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Article
Publication date: 6 June 2008

Uri Gal and Nicholas Berente

The purpose of this paper is to advocate a “social representations” approach to the study of socio‐cognitive processes during information systems (IS) implementation as an…

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3228

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to advocate a “social representations” approach to the study of socio‐cognitive processes during information systems (IS) implementation as an alternative to the technological frames framework.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper demonstrates how social representations theory can improve research outcomes by applying it to three recent studies that employed the technological frames framework.

Findings

It is found that because the technological frames framework is overly technologically centered, temporally bounded, and individually focused, it may lead to symptomatic explanations of IS implementation. Alternatively, using the theory of social representations can offer more fundamental causal explanations of IS implementation processes.

Research limitations/implications

IS researchers are encouraged to use a social representations approach to study IS implementation as the theory provides a rich vocabulary to examine the formation, change, and content of representations of IS, and their relationship to people's actions toward IS.

Originality/value

The paper introduces a new theoretical perspective into the IS research discipline, which can be applied to provide better research results concerning IS implementation.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 14 October 2013

Frédérique Grazzini

As a result of the global financial crisis, the meaning of action has reemerged as a central focus of the current debates. This paper seeks to analyze the meaning given by…

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4821

Abstract

Purpose

As a result of the global financial crisis, the meaning of action has reemerged as a central focus of the current debates. This paper seeks to analyze the meaning given by managers to their contribution to the strategy development process.

Design/methodology/approach

The core underlying assumptions in this research are that social phenomena such as strategy are determined by representations shaped by discourse and that education is a major vector for promoting strategic discourses. Through the concepts of social representation and strategy lens, the paper examines the beliefs and paradigms underlying the strategy development process. Based on a sample of 1,033 managers, this research constructs a holistic typology of the social representations of strategy among managers.

Findings

Four different groups of social representations of strategy are identified and characterized. Links are established between these groups and a range of socio-demographic, social, occupational and structural variables.

Practical implications

By clarifying various paradigms and providing reference points, this research encourages increased awareness of these paradigms among managers in order to promote emancipation from them.

Originality/value

The study is primarily synthesis-based at a theoretical level, but also in the analysis and interpretation of the role of strategists. It also helps to close the gap between research, teaching and practice.

Details

European Business Review, vol. 25 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Elfriede Penz

This paper aims at contributing to the conceptual and methodological advancement of international marketing research.

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3260

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims at contributing to the conceptual and methodological advancement of international marketing research.

Design/methodology/approach

The theory of social representations is utilized to study what the representatives of a certain culture think of objects and products; which values they associate with these, which norms they follow, and in general how they view the world.

Findings

Triangulation was employed to facilitate researchers' access to the social representations approach. Six focus group discussions were conducted combined with a free association instrument answered by a sample of 250 respondents. The empirical study began from a social constructionist perspective. Findings showed that several conceptual and functional aspects of a technological innovation (m‐commerce services) are idiosyncratic to particular groups, reflecting the group's societal affiliation and position.

Research implications/limitations

A translation problem prevails when dealing with specific words from cross‐cultural research and the similarity of concepts must be considered when translating free associations in the course of international research. Other methodologies were only conceptually presented but not empirically used. Visual approaches such as pictorial instruments or ethnographical tools should be applied in future research.

Originality/value

The results provide a solid basis for international marketing research and suggestions for expanding the current study into international marketing research are provided.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Annamaria Silvana de Rosa and Laura Dryjanska

The purpose of this paper is to focus on social representations of Warsaw (Poland) as a tourist destination of 210 first visitors from seven EU and extra-EU countries…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to focus on social representations of Warsaw (Poland) as a tourist destination of 210 first visitors from seven EU and extra-EU countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland, United Kingdom and United States of America) interviewed before and after their visit. In the framework of the social representations theory, the “cultural baggage”, rooted in the collective and social memory, forms anticipatory representations of the imagined places that may undergo transformations after the visit. How does this transformation occur?

Design/methodology/approach

The authors consider the transformation of social representations as detected by means of a self-administered questionnaire that comprised the following tools: scales to measure the strength of various information sources about Warsaw (school, literature, movies, songs, internet, press, tourist guides, documentaries, interpersonal communication and other); associative networks (de Rosa, 2002) with the stimulus word “Warsaw”; a list of adjectives describing the city and its centre, as well as a list of the most important places in Warsaw. The questionnaires were coded to ensure anonymity of participants while enabling the researcher to administer them for the second time (after the visit). According to the modelling approach to social representations (de Rosa, 2013a), the research was guided by three related hypotheses concerning transformation of social representations of Warsaw.

Findings

The results confirmed the hypotheses of potential changes in the representations that shift the focus from Warsaw as “communist” to “green” capital city, and of the role of the Polish language as a “communicative barrier” for recalling specific names of city-places after their visit.

Research limitations/implications

Social representations exist in people’s minds, and they include images that are further interpreted (Howarth, 2011). Especially when visitors are asked about places, it is likely that they recall specific images, but not their names. Since the questionnaires required them to write down the answers, words often did not correspond to the volatile and dynamic images that the human mind creates. In spite of recalling a specific park or fountain, participants resorted to general categories and simply wrote “park” or “fountain”. However, this limitation is familiar to the majority of social psychological researchers and very difficult, if not impossible, to overcome. The new research directions launched to integrate the research line of field studies with investigations based on new media offer complementary insights and opportunities (de Rosa and Bocci, 2014).

Practical implications

Destination branding has numerous practical implications. According to Ekinci and Hosany (2006), developing efficient communication methods is crucial to launching a distinctive and attractive destination personality. Hosany et al. (2006) have demonstrated that personality traits are ubiquitous in consumers’ evaluations of tourism destinations and therefore promotional campaigns should emphasize the distinctive personality of tourism destinations, based on the emotional components of destination image. European capital cities compete for visitors in the mature and saturated market, where brand strength is positively related to tourism intensity (Mikulić et al., 2016).

Originality/value

Examining how social representations of a city are transformed by the visit from the perspective of the supra-disciplinary theory of Moscovici constitutes an original way to link imagery and tourist practices. The major cultural issues, such as history, language, art and traditions affect the theory and practice of urban tourism. For the first time, this theoretical framework is being used in case of a post-communist European destination such as Warsaw.

Details

International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6182

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Article
Publication date: 17 December 2018

Jenni Savonen, Pekka Hakkarainen, Kati Kataja, Inari Sakki and Christoffer Tigerstedt

The purpose of this paper is to study the social representations of polydrug use in the Finnish mainstream media. Social representations are shared ways of talking about…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the social representations of polydrug use in the Finnish mainstream media. Social representations are shared ways of talking about socially relevant issues and have ramifications on both individual and socio-political levels.

Design/methodology/approach

The social representations theory and the “What’s the problem represented to be?” analysis provided the theoretical framework. In total, 405 newspaper articles were used as data and analysed by content analysis and thematic analysis. The key tenets of the social representations theory, anchoring, objectifying and naturalisation, were used in data analysis.

Findings

The study found that polydrug use was written about differently in articles over the study period from 1990 to 2016. Three social representations were introduced: first, polydrug use as a concept was used to refer to the co-use of alcohol and medical drugs. This was seen as a problem for young people, which could easily lead to illicit drug use. Second, illicit drugs were included in the definitions of polydrug use, which made the social representation more serious than before. The typical polydrug user was portrayed as a person who was addicted to substances, could not quite control his/her use and was a threat to others in society. Third, the concepts were naturalised as parts of common language and even used as prototypes and metaphors.

Originality/value

The study provides a look at how the phenomenon of polydrug use is conceptualised in everyday language as previous research has concentrated on its scientific definitions. It also adds to the research of media representations of different substances.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

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Article
Publication date: 3 March 2020

Luiz Antonio Joia and Gustavo Marchisotti

This study aims to identify the social representation of cloud computing from the perspective of Information Technology (IT) professionals in emerging countries, comparing…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to identify the social representation of cloud computing from the perspective of Information Technology (IT) professionals in emerging countries, comparing it with the extant literature on this subject.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from IT professionals in Brazil, which was used as a proxy for the emerging countries’ context related to cloud computing. Social Representation Theory was then applied to analyze the data.

Findings

Mismatches between theory and practice on cloud computing make it clear that most of the current scientific literature on cloud computing is, to a great extent, based on the context of developed countries rather than on the context of emerging ones.

Research limitations/implications

Errors of inference may have been made during the categorization of the words evoked. Furthermore, Brazil was used as a proxy for the emerging countries’ context related to cloud computing.

Practical implications

IT professionals in emerging countries have quite an operational view of cloud computing. Thus, companies in these countries have to align cloud computing better with new business models and corporate strategies in order to take advantage of the transformational impacts of cloud computing.

Originality/value

IT professionals in emerging countries have failed to notice the strategic value of cloud computing, the new business models enabled by same, the privacy issues related to it and the impact cloud computing adoption can have on the IT costs of an organization. Moreover, mobility can be a paramount issue related to cloud computing in emerging countries – a fact thus far overlooked by academia.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Article
Publication date: 8 July 2014

Jim Andersén and Annelie Andersén

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate how social representation theory (SRT) can be used to understand the concept of resistance to change. SRT is a growing theory in…

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1606

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate how social representation theory (SRT) can be used to understand the concept of resistance to change. SRT is a growing theory in social psychology research. SRT is about how individuals co-construct representations of various objects in different social settings. These social representations govern the attitudes and actions of individuals and groups. In spite of the growing interest in SRT in various fields, no studies have used SRT to understand resistance to organizational change.

Design/methodology/approach

This study reviews the relevant literature on resistance to change and SRT to develop a conceptual framework for understanding resistance from the standpoint of SRT.

Findings

The authors develop a model that illustrates how three interrelated objects, i.e. the organizational process and the pre-and post-change situation, are co-constructed in social contexts. Also, the authors discuss how representations of these objects can co-exist (cognitive polyphasia). Our study illustrates the complexity of resistance to change by deconstructing the concept.

Originality/value

Application of SRT to analyze resistance to organizational change is a novel approach that provides several new insights. For example, where most publications regard advocates of change as sense-givers in the change recipient’s sense-making process, the authors argue for a more constructionist approach. Thus, all actors involved in the change process will affect each other and together co-construct the social representations. These social representations govern attitudes to change.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 28 April 2020

Constance Mambet Doue, Oscar Navarro Carrascal, Diego Restrepo, Nathalie Krien, Delphine Rommel, Colin Lemee, Marie Coquet, Denis Mercier and Ghozlane Fleury-Bahi

Based on social representation theory, this study aims to evaluate and analyze the similarities and differences between social representations of climate change held by…

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1418

Abstract

Purpose

Based on social representation theory, this study aims to evaluate and analyze the similarities and differences between social representations of climate change held by people living in two territories, which have in common that they are exposed to coastal risks but have different socio-cultural contexts: on the one hand, Cartagena (Colombia) and on the other, Guadeloupe (French overseas department, France).

Design/methodology/approach

A double approach, both quantitative and qualitative, of social representation theory was adopted. The data collection was undertaken in two phases. First, the content and organization of social representation of climate change (SRCC) was examined with a quantitative study of 946 participants for both countries, followed by a qualitative study of 63 participants for both countries also.

Findings

The study finds unicity in the SRCC for the quantitative study. In contrast, the qualitative study highlights differences at the level of the institutional anchoring of the climate change phenomenon in these two different socioeconomic and political contexts.

Practical implications

These results are relevant for a reflection in terms of public policies for the prevention and management of collective natural risks, as well as for the promotion of ecological behavior adapted to political and ideological contexts.

Originality/value

The use of a multi-methodological approach (quantitative and qualitative) in the same research is valuable to confirm the importance of an in-depth study of the social representations of climate change because of the complexity of the phenomenon.

Details

International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-8692

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Article
Publication date: 11 May 2020

Clotilde Coron

This work deals with social representations of gender equality in the workplace. Little academic work deals with the way workers define gender equality. My research also…

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1383

Abstract

Purpose

This work deals with social representations of gender equality in the workplace. Little academic work deals with the way workers define gender equality. My research also deals with the implications of this definition in terms of policy implementation.

Design/methodology/approach

This work is based on a mixed-method approach. A quantitative study based on an online survey conducted in 2015 at a French company is mobilized to identify and measure the main representations of gender equality among the workers. Then, a qualitative study is used to explore these representations in depth and to examine how they influence the implementation of policy on gender equality.

Findings

This work shows that for French workers, equal pay and equal access to responsibilities are the most important dimensions of gender equality, while gender diversity and work-life balance seem less important. The representation of gender equality varies according to gender, professional field and managerial status. These variations help to understand the difficulty of implementing such policy.

Practical implications

Managerially, these results would strongly indicate that companies in France, but also in other developed countries, should consider carrying out awareness campaigns aimed at employees in order to promote a common culture and definition of gender equality. Indeed, the coexistence of various representations of gender equality partly explains the insufficient implementation—and thus the poor performance and general effectiveness of gender equality policies, both in theoretical and practical terms. Companies should also consider introducing awareness campaigns that specifically target men, who grant less importance to gender equality than women.

Originality/value

This study deals with social representations of gender equality in France, a subject which has been largely neglected or overlooked in existing fields of gender research. The international literature on gender equality shows that variations in representations of gender equality constitute a major subject for research and policies about gender, whatever the country. However, this topic still remains inadequately addressed. This research aims to strengthen such research literature dedicated to the issue of gender equality.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 39 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Article
Publication date: 30 April 2021

Marcin Roszkowski and Bartłomiej Włodarczyk

The paper aims to present the development of conceptualization of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) based on associations with other articles on English edition of…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to present the development of conceptualization of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) based on associations with other articles on English edition of Wikipedia. The main goal of the paper is to study the social organization of knowledge about COVID-19 within the Wikipedia community of practice.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodological approach taken in this study was based on the application of Moscovici's theory of social representations to Wikipedia's knowledge organization system (KOS). Internal links in the Wikipedia article about COVID-19 were considered anchors in its social representations. Each link in the introductory part of the article was considered an indicator of the semantic relationship between COVID-19 and other concepts from Wikipedia's knowledge base. The subject of this study was links extracted from all revisions of the COVID-19 article between February and September 2020. Qualitative and quantitative analyses were performed on these conceptual structures using both synchronic and diachronic approaches.

Findings

It was found that the evolution of anchors in the Wikipedia article on COVID-19 was in line with the mechanism of symbolic coping related to infectious disease. It went through stages of divergence, convergence and normalization. It shows that this mechanism governs the social organization of knowledge related to COVID-19 on Wikipedia.

Originality/value

No studies have been devoted to the image of COVID-19 as presented by the evolution of links in Wikipedia and its implications for knowledge organization (KO).

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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