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Article
Publication date: 2 September 2021

Hanna Silvola and Eija Vinnari

The purpose of this paper is to enrich extant understanding of the role of both agency and context in the uptake of sustainability assurance. To this end, the authors…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to enrich extant understanding of the role of both agency and context in the uptake of sustainability assurance. To this end, the authors examine auditors' attempts to promote sustainability assurance and establish it as a practice requiring the professional involvement of auditors.

Design/methodology/approach

Applying institutional work (Lawrence and Suddaby, 2006) and institutional logics (Thornton, 2002; Thornton et al., 2012) as the method theories, the authors examine interview data and a variety of documentary evidence collected in Finland, a small society characterized by social and environmental values, beliefs in functioning institutions and public trust in companies behaving responsibly.

Findings

With this study, the authors make two main contributions to extant literature. First, the authors illustrate the limits that society-level logics related to corporate social responsibility, together with the undermining or rejected institutional work of other agents, place especially on the political and cultural work undertaken by auditors. Second, the study responds to Power's (2003) call for country-specific studies by exploring a rather unique context, Finland, where societal trust in companies is arguably stronger than in many other countries and this trust appears to affect how actors perceive the need for sustainability assurance.

Originality/value

This is one of the few accounting studies that combines institutional logics and institutional work to study the uptake of a management fashion, in this case sustainability assurance.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 1 May 2019

Teresa Magdalena Beste, Ole Jonny Klakegg and Knudsen Jørgen Kjetil

The aim of the present study is to look into the potential of standardization of special purpose buildings, with the example of the Norwegian Directorate of Public…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the present study is to look into the potential of standardization of special purpose buildings, with the example of the Norwegian Directorate of Public Construction and Property Management (Statsbygg).

Design/Methodology/Approach

The present study uses results from a group workshop on the topic of standardization, suggesting building types suitable for standardization or modular construction. In addition, data from Statsbygg’s project database is used.

Findings

There is a broad specter of special purpose buildings with potential for standardization, such as customs facilities, courthouses, university buildings and buildings with a high share of office functions. Even buildings with an individualized character, such as museums or government buildings, have a certain potential for standardization of functional or constructional elements. Modular construction can be used where and when appropriate.

Research Limitations/Implications

Being on a brainstorming level and limited to Statsbygg, the study provides a starting point for further research looking at other building commissioners working with special purpose buildings, or quantifying the potential for cost reduction.

Practical Implications

On the basis of the findings from this study, Statsbygg considers further standardization of their special purpose buildings, not only within building types but also across the portfolio or within a project, for example rooms or functional elements.

Originality/Value

Research on standardization of special purpose buildings is limited. The article presents the results of a workshop with project managers, contributing to the topic based on their experience from the construction of special purpose buildings. Although on a brainstorming level, the research is a starting point for further research into this topic.

Details

10th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-051-1

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 1988

Ralf Thomas Kreutzer

This article shows the importance of marketing‐mix standardisation within a global marketing concept. A frame of analysis is described that can aid enterprises to decide…

Abstract

This article shows the importance of marketing‐mix standardisation within a global marketing concept. A frame of analysis is described that can aid enterprises to decide whether global marketing can support their company in working out competitive advantages. The first analysis step is concerned with the question of whether marketing‐mix standardisation is important for the branch or the market of the company in question. This is oriented to strategic factors of success. The aim of the second analysis step is to find out in which ways marketing‐mix standardisation can be practised by one specific company. In this context a standardisation‐oriented segmentation concept is discussed.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 22 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 1996

Greg Harris

Reports on a study which investigated why multinational companies standardize the advertising executions deployed throughout the various national markets in which they…

Abstract

Reports on a study which investigated why multinational companies standardize the advertising executions deployed throughout the various national markets in which they operate. Economies of scale and belief in international consumer and market convergence were found to be of less influence than had been indicated in prior studies. Rather the indications were that policy on international advertising is influenced by a broad range of organizational and strategic issues, particularly a perceived need for increased central control over the marketing policies of the national subsidiaries. In some instances it could be argued that standardization is a consequence, or even a means of, increased central control, rather than resulting from detailed analysis of the specific costs and benefits of standardization. Also finds that there are many forms of standardization and the motives of the sampled companies concerned varied to some extent, according to the form and degree of standardization practised.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 34 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 12 March 2020

Raed EL-Khalil, Zachary Moran Leffakis and Paul C. Hong

This paper empirically examines the implementation pattern of different types of lean management (LM) techniques on the shop-floor. Based on the socio-technical systems…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper empirically examines the implementation pattern of different types of lean management (LM) techniques on the shop-floor. Based on the socio-technical systems framework, LM techniques are classified as social improvement tools and technical process standardization and stability practices. This categorization facilitates investigating their implementation relationship in a complex production system.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the survey data from managers of the three major US auto-manufacturers and their suppliers (n = 137), measurement scales are developed using confirmatory factor analysis for the LM process improvement, stability, and standardization constructs. Hypotheses are tested by applying the Sobel test technique for mediating regression.

Findings

Statistical results confirm the mediation role of LM improvement tools between standardization and stability goal practices, indicating that technical process-oriented practices are not directly related and that their association is impacted by the corresponding implementation of social tools on the shop-floor.

Practical implications

The results indicate that LM practices should not be randomly implemented on the shop-floor but rather adopted and executed based on a systematic pattern. In LM systems, the implementation of process stability, standardization, and improvement practices on the shop-floor are more tightly integrated than traditionally assumed.

Originality/value

This study establishes a new categorization of specific LM tools based on social and technical characteristics. The conclusions highlight the importance of adopting a social emphasize of continuous improvement to establish a technical focus of process standardization and stability for LM implementation success.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

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Article
Publication date: 13 July 2020

Christoph Dörrenbächer, Mike Geppert and Aline Hoffmann

This paper addresses the so far hardly understood contemporary restructuring trends in European Multinational corporations (MNCs), their rationales and their…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper addresses the so far hardly understood contemporary restructuring trends in European Multinational corporations (MNCs), their rationales and their labour-related implications.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a systematic evaluation of academic and non-academic literature, as well as on more than 30 in-depth interviews with academic experts, management consultants, trade union consultants and workers’ representatives.

Findings

European MNCs continue to grow bigger, mostly through debt financed mergers and acquisitions. This triggers intensive cross-border standardization and reorganization activities that most prominently materialize as a sustained move towards global factories; a new wave of cross-border standardization in Human Resource Management, information technology and Big Data-driven, as well as compliance-induced reorganization measures.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to empirically map contemporary restructuring trends in European MNCs in a comprehensive way. Moreover, it addresses the managerial rationale underlying these restructuring trends. Based on these insights the paper assesses labour related implications that are both positive and negative.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2020

Yang Liu and Yongjiang Shi

Prior studies on product standardization–adaptation in multinational corporations (MNCs) have revealed environmental factors that can influence the choices of MNCs…

Abstract

Purpose

Prior studies on product standardization–adaptation in multinational corporations (MNCs) have revealed environmental factors that can influence the choices of MNCs. However, these studies have not shown how these choices are made behind the scenes in new product development (NPD). In many industries, MNCs face the dual pressures for product standardization and adaptation from the environment. This study aims to explore how MNCs facing dual pressures can make choices of product standardization–adaptation in NPD.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative case study of four high-performing MNCs was conducted. The four MNCs were selected using the theoretical sampling approach. Data were collected, mainly through 74 semi-structured interviews. Coding was conducted and four aggregate dimensions were generated.

Findings

This study reveals that choices of product standardization–adaptation are made through a process in MNCs’ NPD, including four steps – organizing for NPD, organizational diversity, cross-unit integration and combination of design practices. In addition, MNCs adopt different process variants to address different environmental pressures.

Research limitations/implications

This research focuses on high-performing MNCs in manufacturing industries. Future research can explore different types of firms.

Practical implications

Managers in MNCs should focus more on the process of choices for product standardization–adaptation, than on the level of product standardization–adaptation. They should also keep monitoring the environmental pressure and employ experienced engineers.

Originality/value

By focusing on NPD, the authors shift the attention from product standardization–adaptation to product feature standardization–adaptation in MNCs, which is a fresh and refined perspective. The authors show a process in NPD composed of activities and mechanisms that managers might use for handling product standardization–adaptation challenges in MNCs. The authors contribute to the area of cross-unit integration in MNCs’ NPD by revealing mental mechanisms for mitigating tensions in cross-unit interactions.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 54 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 2 March 2020

Yaowu Sun and Xiaoye Gong

Technological standardization can promote the development of complex products and systems (CoPS) (e.g. large aircraft, high-speed trains). Many studies argue that a…

Abstract

Purpose

Technological standardization can promote the development of complex products and systems (CoPS) (e.g. large aircraft, high-speed trains). Many studies argue that a superior network position contributes to improving a firm's ability to innovate; however, few studies have considered the aforementioned line of research as falling under the purview of CoPS standardization. This study focuses on CoPS integrators, which hold the most important enterprise roles in CoPS manufacturing and innovation, to analyze whether the two types of superior positions (i.e. the central position and the brokerage position) help the integrator influence the standardization process in a process moderated by technological complexity.

Design/methodology/approach

Considering the outstanding market performance of the railway transportation industry in China, the abundance of cooperative activities in this industry, and data availability, we adopt integrators from this industry as samples for the empirical analysis in this study. A negative binomial regression analysis with random effects was conducted to analyze the acquired panel data.

Findings

The results show that the central position has an inverted U-shaped effect on the integrator's ability to influence standardization and that the brokerage position has a positive effect. We also find that the underlying mechanism of the two types of network positions impacts the integrator's ability to influence standardization and that it has two modes: knowledge integration in related domains and knowledge integration in nonrelated domains. Moreover, technological complexity attenuates the effect of the central position and strengthens the effect of the brokerage position on the integrator's ability to influence standardization.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the theoretical research on CoPS manufacturing and innovation and complements knowledge-based theory. The results could prove enlightening for integrators facing complex technological environments, allowing them to establish a reasonable external knowledge search strategy and choose appropriate cooperation partners according to their knowledge domains.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 31 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

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Article
Publication date: 16 August 2019

Hong Jiang, Wentao Liu, Shukuan Zhao and Yong Chen

With the development and innovation of IoT technologies, both domestic and international people in the industry believe the development of IoT are the new points of…

Abstract

Purpose

With the development and innovation of IoT technologies, both domestic and international people in the industry believe the development of IoT are the new points of technological innovation and economic growth. But it is becoming more and more prominent that the industries are difficult to connect and the IoT technologies are not standardized. The purpose of this paper is to promote the further development of IoT technology and industry, technology standardization of IoT has become the focus of all concerned parties. Technology standardization, as a technological innovation and development process of the “pruning shears,” has been embedded into the various aspects of innovation activities.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on many previous theories, the authors establish a matrix of the patterns of technology standardization. The authors use the relative state of the highest level of technology of the enterprise and The degree of independent technological innovation as the two dimensions of the model. At the same time, the authors divide the competitive behaviors into two categories and match them with the technology standardization model.

Findings

The authors explain the short-term competitive behaviors in the same enterprise and among different enterprises by using the theories of mutualism and competition among species in biology, and make an analogy between the phenomenon of base pairing in DNA double helix structure and the corresponding relationship of two kinds of innovation abilities and two kinds of competitive behaviors in the process of technology standardization.

Originality/value

Combined with previous theories, explain that innovation capability plays a mediating role in the process in which the combinations of the patterns of technology standardization and competitive behaviors are transformed into the enterprise innovation performance, and the uncertainty of external environment play a regulatory role in the process. Finally, the authors established the final conceptual model for providing theoretical basis for the later research, and put forward the conclusions and prospect at the end of the paper.

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2019

Hong Jiang, Hongtao Xu, Shukuan Zhao and Yong Chen

Internet of Things (IoT), a strategic emerging industry, has brought a new driving force to the global economic growth, as well as an effective solution to break the…

Abstract

Purpose

Internet of Things (IoT), a strategic emerging industry, has brought a new driving force to the global economic growth, as well as an effective solution to break the barrier of economic development. However, standards system of IoT is not yet mature, existing obvious overlapping and even conflicting standards, and enterprises lack mature technology standardization model, which severely restricts the structural upgrading and development of IoT. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

In this regard, this study combs the research context of the IoT, technology standardization and competition behavior, and analyze technology standardization models of IoT by combining theory with practice. Using game theory and profit function, this paper analyzes the selection mechanism of standardization model of IoT enterprises, and explores practical application of these models using competitive behavior theory.

Findings

First, in the process of standardization, technology standardization model n enterprises is not single, nor is it immutable. Second, the trend of internationalization of technical standards is becoming more and more obvious. Third, if LoT enterprises want to achieve their own technology standardization, the corresponding competitive behavior is essential. Fourth, with the change of innovation capability and market forces, the competitive behavior of enterprises should be improved accordingly to better adapt to the changes of internal and external environment and ensure the realization of the standardization of enterprises. Fifth, if IoT attempts to achieve the same globalization as the internet, there must be a set of support systems.

Originality/value

Finally, some suggestions are given for the future development in the field of IoT. This study will provide some theoretical support for promoting the development of standards and enhancing the competitiveness of IoT enterprises.

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