• E-business strategy development: an FMCG sector case study.

      Webster, Margaret; Fouweather, Ian; Beach, Roger (2006)
      Purpose ¿ This paper sets out to discuss the development of an e-business strategy by a UK soft drinks company. It is based within the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector (also known as Consumer Packaged Goods), which is characterised by powerful retailers, tier-1 suppliers of industrial end-products and ingredient/raw material producers further upstream. The paper aims to examine the tensions created at tier-1 level relating to the adoption of e-business solutions for B2B activities. Design/methodology/approach ¿ The paper draws on the literature to describe the technological options for achieving e-commerce, focusing particularly on Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and internet-mediated e-commerce. It then explores the current uptake of e-commerce, and the drivers and barriers that relate to its adoption. The theoretical issues identified are explored empirically using data gathered from a case study of Princes Soft Drinks. A detailed survey of organisations within its supply base was conducted in order to inform the development of its future e-business strategy. Findings ¿ The results of the survey indicate a lack of enthusiasm among Princes' supply chain members for the adoption of e-commerce generally and for internet-mediated e-commerce solutions in particular. Research limitations/implications ¿ The empirical survey is limited to the UK soft drinks sector and allows for the development of descriptive findings. These findings, discussed within the theoretical context of the paper, have potentially wider implications for the FMCG sector as a whole. Practical implications ¿ The work has significant implications for the development of Princes' e-business strategy, and ¿ by extrapolation ¿ for other companies operating in similar commercial environments. Originality/value ¿ The paper reports original empirical research in the commercially important FMCG sector. Its value stems in part from the examination of the supply chain tensions created at tier-1¿ between powerful e-committed retailers and e-reluctant industrial suppliers.
    • The long game - technological innovation and the transformation of business performance

      Matthias, Olga; Fouweather, Ian (2021-04)
      This paper brings a new perspective to knowledge by focusing on the application and exploitation of big data in two UK companies providing, respectively, online and branch retailservices. The companies innovatively exploited the data that were generated by new internet technologies to improve business performance. The findings from both case study examples show that benefits do not come simply by adopting technology, but when people think creatively to exploit the potential benefits of ITC. The conclusion drawn is that the realisation of the ‘universal benefits’ of technological innovation does occur, but not necessarily until the hype has subsided. The paper demonstrates that there is opportunity to create sustainable competitive advantage through the application of ITC although the social, technological, and human challenges of managing technology have to be appreciated and managed. These implications need to be appreciated and if true long-term advantage isto be achieved.
    • Making Sense of Big Data – Can it Transform Operations Management?

      Matthias, Olga; Fouweather, Ian; Gregory, Ian; Vernon, A. (2016-02-22)
      This paper focuses on the application and exploitation of Big Data to create competitive advantage. It presents a framework of application areas and how they help the understanding of targeting and scoping specific areas for sustainable improvement. Empirical evidence demonstrates the application of Big Data in practice and tests the framework. An exploratory approach is adopted to the secondary research which examines vendors’ offerings. The empirical research used the case study method. The findings indicate that there is opportunity to create sustainable competitive advantage through the application of big data. However there are social, technological and human consequences that are only now beginning to emerge which need to be addressed if true long-term advantage is to be achieved. The research develops a framework and tests it only in 2 dimensions. This should be expanded. The vendor analysis limitations lie within the nature of the information available and the difficulties in mitigating against bias. The suggested framework can help academics and managers to identify areas of opportunity to do so, setting new levels of performance and new agendas for business. This work contributes to service operations management, building on Kranzberg (1986) and the impact of technology and on Fosso Wamba et al. (2015) by developing a systems application framework to further understanding of big data from a practical perspective to extend their research taxonomy insights. Our case studies demonstrate how the use of BD enhances operational performance.
    • The Management Consultant: The Hermes of our time

      Fouweather, Ian (2017)
      Our need for certainty in an uncertain world is not new, but the narratives we choose have to resonate with the times we imagine. In the 21st century, management discourses focus on rapid technological and societal changes to highlight a radically open future that is fundamentally different from the past. Where once oracles used the exploits of Zeus, Apollo and Dionysus to dispense wisdom and provide direction in our collective struggle for survival, we now look elsewhere. With the rise of scientific management in the early 20th century, it has been to Management Consultants that the corporate world and public institutions have looked towards to provide the certainty they require. Not surprisingly with its rise, commentators and critics have sought to understand the nature of the industry and why it has become such a significant part of the business environment. Paradoxically, despite over twenty five years of writing, and many authoritative voices the nature of the industry remains rather vague (Harvey et al. 2016). To shed light on why this might be, this paper draws on Greek mythology, focussing on the god Hermes; the fleet footed traveller who like an ancient consultant was despatched from the heavens to bring messages and wisdom to mortals on Earth.
    • Radical learning through semantic transformation: capitalizing on novelty

      Bosma, B.; Chia, R.; Fouweather, Ian (2016-01-14)
      That organizations exist in a fluid environment of unprecedented and discontinuous change seems beyond debate. We seem to find ourselves immersed in a world in which events have a tendency to unfold and overtake us in unforeseeable and novel ways that defy comprehension; a crisis of meaning takes place and conventional sensemaking is disrupted. Our need to imaginatively construct new meanings that allow us to understand what is going on and to work out how to respond becomes ever more pressing. We do live in interesting times. The emergence of the new, however, challenges current established ways of knowing and opens a creative space for radical learning to take place. Novelty stimulates the generative process by which organizations and individuals learn, adapt to and cope with the exigencies they face in order to survive and progress. Such radical learning occurs when creative linguistic interventions in dialogue opens up semantic spaces whereby new terms are coined and old ones broken up, combined and/or redeployed in novel ways, in an effort to give expression to the fresh circumstances experienced or new phenomena observed. We call this kind of imaginative linguistic intervention semantic transformation. In this paper we argue that it is this semantic transformation that promotes radical transformational learning. Such semantic transformation is predicated on the improvisatory character of dialogue as a form of communication. We explore how, through this dialogical process of semantic transformation, we discover the resources and means to respond to the vagueness and equivocality experienced, by exploiting language in novel ways in our attempts to make sense of and account for such experiences.
    • Why we have such a love-hate relationship with work

      Fouweather, Ian (2017)
      Shock, horror, a new study shows the British public don’t like their jobs. Using smart phones researchers mapped the happiness of people in real time, while they went about their daily lives. And they discovered that people do not report feeling very happy at work.