Nic Beech

Nic Beech
University of St Andrews · School of Management

About

95
Publications
18,359
Reads
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2,322
Citations
Citations since 2017
44 Research Items
1119 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150

Publications

Publications (95)
Article
The existence of gendered and racialized inequalities in academia has been well documented. To date, research has primarily addressed the intersectional disadvantages faced by members of minority groups with much less attention paid to the privileges experienced by dominant group members. This paper draws on 21 interviews and 36 audio‐diary entries...
Article
As the ‘impact agenda’ continues to gain prominence internationally, a key challenge is enabling academics and policymakers to interact so that they can learn effectively from and with each other. There is an ethical position that if we could contribute to policy change impacting on work, society and environment then some of our resource and effort...
Article
Full-text available
Within organizations there is reciprocal interplay between identity construction and learning. Processes of learning are enabled and constrained by identity practices; concomitantly, the possibilities for learning are shaped by the identity positions available to individuals. There is a dynamic between the impositions of organizations and people’s...
Article
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We consider how reflexive practices can enable learning from negative emotional experiences. We study these experiences in academic organizations through a relationally reflexive autoethnographic method. Our findings contribute to theory in three ways. First, we show how learning involves practices with different modalities of emotion work and refl...
Preprint
Full-text available
The British Academy of Management Equality Diversity Inclusion and Respect (EDIR) project, commissioned in January 2020, set out to generate an in-depth understanding state of, and key structural and cultural challenges embedded within, the everyday practices (and failures) of EDIR in UK Business and Management Schools. This interim report presents...
Article
Full-text available
Dominant, masculinised constructions of managerial identities are associated with expectations of being in control and strong, and not with vulnerability. Managers may conceal vulnerability and protect themselves through defensive identity work, and such responses may close down learning opportunities. We reconceptualise vulnerability and recognise...
Article
Identity studies reveal many issues and problems for individuals and organizations and from these I select three topics which connect to management practice: performance and its barriers; the self and others; and boundaries and transitions. I argue for an enquiry-based approach to management practice which focuses not on prescriptive answers but on...
Article
Full-text available
This paper introduces the special issue focusing on Impact. We present the four papers in the special issue and synthesise their key themes, including dialogue, reflexivity and praxis. In addition, we expand on understandings of impact by exploring how, when and for whom management research creates impact and we elaborate four ideal types of impact...
Poster
Full-text available
This is a visual abstract for the introductory paper in the British Journal of Mangement’s special issue on impact and management research. The paper can be found in Volume 28, Issue 1, published in January 2017
Chapter
Organisational theorists have become increasingly interested in the creative industries, where practices that are commonplace are of particular interest to organisations in other sectors as they look for new ways to enhance performance. Focusing on the music industry, this book sets up a unique dialogue between leading organisational theorists and...
Chapter
Organisational theorists have become increasingly interested in the creative industries, where practices that are commonplace are of particular interest to organisations in other sectors as they look for new ways to enhance performance. Focusing on the music industry, this book sets up a unique dialogue between leading organisational theorists and...
Article
The discourse of leaderism in health care has been a subject of much academic and practical debate. Recently, distributed leadership (DL) has been adopted as a key strand of policy in the UK National Health Service (NHS). However, there is some confusion over the meaning of DL and uncertainty over its application to clinical and non-clinical staff....
Article
In this paper we consider the role of interpretation in the practices associated with learning in collaborative contexts. The existing literature has developed theories of how practice learning occurs within coherent communities, typically through assimilation into an agreed set of meanings, skilled practices and legitimated judgement, or taste. Bu...
Article
Full-text available
A danger that postmodernism faces is that it is branded as irrelevant to practicing managers - those who daily influence the lives of others. Part of the accusation of irrelevance derives from at- tacks on postmodern thinking that see it as pro- pounding a sense of purposelessness and an- tipathy to action. It is possible to see such accu- sations...
Article
We contribute to the literature on the production of knowledge through engaged management and organisational research. We explore how relational practices in management and organisational research may interpenetrate and change one another, thereby potentially producing new knowledge. We demonstrate the importance of the disruptive qualities of arre...
Article
Full-text available
This article develops a dialogic perspective on practising and knowing management. It builds on prior work which has considered the nature of management research as well as the relationship between those who research organizations and those that manage them. The article argues that practising and knowing are co-constitutive, dialogic processes and...
Book
The ability to manage change successfully is an essential part of business. It is a skill that is much valued by employers, and it is therefore one of the most commonly delivered courses. This book helps you to understand three key activities for managing change: diagnosing, explaining and enacting. Both practical and action-oriented, it gives stud...
Article
This paper explores identity work in the creative setting of an opera company. We focus on how people account for who they are and what they do as they go through the process of preparing to perform an opera. Identity work can occur as a response to internal tensions and we inquire into the kinds of tension that occur for our research participants....
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we explore the concept of 'good' management as it is represented in the managerial literature, where the concept of 'good' is set in dichotomous opposition to that of 'bad'. Whilst we identify such dichotomies as the basic building blocks of managerial practice, our illustration from organizational interaction indicates that meaning g...
Article
Our aim is to examine intractability in relation to processes of change. Drawing upon data gathered from workshops, documentary sources and follow-up interviews, we identify an apparent contradiction between accounts of the self as change-oriented and subsequent inaction. We argue that the dominant metaphor typically used to explain such contradict...
Article
This paper examines clinician-manager interactions within healthcare organizations in the U.K. and contrasts the notions of dialetics and dialogues within such interactions. We draw particularly on Bakhtin's work on dialogue to frame our focal research question, which considers the extent to which clinician-manager interactions are dialogic. Using...
Article
The purpose of this article is to contribute a conceptualization of liminality, a state of in-between-ness and ambiguity, as it applies to identity reconstruction of people in organizations. Liminality is discussed in anthropological and organizational literatures and a composite understanding is developed here. This incorporates a dialogical persp...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to contribute a constructionist perspective to debates in the strategy literature about the ways in which managers conduct strategy work. The authors build on observations that fantasy plays a central role in strategy work and aim to focus on the ways in which fantasies of self and other operate in the identity...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we seek to show how aspects of the thinking underpinning the relevance debate can be self-defeating. We consider the relationship between academics and practitioners from a dialogic perspective and perform a textual analysis of the ways in which 'pro-relevance' academics write about research. We use role analysis techniques to highlig...
Article
This article introduces its subject with a brief overview of some of the contention concerning the creative industries, in terms of their purview, their significance within political economy, and the extent to which, and how, they may differ from other sectors. Arguing that the `motley crew' is a very broad church, and management must not confine i...
Article
Stories people tell of going through change incorporate and react to others around them. Positions can be taken in stories that tend towards the monological, having a singular perspective and being somewhat sealed off from others. Alternatively, stories can tend towards the dialogical, a multiple, less certain and more interactive mode. We explore...
Article
Full-text available
The practice of inviting managers and leaders to make formal presentations telling the story of their experience to others is widespread. In this article we explore these as a way of looking at how audiences learn and change from stories they are told. We considered a range of speakers from high profile `circuit speakers' to little known `experienc...
Article
Full-text available
This chapter is concerned with a relatively under-explored aspect of ‘engaged research’ – the nature of friendship relations between researchers and practitioners, and the ethical dilemmas that arise in such relationships. Attention has been paid to the relational aspects of research in the methodology literature, but this chapter focuses more clos...
Article
Full-text available
Our aim is to elucidate a position that takes identity to be dynamic and changeable over time and to propose a conceptualization that provides a way of mapping alternative imperatives and opportunities for identity work. It is argued that dynamic identity is inherently complex, being constructed through interaction between the self and others. Thes...
Article
Full-text available
Public sector organizations are being subjected to unprecedented change and scrutiny. Structures, processes, roles, remits and performance levels are being reviewed in settings where greater transparency is required and greater accountability is being demanded. A range of changes, including shifts in organisational structures, changing relationship...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore the ways in which narratives of collaborations tagged as successful may be constructed around common characterizations of participants, in order to provide insights to the ways in which stories may be constructed as vehicles for the adoption or adaptation of good or promising practices. Design/method...
Chapter
When managing change, effective communication is fundamental to success. Indeed, many failures of change initiatives are attributed, in whole or in part, to communication failures (Kotter and Cohen 2002). We have spent the last two years studying an organisation that faced a particularly difficult change challenge. The study reveals some interestin...
Article
Full-text available
This paper seeks to supplement the theory that identity work incorporates a dialogic process by focusing on how such processes can proceed. The research question is: how do people's identities become meaningful? The aim is to theorize the `route to meaning construction' of the self by producing a model of micro dialogical process. The model synthes...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose – This paper explores the practicalities of organizational change in complex settings where much change has already occurred. It therefore offers insights into tackling and overcoming change fatigue. Design/methodology/approach – The paper uses a longitudinal study of change within a healthcare organization. The paper draws on interviews,...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose The paper aims to explore the problematics of validity that are inherent to the conduct of an action research project because of the disparate language games of both practitioners and academics. Design/methodology/approach An exploration is offered of the tensions between different understandings of a research setting at different stages o...
Article
Full-text available
This article seeks to explore the construction of group and professional identities in situations of organizational change. It considers empirical material drawn from a health demonstration project funded by the Scottish Executive Health Department, and uses insights from this project to discuss issues that arise from identity construction(s) and o...
Article
Purpose A critical debate has been on‐going about the desired nature of international MBAs. One aspect of this debate, which has remained significantly underdeveloped, is the impact on students' identity of the way that MBAs are shaped and projected. This paper seeks to address this issue. Design/methodology/approach Taking the decision to do an M...
Article
The practice of inviting managers and leaders to make formal presentations telling the story of their experience to others is widespread. In this paper we explore these as one manifestation of the transfer of management practices. We include among those considered, a range of speakers from high profile "circuit speakers" to unknown "experience shar...
Article
Purpose To explore identity dynamics in the lived experience of a strategic change over time. Design/methodology/approach Qualitative data were collected through a longitudinal engagement with the focal organisation. Narrative analysis was used to trace the identity dynamics of senior figures in an organisation as it went through strategic change....
Article
Full-text available
This paper seeks to problematize the role(s) that lay-workers can play and the nature of their relationship with other, well-established professional groups. Views are extracted from the literature on how best to manage the introduction of lay-workers into professional settings and the paper examines the experience of attempting this in national he...
Article
Full-text available
It has been argued that organizational life typically contains paradoxical situations such as efforts to manage change which nonetheless seem to reinforce inertia. Four logical options for coping with paradox have been explicated, three of which seek resolution and one of which ‘keeps the paradox open’. The purpose of this article is to explore the...
Article
Full-text available
The concept of a single reality view of social situations has been problematized and deconstructed in recent critical literature on organizations. However, much of the managerial literature promotes concepts and models of unity, and hence much managerial intent and action is still bounded by convergent and exclusive thinking, within a unified and u...
Article
This paper is concerned with rethinking the notion of 'good management practice'. It explicates a way of framing management theory in terms of tensions between apparently contradictory pieces of good practice advice. The relevance of this, as a practical conceptualization that could usefully inform managers about the kinds of considerations they mi...
Article
This article explores some of the constraints on the development of knowledge through a multi-perspective examination of a project where there was an intention, and enacted process, to develop knowledge. Building on prior work in the fields of knowledge and knowledge management, the article is engaged with the generic question of what the condition...
Article
This paper contributes to theory on the management of interorganizational collaborative relationships. Using action research and discourse analysis, we draw on data collected from a learning network and focus specifically on conceptualising some of the ways in which issues of power impinge upon participants in collaborations. The emerging theory en...
Article
This article seeks to conceptualize interactions surrounding organizational change. Four ideal types of reality(ies) are presented here using the metaphor of language. Actors’ representations of experience are presented in order to illustrate these concepts. We argue that types 1 and 2, which are epitomized by dichotomous thought, are unlikely to p...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper brings together two sets of writing under development, but with common themes of rejection of concepts of unity, coherence and singularity that characterize modernity. However, they also reject the notions of fragmented individualism and nihilism that are seen in much postmodern thinking. In our search for ways of facilitating generation...
Article
This paper examines the concept of ‘cohesion’, little discussed in management literature, and proposes the following. Management action derived from intent towards cohesion may mitigate against the development of organizational cohesion, in that …… Apparent conflict between management intent and action inhibits understanding of organizational inten...
Article
This paper critically examines an approach to employee development which breaks with the tradition of systematic training. The training event discussed here, Transfusion, was a dramatic and evangelical experience which aimed to impact on “the whole person” rather than specific training needs. It used a number of unconventional techniques and was re...
Article
The findings reported in this article relate to the experiences of managers and workers in three organizations that are implementing culture change as part of a strategy to improve organizational performance through people management. The focus is on an analysis of the stories the managers and workers tell, which reveal underlying narrative styles....
Article
This paper presents an empirically based study of an organisation’s attempt to improve from its existent structure of team working to a higher level of organisational performance through the development of enhanced, or high performance, teams. The research findings are contextualised by brief reviews of the literature in three areas: the contributi...
Article
This article presents a case study of mentoring relations in a National Health Service Trust hospital. The hospital was undergoing a programme of change, which included a considerable investment in management development, supported by a mentoring programme. The research presented here included observations, interviews and research-focused discussio...
Article
Full-text available
Aims to make critical comment on the role of expert consultants and the contribution of communication in organisational decision making, through reference to theory and case studies. The three case studies analyse factors in decision making processes at different stages and relating to different aspects of facilities management, including re-planni...
Article
Full-text available
This paper addresses the practice-derived concept of “flexible working” in order to challenge the lack of critical thinking in such facilities management (FM) research and writing. Through comparison of the field of FM with literature from other management fields, it proposes that much FM “research” is concerned with the validation of practice-base...
Article
This article seeks to contribute to debates on the nature and implications of post-dualist modes of being by drawing upon the 'process philosopher'/'guru' Krishnamurti, whose refusal to be categorised we read as an overtly political move. Advocates of post-dualism have argued for the possibility of a new form of subjectivity that can transcend the...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
To help Eugene and Nic write a new edition of their textbook by drawing on material from my previous journal articles and books on HR, change, people management etc., and from work for the CIPD