Vol. 19 - 4
Microfoundations of decoupling: From a coping theory perspective
Linh Chi Vo, Jean-Denis Culié, Eléonore Mounoud.
Pages : 248-276
In neo-institutional theory literature, studies of decoupling have provided only a binary view of the employees of symbolic structures: ceremonial props or change agents. To obtain a richer view of the working life of these particular individuals, we rely on an instrumental case study to examine how they perceive a decoupling situation and do their job. Our fieldwork takes place in a multinational company, which adopts the vision and implements different tools and practices of knowledge management (KM), but a decoupling situation eventually emerges where KM ends up as a ceremonial façade. After four years of participant observation, we conclude our fieldwork by interviewing the seven knowledge managers we have worked with. We initially develop a typology representing the different ways in which these knowledge managers interpret the decoupling situation and accomplish their mission accordingly. Moreover, as we observe that they all suffer from stress, we use the coping theory to further investigate their working life and eventually transform our typology into a manifestation of decoupling at micro level. Meaning-making, work-level actions and emotions are brought into this picture, illustrating the reciprocal relationships between the decoupling situation and the micro-level employees of the symbolic structures, thereby explaining how decoupling persists from a micro perspective. This result contributes to enhancing the micro-macro link in institutional analysis that has been greatly missing in the neo-institutional theory literature. | Download PDF (EN)
Information Management - Qualitative Methods
Technological innovation, organizational change,and product-related services
Arman Avadikyan, Stéphane Lhuillery, Syoum Negassi.
Pages : 277-304
The literature regarding the determinants of servitization emphasizes the role of organizational change and usually overlooks the role of technological change. Using an original sample of 1,129 German manufacturing firms, we reverse the hierarchy: Product novelty is a main driver of product-related service (PRS) activities. It especially boosts consulting and training services. The structure of the PRS portfolio is dependent on product novelty. Organizational changes toward a more flexible company or the adoption of new advanced manufacturing processes are found, with few exceptions, hardly to influence the decision to offer a product-related service. Our results suggest however, that process innovation is positively linked to the breadth of service surrounding products, whereas organizational innovation is more prone to lead to a larger breadth of services surrounding customer offerings. Product, process, and organizational innovation are not found to be complementary drivers of product-related service offerings. | Download PDF (EN)
Innovation & Technology - Qualitative Methods - Strategy & Business Policy
Post-bankruptcy stigmatization of entrepreneurs and bankers’ decisions to finance
Julien Cusin, Vincent Maymo.
Pages : 305-329
Studies of post-bankruptcy stigmatization generally adopt a sociocultural, determinist reading, in which an entrepreneur who has suffered a business failure will be stigmatized and discriminated against by society. Our research aims to take the debate back to its interpersonal foundations. In this article, we have chosen to study the stigmatized/stigmatizing dyad—through the prism of the banker—in order to shed light on the interpretative process of stigmatization, as well as on the factors that may attenuate or reinforce the stigma. In order to understand how post-bankruptcy stigmatization affects the banker’s decision on whether or not to finance a new entrepreneurial project, we have combined semi-structured interviews with an exploratory experimental method involving small-business advisors from banks. Using the “Gioia” methodology, we develop a theoretical model, enabling us to improve our understanding of the development of post-bankruptcy stigma and the different processes that it implies.
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Entrepreneurship - Strategy & Business Policy
Unplugged - Academic Non Fiction
- The Dinner
François-Xavier De Vaujany.
Pages : 330-334
It could have been a nice dinner like so many others: a relaxing moment with some friends. Agnès and Pierre arrived at the house with plenty of time, a beautiful chocolate cake, and a marvelous bouquet of flowers. Agnès is a former sociology student who has worked for over ten years (with increasing detachment) in an HR department. Pierre is a strategy consultant, convinced that the devil is in the detail, and that everything is “potentially strategic.” We had also invited another old friend, Alain, a customer advisor at a bank. With my wife and my son, all the ingredients of a good evening were assembled. Yet it is at the approach of a very promising asparagus risotto that the anger-inducing question was posed …
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Unplugged - Relating place to organization: A situated tribute to Doreen Massey
Bertrand Sergot, Anne-Laure Saives.
Pages : 335-352
British geographer Doreen Massey died on March 11, 2016. Her death spurred numerous tributes in the field of human geography acknowledging the depth of her intellectual influence. However, Massey’s thinking and works largely transcend conventional disciplinary boundaries. In this article, we argue that, in the wake of the spatial turn undertaken in the last few years, Massey’s relational approach to space and place represents a potentially significant legacy for organization studies (OS). In the first part of the paper, we present the main conceptual elements of this relational approach as exposed by Massey herself, especially in her 2005 book, For Space. In the second part, we endeavor to show how this relational approach allows scholars to think about the interrelations between space, place, and organization in a different and subtler way. To this end, we first rely on the handful of publications in OS that have begun to exploit the analytical potential of Massey’s vision, most notably combining it with the communication-as-constitutive perspective on organization. So far, this has been done only in terms of space. We thereby underline how Massey’s relational approach to place might allow OS researchers to venture beyond the container metaphor—i.e., the tendency to represent the organization as one or several clearly delineated and stabilized workplaces—which continues to dominate vast swathes of the OS literature. Finally, we identify three main avenues for research, aiming to exploit Massey’s relational approach to place in full.
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Unplugged - “Place as spatio-temporal events”: Empirical evidence from everyday life in a coworking space
Pages : 353-361
Sergot and Saives pointed out how Massey’s relational approach to the notions of space and place allows a better integration of the spatial and temporal dimensions of organizational phenomena. This paper shows empirically how activities are embedded in the organizational space as constituted and transformed through day-to-day activities. The increasing number of coworking spaces opening worldwide offers an interesting framework to discuss the meaning of space and the importance of physical co-localization for different businesses in the digital era and open innovation paradigm. We use a case study of a coworking space to show the intertwining of spatial and temporal dimensions in the everyday life of an inter-company workplace.
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Vol. 19 - 3
The impact of energizing interactions on voluntary and involuntary turnover
Andrew Parker, Alexandra Gerbasi.
Pages : 177-202
In this paper we build from the theory of energetic activation to highlight the role energizing interactions play in relation to performance and turnover. We theorize that the association between energizing interactions within organizations and turnover is mediated by individual performance. We test our hypotheses using longitudinal network data collected annually within the IT department of a global engineering consulting firm over a four year
period. Our study shows that when an individual perceives their interactions with others inside the organization as increasing their level of energetic activation, they have a reduced likelihood of voluntary turnover, but that this relationship is mediated by individual performance. Perceiving interactions as increasing energetic activation results in higher performance, which in turn actually increases voluntary turnover. In contrast, when others perceive interactions with the focal actor as increasing their level of energetic activation it reduces the focal actor’s risk
of involuntary turnover. This relationship is also mediated by performance. When others within the organization perceive interactions with the focal actor as increasing their level of energetic activation, it results in the focal
actor having higher performance, which in turn reduces the focal actor’s involuntary turnover. In conclusion, we note that our findings are specific to knowledge workers with IT skills and may not be generalizable to all
employees. We also suggest implications for managers and potential areas for future research. | Download PDF (EN)
Organisational indulgences or abuse of indulgences: Can good actions somehow wipe out corporate sins?
Emmanouela Mandalaki, Patrick O\'Sullivan.
Pages : 203-227
Assessment of the overall moral stature of organisations is notoriously difficult. This is partly of course because they are collective entities but also because they rarely present a clear-cut picture in respect of moral stance: we will typically find that while organisations engage in wrong-doing, they also engage in “right-doing”, often with a view to compensating in some typically unspecified way for their wrongdoing. The purpose of this conceptual paper is to bring a new perspective to understanding this somewhat paradoxical organisational behaviour. We suggest that by drawing in an analogical manner on the ancient Catholic conception of proper indulgences and abuses of indulgence, we can develop a fruitful way to understand compensatory right doing activity as well as a powerful normative tool for morally assessing such activity. This locates the paper firmly within the field of business ethics but it also yields some interesting insights regarding the motivations of certain organisational behaviours. We finally suggest that we can conceptualise an organisation’s activity in this respect along a kind of moral spectrum that stretches from pure organisational impostorism through abuse of indulgence to proper indulgence and we suggest some illustrations of these from well-known business cases. | Download PDF (EN)
CSR & Business Ethics
Unplugged - Book Review Essay : Questions a Book on ‘Questions Business Schools Don’t Ask’ Doesn’t dare to Ask
Pages : 228-239
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Unplugged - My Own Book Review - Writing for Scholarly Publication as a contribution to scholarly conversation
Anne Sigismund Huff.
Pages : 240-247
The “unplugged” section seeks to experience new forms of book reviews. We regularly grant a wild card to a world-class scholar to review his/her own Classic. In “My own book review”, authors will tell us the story of what I was trying to do with sometimes some auto-ethnographic considerations. By recounting the building process of one seminal research with a contemporary lens, they may give some insights for the current craft of research and also share with us renunciations, doubts and joys in their intimate writing experience. | Download PDF (EN)
Vol. 19 - 2
Organisational creativity and the creative territory: The nature of influence and strategic challenges for organisations
Bérangère Szostak, Gaëlle Dechamp.
Pages : 61-88
This research considers the nature of the influence of the creative territory, examined from the perspective of three levels (the underground, middleground and upperground), on the endogenous factors of organisational creativity (individual commitment, organisational context and the organisation’s ability to renew itself). The qualitative analysis of 18 SMEs involved in a competition for ideas highlights the fact that each level of the creative territory tends to have a different (either positive or negative) influence on the endogenous factors of organisational creativity. In order to understand these differences, this research identifies, among other things, four specific properties of the creative territory: the production of discourse, the creation of opportunities to transform the idea into a project, the roll-out of the project, and the protection of the idea and the project. The discussion takes a look at organisations’ openness to their environment and the role of the individual and intellectual property in this openness. This work ultimately validates the value of integrating the creative territory into models of organisational creativity. | Download PDF (EN) | Télécharger PDF (FR)
Innovation & Technology
Resilience and entrepreneurship: A dynamic and biographical approach to the entrepreneurial act
Marie-Josée Bernard, Saulo Dubard Barbosa.
Pages : 89-123
Resilience in the literature of Entrepreneurship is largely presented as a personality trait of the entrepreneur. Our approach is to study it as a process and to explore in detail the role that a resilience dynamic can play in the decision to become an entrepreneur. We recorded the life stories of three resilient entrepreneurs and analysed in detail their experiences, which include a total of 206 critical events. From this analysis, we have drawn up a model based on trauma theory as a trigger of the resilience process, highlighting the key elements that feed this process. We note that several of these elements are precursors to the entrepreneurial initiative: resilience mentors offer the emotional support necessary to enable the individual to build a social network; commitment to action
enables experiences and interactions that are a source of learning; interim victories and self-esteem work bring the legitimacy and self-confidence that are indispensable to becoming an entrepreneur later on. Finally, the search for meaning and coherence highlights the gaps between the personal values of the individual and the managerial practices of the employer organisation, thereby contributing to encouraging the individual towards entrepreneurship and shaping his or her business start-up project. Thus our study demonstrates that the resilience dynamic can play a multidimensional role at the interface of causal factors leading to entrepreneurship. | Download PDF (EN) | Télécharger PDF (FR)
Unplugged - Voices:
Two days, one night (2014)
Yoann Bazin, Gazi Islam, Hélène Picard, Bénédicte Vidaillet.
Pages : 124-151
Research in management and organization may only gain by being inspired from arts, culture and humanities in order to rethink practices but also to nourish its own perspectives. Life in organizations is artificially separate from ordinary life: all of mundane objects are thus conducive to astonishment, inspiration, and even problematization. The unplugged subsection “voices” gives the opportunity to academics and non-academics to deliver an interpretation about an object from the cultural or artistic world. Interpreted objects are or not directly related to organizational life, resonate or not with the moment, but share some intriguing features. These interpretations suggest a patchwork of variations on the same object. | Download PDF (EN)
CSR & Business Ethics
Vol. 19 - 1
Compliance with basic rules: The challenge of dialogical, enabling and disciplinary management
Gérard Koenig, Isabelle Vandangeon-Derumez, Marie-Claire Marty, Yves Auroy, Jean-Paul Dumond.
Pages : 1-45
Lying between two traditions of thought, one of which states that rules must always be respected (Weber, 1921), and the other that they can never be respected, this research suggests a third possibility, a contingent approach that distinguishes two types of rules: complex ones that cannot be scrupulously respected, and basic ones that are supposed to be strictly observed. Since the first type has been extensively studied, most of this article is devoted to basic rules and how they can be managed. In connection with collaborative management research carried out in a hospital in Île-de-France, we studied three activities: monitoring of peripheral venous catheters, sorting of healthcare waste and costing of hospital stays. After analysing breaches of basic rules for these activities, we propose corrective action of various kinds according to function, level of innovation and level of application. Regarding the latter, we have applied the recommendation of Reason (1997) which involves dealing with the problem of non-compliance with rules at three different levels: the organisational, engineering and individual levels. Whereas interventions carried out at the individual level have been widely discredited by studies of complex technological systems, our research shows their value when the relative simplicity of the situation makes it possible to formulate basic rules. Based on the observations made before and after implementing our proposed actions, we suggest adopting an approach to managing breaches of basic rules that we describe as dialogical, involving two complementary and antagonistic aspects: an enabling aspect and a disciplinary aspect. | Download PDF (EN) | Télécharger PDF (FR)
CSR & Business Ethics - Qualitative Methods
"Carte blanche" - Toward a Historical Consciousness: Following the Historic Turn in Management Thought
Pages : 46-60
In the original tradition of the Unplugged section, carte blanche grants a wild card to world-class scholars to share their own perspective on novel ways to conceive of management today. They may offer new avenues and draw up an agenda for a specific research question. Authors have to be invited to submit to the carte blanche series by one of the editors. | Download PDF (EN)
Literature Review - Theory Development