Browsing Management and Marketing - Conference Items by Title
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- ItemBeyond MacIntyre: grounding the business as practice debate(Irish Academy of Management, IAM, 2012-09) Kavanagh, DonnchaAlasdair MacIntyre’s distinction between institutions and practices helps illuminate how powerful institutional forces frame and constrain the practice of organizational research as well as the output and positioning of scholarly journals. Yet his conceptual frame is limited, not least because it is unclear whether the activity of managing is, or is not, a practice. This paper builds on MacIntyre’s ideas by incorporating Aristotle’s concepts of poíēsis, praxis, téchnē and phrónēsis. Rather than ask, following MacIntyre, whether management is a practice, this wider network of concepts provides a richer frame for understanding the nature of managing and the appropriate role for academia. The paper outlines a phronetic paradigm for organizational inquiry, and concludes by briefly examining the implications of such a paradigm for research and learning.
- ItemThe civilising tension at the heart of market-making: a case study of the stent industry(2012-06) Lawlor, Jim; Kavanagh, DonnchaWe are interested in the emergence of new markets. While the literature contains various perspectives on how such new markets come to be, the dynamics of the marketization process are less clear. This paper focuses on the development of stent technology and examines the activities characteristic of its emerging market. We identify four market ‘moments’: a mutable marketing moment prior to the point of disruption; two parallel moments at the point of disruption – internecine marketing between emergent competitors, and subversive marketing between those competitors and established actors; and finally, a civilized marketing moment. We conclude that emergent competitors operate two distinct strategies at the point of disruption. Also, legal activities are central to marketization dynamics during this period. In terms of process, while creative destruction may broadly describe the move from disruption to acceptance, there is a period of creative construction prior to disruption, when the new market is coming into being.
- ItemFrom project ontologies to communities of virtue(2004-12) Linehan, Carol; Kavanagh, DonnchaProjects, as an organizing principle, can provide exciting contexts for innovative work. Thus far, project management discourse has tended to privilege the vital need to deliver projects ‘on time, on budget, and to specification’. In common with the call for papers for this workshop we suggest that perhaps the “instrumental rationality” underpinning this language of characterising project activity may create more problems than it solves. In this paper we suggest that such questions (and language) frame project contexts in a partial way. We argue that such concerns stem from a particular worldview or ontology, which we identify as a ‘being’ ontology. Here we contrast being and becoming project ontologies, to explore the questions, methods and interventions that each foregrounds. In an attempt to move this dialogue further than simply another contrast of modern and postmodernist accounts of project organising, we go on to consider some possible ethical concomitants of valuing being and becoming ontologies in project contexts.
- ItemThe international diffusion of project management(2010-09) Kavanagh, DonnchaThis paper examines the international diffusion of one business practice, project management, through the prism of prior literature and data on the diffusion of ISO 9000. The study took an inductive approach, building theory through the iterative collection and analysis of quantitative and qualitative data. The findings problematise the central position accorded to the S-curve model and neo-institutional theory in explaining technology diffusion. The research posits three distinct processes driving the diffusion process: utility, institutional isomorphism, and competitive isomorphism, with the latter consisting of three primary mechanisms: competitive imitation, trendslators and fashion retailers. Contrary to prior literature, national, quasi-professional associations are found to be central to the diffusion process and play a key role in advocating and containing management technologies.
- ItemLearning to live with the lack: pedagogy of the beguiled(2005-07) Kuhling, Carmen; Keohane, Kieran; Kavanagh, DonnchaAn important aspect of globalisation/Americanisation is, prima facia, the global export of televisual products such as Sesame Street, Barney, etc. that are explicitly concerned with cultivating elementary forms of organisational life. Thus, it is surprising that organization studies has been virtually silent on childhood and pedagogy. This lacuna needs filling especially because the development of a post-national, cosmopolitan society problematises existing pedagogical models. In this paper we argue that cosmopolitanism requires a pedagogy that is centred on the Lack and the mythic figure of the Trickster. We explore this through an analysis of children’s stories, including Benjamin’s radio broadcasts for children, Sesame Street and Dr Seuss.
- ItemThe lost experiment in exploration and exploitation(EGOS, 2011-07) Kavanagh, DonnchaThis paper focuses on James March’s 1991 article on ‘Exploration and Exploitation in Organizational Learning’, which is now the seventh most highly cited paper in management and organisation studies. March’s paper is based on a computer program that simulates the collective and individual learning of a group of fifty individuals. The largely forgotten story that this paper re-calls is the real-life experiment that March, in large part, designed and conducted when he was the new ‘boy Dean’ of the School of Social Sciences in the University of California at Irvine between 1964 and 1969. Taken together, both stories illuminate important moments in the history of organisation studies. The comparison suggests that March’s model, which was probably the first simulation of an organisation learning, also worked to constitute rather than model the phenomenon.
- ItemManagement technologies - are they worth it? A normative study of ISO 9001 and project management(2009-09) Kavanagh, Donncha; Naughton, Ed; Corkery, Elaine; O'Sullivan, KathleenThis research inquires into the value of two common ‘management technologies’, namely ISO 9001 and project management. To avoid certain methodological problems, we study the value of these micro-level practices by inductively analysing macro-level data, specifically the intensity of project management and ISO 9001 certification (termed project management score and ISO 9001 score) in different countries against national measures of wealth and innovation. There is no correlation between ISO 9001 score and innovation, while high ISO 9001 scores are correlated with decreasing levels of wealth. The project management score is positively correlated with wealth and with innovation, though very high project management scores are negatively correlated with innovation. The study includes a cluster analysis which finds that, with one exception, countries tend to adopt either project management or ISO 9001 but not both. The analysis indicates that project management is more likely to be associated with high innovation and high wealth than ISO 9001.
- ItemPerpetuating sales: enabling incumbent survival of radical technological shifts(EurOMA, 2013-06) Curran, Kevin; Kavanagh, DonnchaThis paper examines an industry whose incumbents’ specialised complimentary assets were their operations management and distribution channels. This advantage was seriously undermined by the advent of digital distribution. Radical technological change theories dictate that if incumbents in an industry without specialised complimentary assets will be replaced by entrants. This did not happen, and extant theories of incumbent survival do not explain why the incumbents remained dominant in the industry. We propose that survival is due to the unique industry characteristic of perpetuating sales. This paper will explain what is a perpetuating sales model and why does it enable incumbent survival?
- ItemReviewing March's vision(2010-07) Kavanagh, DonnchaThis paper reviews a remarkable experiment in organisation. At the centre of the story is James G. (Jim) March, one of the most influential scholars in management and organisation studies over the last half century. From 1954 to 1964, March was a leading member of the Graduate School of Administration (GSIA) at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, which was an extraordinary hotbed of ideas and research at that time. The group was led by Herbert Simon, a true polymath who is now recognised as a founding father of many scientific domains.
- ItemTheory games(University of Manchester, 2013-07) Scally, Kevin; Kavanagh, DonnchaThis paper examines the remarkable and unexplored correspondence between games (and board games in particular) and what is commonly understood as theory in the social sciences. It argues that games exhibit many if not most of the attributes of theory, but that theory is missing some of the features of games. As such, game provide a way of rethinking what we mean by theory and theorizing. Specifically, games and their relationship with the ‘real’ world, provide a way of thinking about theory and theorizing that is consistent with recent calls to frame social inquiry around the concept of phrónēsis.
- ItemTheory, the uncanny and the sacred(2014-07) Kavanagh, DonnchaThis paper examines the related but different concepts of the uncanny and the sacred. Drawing on two cases – one fictional and one real – and using Žižek’s Symbolic-Real-Imaginary as an organising frame, the paper analyses how the uncanny and the sacred are connected. It then proceeds to examine the role of theorising in sacralising the uncanny and profaning the sacred. Finally, it briefly discusses how theory might be re-enchanted.
- ItemUnderstanding the work of the city manager(2003-01) Griffin, Quincy; Kavanagh, DonnchaThe managerial behaviour approach to understanding managerial work has developed from research over the course of fifty years. The approach represents a marked departure from mainstream (and still prevalent) management approaches that depict management as a set of general composite functions. The managerial behaviour approach is distinctive in its empirical research background, object, focus and methodology. Its objective is to provide the simple answer to the complex question: what do managers do? However, the emphasis in the studies on managerial behaviour represents a limitation in so far as a context for locating and judging that behaviour is largely absent (Hales, 1986). This paper presents the results of initial research into managers operating in a different and largely neglected context - city councils. The research uses Mintzberg’s (1973) concept of behavioural roles as an analytical tool to explain and understand what city managers do. This study assesses whether these roles adequately capture the important features of managerial work in the city council. It is argued that while Mintzberg’s role framework is useful, structured observation alone does not adequately address the complexities of environments and styles of managers or the cognitive processes of managers. However, by integrating this approach with an appreciation of context and cognitive processes and how they can influence or affect managerial behaviour, we develop a more realistic description of what managers actually do and why they do it.