Ann Langley

Ann Langley
HEC Montréal - École des Hautes Études commerciales | HEC Montreal · Department of Management

Ph.D. HEC Montréal

About

74
Publications
32,940
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4,958
Citations
Introduction
Ann Langley's research deals with strategic management processes and practices, with special emphasis on organizational change, decision making, leadership and identity in pluralistic settings. She has a particular interest in qualitative research methods. She is coeditor of the journal Strategic Organization, and was Professor at HEC Montréal until August 2020 (now retired).

Publications

Publications (74)
Article
Time and temporality are central to strategy and strategic management. Yet, relatively little attention has been paid to what organizational members do to shape temporal phenomena that are important for strategic outcomes. In this essay, we define temporal work as any individual, collective, or organizational effort to influence, sustain or redirec...
Chapter
Time and history have emerged as prominent subjects of interest in organization studies. This volume stands testament to the recent foregrounding of time and history as focal objects of organizational study and scholarship. The precise relationship of temporality and history to processes of change remains under-theorized, and we lack a coherent set...
Article
Qualitative methods have played and are likely to continue to play an important role in scholarship on organizational development and change. One key data source dominates all others, however, in the qualitative lexicon: the one-on-one interview. This has become so common as to seem almost banal and taken for granted. And yet, the interview is actu...
Article
This inductive study explores how place influences collective sensemaking and employee responses during organizational change. The empirical setting of our study is an offshore oil platform undergoing changes that involve standardizing operational practices and relocating personnel as two organizations merge. We analyze the narratives of two employ...
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The concepts of strategy (what we do or plan to do) and organizational identity (who we think we are) are deeply intertwined. Yet there is surprisingly little research that directly addresses their relationship. In this essay, we discuss the concepts of alignment and fit as central to the organizational identity and strategy literatures, respective...
Article
Collective leadership arrangements in which two people jointly occupy a shared leadership role space are often thought to enable the bridging of competing demands and sources of expertise and legitimacy in pluralistic settings where multiple institutional logics coexist. This research investigates 20 co-leadership dyads in health care organizations...
Chapter
Institutions—the taken-for-granted structures, practices, and meanings that define what people and organizations within their jurisdiction think, do, and aspire to—are all about process, even though this may not always have been evident in some of the institutional theory literature. In this introduction, the editors call for a strong process appro...
Article
The challenges of managing interprofessional boundaries within multidisciplinary teams are well known. However, the role of intraprofessional relations in influencing the dynamics of interprofessional collaboration remain underexplored. Our qualitative study offers a fine-grained analysis of the interplay between inter- and intraprofessional bounda...
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In this chapter, the authors discuss how visual artifacts may support the analysis and interpretation of qualitative data in organization studies. They draws on their own experience as well as other scholars’ published work to explore the distinctive affordances of visual forms. In particular, the authors identify four roles – namely “mapping,” “an...
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This chapter examines existing approaches to conducting qualitative process research (i.e., studies that view phenomena as becoming or evolving over time) by analyzing published process research in six premier organizational journals from 2010 to 2017. We identify four modes of performing process research that we label evolutionary process stories,...
Article
The construction of “strategic coherence,” defined as the development of a system of mutually compatible meanings among organization members about desirable organizational directions, is clearly a crucial issue for organizations. Yet, how to achieve it is in part an open question. While previous studies have considered how strategic coherence may e...
Chapter
While co-leadership, defined as a situation in which two people share leadership roles, may seem improbable because of the possibilities for conflict and organizational difficulties, it exists in many contexts and has proven successful. In this chapter, we define the phenomenon, outline where it is likely to occur and why, describe the configuratio...
Article
We examine how professions responded to a potential change in jurisdictional boundaries by analyzing the written submissions of five professional associations in reaction to a government proposal to strengthen interprofessional collaboration, relating these responses to the professions’ field positions. We identify four foci for framing used by the...
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This chapter examines the foci, resources and mechanisms of leadership in professional service firms, a context where traditional conceptions of leadership and followership are problematic given the importance of individual autonomy to knowledge-based work. We argue that leadership in professional service firms is, above all, a process of interacti...
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Organizational performance is an important concept in strategy research. In this paper, we interrogate the predominant focus on organizational performance as an aggregate organizational-level dependent variable and review three ways in which its role might be fruitfully reconsidered: (1) broadening consideration of performance to more disaggregated...
Article
Tout comme d’autres organisations de type professionnel, les organisations de santé et de services sociaux recherchent des moyens d’intégrer les préoccupations professionnelles dans les préoccupations de gestion afin d’offrir de meilleurs services. La cogestion est un des moyens récemment introduits dans plusieurs organisations au Québec. Cet artic...
Article
This paper proposes that boundary work is inherent to leadership practices in healthcare settings, and explores this phenomenon in interprofessional healthcare teams. Specifically, the study focuses on leading through and across boundaries in four interprofessional healthcare teams operating in the area of mental health services. We give special co...
Article
While the communications and strategy literatures have suggested that ambiguity embedded in texts such as strategic plans many enable the accommodation of divergent perspectives and contribute to building consensus and commitment, little is known about the consequences of such ambiguity for the consumption of strategy discourse or for the enactment...
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This paper reviews the literature on forms of leadership that in one way or other imply plurality: that is, the combined influence of multiple leaders in specific organizational situations. We identify four streams of scholarship on plural leadership, each focusing on somewhat different phenomena and adopting different epistemological and methodolo...
Article
Mergers as a type of organizational change call attention to questions of identity. In this article, the authors ask: How do people collectively reconstitute their group identities for themselves and others, and in particular, how do they renegotiate understandings of sameness and difference called into question by merging? The authors draw on qual...
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Purpose – Previous work on paradox and contradiction has argued for management approaches that transcend dilemmas through a kind of creative synthesis. The purpose of this paper is to investigate empirically how change leaders’ efforts to transcend contradictions emerge, evolve and contribute to organizational change. Design/methodology/approach –...
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This paper aims to draw attention to the social and micropolitical dimensions of attempting to implement improvements within healthcare organisations. It is argued that quality improvement initiatives, like other forms of organisational innovation, will fail unless they are conceived and implemented in such a way as to take into account the pattern...
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This paper examines an organizational pathology that we label "escalating indecision"—where people find themselves driven to invest time and energy in activities and decision processes aimed at resolving an issue of common concern, but where closure appears elusive. The phenomenon is illustrated through a case history in which a strategic orientati...
Article
The relatively recent attention that evidence-based decision making has received in health care management has been at least in part due to the profound influence of evidence-based medicine. The result has been several comparisons in the literature between the use of evidence in health care management decisions and the use of evidence in medical de...
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The article examines various healthcare systems reform projects in Canada and some Canadian provinces and reveals some tendencies in governance renewal. The analisis is based on the hypothesis that reform is an exercise aiming at the renewal of governance conception and practices. In renewing governance, reform leaders hope to use adequate and effe...
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This article examines the practice of leadership in organizations characterized by ambiguous authority relationships. Drawing on three empirical case studies illustrative of a long-term research program on change in health care organizations, we examine leadership as a practical activity focusing particularly on its dynamic, collective, situated, a...
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El artículo propone un examen de diferentes proyectos de reforma de los sistemas de salud de Canadá y de algunas provincias canadienses. Indica ciertas tendencias en la renovación de la gobernanza. El análisis se apoya sobre la hipótesis de que una reforma es per se un ejercicio de renovación de la concepción y de las prácticas de gobernanza. Al bu...
Article
Drawing on a longitudinal study from the early years of implementation of health-care networks in Quebec, this article describes how public-sector managers deal with complex challenges when both organizational structures and organizational strategies are radically transformed simultaneously. The new organizations studied had to completely re-shuffl...
Article
This paper presents some initial results from a longitudinal study of two major hospital mergers (involving three large institutions each). After examining the context of the two mergers and the cultures that must be integrated, we describe the processes of pre-merger negotiation, leadership development, strategic framing and operationalization. De...
Article
Sommaire: L'objectif de cette recherche est d'identifier les facteurs de diffusion d'une innovation - la réutilisation des hémodialyseurs (rh) - ainsi que de son plafonncment marqué par la controverse, à travers les motivations et stratégies des groupes d'acteurs clés. Plus particulièrement, cette étude vise à situer le rôle de la “ médecine fondée...
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Pluralistic organizations characterized by multiple objectives, diffuse power and knowledge-based work processes present a complex challenge both for strategy theorists and for strategy practitioners because the very nature of strategy as usually understood (an explicit and unified direction for the organization) appears to contradict the natural d...
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2/150#BIBL SAGE Journals Online and HighWire Press platforms): (this article cites 50 articles hosted on the Citations distribution.
Article
Legitimation and competition are two major forces moulding organizational field and the diffusion of innovations. While discursive legitimation provides "rational justifications" for innovations, competition may incite organizations to acquire effective innovations preemptively. This paper draws on a case study of the legitimation and diffusion of...
Article
This paper presents the results of a qualitative study on the values underlying the decision-making process of an interdisciplinary team working in a work rehabilitation facility of a Québec teaching hospital. In order to document the values underlying the decision-making process, a single case observational study was conducted. Interdisciplinary t...
Article
Using data from a larger study on public participation in the Quebec healthcare system, we draw on the sociological theory of Bourdieu to analyze speakers’ in-use definition of ‘the public’ in some 100 interview and observation notes. We found that the definition of ‘the public’ is the subject of a vigorous struggle at the symbolic level. Many acto...
Article
Debates about the form and nature of changes in the management of public systems have for some time now been articulated under the theme of governance. All definitions of governance are related to the problems of securing convergence among a diversity of actors and organizations, of redistributing power in an organizational or social field characte...
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Drawing on a content analysis of discourse surrounding five sequential hospital merger decisions, this research examines the role of efficiency considerations, fashion and politics in stimulating the adoption of a managerial idea. The article analyses how different arguments come to be intertwined. It illustrates how rational and institutional argu...
Chapter
The problem of managing across boundaries is nowhere more urgent or more complex than in the health care field. On the one hand, there is wide recognition that aging populations, economic pressures, and new technologies are stimulating the need for coordination among diverse health care organizations and professionals in order to provide integrated...
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Article
Public sector organizations are under pressure to adopt private sector tools to sustain legitimacy despite uncertainty about the compatibility of the techniques with this context. We explore the consequences of the misfit between the theories underlying two widely adopted managerial techniques (strategic planning and quality management) and the plu...
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Why are some less solidly supported health care innovations widely adopted while others with apparently stronger scientific support remain underused? Drawing on four case studies, the authors argue that the way in which the distribution of benefits and risks map onto the interests, values, and power distribution of the adopting system is critical t...
Article
Managers have always seen the need to navigate between two deadly extremes: on the one hand, ill-conceived and arbitrary decisions made without systematic study and reflection ('extinction by instinct') and on the other, a retreat into abstraction and conservatism that relies obsessively on numbers, analyses, and reports ('paralysis by analysis')....
Article
This paper takes a fresh look at both decision-making research and the actual process of organizational decision making. A model is proposed that captures the true complexity of decision making, including the ambiguity of commitment, decision maker experience, affect and insight, and the interwoven network of issues associated with each decision. T...
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Under ambiguous authority, effective strategic change requires collaborative leadership. Yet, radical change often involves new power distributions, making collaboration difficult. An exploratory case study of the large hospital suggests that change may be achieved in a cyclical pattern where leadership roles are redistributed through the influence...
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Jean-Louis Denis, Ann Langley, Daniel Lozeau: Anatomy of a management tool: strategie planning in public health-care organisations. This article examines the usefulness of formal strategie planning for strategy formulation in public health care organizations. Ideally, this management tool should favour better coordination of the organization's int...
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This paper suggests that the difficulties associated with the application of formal strategic planning in public professional service organizations may have been underestimated in much of the literature. A survey of written strategic plans produced by Canadian hospitals showed that these plans were often heavily oriented towards expansion, ambiguou...
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This paper describes the results of a study that examines how formal analysis is actually used in practice in three different organizations. Four main groups of purposes for formal analysis--information, communication, direction and control, and symbolic purposes--are identified and related to the nature of the social and hierarchical relationships...
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This paper describes an empirical study that examines how formal analysis was used in strategic decision-making in three organizations of different structural types. It was found that the nature of the formal analysis carried out, the people involved in it and the purposes behind it varied from organization to organization. An attempt is made to ch...
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Although opinion concerning the value of formal strategic planning is far from unanimous, there seems to be no doubt that many managers find it extremely useful—even essential. But what is it useful for? Based on three case studies, this paper suggests that formal strategic planning can play a variety of important and useful roles peripheral to the...

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