proposing a Social Innovation Business Model Canvas and steps towards Social Innovation typologies.

Methodology/approach

The research is based on the results of a comparative analysis of 25 business case studies and 32 biographies conducted within the SIMPACT research framework. We then implemented a process of reverse engineering to uncover the business models behind the cases which facilitated the creation of a typology for different social innovation business models. Reverse engineering is the application of tools and processes used to study new business ventures in comparison with existing ones. As such, it sheds further light on the broad characteristics of social business models and their value creation mechanisms. The evidence coming from the cases were analyzed within a new business model and clustered to identify a typology of business models of social innovations.

Findings

The main SIMPACT findings, resulting from the reverse engineering process and upon which our discussion is based, can be seen in the following distinguishing characteristics of SI business models. SI business models are: configured around finding complementarity between antagonistic assets and seemingly conflicting logics; often structured around a divergence in the allocation of cost, use, and benefit leading to multiple value propositions; modeled on multiactor/multisided business strategies, and developed as frugal solutions and through actions of bricolage. Four typologies of social innovation were identified: beneficiary as actor, beneficiary as customer, beneficiary as user, and community-asset-based models.

Research implications

While much attention has been placed on for-profit business models, there is little literature on social/not-for-profit business models. This chapter can add to this gap by providing substantial empirical evidence.

Practical implications

Practitioners in the field of social innovation, particularly the growing intermediary sector, could integrate the findings of the research in their work.

Social implications

The work is also leading to the construction of a future business toolbox for social innovation, which will be even more useful for incubators, accelerators, and supporting structures.

Originality/value

Research presented in this chapter is the result of an extensive comparative analysis across all of Europe, including examples of failure, and the first to propose a typology of SI Business Models.

Details

Finance and Economy for Society: Integrating Sustainability
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-509-6

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 17 August 2017

Malena I. Havenvid and Antonella La Rocca

This chapter explores the issue of an outsider entering an existing business network in an interactive, interdependent and interconnected business world. Developing the…

Abstract

This chapter explores the issue of an outsider entering an existing business network in an interactive, interdependent and interconnected business world. Developing the new venture appears a ‘mission impossible’ as the new venture has no relationship in the relevant network or a tenuous one at best. The critical issue and major difficulty for the new company are to make established business actors perceive that there are good reasons to admit the new venture into the existing business network. The fate of the new venture, its acceptance by at least some other business actors, will largely depend on how the incumbents perceive the new company to affect their existing relational assets which result from past investments. In attempting to become a new node of a business relationship, the ‘management’ of the new venture has to address two issues. First, it has to find some actors interested in relating to the new venture and to engage them in developing the initial business relationships. Second, the new venture has to manage the networking that is combining the initial relationships with each other. The authors identify and discuss six spaces for action for new business ventures related to these two challenges.

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2004

Magnus Mähring, Jonny Holmström, Mark Keil and Ramiro Montealegre

This study investigates the potential of actor‐network theory (ANT) for theory development on information technology project escalation, a pervasive problem in…

4476

Abstract

This study investigates the potential of actor‐network theory (ANT) for theory development on information technology project escalation, a pervasive problem in contemporary organizations. In so doing, the study aims to contribute to the current dialogue on the potential of ANT in the information systems field. While escalation theory has been used to study “runaway” IT projects, two distinct limitations suggest a potential of using ANT: First, there is a need for research that builds process theory on escalation of IT projects. Second, the role of technology as an important factor (or actor) in the shaping of escalation has not been examined. This paper examines a well‐known case study of an IT project disaster, the computerized baggage handling system at Denver International Airport, using both escalation theory and ANT. A theory‐comparative analysis then shows how each analysis contributes differently to our knowledge about dysfunctional IT projects and how the differences between the analyses mirror characteristics of the two theories. ANT is found to offer a fruitful theoretical addition to escalation research and several conceptual extensions of ANT in the context of IT project escalation are proposed: embedded actor‐networks, host actor‐networks, swift translation and Trojan actor‐networks.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 22 October 2016

Laura Louise Sarauw

The chapter provides the reader with a critical, conceptual framework for further independent exploration of actor-network theory (ANT) when applied to higher education…

Abstract

The chapter provides the reader with a critical, conceptual framework for further independent exploration of actor-network theory (ANT) when applied to higher education reform. First, it introduces briefly the potentials of ANT as a means of questioning, and eventually escaping, the formal policy level as the “natural” point of departure for studying policy reform. Second, by pointing to my experiences from an on-going study on a Danish subset of the European Bologna process, in which I invited relevant actors to participate in formulating the research questions, it concretizes – and critically reviews – how ANT may feed new insights as well as challenges into the research process.

Details

Theory and Method in Higher Education Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-895-0

Article
Publication date: 27 May 2014

Emile Silvis and Patricia M. Alexander

Actor-network theory (ANT) is considered to be both a theoretical position and a methodology. ANT has been the centre of vigorous debates regarding its ontological…

1834

Abstract

Purpose

Actor-network theory (ANT) is considered to be both a theoretical position and a methodology. ANT has been the centre of vigorous debates regarding its ontological viewpoint but has also been found to have some drawbacks as a methodology. The purpose of this paper is to use a graphical syntax for ANT to describe the development and implementation of a health information system (IS) in order to assess whether the graphical syntax improves the use of ANT as a methodology.

Design/methodology/approach

An extensive example derived from a case study, describing the development and implementation of an electronic patients’ records system, is illustrated using this graphical syntax. This serves to makes the actors, translations and black boxes in the case visible.

Findings

The syntax is found to help the researcher to conceptualise the research, to highlight assumptions as black boxes and to follow the actor but above all it encourages the researcher to understand the translations being made between actors and to make them explicit. Hence the syntax is found to assist at the analytical phases of a research project. The graphic syntax found to address the criticisms identified for ANT as an IS research methodology.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed graphical syntax assists researchers who use ANT as a methodology. Use of the syntax in education is also foreseen to be practical. The evaluation of ANT-gs in the paper provides an argument for its use but a more reliable argument would be made by collating and analysing feedback from independent modellers who actually use the graphical syntax. This is an important part of future research.

Practical implications

The visualisation of the actor-network provided by ANT-gs provides a relatively simple representation while at the same time it makes key ANT concepts explicit. This is expected to address the issue of superficial understanding of ANT and selective use of its constructs; it makes the actor-network boundaries immediately visible. Thus the paper proposes that ANT-gs will be useful both by IS researchers and as an educational tool but future research is required to verify both these practical implications. The development of a computer-based modelling tool based on this syntax is proposed to facilitate effective and efficient modelling.

Originality/value

This paper proposes a unique tool to support ANT as a methodology. Its use encourages the researcher to focus on constructs that are essential elements of ANT and, by making each of the translation instances explicit, it strengthens the analysis in a way that is true to the view of ANT as a sociology of translation.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 5 July 2017

Lawrence T. Corrigan and Albert J. Mills

In this chapter we explore the relationship between current gendered practices and past conditions through the lens of actor-network theory (ANT). In particular we are…

Abstract

In this chapter we explore the relationship between current gendered practices and past conditions through the lens of actor-network theory (ANT). In particular we are interested in the viability of ANT as a lens for studying the past and in ways that can be reconciled with feminist thought. We argue that although there is some nonresonance between ANT and feminist theorizing, using ANT in a critically historicist way allows some of the barriers between ANT and feminism to be broken down. We synthesize an approach to study gendered organizational processes that exist in and over time, identifying and surfacing some of the actants (i.e., human and material factors that encourage people to act) that work together within networks to produce gendered effects such as ongoing discriminatory practices. We trace these effects using the history of Air Canada as an exemplar, in the process noting the conceptual and ontological differences between the past and history. Finally, the advantages of a critically historical ANT are discussed as a way to achieve a level of fusion between ANT and feminist thought.

Details

Insights and Research on the Study of Gender and Intersectionality in International Airline Cultures
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-546-7

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 July 2022

Ahlam Ammar Sharif

This study aims at unpacking the multiplicity of the sitting activity in public spaces through the lens of actor-network theory. In line with previous urban research…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims at unpacking the multiplicity of the sitting activity in public spaces through the lens of actor-network theory. In line with previous urban research focussing on outdoor activities, such empirical investigation aims to show the importance of the physical aspects of spaces, including seating, in supporting sitting activities as a way of encouraging the use of public space.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopts the overlap between actor–network theory and affordances. It utilises ethnographic research involving frequent users in Dahiyat Al Hussein Park in Amman-Jordan. Data were gathered on the different seat–user relations and the translated sitting activity networks.

Findings

Analysis demonstrates different cases of alignment, misalignment and realignment between what is intended and experienced, and where these relations are maintained, disrupted or changed. These findings reveal the multiplicity of sitting activities; this is significant for understanding how they are maintained.

Originality/value

The research suggests a new way of conceptualising the relationship between the physical environment and users and an approach for examining sitting activities. Some studies have applied actor–network theory and/or the concept of “affordance” by highlighting relations between the object and its user and how they create sitting activities. However, only few studies have problematised the multiplicity of sitting when considering seating uses.

Details

Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2631-6862

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2004

Noortje Marres

This article explores the ways in which actor‐network theory (ANT) invites an alternative account of democratic process, namely in terms of issue‐formation, which is…

1220

Abstract

This article explores the ways in which actor‐network theory (ANT) invites an alternative account of democratic process, namely in terms of issue‐formation, which is particularly well suited to the study of democratic practices facilitated by information and communication technologies (ICT). Engaging with arguments that have been made in political theory in favor of the re‐invigoration of institutional and extra‐institutional forms of democratic debate, this article argues that a re‐valuation of issue‐politics is more than timely. In this respect, actor‐network theory is a particularly fruitful approach, since it provides the conceptual and methodological equipment to account for democracy in terms of processes of issue formation. Such an account of democracy, it is argued, is particularly appropriate to the study of ICT‐based democratic processes, since in the context of ICT distributed networks that configure around particular issues can be seen to emerge as the carriers of democratic process. Moreover, ANT provides the conceptual and methodological tools for the development of a research practice of tracing public controversies as they are enacted in such networks on the Web. In tracing a particular controversy on the Web, around the Development Gateway, a portal for development information set up by the World Bank, one begins to articulate an alternative understanding of the significance of ICT for institutional as well as extra‐institutional forms of democracy. A number of requirements on effective democratic action, as facilitated by ICT, are derived from the case study, which move beyond the requirement of social networking, i.e. the building of partnerships, and informational networking, i.e. the exchange of knowledge and opinion. Issue‐networking here comes to the fore as indispensable to democratic politics.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 March 2008

David Emsley

This paper aims to examine the reasons why introducing a “fixed” management accounting technique, such as Juran's cost of quality technique, results in different, rather…

2063

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the reasons why introducing a “fixed” management accounting technique, such as Juran's cost of quality technique, results in different, rather than similar outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

Actor‐Network Theory (ANT) was used to examine events in a longitudinal case study where Juran's cost of quality technique was introduced into two manufacturing plants of the same organisation.

Findings

Both plants developed the cost of quality in significantly different ways to Juran's “fixed” cost of quality technique. In addition, significant differences were also found between the plants, despite the intention to replicate the cost of quality from one plant to the other.

Research limitations/implications

Although the precise circumstances of the plants in the case study are unique, the principles of ANT that describe how the cost of quality was introduced and the differences that were observed, are likely to be relevant to other organisations and techniques.

Practical implications

The practical implications of this study are that “fixed” techniques – such as Juran's cost of quality – are not fixed and are unlikely to be implemented in “textbook” fashion. To manage the innovation process better, practitioners need to understand the heterogeneity of actors' interests, the variety and complexity of the context and the iterative, recursive nature of the innovation process.

Originality/value

Although the cost of quality is an important management accounting technique, this is one of the few studies to have empirically examined it.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

1 – 10 of over 1000