• Ultimate Controllers, Ownership and the Probability of Insolvency in Financially Distressed Firms

      Poletti-Hughes, Jannine; Ozkan, Aydin (2014)
      This paper investigates the impact of corporate ownership and control on the outcome of financial distress. It is argued that the likelihood of financial distress resulting in insolvency depends on whether firms have controllers, the type of controllers and their cash flow ownership. Using a sample of 484 UK firms, 81 of which filed for insolvency, we show that financially distressed firms with controllers are more likely to be insolvent than widely held firms, where the probability of insolvency is greater when controllers are family or financial institutions. However, the probability of insolvency reduces significantly as the controllers’ cash flow ownership increases beyond 10%
    • Uncertainty for computer program patents after the Astron Clinica and Symbian judgments of 2008

      Guth, Jessica (2008)
      The decision of the High Court in Astron Clinica Limited and others v The Comptroller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks(1) in January 2008 by the Honourable Mr. Justice Kitchin aligns the United Kingdom patent office with the European patent office(2), by overturning the practice of rejecting computer programs patents. The importance of this case was confirmed by the practice note released on the 7th of February 2008 by the UK patent office which indicated that the decision would not be appealed. However, the area is by no means settled with the decision in Symbian in March 2008 casting uncertainly on the Astron Clinica decision and the Aerotel/ Macrossan four step test.
    • Uncomfortable Truths – Teamworking under Lean in the UK.

      Carter, B.; Danford, A.; Howcroft, D.; Richardson, H.; Smith, Andrew J.; Taylor, P. (2016)
      This article responds to a recent contribution to this journal. Procter and Radnor (2014) provide an account of teamworking in the UK Civil Service, specifically Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), which focuses on the relationship between recently implemented lean work organisation and teams and teamworking. This intervention is prompted by criticism of the present authors’ published research into lean in the same locus (e.g. Carter et al, 2011a; 2011b; 2013a; 2013b). Procter and Radnor claim, without foundation we argue, that our work is ‘one-sided’ and that theirs delivers a ‘more nuanced’ analysis of lean in this government department - and it follows - of the lean phenomenon more generally. Our riposte critiques their article on several grounds. Firstly, it suffers from problems of logic and construction, conceptual confusion and definitional imprecision. Methodological difficulties and inconsistent evidence contribute additionally to analytical weakness. Included in our response are empirical findings on teamworking at HMRC, which challenge Procter and Radnor’s evidential basis and further reveal the shortcomings of their interpretation.
    • Understanding construction employment: the need for a fresh research agenda

      Dainty, A.; Grugulis, C. Irena; Langford, D. (2007)
      Purpose - As a backdrop to the empirical contributions contained within this special issue, this guest editorial reviews the context of construction employment. It summarises the challenges inherent in construction work which have impeded the development of human resource management within the sector and discusses the mutually supporting contributions of the papers in furthering our understanding of how to improve the performance of the industry. Design/methodology/approach ¿ The operational context of the sector is reviewed briefly, before the efficacy of the industry¿s employment practices are examined through a review of the contributions contained within the special issue. Findings ¿ The papers reveal the interplay of structural and cultural factors which have led to the skills shortages currently impeding the industry¿s development. There is a need for the sector to modernise and formalise its working and employment practices if performance and productivity improvements are to be achieved. Originality/value of the paper ¿ By revealing the interconnected nature of the construction employment perspectives presented within this special issue, this paper presents a case for adopting a fresh transdisciplinary research agenda for addressing the industry's employment concerns.
    • Understanding Consumer Behaviour for Social Change: An Empirical Investigation of Neutralisation Techniques in the UK

      Fukukawa, Kyoko; Sungkanon, K.; Reynolds, Nina L. (2017-09-15)
      The paper explores the discrepancy between attitude and behavioural intention in ethical consumption, focusing on the role of techniques of neutralisation. Drawing on findings of 251 respondents in the UK, results suggest despite positive attitude towards ethical consumption, consumers are also susceptible to the techniques of neutralisation. Hierarchical and moderated regression analyses reveal that inclusion of the neutralisation construct moderates the influences of attitudes on behavioural intention, and advances the model’s predictive capacity. In spite of suggested positive attitude towards ethical consumption, real existing behaviour is frequently filtered through the techniques of neutralisation. The sample is restricted to in size and location, however the study clearly establishes techniques of neutralisation as a construct in the decision-making process, further warranting examination of each of the techniques. Summary statement of contribution: The study confirms validity of the addition of the neutralisation construct into the modified TPB model noted by Chatzidakis et al. (2007). It suggests improvement in predicting behavioural intention and shows the moderating effects the techniques of neutralisation have on constructs in the modified TPB model. The neutralisation construct is itself found to have a significant impact on moderating purchasing intention in ethical consumption.
    • Understanding decision making during emergencies: a key contributor to resilience

      Mishra, Jyoti L.; Allen, D.K.; Pearman, A.D. (2015-11)
      The resilience of systems derives from many inputs, relating both to design and to operational planning. In the latter context the role and effective functioning of the ‘blue light’ emergency services is often critical. The judgements and decisions that have to be made are complex and time-constrained, often undertaken before all the critical information that might be wanted is available. Recent developments in decision research, notably the on-going dual process debate, suggest that the process of decision making adopted is often more complex than had previously been appreciated and strongly linked to both context and individual factors, notably expertise. In the light of such developments, this paper presents an empirical study of emergency responders working in realistic, non-laboratory conditions. It argues that recent moves to recognise the need to support, through the way in which information is provided, more intuitive as well as analytic modes of thinking in decision support are timely and that an important research agenda exists linking decision support design with a fuller understanding of exactly how individuals make their decisions in emergency conditions.
    • Understanding international branding: Defining the domain and reviewing the literature

      Whitelock, Jeryl M.; Fastoso, Fernando (2007)
      This paper's objectives are first to analyse the patterns of research on international brands and branding so far, secondly to provide a definition for international branding based on these previous studies in the field, and finally to suggest fruitful paths for future research in this area. Content analysis of academic papers published in major marketing, advertising and international business journals. The field of international branding is broad and has developed in the course of the last 30 years in different directions and with different understandings of what the term refers to. This paper gives an overview of these directions, of the different understandings of the term found in the literature, proposes a definition of international branding, and finally suggests paths for future research. As with all literature reviews, this paper is limited to analysing works in a selection of the top academic journals in the field. However, a careful choice of the most important journals has been made, providing a good reflection of the knowledge in the area.
    • Understanding Sustainability Through the Lens of Ecocentric Radical-Reflexivity: Implications for Management Education

      Allen, S; Cunliffe, Ann L.; Easterby-Smith, M (2017)
      This paper seeks to contribute to the debate around sustainability by proposing the need for an ecocentric stance to sustainability that reflexively embeds humans in—rather than detached from—nature. We argue that this requires a different way of thinking about our relationship with our world, necessitating a (re)engagement with the sociomaterial world in which we live. We develop the notion of ecocentrism by drawing on insights from sociomateriality studies, and show how radical-reflexivity enables us to appreciate our embeddedness and responsibility for sustainability by bringing attention to the interrelationship between values, actions and our social and material world. We examine the implications of an ecocentric radically reflexive approach to sustainability for management education.
    • Understanding the Corpus of E-Government Research: An analysis of the literature using co-citation analysis and social network analysis

      Saip, M.A.; Kamala, Mumtaz A.; Tassabehji, Rana (2016-09)
      The growing body of published e-government literature highlights the importance of e-government in society and the need to make sense of e-government by academia. In order to understand the future of e-government, it is important to understand the research that has been conducted and highlight the issues and themes that have been identified as important by empirical study. This paper analyses the corpus of e-government research published from 2000 to 2013 using Bibliometric and Social Network Analysis (SNA) methods to develop an intellectual structure of e-government research. Factor analysis, multidimensional scaling and centrality measurement are also applied to the e-government dataset using UCINET to identify the core influential articles in the field. This study identifies three core clusters of e-government research that centre around (i) e-government development models (ii) adoption and acceptance of e-government, and (iii) e-government using social media and highlights areas for future research in the field. Discover the world's research
    • A Unified HJM Approach to Non-Markov Gaussian Dynamic Term Structure Models: International Evidence

      Li, H.; Ye, Xiaoxia; Yu, F. (2016-07-28)
      Motivated by an extensive literature showing that government bond yields exhibit a strong non-Markov property, in the sense that moving averages of long-lagged yields significantly improve the predictability of excess bond returns. We then develop a systematic approach of constructing non-Markov Gaussian dynamic term structure models (GDTSMs) under the Heath-Jarrow-Morton (HJM) framework. Compared to the current literature, our approach is more flexible and parsimonious, enabling us to estimate an economically significant non-Markov effect that helps predict excess bond returns both in-sample and out-of-sample.
    • Unifying Gaussian Dynamic Term Structure Models from an HJM Perspective

      Li, H.; Ye, Xiaoxia; Fu, F. (2016-08-02)
      We show that the unified HJM-based approach of constructing Gaussian dynamic term structure models developed by Li, Ye, and Yu (2016) nests most existing GDTSMs as special cases. We also discuss issues of interest rate derivatives pricing under this approach and using integration to construct Markov representations of HJM models.
    • Union busting

      Gall, Gregor (2016)
    • Union Commitment and Activism in Britain and the United States: Searching for Synthesis and Synergy for Renewal

      Gall, Gregor; Fiorito, J. (2012)
      We propose a fuller synthesis between two relatively disjointed literatures to create synergy. Union commitment research has a long tradition and a relatively rigorous orientation grounded in industrial psychology. Recently, it has been eclipsed by emerging research on union renewal, and specifically that on union organizing. Renewal research has largely ignored union commitment research even though union renewal literature stresses the importance of activism, and this concept is strongly linked to commitment. A critical synthesis of these literatures yields progress in terms of addressing key qualitative and quantitative aspects of the contemporary crisis of labour unionism. A tentative framework is constructed that stipulates the main components and variables, and offers guidance for future research.
    • Union effectiveness: In Search of the Holy Grail

      Gall, Gregor; Fiorito, J. (2016-01-15)
      This article revisits the concept of union effectiveness and proposes a conceptual model to inform its study and application. Previous conceptual and empirical work is examined to identify key strengths and weaknesses, and to relate the union effectiveness concept to union renewal and other key concepts. This leads to the proposal of a Goal-System framework that builds and improves on prior research.
    • The union recognition dispute at McDonald’s Moscow food-processing factory

      Royle, Tony (2005)
      This article reports on the union recognition dispute that took place at the MacDonald's food-processing plant in Moscow. It examines this dispute in the context of McDonald's employment practices worldwide, the interventions made by international and local unions, and Russian government bodies. Despite these interventions it became impossible to either organise the workforce or establish a collective agreement. The case illustrates the difficulties facing both local unions and global union federations when confronted by intransigent multinational companies, especially in low-skilled sectors in transitional economies.
    • Union Recognition in Britain: The End of Legally Induced Voluntarism?

      Gall, Gregor (2012)
      The enactment of a third statutory union recognition procedure in Britain in 2000 led to a sharp rise and then fall in the number of new, largely voluntary, union recognition agreements being signed. This article examines and explains this trajectory, finding that the interaction of a weak procedure with its wider environment has led to a situation where the outcome of a reflexive law is heavily determined by the external balance of power in employment relations.
    • The University as a site for transformation around sustainability

      Winter, J.; Cotton, D.; Hopkinson, Peter G.; Grant, V. (2015)
      Universities are increasingly being seen as key sites for transformation around sustainability. However, much of the literature in this area uses the terms transformation and transformative learning rather uncritically. Moreover, there is little extant research which has investigated the links between transformative learning theories and Education for Sustainability (EfS). This paper reports on a research project which explored academic and student perceptions of the opportunities for transformation around sustainability in two UK universities. The findings suggest that, despite shared understanding about the nature of pedagogic approaches that promote deep learning, academics are wary about promoting transformation beyond the professional sphere and students are more likely to have transformative experiences outside the formal curriculum. There are indications that although universities have significant potential as sites for transformation around sustainability, at present, this is not being achieved.
    • Unofficial strikes

      Gall, Gregor (2016)
    • Untangling the Brand Name from the Branded Entity: The Conceptualisation and Value of the Established Brand Name

      Round, G.; Roper, Stuart (2015)
      Purpose – The purpose of this study was to investigate the value to consumers of the brand name element for established brands, given that the focus in the literature has been on new brands. To accomplish this, conceptual development was initially undertaken in order to illuminate the links between the brand name element and the brand entity and to provide a theoretical framework for looking at changes in value of the brand name element to consumers over time. Design/methodology/approach – A conjoint analysis experimental approach was employed. This involved consumers making trade-off decisions between changes in brand name and changes in price for established brands, where they were active purchasers. This approach enabled isolation of the brand name element and obtained the relative value of the brand name element for each participant. Findings – The mean value obtained for the importance of the brand name element for established products appeared to show substantial importance to consumers. However, further analysis identified a position where the majority of participants placed little value on the brand name element and a smaller but material group perceived its value as of overwhelming importance. Originality/value – This paper advances branding theory through clarification of the relationship between the brand name element and the brand entity. It provides theoretical argument and empirical data for the value of the brand name element, to the consumer, differing between established and new brands.
    • The use and impact of human resource information systems on human resource management professionals

      Hussain, Zahid I.; Wallace, James; Cornelius, Nelarine (2007)
      Human resource information systems (HRIS) usage allows the human resource (HR) professional to become a strategic player. With both increasing functionality and affordability, HRIS are being used extensively in organisations of all sizes. Despite this, surprisingly little is know about the current usage, whether disparities exist between companies of different sizes, or about the impact HRIS has on the general professional standing of the HR professional. We developed and administered a survey and gave structured interviews to assess and compare the specific areas of use and to introduce a taxonomy that provides a framework for academic discussion and comparison. We further determined whether HRIS usage was strategic, a perceived value-add for the organisation, and its impact on professional standing for HR professionals. These findings were compared to those for other professions that also use MIS. Our results showed that, on average, few differences exist between SME and large company usage. Moreover, we found that the professional standing of HR professionals has been enhanced by the specific use of HRIS for strategic partnering but that this is not as pronounced as that experienced by those from other professions.