Journal of Management Inquiry

Published by SAGE Publications
Online ISSN: 1056-4926
Publications
Article
The current study focuses on organizational bathroom graffiti in an urban coffee house, proposing that this form of communication forms constitutes an alternative public sphere for expressive and political voices. Public bathroom graffiti is interesting due to its unique spatial and textual affordances. In particular, anonymity of such spaces promotes voice and dialogue while insulating actors from social conformity pressures. This discursive relation to space produces dense and polyphonic communicative acts, allowing authors to tackle important social and organizational questions, engage in self-conscious reflection, and express taboo emotions. A 3-year study of organizational graffiti is presented, followed by a description of how the graffiti studies composed an expressive political space within the organization. Implications of the graffiti included the decentralized production of organizational voices, the problematizing of the notions of public and private, and the possibilities of political expression within organizational spaces.
 
Article
Corporate scandals, reflected in excessive management compensation and fraudulent accounts, cause considerable damage. Agency theory’s insistence on linking the compensation of managers and directors as closely as possible to firm performance is a major reason for these scandals. They cannot be overcome by improving variable pay for performance, as selfish extrinsic motivation is reinforced. Based on the common pool approach to the firm, institutions are proposed which serve to raise intrinsically motivated corporate virtue. More importance is to be attributed to fixed pay and strengthening the legitimacy of authorities by procedural fairness, relational contracts and organizational citizenship behavior.
 
Article
Peer Reviewed http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/68533/2/10.1177_105649269981007.pdf
 
Article
Management theory has been heavily influenced by Simon’s concept of bounded rationality, so much so that bounded rationality has become a first principle in many modern theories of management and organization. But this influence has come at a price. It has devolved into a view of managers as “small brains” myopically trapped in local environments. We take issue with small-brained management theory, and argue that the time is ripe to refashion the microfoundations of managerial cognition into a “big-brained” alternative.
 
Article
This article explores the notion of management as an acoustic phenomenon and approaches this through examining musical performance, especially how symphony orchestra musicians develop musicianship, achieve ensemble, and work together in relationship with the conductor. We explore these ideas under the rubric of “managing musically” and offer as a comparison Captain Holly Graf being relieved of her position commanding the U.S.S. Cowpens. Managing musically implies becoming sensitized to gestural nuances within the environment and among team members.
 
Article
The extent of the divide between management research and practice is now widely accepted but debate persists about the desirability and feasibility of attempting to bridge the divide. This article introduces an individual-level perspective to this literature by asking, how is a management academic’s identity affected by sustained engagement with management practitioners? Using autoethnographic methods, I identify the intense identity conflict that an academic can experience as he or she seeks to cross the research–practice divide. I develop an identity narrative to explain how I experienced and ultimately reconciled my conflicting work identities. I identify the factors that can create and exacerbate identity conflict, examine the experience of identity conflict, and suggest tactics for resolving identity conflict. I consider the broader implications of this autoethnography for our understanding of the research–practice divide and offer some final reflections to encourage management scholars who seek to cross this divide.
 
Article
Beautiful action in organizations comes from exceptional craft skill and focuses us on exceptional management skill. Beautiful management action tends to be particular and local—It may only be experienced by a single person within the organization. I call such small moments “little beauties” and offers three examples from a small organization. I conclude that little beauties provide a way to find and inquire into instances of exceptional craft skill and thus offer a Positive Organizational Scholarship approach to practice.
 
Things-in-relation in The Wire 
The ethos of the West Side gang 
Ethos after Barksdale's incarceration 
Article
Analysis of institutional work is habitually complicated by the need to combine agentic and structural features. Drawing on the work of Gregory Bateson, the authors suggest that such complications emerge from an error in epistemology whereby the stability and “it-ness” of things is presupposed. As an alternative, they develop a processual analysis that considers the flexibility of adaptation in relational patterns. Here, institutional phenomena are not stable but characterized by regenerative and degenerative cycles of influence that afford or restrict room for maneuver without classifying them “as” something. The authors explicate this by drawing on empirical material covered in the HBO TV series The Wire.
 
Article
The article describes my experience related to entering academic administration following more than 20 years as a full-time faculty member. The use of a daily journal was employed to capture the events, reactions, outcomes, both positive and negative, associated with 7 years in administration. I continued the journal process following my return to faculty and, therefore, was able to identify the transitions entering administration as well as coming back to full-time teaching. I discuss the learning that emerged, including the political challenges, student contributions, faculty resistance, strategies in resolving differences, and lessons in understanding the administrative role. In addition, I discuss the struggles I encountered when returning to the classroom—The shift in responsibility was abrupt and took, unexpectedly, time to adjust to the rigors of full-time teaching. I conclude by sharing with readers my reflections for those interested in pursuing an administrative role.
 
Article
The contemporary business organization functions in a global economy operating in multiple country environments and with competitive advantage based largely on the ability to develop and manage knowledge. In this interview, Nigel Holden, a prominent expert and contributor to both cross-cultural management and knowledge management, explores his current views of the relationship between the two in the modern multinational company. Calling for a move beyond what he characterizes as a superficial approach for developing a global perspective in Western business education, he focuses on the “art” of cocreating a common cognitive and emotional ground to facilitate sharing of knowledge between individuals and in networks with different cultures in different contexts. In this, he explores the role of tacit knowledge and, particularly, language itself as a knowledge management metaphor and an influence on knowledge transfer. Finally, he elaborates on the challenge of enabling knowledge flows across cultural barriers in international firms.
 
The Coordination Dynamic Diagram
Article
This case study presents reflections on a research intervention conducted at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The subject was the practice of administration. Its objective became to understand its “wicked problems” and to create action principles. It was an analytical research effort as well as a learning intervention. Wicked problems are those that have a large impact on an organization's functioning and that persist regardless of numerous efforts to remedy them. They are characterized both by content and process complexity and are by no means exclusive to the Ministry. This paper focuses not so much on the content of the wicked problems, but on the intervention process which is described from beginning to end. Special attention is paid to intervention paradoxes. At the end of the paper we reflect on different ways to `defixate' intervention progress that seem relevant when dealing with wicked problems.
 
Article
Margaret J. Wheatley's (1992) Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World offered a practical and hopeful perspective of leaders in a chaotic world. Excerpts of interviews with Wheatley in 2003 and 2004 are presented. The monolithic, one-size-fits-all theory of leadership that is a result of globalization and the primacy of the American management model must be broken. It doesn't work anywhere, it doesn't work in the US. Emergence is a self-organizing process for taking local actions to achieve global impact. In nature, change never happens as a result of top-down, preconceived strategic plans or from the mandate of any single individual or boss. Change begins as local actions spring to life simultaneously around the system. She has seen firsthand a number of young leaders who are working in the most difficult parts of the world pioneering new forms of leadership in places like Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Croatia.
 
Article
The events of September 11, 2001, unified our nation. But how long can this unity last? I examine the dynamics of the national shift between individualism (me) and communalism (we) on the heels of September 11 through comparison with analogous patterns in interorganizational behavior. Based on these patterns, I conclude that, despite the severity of the crisis, the United States will again return to business as usual.
 
Basic process by which visionary ambiguity influences strategic change  
Article
Can ambiguous vision statements help to initiate strategic change? We draw on organizational and political concepts to make the case that ambiguity in the expression of future aspirations enables a sense of alignment between local and larger organizational goals that eases the political path to successful change. We also explore the paradox that, occasionally, the path out of ambiguity involves the initial injection of even more ambiguity into an already ambiguous situation. In addition, we demonstrate that consideration of a practical problem (how to effectively initiate strategic change) and a nonobvious recommendation (to employ an intentionally ambiguous vision) leads to a deeper exploration of key processes involved in the revision of personal and organizational knowledge.
 
Authoring, translation, and interpretation of strategy within the various situated contexts of the organization
Article
This paper shows how ambiguity arises across multiple strategizing activities through the presence of multiple strategic actors within and across different strategizing phases. During the authoring phase, the intentionality of the different management actor voices becomes detached from the meaning expressed in the strategy text, resulting in a decontextualized, monovocal strategy paper. In the translation phase, the study shows how the text still possesses an inherent multivocality making it impossible to talk about strategy text as an atemporal, neutral object. In the phase of interpreting the strategy, three main rhetorical positions are identified among the employees:acceptance, ambiguity and rejection, representing the multivocal interpretations of the employees interviewed. The study contributes to the ongoing discussion about the challenges and potentials of the multivocal, multicontextual nature of strategizing in organizations.
 
Creating a Cultural Anomaly for the Institutional Order 
Worst Oil Spills in World History by Volume 
Competing Logics and Conflicting Positions on the Natural Environment 
Article
This paper argues that the BP Oil Spill is, potentially, a "cultural anomaly" for institutional changes in environmental management and fossil fuel production. The problem as defined by the spill’s context, the potential solutions provided by the competing logics in that context, and the selection of problem-solution bundles through the fortuitous timing of events and more calculative efforts of institutional entrepreneurs within that context have come close to acting as a catalyst for deeper change; but not quite. For reasons we discuss, true change in our approach to handling issues related to oil drilling, oil consumption and environmental management have yet to occur.
 
The pathology of organizational insomnia: three clinical types
Article
In this article, the authors discuss critically the use of “anthropomorphic” metaphors in organization studies (e.g., organizational knowledge, learning, and memory). They argue that, although these metaphors are potentially powerful, because of frequent usage they are at risk of becoming taken for granted and contextually disconnected from their source domain, the human mind. To unleash the heuristic potential of such metaphors, it is necessary to take into account the inherent dynamics and bidirectionality of metaphorical language use. Therefore, the authors propose a methodology for the context-sensitive use of metaphors in organization studies. They illustrate this approach by developing the new metaphor of organizational insomnia, which is informed by recent neuroscientific research on human sleep and its disruptions. The insomnia metaphor provides an alternative way of explaining deficits in organizational knowledge, learning, and memory, which originate in a state of permanent restlessness.
 
Article
Answering Stephen Barley's call for academic research on the role of corporations in democratic societies, the authors convened a Professional Development Workshop at the 2007 Academy of Management annual meeting in Philadelphia. The ideas presented in this workshop are summarized in the following articles. In this introduction, the authors review some key points from the presentations delivered and highlight some theoretical orientations and questions that can guide future empirical analysis in this important and exciting domain.
 
Article
This study argues that the rationality behind strategic decisions, which is characterized as expressive, social, or instrumental rational, has to be aligned with the argumentation field of the decision, which is characterized as subjective, intersubjective, or objective. A multiple case study illustrates this proposition while exploring rationality in the mainly instrumental rational debate on the expansion of Heathrow, the social rational debate on extension of Gurkha rights and the expressive rational debate on the hijab in Britain. Stakeholder arguments that realize good alignment with the related argumentation field have a substantial influence on strategic decisions. Managers and policy makers who do not realize this field fit well have to adapt their decisions, or cannot execute them. The cases illustrate the effects of this alignment strategy, in argumentation that mirrors the rationality of opponents, and in a strategy that reframes the assumed fit between the rationality and the related argumentation field.
 
Article
Leading theorists of the resource-based view (RBV) of the firm have argued that corporate reputation is an intangible resource for organizations. Despite this, there remains precious little research that documents how organizations manage their corporate reputations. This article presents a case study of Australia's most successful charity, The Salvation Army, and asks how it maintained an exemplary reputation despite allegations of sexual, mental, and physical abuse from children in its care during the period from the 1950s to 1970s? A strategy of narrative deconstruction is employed to make the argument that there are powerful underlying themes in The Salvation Army's narrative that protect the organization from reputational attack. It is argued that this narrative approach opens a new avenue for studying and understanding corporate reputations. A model of reputation management in The Salvation Army is developed from this analysis.
 
Article
This article is an autoethnographic perspective on innovative management practice in the U.K. business school context. Business schools, in general, have long been criticized for their “formulaic” and “irrelevant” approach to management education. The authors take the position that the alternative model of management education that addresses the criticisms of business schools is the practice-based model, most well articulated by Mintzberg. This practice-based view formed the basis of a new vision for their case study organization (a leading U.K. business school) that they set out to embed in the organization and its space through the use of wall art. Recognizing the role played by art, design, and creativity in management, the authors reflect on their use of wall art as part of an approach to embedding a new business school vision, offering the lessons that can be drawn for further application of this practice within other business school contexts.
 
Article
This work highlights the experiences of the founder of a well-known publishing company and the revelations he had in this journey with the specific context of India, challenges he faced, his vision, business model, and his philosophy of management. These life experiences can inspire budding managers and entrepreneurs.
 
Article
This article represents a synthesis and rejoinder to the response articles by Ashkanasy, Cropanzano and Becker, and McLagan (this issue). First, I remind the readers of the key points I raised in the originating article (this issue), followed by clarifications on where respondents misunderstood my intentions and arguments. Third, I will synthesize the respondents’ main arguments by way of highlighting both converging and diverging perspectives on my critique. Finally, I conclude the article with some thoughts and suggestions for the future development of the debate.
 
Article
Using a psychodynamic perspective on intergroup relations, it is suggested that in-groups create enemy out-groups to avoid dealing with internally generated, emotionally laden issues—the group shadow—that exist within the in-group. In-groups develop an exaggerated view of themselves—the social mask—to sustain an illusion of harmony, homogeneity, and cohesiveness by which they can avert the group shadow. Using a specific consulting-client example, intergroup mirroring is discussed as a method by which in-groups can acknowledge ownership of their social masks and projected shadows. It is proposed that bringing both the group shadow and masking into consciousness fosters reparation within and between groups.
 
Article
This article was published in the Journal of Management Inquiry and the definitive version is available at: http://jmi.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/18/3/229 Based on data generated in autoethnographic conversations between the three authors, in this article we critique the prevailing metaphor of work/life balance. We offer instead a conceptualisation of the relationship between work and non-work aspects of life which is more dynamic, less reductionist and in which emotions, as well as issues of autonomy, control and identity are integral features. These conversations elucidate home and work realms not as reified entities, but rather as elastic constructions reinforced and also at times changed and re-drawn in the course of our interaction. Accepted for publication
 
Article
Scientists and academics increasingly work on collaborative projects and write papers in international research teams. This trend is driven by greater publishing demands in terms of the quality and breadth of data and analysis methods, which tend to be difficult to achieve without collaborating across institutional and national boundaries. Yet, our understanding of the collaborative processes in an academic setting and the potential tensions associated with them remains limited. We use a reflexive, autoethnographic approach to explicitly investigate our own experiences of international collaborative research. We offer systematic insights into the social and intellectual processes of academic collaborative writing, identifying six lessons and two key tensions that influence the success of international research teams. Our findings may benefit the formation of future coauthor teams, the preparation of research proposals, and the development of PhD curricula.
 
Article
Research universities and faculty face challenges to the very foundations of their legitimacy. Although many factors contribute to these strains, we focus on the organization and culture of universities to suggest that academicians need to rethink their age-old organizing norms to avoid outside pressures for more bureaucratic control that ostensibly seeks to improve institutional efficiency and responsiveness. We contend that these pressures, which are not beneficial for scholars, can only be avoided by opening universities to a wider range of stakeholders and by adopting more collaborative organizational practices. We offer a few reasonable suggestions for such changes.
 
Article
In the September 2003 issue, Meckler and Baillie correctly argued that social constructionists need not deny the importance of truth or objectivity. This comment probes their understanding of those two concepts. The view that truth entails correspondence with the facts, although not false, is not helpful. Our understanding of truth must be able to encompass the truth of normative claims and counterfactuals and of “deeper” truths. Meckler and Baillie’s view that an objective statement is one that is independent of our beliefs is also challenged. All statements depend on our beliefs but these beliefs are themselves more or less plausible and self-evident. An objective statement can thus be understood as one whose background conditions are viewed as reasonable or self-evident. Various implications follow: Objectivity is a matter of degree, and one can reasonably speak of the objectivity of our norms as much as the objectivity of our fact claims.
 
Article
This article describes how institutions get infused with competing logics and analyzes how such competing logics might aid the design of contemporary organizations. It does so by exploring the contrasting views of American founders Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson on the issues they confronted in the years leading up to and after the United States' independence from the British. Their views have had a lasting influence on the character and efficacy of the U.S. government. Although Hamilton and Jefferson contemplated issues related to the governance of the United States, the authors argue that their writings offer insights that can be useful to students of organizational design. They identify four influential ideas from the writings of Hamilton and Jefferson and discuss their implications for organizational design.
 
Article
In this article, we study one organization that played a pivotal role in the Cambodian genocide of the 1970s: the S-21 extermination center. We analyze, in particular, how processes of sociomateriality in the death camp contributed to create order and normalcy in an extreme and abnormal organization. A more nuanced view of agency ensues from this analysis, one that helps the understanding of how the creation of material spaces critically influences organizing, including the organizing of genocide.
 
Article
Driven by intense needs for power and prestige, narcissists all too frequently are to be found in leadership positions. Drawing on the dichotomy outlined in the literature that some narcissistic leaders are “constructive” (helpful) whereas others are “reactive” (unhelpful) to their organizations, I offer a new approach by reframing the debate and arguing that, at different times, a single individual may be both constructive and reactive. I draw on concepts from psychoanalysis in this formulation. I also argue that a downturn in the environment is the key factor that may lever a constructive narcissistic leader to become reactive. I use the example of Dick Fuld—whose leadership at Lehman Brothers was at the eye of the 2008 credit crisis storm—to illustrate this. A key implication is that constructive narcissistic leaders may be incubating problems that only become manifest at a later stage.
 
Article
This essay invites you to entertain the possibility that our current ideas about the human mind and its supposed limitations may themselves be limited. What if organizational realities were more malleable than we believe? What if organizational members could alter their physical surroundings even just occasionally through focused mental attention? We review evidence from numerous fields suggesting that the human mind may be capable of affecting physical reality from a distance and into the past and the future. Although not all studies have provided universal support, the evidence for the impact of focused mental attention is sufficiently compelling and the potential implications sufficiently important that we believe it is time to explicitly examine the organizational implications of the power of the human mind.
 
Article
In this essay, we reflect on the contributions to this dialogue. We focus on highlighting opportunities for deepening our understanding of cultural phenomena and institutions through work on the border between the two theories. Two avenues are promising: deepening our understandings of process in order to better explain cultural and institutional dynamics and attending to (surprising) levels of analysis such as local institutions and global cultures. The contributors to this dialogue have provided examples of the potential benefits gained through work at the borders of organizational culture and institutional theory, and in so doing have begun to answer some of the questions that instigated this exchange, suggesting paths forward, and we hope, instigating exchange.
 
Article
Christian De Cock's article contributes to organization studies by exploring the usefulness of a postmodern perspective for understanding the dynamics, and especially the frequent failure, of Total Quality Management (TQM) and Business Process Re-engineering (BPR). In this article, the authors extend his argument by exploring two theoretical questions that we feel are confused in his paper: (a) what can postmodernism tell us about the dynamics of TQM/BPR; and (b) what role do power and politics play in TQM/BPR and how can critical theory be used in their analysis. The authors conclude with a discussion of the role of postmodernism and critical theory in organization and management studies more generally.
 
Article
Stakeholder theory tends to focus on basic business assumptions, assigning simple roles to stakeholders and relying on a separation thesis (the idea that business and ethics can be separated).The role of the stakeholder in business relationships is reconsidered, choosing to focus on understanding and recognizing the challenges encountered by entrepreneurs.The current trends regarding stakeholder theory are presented, including the intensive focus on this theory by business scholars rather than business practitioners.A case study is provided that exemplifies the proposed names-and-faces approach, discussing the implications of said example. Based on this conceptualized names-and-faces approach, it is argued that, by recognizing stakeholders as individuals with moral worth, firms can better develop distinctive strategies that are novel, entrepreneurial, and hard to replicate.The incorporation of this approach requires firms to focus on entrepreneurial value creation, strategic decision making, and individual relationships. Also discussed is mass customization (techniques that treat customers as individuals), a concept that influenced the names-and-faces approach.Limitations of the names-and-faces approach are presented, including the argument that studying and implementing this approach is difficult due to uncontrollable variables both within the firm and within the individual stakeholder.Future research directions for stakeholder theory are discussed. (AKP)
 
Article
This article examines the workplace bullying literature through different paradigmatic lenses. To date, the workplace bullying literature has been dominated by the functionalist perspective, which currently represents the pervading paradigmatic approach in organizational research. The author destabilizes the functionalist approach by examining the workplace bullying literature through three alternative paradigms, namely, interpretivism, critical management theory, and postmodernism. This provides an illustration of the different ways in which workplace bullying can be perceived, understood, and researched. Moreover, because alternative paradigmatic lenses draw upon varying theoretical and methodological approaches, paradigmatic analysis can offer a more complete and comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon. The author uses these lenses to ground workplace bullying in paradigmatically driven theoretical frameworks, while using these theoretical frameworks to propose research questions that can direct us toward gaining a more composite body of scholarship.
 
Article
Critics have characterized academic research as being of little practical or commercial value. Such criticism of scholarly research, as opposed to applied research, resonates with detractors who do not appreciate the evolving role of business schools in providing foundational research. The authors contend that scholarly research helps develop knowledge in fields such as strategic management, enhances the value of later applied research, and provides content for courses. Not all research is of high quality, however, so the evaluation of research is critical. The authors examine several considerations for evaluation, such as journal rankings, interdisciplinary evaluation, and breadth of approach.
 
Article
The growth of international business calls for the development of universal ethical standards. Corporate and national cultures embody differing codes of conduct. Serious ethical lapses have damaged organizations and societies. Various international groups of business leaders are developing voluntary ethical standards. Citizen activism may be needed to ensure implementation and compliance with such standards.
 
The articles included in the analysis 
Main topics in media texts 
Article
In this article, the authors explore media coverage of a recent acquisition across national borders. Their starting point is that the media represent a key arena of “discursive strategizing” for actors such as corporate managers. They illustrate and specify how global capitalism, as discourse relying on economic and financial rationale and exemplified here by the acquiring firm’s attempts to expand, meets national spirit, exemplified here by the complexity in selling the acquisition target to foreigners. The main contribution of this study lies in identifying how key actors draw on and mobilize rationalistic and nationalistic discourses in public discussion. The analysis illustrates that the same actors can draw on different—even contradictory—discourses at different points in time. Furthermore, different actors—even with opposing objectives—may draw on the same discourse in legitimizing their positions and pursuing specific ends.
 
Article
A basic assumption of the peer-review process adopted by journals is that referees and authors are similarly knowledgeable about the topics concerned. Given the difficulty of finding qualified referees, this assumption is likely to be violated if the author is a top scholar of the topic and thus has few peers. The peer-review process then breaks down and fails to provide quality comments. Worse still, the submission may be erroneously rejected. Drawing on my experience of submitting philosophy-based papers to business journals, I propose a special review process for improvement.
 
Article
Chaos and complexity theory, as developed in mathematics and the natural sciences, has led to major new advances in the understanding of natural phenomena that previously were considered too complex or unpatterned to comprehend. These advances have been slow to filter into organization science. A concerted effort to overcome the built-in inertia and insulation of organization science is needed. Such efforts include investment in new learning-by gatekeepers and a strengthening of ties to the natural sciences. If these efforts are not pursued, organization science will remain scientifically backward and largely irrelevant to the real organizational world.
 
Article
Forty-one women have become president or prime minister of their country in the past four decades, more than 60% of whom have come to office in the last 8 years. What are these women bringing to the word's most influential roles of both political and business leadership? In which ways do their paths to power and styles of leadership bode well for the 21st century? In which ways do the women simply replicate the patterns of 20th century leadership most frequently exhibited by men? This article, told through the experience of Charity Ngilu, the first woman to run for the presidency of Kenya, highlights some of the emerging trends in global leadership as women increasingly assume the most senior positions in the leadership of countries and companies.
 
Article
A defining characteristic of an entrepreneurial venture is its motivation to grow (Schumpeter, 1954). Such motivation is usually fueled by the desire of entrepreneurs to improve venture performance, as well as by the excitement of associating with a growing entrepreneurial venture. Broadly speaking, several strategic alternatives are available for entrepreneurial firms.
 
Article
Literature on organizational learning (OL) lacks an integrative framework that captures the emotions involved as OL proceeds. Drawing on personal construct theory, we suggest that organizations learn where their members reconstrue meaning around questions of strategic significance for the organization. In this 5-year study of an electronics company, we explore the way in which emotions change as members perceive progress or a lack of progress around strategic themes. Our framework also takes into account whether OL involves experiences that are familiar or unfamiliar and the implications for emotions. We detected similar patterns of emotion arising over time for three different themes in our data, thereby adding to OL perspectives that are predominantly cognitive in orientation.
 
Article
This article presents a phenomenological inquiry into storytelling practices in corporate strategy-making processes, as experienced by nonsenior stakeholders. The authors utilize the potential of phenomenological methods to provide an enriched understanding of strategy as lived, embodied experience. Based on a strategy workshop in a company called ICARUS Inc., a large, international information technology corporation facing the challenge of reinventing itself after a period of considerable success, the authors identify three embodied narrative practices enacted during that workshop event: (a) discursive struggles over “hot” words, (b) the de-sacralization of strategy, and (c) recurring rituals of self-sacrifice. The article critically analyzes these practices in reference to recent research on strategy as a lived and narrated experience and discusses their implications as well as the implications of the workshop itself. Overall, the article aims at providing theoretical as well as methodological contribution for narrative practices of strategy in organizational lifeworlds.
 
Article
The “Reflections on Experience” section of the June 2009 issue of the Journal of Management Inquiry contained six articles examining the challenges associated with contemporary university governance and called for new theory and approaches. In this article, we respond by reporting one university’s innovative governance design that provides an imaginative alternative to the traditional bicameral model of the board of trustees (or governing board) and administration, and the faculty senate. Its collaborative model utilizes intermediate-sized, competency-based, and representative joint policy committees as the central means of formulating strategy. Outcomes of this alternative approach include greater trust, better and more timely decisions, and a reduction in intraorganizational conflict. We conclude that the approach merits attention as an alternative to the bicameral model and that management studies can help improve higher education governance research and practice.
 
Top-cited authors
Dennis Duchon
  • University of Nebraska at Lincoln
Donde Plowman
  • University of Nebraska at Lincoln
Thomas B Lawrence
  • University of Oxford
Dvora Yanow
  • Wageningen University & Research
S. D. Noam Cook
  • San Jose State University