Faculty performance assessments increasingly use the h-index. Designed to account for publication quantity and effect, the h-index informs organizational discussions and internal narratives. However, its use in business schools is problematic for two reasons. First, tension exists between the positivist approach of management and the reflexive approach of critical management studies. Second, the use of the h-index is hegemonic, privileging one group and construct over another. Given the power asymmetry between senior and junior faculty, discussions around one’s h-index could be unavoidable. Using Google Scholar, this study compared the h-index values of those in critical management studies with those in management. Examining these data descriptively revealed that the h-index of those in critical research were greater than those in management at the assistant, associate, and full professor levels. Incorporating these findings, even if skeptical of positivism, is constructive for the advancement and continuation of critical business research.
We explore a discourse structurational approach and employ a planetary system metaphor in order to examine complex business networks within contemporary globalizing, consumer cultures. This conceptual/commentary paper reviews discourse structuration and employs a celestial metaphor to comment on strategy including reference to consumption, business marketing and business network research. Each sphere in the metaphorical constellation is characterised by a complex duality of deep structures and surface activities co-determined and mutually constituted through the medium of modulated actors’ schemas, norms and other ‘technologies’ of their practical consciousness. Market consumption is a galaxy comprised of complex, inter-acting, multiple structurations where everything co-determines everything else through mutual gravitational influence. We argue that consumption is comparable to a black hole at the centre of the system dragging all matter into its centre, warping and distorting structures and processes until eventually destroying and assimilating them altogether. Implications and consequences are discussed in terms of the increasing hegemony of consumption and consequent commodification of other spheres with via a discourse structuration approach concentrating upon strategy and marketing.
This paper looks at a theoretical framework recently developed by Paul Jackson (1997) that adopts the information systems metaphor as a means to understand the representational aspects of organisation. Jackson’s approach particularly highlights the role of information systems (IS) in the representation of space and time and the depolitizisation of organisational space and time. However, this paper suggests that the framework can be improved even further, especially through a fuller consideration of the works of Cooper (1992) on displacement, abbreviation and remote control, and Zuboff (1988) on the concept of ‘informate’. After the modified framework is presented, it is then illustrated by reference to an empirical piece of research undertaken within a major UK business (referred to as CallCentre). The research focuses on problems encountered within a call centre structure where information systems are being applied to automate many of the processes involved in servicing customers. One of the major issues emerging from the analysis is the value of creating representational space within which stakeholders can negotiate meanings. It is suggested that this activity will present a significant challenge to the dominant ideology of managerial control.
This paper explores the politics of interpretation from the perspective of hermeneutic theory. It presents a reading of Kafka’s novel The Castle focused on critique of the business of interpretation, where suspicion unfolds in distorted, possibly fraudulent, sense making between protagonist, narrator and reader. The protagonist’s mission is neither heroic nor a call to resistance to bureaucratic absurdity, but instead, the result of hubris, hoax, or even a slip of the pen, and it becomes impossible to unpick the perils of bureaucracy from the perils of interpretation, or to distinguish between error and insight. In mining discrepancies between justification, effort and reward of interpretation, Kafka punctures the mythology of understanding, rupturing the near-sacrosanct hermeneutic connection between interpretation and meaning. His work undermines both objective and subjective understandings, leaving us distrustful of both expert and experiential perspectives. In a post-truth era with its ‘alternative facts’, The Castle feels startlingly fresh and relevant.
The ethical consumer occupies a significant position in the current capitalist system as the market-based answer to a whole range of negative externalities. Unfortunately, she has been proven to behave out of sync with her ethical values and thus has been taken apart by scholars as a mere myth. Yet, businesses and politicians continue to believe in her abilities. This, we argue, is not caused by them being blind to her failures but because the category of the ethical consumer represents an ideal solution in the neoliberal discourse that embraces the holy trinity of an unregulated market, personal emancipation and the freedom of choice. Unfortunately, the ethical consumer has turned out to be a poorly suited solution to the negative externalities as ecological and social critiques continue to emerge. In response, a neocommunitarian discourse seems to gain strength, replacing the neoliberal version of the market as a bifurcation point between customers and suppliers instead bringing together businesses and consumers in a new type of network formation overcoming the bifurcation between consumers and producers.
Academic ‘labour’ within the Higher Education landscape is changing as universities are increasingly managed as business organisations. In the contemporary neoliberal academic context, departments and individuals are required to develop forms of accountability based on quantitative metrics regarding performance, budgets, human resource management and income generation. Drawing from Foucauldian theories of power, this article explores the contentious implementation of workload allocation models in the UK Higher Education sector not only as an illustration of a superimposed managerial tool of control but also as an instrument of resistance. This article suggests that in order to counteract the systematic failure of neoliberal academia at the individual and collective level, these performance management tools can be used as forms of empowerment and resistance. Further, it is recommended that these instruments are designed in a collaborative way to ensure fair and transparent allocations of tasks and responsibilities, and to avoid unmanageable workloads.
Organizational socialization research has been criticized for being too focused on socialization as an adaptation process. Furthermore, critics contend that socialization approaches tend to be micro-biased; they lose sight of broader societal implications. This study tackles both critiques by combining an identity-based understanding of socialization with the communicative con cept of the polyphonic organization. It is not only individuals who engage in multiple identity work; business organizations also do so when exposed to contextual voices at the macro-level of society. Qualitative interviews and focus groups with corporate communication professionals, alumni, and students reveal that there are multiple voices shaping organizational socialization. However, one societal reference has proved to be hegemonic, namely the instrumental reasoning of the economic system: newcomers are expected to adapt to the ‘real world’ of ‘budgets.’
The digital revolution is impacting enormously on the way we create and undertake business. To keep pace and navigate the complexities of this incessant evolving state requires entrepreneurial thinking capable of moving us from the old to the new. An often-overlooked aspect of this transition or change process is the space that lies between the old and the new, a betwixt and between state, fuelled by opportunity, but clouded in uncertainty and ambiguity. In this article, we stress the significance of this between space and discuss the importance of liminal thinking as pivotal in navigating the passage from old to new. We do this by drawing on the concepts of liminal space and liminal thinking, illustrating how these concepts can be deployed to reconstruct reality in such a way that stimulates the crucial cognitive recalibrations needed to cross the passage from old to new. To know that this ‘betwixt and between’ space exists, to recognise the qualities of this space and, most importantly, to manage it, is invaluable in entrepreneurs’ dynamic, rapidly changing world.
The question giving shape to this paper is: Can the workplace in today's corporate world ever be constructed, legitimately, as a psychological place? This paper will argue that it is the responsibility of the individual to engage their imaginative processes and learn the art of soul making. The corporation may encourage its members to be creative and imaginative but mostly its activities will militate against these activities. Reference will be made to a research project for a major production site (BP Oil Australia) that evaluated an espoused psychological goal (improved production and improved creativity) as its outcome. The author conducted the evaluation of this leadership development initiative that shed light on the vexed question that is the focus of this paper. The findings of the research indicate that corporate life has evolved into a totally above-world enterprise where transparency of decision making, policy planning, and implementation is the sought-after ideal. This very conscious and heroic-ego world roots out any semblance of under-world (unconscious) forces.
In San Antonio in March 2004 David Boje, President-Elect of the International Assembly of Business Disciplines (IABD), was asked to resign by the IABD President. David responded that he would not resign since he is quitting and moving the Organizational Theory (OT) Track to a new organization the Standing Conference for Management and Organization Inquiry (Sc’MOI).
In this paper, the Co-operative movement’s relevance to contemporary society is evaluated through a metatheatre type of analysis. With the help of a two-voice device, the author debates whether co-ops are out of touch with commercial reality or if they hold promise for developing sustainable, socially responsible business in the long term.The purpose of this article is a metatheatre script analysis of Nathan's acocunt.
This paper examines the question of introducing the first management control system in independent professions through the case of French notary public offices. In order to provide elements of response to the research question, a qualimetric approach which combines qualitative and quantitative models has been chosen to improve the validity of observations. The qualitative approach selected was based on an action research program carried out in 350 notary public offices between 1998 and 2004. In parallel, 5 explicative variables for measuring the successful set-up of the management control system were tested and analyzed, primarily by factor analysis.
Sexual harassment is a widespread organizational phenomenon and an evolving legal issue. There is a growing literature on sexual harassment, but a dearth of research on claims that have been pursued in the courts, especially outside the US context. The paper explores the organizational and legal context in which parties to claims are operating and presents a preliminary analysis of the population of sexual harassment cases heard by Employment Tribunals and Employment Appeals Tribunals 1995-2005. Core findings relate to the imbalance of power between parties to claims; an over-representation of claims from women in paraprofessional occupations; a notable proportion of owners or proprietors involved in cases, pointing to problems in small businesses; the predominant nature of claims clearly reflecting sexual harassment as an operation of power; and a range of outcomes relating to initial complaints of SH and to subsequent litigation. Policy and further research implications of these preliminary findings are discussed.
This article discusses how the emerging trend of using literary arts and dialogue, along with reflective and creative writing, referred to by the author as transformative narratives, can be used to help unpack and re-script assumptions, attitudes, values, and biases of leaders as they operate in systems of privilege. When leaders read, write, and dialogue about their own and others’ cultural and social group identities, they increase self-awareness and improve interaction with others. These skills prove effective in building emotional intelligence that is linked to competencies of high performing leaders who create strong financial performance in their organizations. Specific applications are provided throughout the article.
This paper argues for an interpretive approach to theorizing as more than merely the assertion of truth-claims but in addition, as a social process that narrates the ordering and simplification of reality effects. Mary Douglas’ (1975) notion of the pangolin as a reflexive mediating concept able to “speak” to both macro and micro social theories is recommended. Ressentiment as just such a pangolin-like concept is proposed and its usefulness is explored in an organizational case study, made up of three vignettes, of doing business in a South African township. The role for ressentiment in an interpretive theory of power is considered.
This paper outlines the contours of the global network society and then searches for ‘the masters’ of this emerging environment. Judging from the management talk on flexible, decentralized and adaptable networked enterprises, these masters are found in the large global corporations, but closing in on practice, evidence rather points in the direction of illegal, or partly illegal, global networks. In the paper, we use global trafficking networks as the benchmark example, arguing that they are the real masters of the global network society and that they show us in which direction large global corporations might be heading. This raises several issues, of which the role and responsibilities of business researchers and business studies are discussed. We present three kinds of arguments to why we should study global trafficking networks – the ideologist, the scientific and the moral argument. The position advocated in the paper holds that the two first cannot be left to their own destinies; they need to be assessed on moral grounds.
A theoretical perspective has been developed in Brazil, based on literary criticism and psychoanalysis, which proposes that there is a “perverse” subjectivity in Brazilians, in contrast to the classic European neurotics. Such subjectivity, forged throughout the 19th century, comes from the shaping of different social systems, as a function of the way in which Modernity was installed as a project. From literary pages to an academic interpretation of Brazil, this results in a country of contrasts, in which the “myth” of “cordial man”, which defines the Brazilian people as being generous and placid, is mixed with the harsh reality of its social inequality and violence. In the field of alterity, while internally such contrasts lead to a relationship that annuls the difference, the invisibility of the “other”, externally the relationship with foreigners is one of full acceptance that everything comes from outside, even in the field of ideas, the impacts of which are felt, for example, in Brazil’s business administration schools that are totally influenced by the American model. Starting with a reconstitution of the objective shaping of “perverse Brazil”, supported by both Brazilian and international works from the philosophic, psychoanalytical and literary fields, this article intends to show how, paradoxically, a contemporary reflection has been developing that points to the perversion of advanced modern societies, which leads to a questioning of why, despite such different cultural bases, these societies are also pointed out as being perverse nowadays. Although it is not intended to reach any definitive conclusions, this article starts from the hypothesis that this happened because local perverse features embraced universal enlightenment ideals that proved to be unsustainable with the globalization process of the modern capitalist project.
In recent years, entrepreneurship scholars have begun studying entrepreneurship from social, prosaic, narrative, and discursive dimensions. These ―new movement‖ approaches privilege both business and non-business perspectives. Research in this domain of inquiry seeks to account for the everyday and mundane practices of social actors that can be characterized as entrepreneurial; therefore, prosaic approaches can de-center the narrative of entrepreneurship as comprised solely of a group of elite entrepreneurs. While researchers are encouraged to describe entrepreneurship from a life-story perspective, few scholars have used a self-narrative approach to writing about entrepreneurship. In this article, I use autoethnography to provide a personal account of entrepreneurship. I reflexively interrogate the ways in which I have reproduced, disrupted, benefited from, and been hindered by the dominant enterprise discourses in the United States. A prosaic approach using self-narrative, as demonstrated, is already engaged in a process of restorying entrepreneurship scholarship because it takes into account, among other things, the details of everyday entrepreneurial activity and is receptive to heterodox accounts (even stories that end in entrepreneurial failure).
‘Moral perception’ has long been identified as a key pre-requisite for ethical behaviour (Dewey 1974; Aristotle, 1976; MacIntyre, 1985). In order to respond ethically to a given situation, one must first recognise its ethical component. However, the question of how moral perception is developed is more difficult to address. Perceiving ‘accurately’ is itself recognised as being fraught with difficulties, ranging from the impact of motivation, expectations, mental schemas as well as mood and physical comfort. This paper turns to the habits of visual artists and musicians who each in their own ways must cultivate the ability to ‘see the world afresh’ in order to produce art of quality, either through visual artefacts or fleeting performances. The paper highlights how practices of ‘staying with the senses’, ‘engaged detachment’ and ‘imaginative free play’ can enhance our capacity to recognise the moral component of everyday situations encountered and thus increase the possibility of responding to them in ethically astute ways.
The Atlantic Schools of Business conference is an ethereal entity. It has no solid form or home, comes together for a brief period each fall. Many papers in the past have explained pieces of this puzzle. This paper examines the non-corporeal actants in the network which brings ASB together.