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Article
Publication date: 11 January 2021

William S. Harvey, Vince-Wayne Mitchell, Alessandra Almeida Jones and Eric Knight

A major part of knowledge management for knowledge-intensive firms such as professional service firms is the increasing focus on thought leadership. Despite being a…

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Abstract

Purpose

A major part of knowledge management for knowledge-intensive firms such as professional service firms is the increasing focus on thought leadership. Despite being a well-known term, it is poorly defined and analysed in the academic and practitioner literature. The aim of this article is to answer three questions. First, what is thought leadership? Second, what tensions exist when seeking to create thought leadership in knowledge-based organisations? Third, what further research is needed about thought leadership? The authors call for cross-disciplinary and academic–practitioner approaches to understanding the field of thought leadership.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors review the academic and practitioner literature on thought leadership to provide a rich oversight of how it is defined and can be understood by separating inputs, creation processes and outcomes. The authors also draw on qualitative data from 12 in-depth interviews with senior leaders of professional service firms.

Findings

Through analysing and building on previous understandings of the concept, the authors redefine thought leadership as follows: “Knowledge from a trusted, eminent and authoritative source that is actionable and provides valuable solutions for stakeholders”. The authors find and explore nine tensions that developing thought leadership creates and propose a framework for understanding how to engage with thought leadership at the industry/macro, organisational/meso and individual/micro levels. The authors propose a research agenda based on testing propositions derived from new theories to explain thought leadership, including leadership, reducing risk, signalling quality and managing social networks, as well as examining the suggested ways to resolve different tensions.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, they are the first to separate out thought leadership from its inputs, creation processes and outcomes. The authors show new organisational paradoxes within thought leadership and show how they can play out at different levels of analysis when implementing a thought leadership strategy. This work on thought leadership is set in a relatively under-explored context for knowledge management researchers, namely, knowledge-intensive professional service firms.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 25 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 November 2020

Hongqin Li, Oswald Jones, William S. Harvey and Jie Yang

This article examines the influence of Daoist nothingness on leadership in growing Chinese small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Daoism is based on a “letting-go” approach…

Abstract

Purpose

This article examines the influence of Daoist nothingness on leadership in growing Chinese small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Daoism is based on a “letting-go” approach through maintaining inherent openness, which challenges goal-oriented and hierarchical approaches typical of Western and Confucian leadership theories. This facilitates the cross-fertilization of ideas related to the effective management of smaller firms.

Design/methodology/approach

This study focuses on SME leaders in a group of 12 growing SMEs in the Shanghai logistics industry in China. Narrative and semi-structured interviews explored emerging aspects beyond the established model of leadership associated with reputation-building. This led to in-depth, thick descriptions, broadening our understanding of leadership and reputation-building.

Findings

SME leaders follow nothingness by continuously adopting a letting-go approach which spontaneously fosters reputation-building. By maintaining inherent openness, nothingness functions as an enabling principle that mobilizes multi-beings leading to reputation-building in unintended ways.

Research limitations/implications

A greater plurality of empirical and methodological contexts in Western and non-Western countries helps to understand the dynamics and intersection of Daoist nothingness, leadership and reputation-building.

Practical implications

SME leaders recounted how they discursively practised nothingness for extended periods in their everyday practice. The study shows the significance of nothingness for SME leaders who aspire to grow their businesses by reputation-building among salient stakeholders.

Social implications

Daoist nothingness provides insights into the distinctive approach of Chinese SME leaders and their relationships with local and distant stakeholders. By engaging in active non-action they relax pre-determined intentions and immerse themselves in the process of leading, where the connections between goals and processes are automatically animated. Such an approach differs from the top-down and goal-oriented approach to leadership adopted in many Western SMEs.

Originality/value

This paper makes two theoretical contributions. First, it indicates the powerful influence of Daoist nothingness on leadership by drawing on the broader context of entrepreneurship in Chinese SMEs. Secondly, it enriches existing concepts such as reputation by endowment and reputation borrowing by demonstrating how Daoist nothingness silently fosters both local reputation and generalized reputation.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 October 2010

A. Feizerfan, S. Winchester, J. Maryosh and S.E. Liyanage

The aim of this audit was to assess the effect of guidelines on the management of corneal foreign bodies by accident & emergency staff.

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Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this audit was to assess the effect of guidelines on the management of corneal foreign bodies by accident & emergency staff.

Design/methodology/approach

A prospective case note review was performed to assess local practice in the management of corneal foreign bodies. Changes in practice included the production of a guideline using locally‐agreed standards. The audit loop was continued by a further prospective case note review.

Findings

A total of 101 records were audited over a two‐month period. Prior to changes in practice, the department performed well in two criteria. Introduction of the guideline resulted in improvement in the majority of criteria.

Originality/value

Corneal foreign bodies commonly present to accident and emergency departments. Inadequate experience and training may lead to reduced clinical outcomes, with unnecessary referral or follow‐up. This audit highlights the difficulties in providing good clinical care in the management of CFBs and shows its effectiveness as a tool for improving clinical practice.

Details

Clinical Governance: An International Journal, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7274

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 April 2017

William S. Harvey, Marwa Tourky, Eric Knight and Philip Kitchen

This paper aims to challenge singular definitions, measurements and applications of corporate reputation which tend to be reductionist. The authors rebuff such narrow…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to challenge singular definitions, measurements and applications of corporate reputation which tend to be reductionist. The authors rebuff such narrow representations of reputation by showing the multiplicity of reputation in the case of a global management consulting firm and demonstrate how it has sustained such reputations.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a large cross-country qualitative case study based on interviews, focus groups, non-participant observations, workshops and a fieldwork diary, dimensions of reputation are highlighted by drawing on perceptions from multiple stakeholder groups in different geographies.

Findings

The authors find significant differences in perceptions of reputation between and within stakeholder groups, with perceptions changing across dimensions and geographies.

Originality/value

The theoretical implications of the research indicate a plurality of extant reputations, suggesting that a prism is more suited to representing corporate reputation than a singular, lens-like focus which is too narrow to constitute reputation. This paper offers theoretical and practical suggestions for how global firms can build and sustain multiple and competing corporate reputations.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 51 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 June 2020

Halimah Abdul Manaf, William S. Harvey, Steven J. Armstrong and Alan Lawton

This study aims to identify differences in knowledge-sharing mechanisms and personality among expert, typical and novice managers within the Malaysian public sector…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to identify differences in knowledge-sharing mechanisms and personality among expert, typical and novice managers within the Malaysian public sector. Strengthening knowledge sharing function is essential for enabling public institutions around the world to be more productive.

Design/methodology/approach

This quantitative study involves 308 employees from management and professional groups within 98 local authorities in the Malaysian local government. Stratified random sampling techniques were used and the sampling frame comprised 1,000 staff using postal surveys. Data analyses were carried out using analysis of variance and correlations to test the research hypotheses.

Findings

The findings reveal that expert managers are more proactive in sharing their knowledge, particularly those with the personality traits of conscientiousness and openness. These two personality traits were also related to expert behaviours such as thoroughness, responsibility and persistence, which led to work competency and managerial success.

Originality/value

This study provides theoretical insights into how managerial tacit knowledge differs and can accumulate, depending on the personality traits of middle managers. The paper shows the different mechanisms of knowledge sharing, tacit knowledge and personality among expert, typical and novice managers. Practically, this study is important for guiding senior managers in their attempts to identify the most appropriate personalities of their middle managers. This study found that the expert group was higher in conscientiousness, openness and overall personality traits compared with the typical and novice groups. The paper also highlights the value of sharing managerial tacit knowledge effectively.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 24 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 September 2020

Justin Featherstone and William S. Harvey

This paper aims to look at the practices within the principal Konyak kingdoms in Nagaland, and how leaders in other cultural contexts can learn from reconciling tough and…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to look at the practices within the principal Konyak kingdoms in Nagaland, and how leaders in other cultural contexts can learn from reconciling tough and kind forms of leadership.

Design/methodology/approach

For centuries, the villages of the principal Konyak kingdoms in Nagaland raided each other to take the heads of men, women and children in ritualised hostilities. Originally to bring fertility and good harvests, this practice evolved almost exclusively into an expression of power and success. One of the authors spent three weeks in January 2020 living in a Konyak village learning about leadership from the last surviving face-tattooed warriors, once successful headhunters.

Findings

The authors found a servant leadership culture based on kindness and collaboration, in some ways at odds with the brutal tradition associated with their society. Framing this compassionate leader and follower relationship is the concept of matkapu, or standing for the truth of things.

Practical implications

The authors explore whether contemporary organisations looking to sustain operational excellence and well-being, and often seeking to balance the needs of different stakeholders, can learn from the Konyaks based on centuries of continual conflict and volatility.

Originality/value

The authors show how contemporary organisations looking to sustain operational excellence and well-being can learn from the Konyaks based on centuries of continual conflict and volatility.

Details

Journal of Global Responsibility, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2041-2568

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 September 2012

William S. Harvey

The purpose of this paper is to explore the labour market experiences of highly skilled migrants from developed countries who are not linguistic or visible minorities in…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the labour market experiences of highly skilled migrants from developed countries who are not linguistic or visible minorities in the host country.

Design/methodology/approach

The results of the paper derive from interviews with 64 highly skilled British migrants in Vancouver. Participants were asked open‐end and closed‐ended questions and the data from the interviews were coded and analysed manually.

Findings

British migrants were divided with their labour market outcomes. Some cited positive experiences such as better responsibility, treatment and salary, while others cited negative experiences such as having to re‐accredit, unduly proving themselves to their employers and not having their international experience recognised.

Research limitations/implications

The results are particular to a single case study, hence they cannot be generalised or taken to represent the experiences of all British skilled migrants in Vancouver.

Practical implications

Governments and organisations should ensure that they fulfil any promises they make to highly skilled migrants before the migration process and manage their expectations. Otherwise they face problems with brain waste and migrant retention in the short term and attracting foreign talent in the long term. They should also consider taking a more flexible approach to recognising foreign qualifications, skills and international experience.

Originality/value

The paper adds to our understanding of migrant groups from countries who share similar social and cultural characteristics to the host population. The paper shows that labour market integration challenges are not exclusive to low skilled visible minority migrants, but also to highly skilled migrants who speak the same first language and have the same skin colour as the majority of the host population.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 34 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Followership in Action
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-947-3

Article
Publication date: 6 May 2014

William S. Harvey

The purpose of this article was to discuss the phenomenon of international talent mobility and competition in relation to China's engagement in the “talent war” for…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article was to discuss the phenomenon of international talent mobility and competition in relation to China's engagement in the “talent war” for attracting, retaining and managing global talents, from a policy perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

The author adopts an approach combining literature review and international comparative analysis.

Findings

Factors explaining global talent mobility have been predominantly economic. This paper argues that China should also focus on other critical non-economic aspects for attracting and retaining talents in the long-term. The Chinese Government may learn from the experience of other competing countries in developing a national strategy for attracting and retaining global talents. While China has an advantage in attracting overseas Chinese who are attached to its cultural roots and are other competing countries' residents or citizens, its existing talent policy may not be able to create effective local and institutional environment in attracting and retaining needed talents.

Practical implications

An attractive policy is key to winning the global talent war and determining the future development path of a nation. The talent policy at a national level should address not only economic factors but also personal, professional and institutional factors.

Originality/value

Winning the global talent war is a policy competition among countries. The Chinese Government may succeed in the war for talent by adopting a multi-pronged, multi-level and long-term talent strategy. This paper calls for China to reconsider its recent reform on permanent residence (green card) policy reform from a global talent competition perspective.

Details

Journal of Chinese Human Resource Management, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8005

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2013

Michael Symons

The aim of this paper is to examine the early history of restaurants, as invented in Paris around 1766, deciding whether a market orientation ruled out genuine hospitality.

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Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to examine the early history of restaurants, as invented in Paris around 1766, deciding whether a market orientation ruled out genuine hospitality.

Design/methodology/approach

Contemporary accounts, such as Brillat‐Savarin's section “On Restaurateurs” in The Physiology of Taste in 1825, are considered against a definition of hospitality as a household's provision of care for non‐members.

Findings

The restaurateurs' innovation was selling individualized meals within the emerging consumer market. While Brillat‐Savarin recognized the commercial cynicism of even such brilliant exponents as Antoine Beauvilliers, their enterprises were hospitable to the extent that, emerging from domestic households, they were directed principally at meal‐making rather than money‐making. Highly “McDonaldized” corporations, whose primary purpose is profit, are a largely twentieth‐century development.

Research limitations/implications

Defining hospitality as the provision of care by households to outsiders is a common sense approach that, nonetheless, provides an alternative to the usual characterizations of hospitality, based on ethics, personality, performance or industry.

Social implications

Owner‐operated businesses are more likely to provide hospitality, certainly as traditionally understood, than corporations.

Originality/value

Since eighteenth‐century France, restaurants have only become more important, and the use of the household definition contributes to their better understanding, both historically and conceptually. The definition should have wide applicability.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

Keywords

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