• Historical and Contemporary Contexts: The Representation and Character of ‘Modern’ Organizations

      Stokes, Peter; University of Chester (Kogan Page, 2016-04-01)
      Chapter 2: Historical and Contemporary Contexts: The Representation and Character of ‘Modern’ Organizations Peter Stokes Objectives This chapter aims to outline the modernistic and positivistic philosophies and paradigms which underpin contemporary markets, management and organizations by: • elaborating the historical context of the role of the enlightenment and the emergence of science; • explaining the development of the Industrial Revolution, the development of positivism and the recognition of modernism and its powerful implications for the shape and nature of organizations and management; • elaborating the nature and role of Taylorism and Fordism as consequences of the general modernistic movement and events; • contextualising modernism and positivism by developing a conceptual understanding of epistemology and frames of reference; • providing examples of modernistic effects in organizations such as hard and soft management and corporate cultures, key performance indicators and metrics, audit cultures, managerialism, McDonaldization and the role of fashions and fads in management thinking and ideas. Introduction Chapter One mapped out the contemporary nature of the work and organizations and their environments, in local and global terms, and underlined the contexts and issues which have become important for organizations. The Chapter now proceeds to examine modernism and the phenomena of, for example, managerialism, Taylorism and McDonaldization and how they have endured as powerful influences on contemporary work settings. The management of change and evolution have been a recurrent experience in business and organizations generally. It has become common to read in texts that, in the contemporary era, change is happening at an unprecedented rate and on a global scale. However, organizations and societies have always undergone change. At times, this change has seemed radical and unpredictable whilst at other times there have been periods which have provided a semblance of stability and continuity (Linstead, Fulop and Lilley, 2009:619). Historically, it is possible to cite many major events which have caused severe and extensive disruption to established society processes and structures which have caused companies and organizations to go bankrupt and disappear forever. Changes might be relatively small or, alternatively, may be on a continental scale. These might include major tragedies such as, for example, plagues and illnesses (the Black Death and the post-First World War influenza outbreak (1918-1919) both of which killed hundreds of thousands of people and brought about significant transformations in social hierarchies, land and wealth distributions); conflicts (such as World War I and II (1914-18 and 1939-1945)) and economic collapses and depressions (The Wall Street Crash (1929) and the ‘Credit Crunch’ Recession (2008)). Moreover, whatever changes are taking place in a period, different periods of history are characterised by particular values and beliefs regarding the drivers that shape the epoch. Such beliefs are likely to change over time and acknowledging this is important for contemporary managers and organizations because by generating an appreciation of this it will facilitate a better understanding of the energies and forces at play in the contemporary world and workplace. A key philosophy that has shaped the 20th and 21st Centuries has been that of modernism which can be considered to have followed on from pre-modernism. Modernism can be considered to have exerted influence from the mid-1600s until the contemporary era, whilst Pre-modernism embraces Ancient History (that is, for example, Ancient Greek, Roman and other civilizations of the surrounding eras) leading up towards the early Medieval period (Cummings, 2002). Modernism is important to understand because the values it embodies are very different from those that prevailed in the preceding pre-Modern and Medieval eras.
    • The importance of colour on the communication of financial data in management

      Sung, Anna; Williams, Taylor; Flora, Sun; Leong, Kelvin; Andoniou, Constantine; University of Chester
      Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the importance of colour on the communication of financial data in management and to encourage future discussion on related topic. Design/methodology/approach – Hypothesis was designed building on relevant literatures. Quantitative discrete data were collected through a mini-test activity in a lecture from students. The results were reviewed and evaluated by relevant statistical tool. Findings – The authors found consistent statistical significance results in the mini-test. The findings support that users prefer to choose the financial data presented in cool colours in business management context. Research limitations/implications – Gaining the understanding of colour’s influence on decision making and behaviour is subjected to complexity. There are many other contextual factors should be taken into consideration in practice. Although the design of the mini-test in this study is relatively simple, it still provides clues for the issue. With the discussions and findings of this paper, the authors shed some light on the direction of potential uses of colour on the communication of financial data in management context. The findings could also be used by management educators to facilitate related discussions among students regarding the complexity of business communication and the importance of perception in decision making. For example, decision making could be affected by various factors (such as colour) outside verbal and text. Originality/value – Managers often need to use financial data in communication for various purposes in work place. The authors believe this is the first time that a study like this had been conducted to specifically review and discuss the importance of colour on the communication of financial data in management. Hopefully, the work reported in this paper could be viewed as reference for management educators, researchers and managers in future research or practical applications on related topics.
    • Leadership and management: The challenge of performance

      Rowland, Caroline A.; University of Chester (Kogan Page, 2016-03-03)
      The challenges of both leading and managing people and getting results.
    • Leadership development for managers in turbulent times

      Hall, Roger D.; Rowland, Caroline A.; Hall Consultancy; University of Chester (Emerald, 2016-09-12)
      Purpose In a turbulent economic climate, characterised by pressures to improve productivity and reduce costs, leadership and performance management have a more central role in helping to ensure competitive advantage. This paper explores current demands on leaders; and endeavours to explore linkages between management education and agile leadership Design/methodology/approach Taking a grounded theory approach, this paper uses the concepts of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA) to investigate the impact on desired attributes of leaders and the extent to which this is underpinned by current management education programmes. It draws on the VUCA model of agile management to examine current practices and experiences and considers future trends. Empirical research includes case studies and analysis of management syllabuses. Findings Syllabuses do not reflect the attributes that organizations expect leaders to possess and are content driven rather than process focussed. VUCA is not yet mainstream in academic thinking. Practical implications There is a disparity between the output of Business Schools and the expectations of organizations. This may affect productivity. It is suggested that the use of live consultancies may provide a more beneficial management development experience. Originality/value This research opens an international debate that seeks to assess the relevance of current management education to the needs of organizations for agile, high performing leaders
    • Machiavelli at 550 — Reflections on his contribution to management, marketing, and public affairs

      Harris, Phil; University of Chester
      With the U.K. Elections upon us and manoeuvring for the U.S. Presidential Elections in November 2020 already started, it is time to reflect on power. It is always good to call upon Machiavelli to help make sense of the issues and people in the political arena. It is 550 years since Niccolo Machiavelli was born in Florence in 1469 of a very old Tuscan family. The young Machiavelli had a vigorous humanist education, was taught Latin by good teachers, and had access to the best of classical history and ideas. Little is known about the rest of his life until at the surprisingly young age of 29 in 1498, he was recognised by the Signory for his administrative talents and was elected to the responsible post of Chancellor of the Second Chancery. He is also given duties in the Council of the Ten of Liberty and Peace (formerly Ten of War), which dealt with Florentine foreign affairs.
    • The challenges of managing degree apprentices in the workplace: a manager’s perspective

      Rowe, Lisa; Moss, Danny; Moore, Neil; Perrin, David; University of Chester (Emerald, 2017-12-04)
      This paper explores the issues and challenges facing employers as they manage degree apprentices in the workplace. It examines the relationship between managers and apprentices undertaking a work-based degree. This research is of particular relevance at this time because of the UK government’s initiative to expand the number of apprenticeships in the workplace to three million new starts by 2020 inevitably bringing a range of pressures to bear on employers (BIS, 2015). The purpose is to share early experiences of employer management of degree apprenticeships, and provide a range of recommendations to develop and improve employer and HEI practice. This paper combines desk research with qualitative data drawn from interviews with a range of cross-sector organisations to investigate the employer’s experience of developing the new Degree Apprenticeships. The data is explored inductively using thematic analysis in order to surface dominant patterns and considers the implications of findings upon current and emerging HEI and employer practice and research. There were a number of key themes which emerged from the data collected. These included the need for effective, employer-led recruitment processes, careful management of expectations, sound HEI retention strategies, employer involvement and board level motivators to ensure organisational benefits are derived from effectively situated workplace learning and a focus upon effective, empowering mentoring and support strategies. As degree apprenticeship standards and programmes are currently at the early stages of implementation, and opportunities, funding and resourcing are rapidly changing in the context of government policy, so too will employer appetite and strategies for supporting degree apprentices, along with apprentice behaviour. This means that additional findings, beyond those highlighted within this paper may emerge in the near future. There are a number of practical implications supporting managerial development and support of degree apprentices in the workplace from this research. These are reflected in the findings, and include the development of flexible and collaborative processes, resources, mentor training and networks. This paper is one of the first published accounts of the employers’ perspective of managing a Degree Apprenticeship within the new policy context in the UK. As a result the work offers a unique insight into the emerging challenges and issues encountered by managers working with degree apprentices in the twenty first century business environment.
    • The Sage Handbook of International Corporate and Public Affairs

      Harris, Phil; Fleisher, Craig; University of Chester and Aurora WDC (SAGE, 2017-02-01)
      The management and oversight of public affairs (PA) is a critical boardroom skill that resides with the Chief Executive and those engaged in multi-complex strategic political management work, particularly those working at and across the international business, government and politics interface. This has become of paramount importance to modern business in a very competitive and rapidly globalizing world where strong and focused leadership on corporate communication, issues management, governmental and regulatory issues and soft power (Nye, 2004) can often be pivotal to whether an organization fails or succeeds (Griffin, 2016, Sun and Harris, 2014, Fleisher, 2012; Titley, 2003). As one senior executive commented in a conversation with one of the authors, there are 1) those who are good at public affairs and politics and their businesses succeed, and 2) those who do not understand the subject and they are either no more or in decline.
    • To Exit or Not To Exit: That is the Question: To Build or Retreat: That is another Question

      Harris, Phil; University of Chester (Wiley, 2016-08-11)
      Editorial. It has been a very interesting and tragic period for Europe over the last month. The UK voted to leave the EU in its Referendum, Its Prime Minister resigned and Teresa May has taken over as the Second female Conservative Prime Minister and formed a new government. The UK Economy took an initial battering in world markets but seems to have settled down now as global players perceive there are advantages and disadvantages for the UK in being in the EU, but the main thing is stability in global markets. It will also speed-up reform of the EU and its institutions, so this may be advantageous. We have also seen a sharp increase in horrific terror atrocities in Europe, notably France, Belgium and Germany which has pointed to the need for more effective management of our freedoms and security of our citizens. It has been a difficult Summer for Europe. We hope and pray that stability and safety will return as without that society will not be based on a balanced platform to provide for all We are also seeing the emergence of the two contenders for the US Presidency, Donald Trump versus Hilary Clinton. The non-establishment business candidate versus the female long serving politician and social reformer. Cleveland and Philadelphia have all given us insights into what is coming. In addition we will soon have elections in Germany and France, which could see major change, whilst growth in South East Asia continues steadily which can be seen in the positive meeting in Ulan Bator at the 11th ASEM Summit. World regulation and development now seems to be very much to the fore as we build and develop a truly global international economy accountable governmental and financial system, accountability, good governance and transparency will be the core underpinnings of that development This is a general issue of the Journal of Public Affairs