Browsing by Subject "change"

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  • Segercrantz, Beata (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2011-04-15)
    Many Finnish IT companies have gone through numerous organizational changes over the past decades. This book draws attention to how stability may be central to software product development experts and IT workers more generally, who continuously have to cope with such change in their workplaces. It does so by analyzing and theorizing change and stability as intertwined and co-existent, thus throwing light on how it is possible that, for example, even if ‘the walls fall down the blokes just code’ and maintain a sense of stability in their daily work. Rather than reproducing the picture of software product development as exciting cutting edge activities and organizational change as dramatic episodes, the study takes the reader beyond the myths surrounding these phenomena to the mundane practices, routines and organizings in product development during organizational change. An analysis of these ordinary practices offers insights into how software product development experts actively engage in constructing stability during organizational change through a variety of practices, including solidarity, homosociality, close relations to products, instrumental or functional views on products, preoccupations with certain tasks and humble obedience. Consequently, the study shows that it may be more appropriate to talk about varieties of stability, characterized by a multitude of practices of stabilizing rather than states of stagnation. Looking at different practices of stability in depth shows the creation of software as an arena for micro-politics, power relations and increasing pressures for order and formalization. The thesis gives particular attention to power relations and processes of positioning following organizational change: how social actors come to understand themselves in the context of ongoing organizational change, how they comply with and/or contest dominant meanings, how they identify and dis-identify with formalization, and how power relations often are reproduced despite dis-identification. Related to processes of positioning, the reader is also given a glimpse into what being at work in a male-dominated and relatively homogeneous work environment looks like. It shows how the strong presence of men or “blokes” of a particular age and education seems to become invisible in workplace talk that appears ‘non-conscious’ of gender.
  • Cropper, Steve; Bor, Sanne (2018-08-03)
    In their treatise on meta-organization, Ahrne and Brunsson theorize a distinctive organizational form, the association of organizations. Meta-organizations have the properties of formal organizations—boundaries set by determinations of membership, goals, a centre of authority, and ways of monitoring and sanctioning member behaviors. The theory draws a strong distinction between meta-organizations and networks, suggesting that similarity among members is the primary characteristic of meta-organizations, whereas networks signify complementarity and difference. Meta-organizations serve and are governed by their members, though the meta-organization itself may develop its own agency and may regulate its members. It is on this basis that Ahrne and Brunsson develop an account of the dynamics of meta-organizations, placing less emphasis on external sources of change than on the internal relationships between members and the meta-organization itself. This paper appraises the theory of meta-organizations, using a case study of Partners in Paediatrics, a subscription association of health care organizations, as the empirical reference point. Data about this partnership’s membership and its activities are drawn from 12 ‘annual reports’ covering a 17-year period. Focusing, particularly, on the membership composition of the Partnership and its relationship to the changing environment, the case analysis traces the changing character and circumstances of the Partnership, identifying four distinct phases, and raising questions for meta-organization theory and its account of meta-organization dynamics.
  • Hearn, Jeff (2020)
    When reflecting on the ten-year long series of one-day conferences that this special issue centres around, Maskulinitet i förändring [Masculinity in change] organised by Länsstyrelsen i Örebro län [county], beginning in 2010, I kept coming back to several questions: is this a unique phenomenon and achievement? How do we explain it? What are we to make of it? In this article, I go through ten reflections responding to, if not answering, these questions.
  • Dahl, Johanna (Hanken School of Economics, 2017-04-07)
    This thesis focuses on the simultaneous existence of cooperation and competition between firms, and falls under the research area of coopetition. In recent years, coopetition, inherently complex and paradoxical in nature, has attracted increasing attention in both business practice and research. As a result, coopetition is confirmed as a phenomenon of contemporary importance to companies varying in size and industry. Moreover, from a research standpoint, coopetition has been established as a distinct theoretical approach to explain inter-firm relationships and, in particular, cooperation between directly competing firms. Yet, to advance extant knowledge on coopetition, calls have been made for research scrutinizing the interaction process and focusing on the handling of simultaneous cooperation and competition, at multiple levels of analysis starting from the individual. To this end, the overall aim of this article-based thesis is to develop a theoretical understanding of how coopetition is maintained as a process and as a strategy, alongside an empirical understanding of the interplay between cooperation and competition. The thesis answers three interrelated research questions, addressing the dynamics of coopetitive interaction, the deliberate and emergent features of coopetition, and the balancing of cooperation and competition. Article 1 contributes by conceptualizing change in coopetitive interactions through three mechanisms. The outlined mechanisms are inter-organizational learning manifested in cooperation between competitors, intra-organizational learning based on exchanges of contrasting experiences between individuals within the organization, and the development of the external business environment. The article further contributes by developing the notion that the nature of the change process underlying coopetition, in terms of the generative change mechanism and predefined or discontinuous character, depends on the balance and strength of the cooperative and competitive interactions. In Article 2, the theoretical contribution comprises a framework explaining coopetition as a deliberate and/or emergent strategy. By integrating research on strategy-as- practice and, thus, focusing on the social nature of coopetition, the framework delivers four scenarios on how coopetition strategy manifests in an organization. The framework implies that coopetition strategy ought to be explained as an activity occurring across multiple levels in an organization, and at an institutional and inter-organizational level. Furthermore, the framework broadens extant views on individuals who influence strategy and activities that may be consequential for the strategy. Article 3 contributes to discussions on the influence of different levels of strength of the cooperative and competitive interactions on relational outcomes. The contextual contribution lies in the study’s examination of coopetition in relation to the internationalization process and among a group of SMEs operating in a traditional manufacturing industry. Empirical results imply that the continuity, scope, and strategic impact of opportunities gained through coopetition vary with the balance and strength of the cooperative and competitive interactions.
  • Sorsa, Virpi; Vaara, Eero (2020-03-12)
    This study examines how pluralistic organizations confronting fundamental differences in values can proceed with strategic change. By drawing on a longitudinal case analysis of strategic change in a Nordic city organization, we show how the proponents and challengers play a “rhetorical game” in which they simultaneously promote their own value-based interests and ideas and seek ways to enable change. In particular, we identify a pattern in which the discussion moved from initial contestation through gradual convergence to increasing agreement. In addition, we elaborate on four rhetorical practices used in this rhetorical game: voicing own arguments, appropriation of others’ arguments, consensus argumentation, and collective we argumentation. By so doing, our study contributes to research on strategic change in pluralistic organizations by offering a nuanced account of the use of rhetoric when moving from contestation to convergence and partial agreement. Furthermore, by detailing specific types of rhetorical practices that play a crucial role in strategy making, our study advances research on the role of rhetoric in strategy process and practice research more generally.
  • Salojärvi, Sari (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2005-05-11)
    This study explores the role and nature of knowledge management (KM) in small and medium-sized companies (SMEs). Even though the role of knowledge as a competitive advantage is commonly recognized in the SME sector, almost no attention has been paid to the managing and developing of knowledge in SMEs. This thesis consists of three different sub-studies that were reported in four individual essays. The results of the questionnaire study indicate that nearly all companies that responded to the questionnaire (N = 108) found intangible assets, i.e. knowledge resources to be their main source of competitive advantage. However, only less than a third of the companies actively deal with knowledge management. The results also indicate a significant correlation between activity in knowledge management and sustainable organic growth of the company. The interview study (N = 10) explored the context and motives of the SMEs for managing their intangible assets, and the concrete practices of knowledge management. It turned out that KM facilitated change management, clarification of the vision and new strategy formulation. All the interviewed companies were aiming at improved innovation process, new ways of doing business and attaining an increased “knowledge focus” in their business. Nearly all also aspired to grow significantly. Thus, KM provides a strategy for these SMEs to guarantee their survival and sustainability in the turbulent markets. The action research was a process to assess and develop intangible resources in three companies. The experienced benefits were the clarification of future focus and strategy, creation of a common language to discuss strategic issues within the company, as well as improved balance of different categories of intangible assets. After the process all the case companies had developed in the chosen key areas. Thus, by systematic knowledge management the implementation of new strategic orientation (knowledge focusing) was facilitated. The findings can be summarized in two main points. First, knowledge management seems to serve the purpose of change, renewal and new strategic orientation in the SMEs. It also seems to be closely related to organic growth and innovation. All of these factors can be considered dimensions of entrepreneurship. Second, the conscious development of intangible assets can increase the balance of different categories of intangible assets and the overall knowledge focusing of business. In the case companies, this in turn facilitated the path to the improved overall performance.
  • Molineaux, Benjamin; Los, Bettelou (2020-12-23)
    The advent of ever-largerand more diverse historical corpora for different historical periods and linguistic varieties has led to the impossibility of obtaining simple, direct —and yet balanced—representations of the core patterns in the data. In order to draw insights from heterogeneous and complex materials of this type, historical linguists have begun to reach for a growing number of data visualisation techniques, from the statistical, to the cartographical, the network-based and beyond. An exploration of the state of this art was the objective of a workshop at the 2018 International Conference on English Historical Linguistics, from whence most of the materials of this Special Issue are drawn. This brief introductory paper outlines the background and relevance of this line of methodological research and presents a summary of the individual papers that make up the collection.
  • Wendelin, Robert (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2004-09-24)
    A focus on cooperative industrial business relationships has become increasingly important in studies of industrial relationships. If the relationships between companies are strong it is usually a sign that companies will cooperate for a longer time and that may affect companies’ competitive and financial strength positively. As a result the bonds between companies become more important. This is due to the fact that bonds are building blocks of relationships and thus affect the stability in the cooperation between companies. Bond strength affect relationship strength. A framework regarding how bonds develop and change in an industrial business relationship has been developed in the study. Episodes affect the bonds in the relationship strengthening or weakening the bonds in the relationship or preserving status quo. Routine or critical episodes may lead to the strengthening or weakening of bonds as well as the preservation of status quo. The method used for analyzing bond strength trying to grasp the nature and change of bonds was invented by systematically following the elements of the definitions of bonds. A system with tables was drawn up in order to find out if the bond was weak, of medium strength or strong. Bonds are important regulators of industrial business relationships. By influencing the bonds one may have possibilities to strengthen or weaken the business relationship. Strengthen the business relationship in order to increase business and revenue and weaken the relationship in order to terminate business where the revenue is low or where there may be other problems in the relationship. By measuring the strength of different bonds it can be possible to strengthen weak bonds in order to strengthen the relationship. By using bond management it is possible to strategically strengthen or weaken the bonds between the cooperating companies in order to strengthen the cooperation and tie the customer or supplier to the company or weaken the cooperation in order to terminate the relationship. The instrument for the management of bonds is to use the created bond audit in order to know which bonds resources should be focused on in order to increase or decrease their strength.