Vol. 22 - 1
Decision-making in complex environments under time pressure and risk of critical irreversibility: The role of meta rules
Sophie Le Bris, Antonia Madrid-Guijarro, Dominique-Philippe Martin.
Pages : 1-29
In complex situations with risks of critical irreversibility, decision-makers must be able to take action quickly but also appropriately, especially in response to unexpected events. In these situations, “the first error in the trial-and-error-learning will also be the last trial” (Weick & Sutcliffe, 2011: 20). This paper assesses the contribution of the meta rule concept, defined as the conditions to respect to maintain the integrity of the organization in an unexpected situation. Our design tests the relevance of two conceptual approaches: high reliability organizations (HRO) and sensemaking approaches. The main proposal of this research is to highlight that, for a decision-maker, understanding a situation through meta rules at key times limits the risk of information overload by facilitating an overall understanding of the situation. It becomes possible to make decisions quickly, if necessary, using new robust and reliable strategies. Using a quantitative study of the behaviors of a warship bridge team composed of cadets in the French Naval Academy, the authors tested various situations that young officers have to manage. The results highlighted that meta rules play a positive mediating effect between rules and reliability and between interactions and reliability. With the use of meta rules, the overall reliability level is higher when employing an HRO approach than when using a sensemaking approach.
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Information Management - Organizational Behavior - Public Administration
Maintenance and creation of roles during socialization processes in entrepreneurial small firms: An institutional work perspective
Emilie Bargues, Bertrand Valiorgue.
Pages : 30-55
Entrepreneurial small firms (ESFs) are characterized by a permanent dynamic of innovation not only regarding their commercial offers, but also their organizational processes. Potentially, newcomers play a key role in the maintenance of this innovation dynamic, but there is a lack of knowledge regarding their socialization. In this research, we develop an understanding of socialization processes in ESFs by taking an institutional work perspective. Through a qualitative, longitudinal and inductive research design based on two case studies, we make several contributions. First, we identify different socialization activities enforced jointly and separately by newcomers and insiders. Second, we explain the dynamics of these activities with the achievement of two socialization outcomes: maintenance of institutionalized roles and the creation of new ones. Our results enrich the organizational socialization literature by introducing a new field of enquiry and by showing that role creation can be a major distal outcome of socialization processes. We also develop new perspectives on institutional work by demonstrating the importance of newcomers and the dimensions of agency at play during socialization processes. | Download PDF (EN)
Organizational Behavior - Qualitative Methods
The Impact of Project Ambiguity on the Forms of Cooperation Developed: The Merging of Two Hospital Care Units
Pages : 56-91
The aim of this article is to study how ambiguity, defined as the inability to clearly interpret a phenomenon or set of events, can affect the forms of cooperation developed within a team and make a project succeed. First, we tried to prove that the structuring of a project could generate ambiguity, called internal ambiguity, in a team. Second, we examined how the level of internal ambiguity felt by a project team could impact the shift from one form of cooperation to another. In order to test these two assumptions, we studied the merging of two medical units within a hospital, following a longitudinal analysis and an abductive approach. Our study led to the following results: internal ambiguity is a dynamic component of the project, but it depends on the team’s ability to make it intelligible to themselves, in particular, by breaking away from the guidelines of the parent organisation. The level of ambiguity of the project does not systematically constitute a factor of evolution of the form of cooperation because other factors, such as the ability of the team to distance itself from the parent organisation and the will to support or stabilise change, play a role in outlining a form of cooperation. | Download PDF (EN)
Organizational Behavior - Public Administration - Qualitative Methods
The Critical Corner
Stéphane Jaumier, Hélène Picard, Gazi Islam, Olivier Germain , Carine Farias, Fabien Hildwein, Marie-Astrid Le Theule.
Pages : 92-129
The critical corner welcomes transcripts of roundtables, symposiums, interviews, keynotes speeches organized within conferences but also book reviews essays or provocative ideas in the field of critical management studies.
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Pages : 130-132
Creative non fiction in journalism uses narrative means from fiction to highlight dramatic tensions of reality and thus put the subjectivity of authors at the heart of the writing process to approach unfolding experience and practice from ordinary people. Life of academics is punctuated with astonishing, ordinary, ceremonial or dramatics scenes which sometimes take place in liminal spaces but may constitutes a core social piece of the research practice. The unplugged “academic non fiction” section is dedicated to share these moments.
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Following the Money. Review of Damien Hirst’s exhibition ‘Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable’, Venice 2017
Pages : 133-140
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.
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