Management (Scholarly Articles)

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  • Publication
    Ahead of the tide: Exploring a unique change agenda at the Armada Hotel
    (University of Galway, 2023-05) Curran, Deirdre; O Driscoll, Finian
    This report presents a detailed analysis of a hotel case study. The Irish family-owned hotel gained media attention in late 2021/early 2022 for claiming to be undergoing a change process that would offer staff a better employee proposition than was typical in the sector. The report includes recommendations for the hotel that will assist efforts of continuous improvement and ensure the sustainability and success of the business into the future. A key recommendation would be for this case to be highlighted to industry and academia so that the learnings may be shared as the recommendations could lead to significant improvements in the working conditions and prospects of hospitality workers and would go a long way to addressing long-standing labour shortages in the sector.
  • Publication
    A ‘deviant men’ theory of business expectations in nascent entrepreneurs
    (Springer, 2022-12-01) Martiarena, Alona; Levie, Jonathan; Marlow, Susan; Hart, Mark; Bonner, Karen
    In this article, we develop a gendered analysis of the expectations of venture growth by nascent entrepreneurs. Male entrepreneurs are notably overrepresented in the small cohort of firms that attain growth; to explore this phenomenon, we draw upon expectation theory during the nascency period to analyse the antecedents of growth outcomes. To refine this analysis, we factor in risk propensity, measuring the impact of the 2008 financial crisis on fundraising plans. Using UK data gathered between 2002 and 2020 from 5490 nascent entrepreneurs to test our hypotheses, we found that those with the greatest levels of start-up capital and high levels of risk tolerance had the highest expectations of growth and were likely to be male. This small cohort of growth-oriented entrepreneurs was termed `deviant men¿ given their outlier status. Women became more cautious after the crisis, so even those with similar access to start-up capital as the deviant men had lower expectations of growth. We conclude by noting that at the nascency stage, expectations of growth are a critical influence upon future outcomes; a small cohort of deviant men has the highest expectations of growth, with women disadvantaged by gendered risk adversity.
  • Publication
    Talent management in public science funding organizations: institutional logics, paradoxical tensions and HR actor responses
    (Taylor and Francis, 2022-10-26) McCarthy, Alma; Garavan, Thomas; Holland, Denise; Bohle Carbonell, Katerina; Virtanen, Turo; O Kane, Paula; van Wart, Montgomery; Science Foundation Ireland
    Drawing on a study of three public science funding organizations in Ireland, Finland and New Zealand, we investigate the implementation of talent management (TM) through the lens of institutional complexity and paradox theory. Multiple institutional logics and institutional complexity create tensions, which TM actors must respond to and manage. We identify an important interplay of four institutional logics with the dominance of the professional logic acting as a unifying function to respond to tensions in TM implementation. We add to the emerging literature on day-to-day responses to competing institutional logics and public sector TM.
  • Publication
    Academic activism: Pasts, presents and futures of critical publishing
    (Ephemera, 2021) Kenny, Kate
    No abstract available
  • Publication
    Power and politics in public inquiries: Bloody Sunday 1972
    (Routledge, 2021-03-16) Kenny, Kate; Ó Dochartaigh, Niall
    What are the dominant framings by which public inquiries understand and analyze power dynamics in the events they examine? We draw on unique data from the Saville Inquiry into the killing of 13 people by British soldiers at acivil rights demonstration in Northern Ireland in 1972. Juxtaposing an analysis of the actions of senior military figures with the final Inquiry report, we show how an approach of ‘sufficient rationalization’ dominated apublic inquiry’s conclusions, marginalizing and discounting important aspects. Emphasizing the local exercise of power and affective attachments, our article contributes an alternative approach to analyzing public inquiries.
  • Publication
    Whistleblowing advocacy: Solidarity and fascinance
    (SAGE Publications, 2021-10-25) Van Portfliet, Meghan; Kenny, Kate
    What role does difference play in relationships between partners in solidarity? In this article we add to debates on difference-in-solidarity by proposing fascinance as a critical aspect of intersubjective relations in solidarity networks. We build upon extant feminist and affect theory scholarship in doing so. Our novel approach is informed by our analysis of in-depth empirical data from a special case of solidarity – whistleblowing advocacy groups – and by Bracha Ettinger’s concept of the matrixial borderspace. Whistleblower support is a critical factor in enabling disclosures about organisational wrongdoing to come to light. Examining the experiences of workers in advocacy groups, we find that difference-in-solidarity is multi-faceted, compelling compassion while simultaneously generating ambivalence and tendencies towards exclusion. Where such contrary affects are enabled to co-exist, and where boundaries between self and other begin to be troubled, the impetus for people to work towards a common cause is enhanced. Our specific contribution is to add a matrixial perspective to debates on difference-in-solidarity: the concept of fascinance represents a powerful aspect of connection between self and other that is at once elusive, affectively felt, and invokes earlier experiences of interdependency between infant and mother. Our study also provides a unique examination of the difficulties and affordances that can accompany whistleblowing advocacy work.
  • Publication
    The costs and labour of whistleblowing: Bodily vulnerability and post-disclosure survival
    (Springer, 2021-12-27) Kenny, Kate; Fotaki, Marianna; Economic and Social Research Council
    Whistleblowers are a vital means of protecting society because they provide information about serious wrongdoing. And yet, people who speak up can suffer. Even so, debates on whistleblowing focus on compelling employees to come forward, often overlooking the risk involved. Theoretical understanding of whistleblowers’ post-disclosure experience is weak because tangible and material impacts are poorly understood due partly to a lack of empirical detail on the financial costs of speaking out. To address this, we present findings from a novel empirical study surveying whistleblowers. We demonstrate how whistleblowers who leave their role as a result of speaking out can lose both the financial and temporal resources necessary to redevelop their livelihoods post-disclosure. We also show how associated costs involving significant legal and health expenditure can rise. Based on these insights, our first contribution is to present a new conceptual framing of post-disclosure experiences, drawing on feminist theory, that emphasizes the bodily vulnerability of whistleblowers and their families. Our second contribution repositions whistleblowing as a form of labour defending against precarity, which involves new expenses, takes significant time, and often must be carried out with depleted income. Bringing forth the intersubjective aspect of the whistleblowing experience, our study shows how both the post-disclosure survival of whistleblowers, and their capacity to speak, depend on institutional supports or, in their absence, on personal networks. By reconceptualizing post-disclosure experiences in this way—as material, embodied and intersubjective—practical implications for whistleblower advocacy and policy emerge, alongside contributions to theoretical debates. Reversing typical formulations in business ethics, we turn extant debates on the ethical duty of employees to speak up against wrongdoing on their heads. We argue instead for a responsibility to protect whistleblowers exposed to vulnerability, a duty owed by those upon whose behalf they speak.
  • Publication
    The importance of apology to mediation: A mixed-methods study of role, effectiveness and implications for practice
    (Maynooth University, 2021) Curran, Deirdre; Coakley, Alec
    This paper explores the role of apology in the resolution of conflict through mediation. The paper outlines the distinctive features of mediation that contribute to its unique potential to help restore relationships, with apology forming a potentially transformative aspect to this. However, not all apologies are the same and not all apologies are effective. Working from the literature, this article seeks to clarify the characteristics of apology that are likely to make it effective in mediation. A review of the literature also reveals a range of moderating factors that can further impact the effectiveness of apology. Particular attention will be paid to these moderators in considering what contributes to a template of apology effectiveness in the context of mediation. In this study, the first of its kind in an Irish context, empirical data from an online survey of 97 practicing mediators along with in-depth interviews with a sample of 24 organisational mediators is analysed, in relation to five core questions aimed at determining the fundamental nature of apology in mediation. While the mediators who were interviewed operate in the ‘organisational’ context, the mediators we surveyed practice across a range of mediation contexts, including civil, workplace, and family. Therefore the context, in this case, was not controlled. Nonetheless, the analysis yields insights that support the view found in the literature that an apology can, in certain circumstances, be an effective means of transforming the mediation process. A summary of these findings indicates that: (a) Practicing mediators confirm that apology is a prominent feature of mediation, and that the process represents fertile soil for apology. This represents a challenge to the mediator where apology is not forthcoming. (b) Where an apology is forthcoming but hesitant, skilled mediators can act as a conduit of apology between parties. (c) The data also suggests that a high-quality apology, issued spontaneously, can have a transformative effect on the dispute, particularly where the relationship is on-going. The main contribution of this paper lies in its potential to inform mediation practice, by illustrating the potential impact of apology and by offering role guidance to practitioners who wish to facilitate such potential where circumstances allow. The paper also contributes to the literature through insights offered by the research respondents which shed new light on existing themes. Ultimately this research argues that mediation can accommodate apology as a potent means of repairing relationships, and that the mediator can play a key role in this. The paper will make the case for a nuanced, yet structured approach to apology, one that needs to be reflected in mediator training and practice. The case for further research is presented at the end.
  • Publication
    Putting the system back into training and firm performance research: A review and research agenda
    (Wiley, 2021-03-12) Garavan, Thomas N.; McCarthy, Alma; Lai, Yanqing; Clarke, Nicholas; Carbery, Ronan; Gubbins, Claire; Sheehan, Maura; Saunders, Mark N.K.
    Research investigating training and firm performance is currently at an inflection point; capable of recognising previous achievements but also having a focus on the future. Based on our review of 207 quantitative papers over a 40‐year period, we find that the field has converged in terms of theory and methods. Important insights have been generated yet there is scope to better understand the complex, interrelated and dynamic nature of the relationship between training and firm performance. We propose that open systems theory (OST) provides the potential to move the field forward and encourage researchers to investigate interactions and linkages between training and performance components, the role of temporal dynamics in inputs and processes, reverse causality and to broaden conceptualisations of firm performance. We consider six principles of OST, highlight productive avenues for future research and identify methodological challenges and implications.
  • Publication
    How to whistle-blow: Dissensus and demand
    (Springer, 2020-01-22) Kenny, Kate; Bushnell, Alexis; National University of Ireland Galway Millennium Grant
    What makes an external whistleblower effective? Whistleblowers represent an important conduit for dissensus, providing valuable information about ethical breaches and organizational wrongdoing. They often speak out about injustice from a relatively weak position of power, with the aim of changing the status quo. But many external whistleblowers fail in this attempt to make their claims heard and thus secure change. Some can experience severe retaliation and public blacklisting, while others are ignored. This article examines how whistleblowers can succeed in bringing their claims to the public’s attention. We draw on analyses of political struggle by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe. Specifically, we propose that through the raising of a demand, the whistleblowing subject can emerge as part of a chain of equivalences, in a counter-hegemonic movement that challenges the status quo. An analysis of a high-profile case of tax justice whistleblowing-that of Rudolf Elmer-illustrates our argument. Our proposed theoretical framing builds upon and contributes to literature on whistleblowing as organizational parrhesia by demonstrating how parrhesiastic demand might lead to change in public perception through the formation of alliances with other disparate interests—albeit that the process is precarious and complex. Practically, our article illuminates a persistent concern for those engaged in dissensus via whistleblowing, and whose actions are frequently ignored or silenced. We demonstrate how such actions can move towards securing public support in order to make a difference and achieve change.
  • Publication
    Entrepreneurial finance journeys: embeddedness and the finance escalator
    (Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2020-05-19) Murzacheva, Ekaterina; Levie, Jonathan
    This paper re-visits the traditional model of the finance escalator, which outlines alternative financial pathways for entrepreneurs depending on their aspirations and stage of development. Building on social, spatial and institutional embeddedness perspectives, the dynamic and interactional challenges of financial decisions are captured through an exploratory interpretivist approach. Ten early funding journeys of entrepreneurs in Scotland, all of whom sought external funding, were scrutinized with the objective of revealing motivations, reasoning, and patterns behind funding decisions. Surprisingly, these entrepreneurs all initially sought value-added financial capital, but issues including control (perceived as ownership), speed of access, and external environmental pressures caused them to accept offers (often unsolicited) from familiar sources. As a result, a revised finance escalator is proposed. The extent to which these findings are context specific is discussed.
  • Publication
    Training and organisational performance: A meta-analysis of temporal, institutional, and organisational context moderators
    (Wiley, 2020-02-03) Garavan, Thomas; McCarthy, Alma; Lai, Yanqing; Murphy, Kevin; Sheehan, Maura; Carbery, Ronan
    Drawing on systems theory, we conducted a moderated meta-analysis of the training and organisational performance relationship using 119 primary studies. We examined the moderating effects of quality versus quantity of training, time, institutional, and organisational context factors in the relationship between training and organisational performance. Our findings reveal that training is positively and directly related to organisational performance with no statistically significant difference between measures of training quality and quantity. We found that the relationship was stronger overtime, and that country performance orientation and country labour cost moderate the training and organisational performance relationship. We found no evidence for the moderating effects of the three organisational context moderators we examined (i.e., industry sector, organisational size, and technology intensity). Finally, our results reveal that training type (i.e., general or firm-specific) does not moderate the training and organisational performance relationship.
  • Publication
    Early indicators of very long term venture performance: A 20 year panel study
    (Academy of Management, 2020-04-17) Gimmon, Eli; Levie, Jonathan
    This paper discovers early indicators of very long term performance of high technology new ventures (HTNVs). We tracked the progress of a sample of 142 HTNVs founded at the Israeli government s Technology Incubator Program (ITIP) in the 1990s through 2001, 2004, 2010 and 2018. The results demonstrate a surprisingly strong effect of early sales traction, signifying achievement of early product/market fit in a HTNV s earliest years, on long term (a decade) and very long term (two decades) survival, and also on survival-at-scale (i.e. relatively high sales levels). In our sample, HTNVs that made sales in each of their earliest years reduced the hazard of closure, over a 20 year period, by around ninety per cent compared with HTNVs who made no sales in their earliest years. It also significantly increased the chances of survival-at-scale among those HTNVs that survived over the long or very long term. In contrast, the effect of early external investment on survival was positive in the short to medium term but then faded over time. We propose an underlying mechanism that would explain the surprising finding of distal effects of early product/market fit, that builds on imprinting theory, resourcing theory and the concept of market-based assets.
  • Publication
    Thinking critically about affect in organization studies: Why it matters
    (SAGE Publications, 2017-01-06) Fotaki, Marianna; Kenny, Kate; Vachhani, Sheena J.
    Affect holds the promise of destabilizing and unsettling us, as organizational subjects, into new states of being. It can shed light on many aspects of work and organization, with implications both within and beyond organization studies. Affect theory holds the potential to generate exciting new insights for the study of organizations, theoretically, methodologically and politically. This Special Issue seeks to explore these potential trajectories. We are pleased to present five contributions that develop such ideas, drawing on a wide variety of approaches, and invoking new perspectives on the organizations we study and inhabit. As this Special Issue demonstrates, the world of work offers an exciting landscape for studying the â pulsing refrains of affectâ that accompany our lived experiences.
  • Publication
    Whistleblower subjectivities: Organization and passionate attachment
    (SAGE Publications, 2018-12-07) Kenny, Kate; Fotaki, Marianna; Vandekerckhove, Wim
    What is the nature of whistleblower subjectivity? In this article, we depart from current scholarly depictions of this figure as a fearless truth-teller who is fully independent of the organization. We argue for a new framing that sees the self-construction of the whistleblower as infused with passionate attachments to organizational and professional norms, even after one experiences severe reprisals. We base our claims on recently gathered empirical data and draw on Judith Butler to theorize how, contrary to existing understandings, passionate attachments to one’s organization and profession shape whistleblower subjectivity, rather than conscious risk-taking, or autonomous self-reinvention. Our second contribution is to highlight the importance of practical and material supports for this vital figure in society; until now the whistleblower has been idealized as an extraordinary hero rather than a real human in need of assistance. Overall, we propose a new theorization of the whistleblower involving passionate investments in the organization or profession that has cast one out.
  • Publication
    Banking compliance and dependence corruption: towards an attachment perspective
    (Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2015-05-07) Kenny, Kate; Millennium Fund, National University of Ireland Galway
    Why did banking compliance fail so badly in the recent financial crisis and why, according to many, does it continue to do so? Rather than point to the lack of oversight of individuals in bank compliance roles, as many commentators do, in this paper I examine in depth the organizational context that surrounded people in such roles. I focus on those compliance personnel who did speak out about risky practices in their banks, who were forced to escalate the problem and 'whistle-blow' to external parties, and who were punished for doing so. Drawing on recent empirical data from a wider study, I argue that the concept of dependence corruption is useful in this setting, and that it can be extended to encompass interpersonal attachments. This, in turn, problematises the concept of dependence corruption because interpersonal attachments in organisational settings are inevitable. The paper engages with recent debates on whether institutional corruption is an appropriate lens for studying private-sector organisations by arguing for a focus on roles, rather than remaining at the level of institutional fields or individual organisations. Finally, the paper contributes to studies on banking compliance in the context of the recent crisis; without a deeper understanding of those who were forced to extremes to simply do their jobs, reform of the banking sector will prove difficult.
  • Publication
    Organizational form and pro-social fantasy in social enterprise creation
    (SAGE Publications, 2019-03-11) Kenny, Kate; Haugh, Helen; Fotaki, Marianna; Isaac Newton Trust; Edmond de Rothchild Foundations
    Why do social entrepreneurs retain their faith in social entrepreneurship despite the organizational tensions and anxieties inherent to this field of practice? In this article, we employ the psychoanalytic concept of fantasy to advance knowledge on social enterprise creation. The research analyses qualitative data relating to the adoption of the Community Interest Company, a bespoke organizational form for social enterprise. We argue that social entrepreneurs adopt a specific organizational form because it represents a fantasmatic object that supports their desire for pro-social work. This fantasmatic form appears to temporarily neutralize tensions and anxieties while preserving attachments to pro-social ideals. Our first contribution is to extant research on the role of fantasy in social enterprise. Specifically, we elucidate how social enterprise creation is riven with fantasy-laden attachments to ideals of pro-social work that promise to counteract concerns about future viability as well as competing social and for-profit missions. Our second contribution is to highlight the role that organizational form choice plays in effectively managing such tensions and anxieties as it provides a robust anchor for pro-social desires. Fantasmatic attachments to pro-social work and organizational form thus emerge as integral to social enterprise creation.
  • Publication
    Gender gaps and reentry into entrepreneurial ecosystems after business failure
    (Springer Verlag, 2018-02-09) Simmons, Sharon A.; Wiklund, Johan; Levie, Jonathan; Bradley, Steve W.; Sunny, Sanwar A.
    Despite the significant role played by serial entrepreneurs in the entrepreneurial process, we know little about group differences in reentry decisions after business failure. Using an ecosystems framework and stigma theory, we investigate the variance in gender gaps related to the reentry decisions of 8,171 entrepreneurs from 35 countries who experienced business failures. We find evidence of persisting gender gaps that vary across ecosystem framework conditions of public stigma of business failure and public fear of business failure. Our findings shed new light on ecosystem inefficiencies that arise from multiple interactions between entrepreneurs and institutions.
  • Publication
    Market-driven entrepreneurship and institutions
    (Elsevier, 2019-03-21) Ali, Abdul; Kelley, Donna J.; Levie, Jonathan
    This research seeks to explain how particular conditions in the external environment are associated with market-driven entrepreneurship—more specifically, startup or early-stage business activity that addresses opportunities in the market (opportunity-driven entrepreneurship), and that which offers unique and novel products or services to customers (innovative entrepreneurship). We further acknowledge that environmental conditions can also affect existing organizations, and thereby identify a third form of entrepreneurial activity: corporate entrepreneurship. Analyses of 44 economies show that economies with basic institutional conditions (structures and rules that govern business activity), and efficiently functioning markets, have high rates of both innovative entrepreneurship and corporate entrepreneurship. However, external contexts that foster innovation are negatively linked to both opportunity-driven and innovative entrepreneurship, while exhibiting a positive association with corporate entrepreneurship.
  • Publication
    Doubly disadvantaged: Gender, spatially concentrated deprivation and nascent entrepreneurial activity
    (Wiley, 2019-12-02) Murzacheva, Ekaterina; Sahasranamam, Sreevas; Levie, Jonathan
    Drawing on human capital, intersectionality and mixed embeddedness theory, we test hypotheses on the relationship between gender differences in human capital and gender differences in nascent entrepreneurial activity across geographical space, and the moderating effect of spatially concentrated deprivation on this relationship. Using UK data from Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, we find that the disadvantaged position of female nascent entrepreneurs arises from social exclusion, and specifically that the gender differences in nascent entrepreneurial activity are directly related to differences in general and specific human capital across locales.Moreover, in deprived locations, women as a group do not gain from any human capital advantage they might have over men, causing a double disadvantage for women. Our results make a novel contribution to the literature on disadvantage entrepreneurship, and we discuss policy options to tackle double disadvantage in deprived locales.