• Learning orientations and growth in smaller firms

      Spicer, David P.; Sadler-Smith, E.; Chaston, I. (2001)
      Organisational learning is often presented as one way in which firms may respond to increasingly competitive market conditions by managing their knowledge assets in more effective ways. Although theoretically and conceptually plausible, there is limited empirical evidence, particularly from smaller firms, in support of this view. This study aims to provide some evidence that links organisational learning and performance. Extant theory suggests that organisational learning may range from a passive orientation (working within a current paradigm) to an active orientation (questioning a current paradigm) at both the individual and the collective levels. This study examines the learning orientations of 300 smaller manufacturing and service firms in terms of an active¿passive learning construct. The results suggest that higher-growth manufacturing firms have a more active learning orientation. These firms make greater use of knowledge assets than do their lower growth counterparts, and this may have important implications for the management of learning in smaller manufacturing firms.
    • The development of a new transformational leadership questionnaire.

      Alimo-Metcalfe, Beverly M.; Alban-Metcalfe, R.J. (2001)
      This study sought to investigate the characteristics of 'nearby' leaders by eliciting the constructs of male and female top, senior, and middle-level managers and professionals working in organizations in two large UK public sectors (local government and the National Health Service). An instrument, the Transformational Leadership Questionnaire (TLQ-LGV), was developed and piloted on a national sample of 1464 managers working for local government organizations. Analysis of the data, presented here, revealed the existence of nine highly robust scales with high reliabilities (.85) and with convergent validity (range r = .46 to .85). These findings are discussed, together with suggestions for subsequent research.
    • Tourism in difficult areas revisited: The case of Bradford

      Hope, Christine A.; Klemm, Mary S. (2001-12)
      Bradford was the first city in a ¿difficult area¿ in the UK to try to capitalise on tourism. This concept was introduced by Buckley and Witt in the 1980s using Bradford as an example. The article looks at how Bradford and its tourism policies have changed since their initial success in the 1980s. Support for tourism from Local Government has fluctuated because of funding crises, uncertainty about the benefits of tourism and changing political priorities in the City. In the late 1990s, Bradford launched a new strategy to attract leisure tourists, using support from the private sector and funds from Europe. Finally, we attempt to evaluate Bradford's success in tourism over the period and relate this to the original study of difficult areas.
    • The Economics of Sin: Rational Choice or No Choice at all?

      Cameron, Samuel (2002)
      The Economics of Sin examines the definition and evolution of sin from the perspective of rational choice economics, yet is conscious of the limitations of such an approach. The author argues that because engaging in activities deemed to be sinful is an act of choice, it can therefore be subject to the logic of choice in the economic model. The book considers the formation of religions, including the new age revival of `wicca¿, as regulators of the quasi-market in sins, and goes on to appraise the role of specific sins such as lying, envy, jealousy, greed, lust, sloth, and waste in individual markets and in macroeconomic activity. Empirical evidence on issues such as cannibalism, capital punishment, addiction, adultery and prostitution is also explored. Samuel Cameron concludes that a large percentage of economic activity is intimately connected with forms of sin which are in some circumstances highly beneficial to the functioning of markets, particularly in the presence of market failure. This innovative, interdisciplinary study of the institution of sin will be of enormous interest to a wide-ranging readership, including researchers and teachers of economics, sociology and theology. It will also be of importance for anthropologists and philosophers.
    • Partnership and process in the maritime construction industry.

      McBride, Jo; Stirling, J. (2002)
      The authors provide a case study of a partnership agreement in the Tyneside maritime construction industry. They focus on the role of trade unions and the complex tensions that emerge between regional and local officials and workplace representatives. They argue that agreements can only be understood within the context of existing employee relations structures. Their conclusion suggests that the agreement had little impact on a ¿branch plant¿ of a national company and that it was often received with hostility and little commitment. As a consequence the partnership became a symbolic agreement with potential significance for external customers but no role in shaping workplace employee relations.
    • Facilitating regeneration through new enterprise creation.

      Jennings, Peter L.; Illes, K. (2002)
      This paper undertakes a comparative study of intervention strategies and the resultant impact upon new enterprise creation in the UK and Hungary. Firstly, secondary data is used to compare and contrast the actions of and support provided by, major employer organisations faced with the need to downsize and restructure in the light of changing economic circumstances. Parallels are drawn between the need to support the local economy in specific regions of the UK, which faced extreme recession following the decline of major industries and the need to support local economies in Hungary, which face an uncertain future, but new opportunities, following the liberalisation of economic policy. Secondly, the paper reports the results of interviews with entrepreneurs and owner-managers in both countries who have received and who are receiving support and assistance to establish, grow and develop new enterprises. For many this marks a significant transition from employment to self-employment and requires the acquisition of new skills and competences together with the acceptance of high levels of risk and exposure not previously experienced. Thirdly, the paper assesses the impact of changing relationships within the local economy. This is especially significant where newly established SMEs operate as sub-contractors to the supporting organisation which takes the opportunity to outsource services and/or production which was previously undertaken in-house. The paper concludes with specific recommendations concerning the role of facilitators in influencing attitudes towards entrepreneurship and actions, which may be undertaken to encourage regeneration through the creation of new enterprises.
    • Multinational corporations, employers’ associations and trade union exclusion strategies in the German fast-food industry

      Royle, Tony (2002)
      This paper focuses on the employment practices of both multinational corporations (MNCs) and large national competitors in the German fast‐food industry, such as Burger King, Pizza Hut, Nordsee, McDonald’s, Churrasco and Blockhaus. The paper poses a number of questions. Have the activities of MNCs affected the employment practices of national companies? Are companies adopting union exclusion policies and if so why and to what extent? Does the “country of origin effect” help explain the activities of MNCs? What changes are evident in workers’ terms and conditions and how effective are statutory systems of employee representation in practice? The findings suggest that Anglo‐Saxon‐based MNCs are more likely to adopt anti‐works council and non‐union policies in the sector, suggesting that MNCs may indeed be able to transfer their management practices across borders, imposing their employer‐based systems with little regard for German institutional arrangements.
    • Just Vote No! Union-busting in the European Fast-food Industry: The Case of McDonald's

      Royle, Tony (2002)
      This paper examines the problem of effectively regulating the labour relations practices of multinational corporations. It focuses on the activities of the McDonald's Corporation in a number of European countries. The findings suggest that public and private codes of conduct have a very limited effect and that determined and well-resourced corporations can not only undermine regional forms of regulation - such as that provided by the European Union - but also, and to a considerable extent, national-level regulation. This is particularly evident in the area of independent trade union representation. Although its aim of avoiding collective bargaining and union recognition wherever possible is only partially successful, McDonald's appears to have developed a number of highly effective strategies for limiting the presence of trade unions at restaurant level, particularly in avoiding or undermining statutory works councils and union representation rights.
    • Managing culture at British Airways: hype, hope and reality

      Grugulis, C. Irena; Wilkinson, Adrian (2002)
      Nearly twenty years after the publication of the (in)famous In Search of Excellence, the notion of `cultural change¿ within organisations continues to excite attention. This is readily understandable, since cultural interventions offer practitioners the hope of a universal panacea to organisational ills and academics an explanatory framework that enjoys the virtues of being both partially true and gloriously simple. Such a combination is apparent in the way that many attempts to shape organisational culture are presented to the public: as simple stories with happy endings.1 This article attempts to rescue a fairy-tale. The story of British Airways is one of the most widely used inspirational accounts of changing culture. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s it was used to demonstrate the necessary compatibility of pleasure and profits2 in celebratory accounts where culture change is presented as the only explanation for the transformation that occurred. This corrective makes no attempt to deny the very substantial changes that took place in BA. Rather, it sets these in context noting the organisation¿s environment at the time of the transformation, the structural changes that took place and observes the impact that such changes had over the long term.3¿5
    • Labour Relations in the Global Fast-Food Industry

      Royle, Tony; Towers, B. (2002)
      The fast-food industry is one of the few industries that can be described as truly global, not least in terms of employment, which is estimated at around ten million people worldwide. This edited volume is the first of its kind, providing an analysis of labour relations in this significant industry focusing on multinational corporations and large national companies in ten countries: the USA, Canada, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Russia. The extent to which multinational enterprises impose or adapt their employment practices in differing national industrial relations systems is analysed, Results reveal that the global fast-food industry is typified by trade union exclusion, high labour turnover, unskilled work, paternalistic management regimes and work organization that allows little scope for developing workers' participation in decision-making, let alone advocating widely accepted concepts of social justice and workers' rights.
    • Culture, corporate governance and disclosure in Malaysian corporations

      Haniffa, Roszaini M.; Cooke, T.E. (2002)
      Evidence from research conducted on corporate accounting indicates that the interaction of environmental factors influences disclosure practices. The purpose of this study is to examine the importance of various corporate governance and cultural (race and education) characteristics, in addition to firm-specific factors, as possible determinants of voluntary (non-mandatory accounting and non-accounting information) disclosures in the annual reports of Malaysian listed corporations. The results of the regression analysis indicate significant associations (at the 5 percent level) between two corporate governance variables (viz. chair who is a non-executive director and domination of family members on boards) and the extent of voluntary disclosure. This finding has implications for corporate governance policy formulation by the Malaysian Institute of Corporate Governance (MISG). One cultural factor (proportion of Malay directors on the board) is significantly associated (at the 5 percent level) with the extent of voluntary disclosure suggesting that governmental focus on culture may solicit a response to secrecy from those who feel threatened.
    • Measuring cross-cultural service quality: A framework for assessment

      Smith, A.M.; Reynolds, Nina L. (2002)
      The trend towards internationalisation in many service industries has increased the need for both managers and academics to collect cross-cultural/national consumer-perceived service quality data. Failure to establish cross-cultural equivalence and to detect differences in cross-national response bias will, however, affect data comparability, may invalidate the research results and could therefore lead to incorrect inferences about attitudes and behaviours across national groups. By initially focussing on developments in the mono-cultural service quality literature, a framework is presented whereby academics and managers can assess the potential impact of these international measurement issues. Existing cross-cultural service quality literature is reviewed and the extent to which these issues are addressed is highlighted. Methods for detecting and correcting cross-national response biases are discussed.
    • A social psychological model of relations between marketing and sales.

      Dewsnap, B.; Jobber, David (2002)
      This paper highlights the opportunity to investigate relations between the marketing and sales departments of fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies. Drawing on empirical results from social psychology, the authors develop a framework for exploring the social psychological causes and effects of intergroup relations in FMCG marketing. This conceptual model integrates two social psychological theories, the realistic group conflict theory, and the social identity theory. As a development to previous applications of these theories, the model extends beyond the social psychological effects of intergroup relations to consider the implications for organizational effectiveness. A number of research propositions to guide future research are also developed, and the paper concludes with a discussion of managerial and future research implications.
    • Developing a framework for ethically questionable behaviour in consumption.

      Fukukawa, Kyoko (2002)
      In light of the growing interest in "ethically questionable" consumer behavior, this study explores possible explanations of the occurrence of such behaviour, and subsequently develops a theoretical framework. The study is based upon data collected from 72 U.K. consumers, acquired from a projective approach with scenarios. Taking the theory of planned behavior (TPB) as an initial analytical framework, attitude, social influence, opportunity (as perceived behavioral control in TPB) and perceived unfairness are identified as the antecedents of ethically questionable behavior (EQB). Social influence is extended to include a broader range of external influences from subjective norm in TPB. Opportunity is considered to represent an aspect of perceived behavioral control as available resource to engage in EQB. Perceived unfairness is presented as an additional component and refers to the extent to which an actor is motivated to redress an imbalance that is perceived as unfair. Binary logistic models suggest that attitude and social influence consistently impact on EQB, as TPB would predict. Analysis of variance suggests that perceived unfairness and opportunity, though context specific, also show signs of significant influence on the acceptance and practice of this behavior. Additional to the construct of TPB, this study develops the dimension of perceived unfairness in the context of EQB decision-making. In the context of TPB, it provides further insight into our understanding of EQB, helping to provide a theoretical framework.
    • Management Worldwide: Distinctive Styles Among Globalization.

      Hickson, David J.; Pugh, D.S. (Penguin, 2002)
      Businesses today need employees who can operate on a global stage, whether as international managers, technical specialists, expatriates or 'parachutists' who make occasional troubleshooting trips abroad. Yet cultural misunderstandings in the workplace can complicate even the simplest tasks. Something that sounds like a 'Yes' to a foreigner may actually be a polite way of saying 'No'. Fully updated and expanded for this second edition, Management Worldwide is essential for managers, students of management and organizations who want to know how managers operate and business is conducted in different societies. It is essential reading in a global economy where cultural differences can still mean make or break.
    • Exploring human resource management practices in small and medium sized enterprises

      Nadin, Sara J.; Cassell, C.; Older-Gray, M.T.; Clegg, C. (2002)
      This paper reports on empirical work recently conducted about the use and effectiveness of HRM practices in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). A telephone survey was conducted with 100 senior managers of SMEs to ascertain their use of a range of human resource practices and the extent to which they had found those practices successful in aiding the achievement of company objectives. Additionally in-depth interviews were conducted with senior managers from a further 22 SMEs. Findings suggest that there is considerable diversity amongst SMEs in relation to their use of HR practices. A model is provided that identifies the key criteria that underlie the adoption of HRM practices, and the implications of the model are discussed.
    • New technology and changing organisational forms: implications for managerial control and skills.

      Grimshaw, D.; Cooke, F.L.; Grugulis, C. Irena; Vincent, S. (2002)
      Changes in organisational forms are central to the way new technologies impact on the future of work and employment. Drawing on case¿study evidence of a call centre and its client relations and a multinational IT firm and its partnership with a government department, this paper explores the implications for skill and managerial control.
    • The impact of culture on best practice production / operations management

      Hope, Christine A.; Mühlemann, A.P. (2002)
      Significant work has been completed in arriving at what have been put forward as `best practices' for a variety of facets of production/operations management (POM). Organizations are becoming global in their operations. In this environment, there is a desire to learn from this 'proven' best practice and to use the generic ideas, concepts and techniques 'world-wide'. However, it is becoming apparent from a range of fragmented evidence that 'best practices' developed and successful in one context are not necessarily directly transferable to a comparable alternative. More detailed examination suggests that national culture has a significant role to play in determining the precise nature of a best practice in POM, and how universal it might be in its application. This paper examines structures within which to view facets of POM in order to identify one that will facilitate exploration of cultural issues. There follows an identification of what might be considered to be an appropriate range of cultural dimensions along which POM best practices may be considered. A review of the evidence from the literature of cultural impacts on aspects of POM is presented. This is used to support the development of a generic framework to examine this interface more comprehensively.
    • Nothing serious? Candidates¿ use of humour in management training

      Grugulis, C. Irena (2002)
      This article explores the use made of humour in three different private sector organisations. It draws on observations of managers working towards a management qualification and, from the jokes they exchange, it argues that studying humour may offer insights into sentiments not easily articulated in `serious¿ conversation. Humour¿s ambiguity enables contentious statements to be made without fear of recrimination. Equally, constructing jokes by juxtaposing two different frames of reference provides a glimpse of alternative (and shared) perceptions of `reality¿. This sensitivity to complexity makes humour a particularly appropriate vehicle for conveying ambitions, subversions, triumphs and failures and this article considers some of the `serious¿ messages underlying the jokes.
    • The impact of Investors in People on employees: a case study of a hospital trust

      Grugulis, C. Irena; Bevitt, S. (2002)
      This article reports on case study research conducted in a hospital Trust and explores the impact that the Investors in People award had on employees. Investors in People is widely seen as the principal mechanism for increasing workforce skills within a voluntarist system as well as supporting `good¿ employment policies. Yet in this case study, as elsewhere, most of the `soft¿ human resource initiatives had existed prior to accreditation and the internal marketing of corporate value statements was met with both amnesia and cynicism. More worryingly, training activity was focused on business need, and business need was defined in the narrowest sense, with the result that some employees had fewer opportunities for individual development. Motivation and commitment levels were high, staff were enthusiastic about their work and many actively engaged in training and development. But this owed little to Investors in People and its impact here raises questions about its influence on skill levels more broadly.