Plans, procedures and bumble-bees : an international study of control mechanism in the multinational companiesHarzing, Anne-Wil January 1998 (has links)
This thesis investigates control mechanisms in multinational companies (MNCs). It first explores the composition of the control portfolio that MNC headquarters use towards their subsidiaries. In this context, special attention is paid to the role of international transfer of managers in controlling MNC subsidiaries. Because of the breadth of the study and the number of variables included, configuration analysis is subsequently used to reduce the study's complexity. Finally, the study's independent variables are used to explain differences in performance between MNCs. A large-scale international mail survey was carried out to gather the data. This mail survey resulted in responses from 287 subsidiaries in 22 different countries and 8 different industries. These subsidiaries represented 104 different MNCs, headquartered in nine different countries. In addition, data were gathered from 26 CEOs and 25 Corporate HRM-managers at :MNC headquarters. Before subjecting them to any further analysis, data were explicitly tested for cross-cultural equivalence. Differences in the composition of the control portfolio applied by headquarters towards their subsidiaries could be explained by a number of characteristics at both headquarters and subsidiary level. Expatriates were shown to form both a direct and an indirect means of control. An empirical test of the configurations constructed in the theoretical part, showed that the firms in our sample could be described as approaching one of the following three ideal type of configurations: global, multidomestic or transnational. Concerning performance, the highest explanatory power could be attributed to the country-of-origin of headquarters and the industry in which the MNC operated.
Corporate environmental accountability in the Nigerian oil and gas industry : the case of gas flaringHassan, Aminu January 2012 (has links)
Carbon dioxide emission due to associated natural gas flaring is among the major causes of climate change which affects the global environment adversely. Nigeria is rated as the country with second largest volume of associated natural gas being flared the world over. Dominant oil and gas companies being operated by foreign multinational oil companies have been responsible for over ninety percent of associated natural gas flaring in the Nigerian upstream sector. Aside from being waste of valuable energy resource, the damaging, environmental impact of gas flaring, along with the intense physical nature of the practice, is among the major causes of environmental-accountability-triggered conflict especially in the Niger Delta region of the country. With this in mind, this study aims at evaluating gas flaring-related environmental accountability of dominant companies operating in the upstream sector of the Nigerian oil and gas industry. This is carried out via the evaluation of gas flaring-related 'environmental performance' and 'environmental disclosure' individually and together within the same framework. Deductive research strategy underpinned by positivists' research philosophy is employed to facilitate the empirical conduct of the research. Consequently, five testable hypotheses were developed from three theories, namely, Environmental Kuznets Curve theory, Pollution Haven Hypothesis and Voluntary Disclosure Theory. Each of the five hypotheses is directly related to a specific objective, so that they can be the mechanisms for meeting the objectives. By virtue of its nature, objective six is the only objective that does not have a corresponding hypothesis. To test the five hypotheses and also explore objective six, a number of analytical tools were employed. They include DEA window analysis, content analysis, one sample hypothesis test for mean, correlated two sample Hest for means, Panel Corrected Standard Errors (PCSE) using Prais-Winsten regression and simple time-series Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression in the first difference. Results obtained enabled the documentation of important key findings. Thus, the study documents empirical evidence confirming that the elements of gas flaring-related environmental accountability, namely, 'environmental performance' and 'volumetric environmental disclosure' are adverse and inadequately low respectively; and that the relationship between them is significantly positive. The 'substance' of the disclosure is also found to be not superior. It is also found that dominant companies in the sector use 'specific' or 'hard' gas flaring-related information that gives positive reflection on their reputation to legitimise their associated gas flaring and production activities. All these support the evidence, provided in this study, that gas flaring-related environmental responsibility, reporting and, in general, accountability by dominant companies in the Nigerian upstream are poor. The significance of these major findings is evident in the empirical support they lend to Environmental Kuznets Curve theory, Pollution Haven theory and Voluntary Disclosure Theory in the context of a less developed country, and the confirmatory empirical evidence that 'consequentialism' is the dominant environmental moral philosophy in the Nigerian upstream sector. The significance of the findings is further indicated by providing evidence that change in gas flaring-related environmental performance is responsible for the undulating trends in the level of environmental disclosures by companies operating in less developed countries over time.
The formation process of global strategic alliances between local and foreign companies in the United Arab Emirates : a case study approachFadol, Yasir Yasin Sid Ahmed January 2010 (has links)
This study is an empirical investigation of the formation process of global strategic alliances between local and foreign companies in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Its main aim is to provide a better understanding of the process of forming global strategic alliances in a developing economy environment and to develop a theoretical framework that may help in the formation process of global strategic alliances in similar countries. Based on a case study approach, data were collected through the use of in-depth interviews, structured interviews (self administered questionnaires), and documentary research. The analysis of the data collected has revealed six main findings in relation to the formation process of international strategic alliances within the UAE enterprises. They are: i) the identification and justification of motives for forming a strategic alliance, selecting alliance partners, selecting the alliance form of structure, managing the alliance and evaluating the performance of the alliance are basic phases of the formation process of global strategic alliances; ii) strategic alliances are formed in reaction to organizational and environmental factors and become part of corporate strategy; iii) the process of partners' selection in strategic alliances passes through three stages which are search for partners, evaluation of partners and selection of a partner, and is carried out by employing evaluation and selection criteria; iv) strategic alliance processes are extensively influenced by trust and confidence based on previous relationships between partners; v) the formation of strategic alliances is Widely influenced by the partners' culture; and vi) the performance of strategic alliances is evaluated by all partners. These findings have various implications in theory and in practice for policy makers, practitioners and managers of strategic alliances in developing countries.
The use of bibliometric methods in the evaluation of research performance in business and management : a study of three UK business schoolsLipitakis, Evangelia A. E. C. G. January 2013 (has links)
In this doctoral thesis the use of bibliometric methodologies in research quality performance assessment methodologies for interdisciplinary academic environments are presented. Our proposed research studies are mainly focused on quantitative and hybrid research performance methodologies for research output assessment, at the level of the academic departments/research groups, individual researchers and journals. A generalised research evaluation framework that examines different organizational levels (multiversity, university, department, researchers and publications) and characteristics (efficacy, efficiency, effectiveness) based on the standards set by the Higher Educational Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and Research Excellence Framework (REF) for research quality performance evaluation is proposed. Important quantitative indicators of scientific impact related to the international scientific influence of a publication are considered, such as the number of citations a publication receives and the SOijrce of the citations. A comparison of Ooogle Scholar (OS) and Web of Science (WoS) online citation databases is presented, to investigate the extent t? which WoS and OS record research outputs and citations in the fields of business and management, and to discover whether there are any particular patterns in their coverage. It was found that WoS picks up less than half of the journals, papers and citations found by OS. Moreover, the results differ significantly between subject areas within business and management making it difficult to compare departments or individuals that might have different subject mixes. At the departmental/institutional level, we measure citation rates that can differ significantly between different subject areas, especially within the fields of business and management by applying a set of normalization methodologies for research evaluation. One of the most widely used approaches for departmental evaluation called the Leiden Methodology, which uses normalization techniques for subject field and time, is tested in the fields of business, economics and management, for the first time in the open scientific literature. The obtained results showed that the LM normalised indices reveal more than the basic citation scores and give a better picture of the differences between the schools or the standing of the schools. Although the LM is a good idea in principle, it was found that is not suitable for evaluating the performance of departments in business and management.
Assortment optimization, also called assortment planning, is the decision process of a retailer of choosing a limited number of products that are to be presented to customers in a show room or an equivalent environment. Assortment optimization has been a subject of active interest in an academic setting since the 1970s and with the emergence of electronic data processing it has become a major driver of success for retail companies. In this thesis, we consider a rather new subfield there of: dynamic assortment planning. Retailers with the ability to adapt quickly to demand observations can beat the market by adapting the assortment towards the products that turn out to sell best. This creates larger revenue and at the same time reduces the costs caused by idle inventory. Having only vague knowledge of the actual demand, the task becomes bifold and an exploration exploitation type trade off between learning about the demand and utilizing this knowledge towards profit maximization has to be faced. We develop various models and appropriate, close- to-optimal, heuristic decision policies in an apparel retailing context. In a first setting, we derive heuristic policies basing on Gittins indices for multi-armed bandit models and develop heuristic methods to apply them in a non- trivial knapsack type constraint situation. Extensive numerical testing demonstrates the outstanding performance strength of our policies and we are able to derive remarkably tight upper bounds to the non- tractable optimal solution. We then extend this model to account for substitution effects, which inflict a tremendous increase in complexity on the problem. ·With the use of stronger simplifications than before, we are still able to develop heuristic policies with active learning. Numerical studies indicate an improvement towards a myopic policy in a similar order as in the previous setting. We close this study by suggesting an improvement on a well- known heuristic method.
Does an MBA help women? : a comparative study of the career progress and labour market position of part time male and female MBA graduatesSimpson, Ruth January 1998 (has links)
This thesis aims to assess the extent to which an MBA helps women and to ascertain whether significant barriers persist, despite their qualification to their career development. It takes as its frame of reference the sex difference approach within liberal feminism, which argues that key differences between men and women explain their differential career progress, and the organisation- structure approach within radical feminism which emphasises the detrimental effects of structural features of the organisation and of power relations. To this effect a survey of 221 male and female MBA graduates was conducted. Results suggest that the extent to which an MBA helps women depends on the type of benefit in question. The MBA is beneficial to women in terms of intrinsic career factors such as credibility and confidence. The qualification also gives them higher personal status within the context of the formal organisation. However, men appear to benefit more than women in terms of extrinsic career factors such as pay and management level in that they progress further in their careers subsequent to the MBA. In terms of the sex difference approach, differences in individual characteristics between men and women were not found to be sufficiently strong to be able to explain their differential career progress. Instead women MBAs were found to experience hidden barriers relating to attitudes and culture and to be particularly disadvantaged within the informal organisational context. The thesis argues that the way these hidden barriers located within the informal context impact on women's progress within the formal organisation (the informal externality effect) explains their slower career progress subsequent to the MBA in relation to men. The level of disadvantage within the formal context created by these hidden barriers are likely to be greater if the organisation is male dominated, if the gender imbalance occurs at senior levels and if women occupy traditionally female and non powerful roles.
A study of an integrated approach for strategy formulation and performance measurement in manufacturing enterprisesPun, Kit Fai January 2003 (has links)
Performance measurement quantifies the efficiency and effectiveness of action that helps organisations translate their strategies into results and fixes accountability to improve performance. This research identifies two problem statements: First, can integrating strategy formulation with measurement initiatives safeguard the performance goals in manufacturing enterprises? And second, how can manufacturing enterprises derive an integrated approach that meet their requirements and needs for strategy formulation (SF) and performance measurement (PM) system implementation? This work proposes an integrated paradigm that aligns the strategy-related performance measures to attain performance improvement in manufacturing enterprises. A two-stage empirical study was conducted, with 232 Hong Kong firms and 85 Shanghai firms participating in the study. The first stage surveys identified the common success factors, problem areas and strategy choices, and examined the relationship amongst corporate, marketing, technology and operational strengths and the 'reactive/proactive' strategy choices. The subsequent personal interviews in Hong Kong complemented the survey findings by examining the impact of SF/PM efforts in manufacturing enterprises. There were two series of interviews. The first series acquired the managerial views on the decision criteria on the integration of strategy formulation and performance measures, with the aid of Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) methodology. The second interview series derived several design elements and process considerations for aligning strategy formulation with performance measures. The empirical study used in this research provided important inputs and served as a foundation for development of a SF/PM Integration (SPI) model. In an attempt to integrate strategy formulation and performance measurement, the SPI model adopts the guiding principles embodied with the Business Excellence Models and stresses the results-oriented assessments on five categories of SF/PM criteria, namely leadership and constancy of purpose, management by process, people development, continuous improvement, and results orientation. Unlike that of the MBNQA and EQA, the point values for criteria and sub-elements of SPI model were generated collectively from the perspectives of industry practitioners in the manufacturing sectors. These were determined using the normalised weights obtained from the AHP analysis of empirical interview findings. They are taken together to calculate the overall performance index for an organisation. The process framework comprises five stages starting from strategy formulation to implementation and evaluation of an integrated performance measurement system. It encapsulates the requirements, critical processes and activities of strategy formulation and performance measures into the way they are being managed in organisations. The SPI model helps manufacturing enterprises to build a self-assessment platform for amalgamating strategies, plans and actions which can enable performance improvement. It can supplement any Business Excellence Models, and serves three important purposes. Firstly, it is a working tool for integrating SF and PM initiatives and guiding the implementation of performance measurement system in manufacturing enterprises. Secondly, using the model can help improve the effectiveness of management practices in relation to performance measures and self-assessment; and thirdly, using the model can facilitate information sharing of best practices within an organisation and benchmark performance against competitors and other organisations. Results of a post-evaluation survey affirmed that the model and processes could encourage organisational learning and provide a practical means for manufacturing enterprises to devise effective self-assessment and performance improvement. The novel contributions of the research are to identify the key SF/PM attributes, develop the self-assessment scoring method and the process framework accompanying the SPI model. Manufacturing enterprises must evolve a holistic performance measurement system matching their corporate mission, objectives and strategies. The SPI model provides them with a systems approach for building and integrating the capabilities of SF and PM to attain performance improvement goals, irrespective of their business nature and sizes.
An investigation into the work of managers in Great Britain : with particular reference to the management of human resources, and the skills and knowledge usedMonk, Robert Edward January 1994 (has links)
The Study is in four parts. The first part provides a background to the original research through a short twentieth century history of management and synopses of the work of selected earlier writers and researchers. The second part provides the results of a new empirical study of managerial work in Great Britain in the early nineteen-nineties. This study follows the lead of earlier researchers such as Carlson, Stewart and Mintzberg and invstigates managerial work using three methodologies. A quantitative study through a questionnaire survey is complemented by a smaller diary study and thirty face to face interviews with a range of managers from widely differing organisations and jobs. A statistical analysis of the data provides a very detailed review of how managers spend their time, requirements for effective performance, how performance is measured, major changes which have affected them, and the skills and knowledge used. Analysis of the diary data provides a very detailed profile of managerial work. Factor analysis is used to identify a new managerial typology; and using data from the various elements of the study a series of detailed managerial models, identifying both similarities and differences, is provided for an average manager, a general manager, five types of functional manager and five hierarchical levels of manager. Using information from the interview case studies, together with the statistical analysis, the management of human resouces, or "getting things done through other people", is addressed and a range of abilities, skills and knowledge required for effective people management identified. This section, particularly, contributes to the field of knowledge and provides guidance for the development of management education and training. Part three provides a comparison of the present study with earlier researches and shows that whilst the fundamental nature of managerial work changes relatively. little, the environment within which it takes place is constantly changing. Recent changes identified include greater customer orientation and demands for quality, new legislation, "de-layering" and the very rapid development of new technologies within both offices and factories. The evidence suggests that the work of managers is becoming continually more demanding and increasingly difficult. Part four provides a range of very detailed appendices in support of the main text.
This study aims to investigate the disclosure of non-financial information by UK companies in the absence of regulatory and statutory requirements. The study focuses on answering two key questions: (1) whether UK companies disclose non-fiiiancial information to legitimise their corporate behaviours to their stakeholder groups, and (2) whether UK companies disclose nonfinancial information to meet the information requirements of their stakeholder groups. To start this study, traditional theories and concepts used in the accounting literature are reviewed. The researcher takes the view that among the existing theories and concepts, legitimacy and stakeholder theories provide the best explanationf or the disclosure of non-financial information by UK companies. While the arguments presented by the proponents of the legitimacy theory is used to explain how companies may disclose information to present themselves as having the same norms and values as those of the society, the arguments in support of the stakeholder rheory are used to highlight the existence of different stakeholder groups and how companies attach different importance to them. The author takes the view that if companies disclose non-financial information to their stakeholder groups, they should do so regardless of their corporate characteristics. To explore the reasons for the disclosure of non-financial information further, the quality of the disclosed non-financial information is heeded by considering two characteristics of 'Social and Ethical Accounting, Auditing and Reporting' (SEAAR), namely stakeholder identification and stakeholder dialogue. It is argued that if companies disclose information to meet the requirements of their stakeholder groups, they are expected to: (1) identify their stakeholder groups, and (2) hold dialogue with them. Before startingt he empirical investigation, methodological isues that are believed to be relevant to this research project are discussed wherein non-financial information categories are divided into two groups of governance and non-govemance. While governance in formation encompasses information categories on corporate managerial structures, non-governance information categories are on non-managerial aspects of companies and can be related to both external and internal matters. Having decided on the non-financial information categories, the level of non-financial information disclosed by the Top 100 UK companies is measured for 1985,1990 and 1995. The findings show that the level of information disclosureh ad increasedin terms of both governance and non-governance in formation categories from 1985 to 1995. The thesis proceeds by probing the two key questions. The question of whether companies disclose non-financial information to legitimise their behaviours is investigated by choosing a number of corporatec haracteristics and examining if either of these characteristicsis associated with the level of non-financial information disclosed by UK companies. The observation of association between any of the corporate characteristics and the level of non-financial information disclosure is used to demonstrate how companies divulge information to legitimise those aspects of behaviours that are closely linked to their characteristics. The question of whether companies report non-financial information to meet the information requirements of their stakeholders' groups is probed using questionnaire surveys. The questionnairews ere sent out to companies and two stakeholder groups, namely investors and employees. The responsesre ceived from the three groups castlight on stakeholder identification and the state of stakeholder dialogue. According to the findings of this study, a number of corporate characteristics were associated with the disclosure of non-financial information illustrating that UK companies disclosed information to legitimise their behaviours to their stakeholder groups in the absence of any regulatory and statutory requirements. This was particularly the case for non-governancein formation. The findings also suggest that UK companies attached more importance to their investors than to their employees and they met the information requirements of their investors despite holding a relatively higher level of dialogue with their employees.
Good governance for sustainable superior manufacturing performance : a novel model, methodology and roadmapSinghvi, A. M. January 2002 (has links)
In the rapidly changing global scenario, it became increasingly clear that new thinking was required to make businesses competitive given the challenges of liberalised trade regimes, free flow of capital and knowledge. The prodigious marriage of computers, communications and technology provided lot more options to the consumers, competitors, employees, suppliers and providers of money alike. Customers and Consumers have become more demanding, not only in terms of product quality or costs but also innovations and detect free services. The Author, anticipating the change, advised the Chairman of the Aditya Birla Group, (with sales and assets in excess of 6 billion US dollars and having manufacturing sites in India, Thailand, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Egypt and Canada), to focus on lifting the standards of Manufacturing in all his Units. The Author joined the Group in late 1996 as The President of World Class Manufacturing, a Corporate Function, as a direct reporter to the Chairman Some companies in the Group, which are making good profits, perceived themselves as World Class since they had obtained ISO Certification, and a few other Awards. Yet others were pursuing customers with their own definition of quality, costs and delivery. And some were pursuing improvement programs under external consultant's guidance. The business went on as usual, except more explanation of how competition was increasing, and generic statements like "ve are doing all we can to deal with the situation which should improve soon" It was in the above context that Author thought of trying holistic approach for Good Governance at all levels, at all locations, involving all employees and all activities with focus on Manufacturing since best of marketing efforts would be in vain if not backed up by a World Class product with right cost and delivery. Anticipating the future needs, Author wanted everyone to focus on Innovations and Intellectual Capital and highest levels of Productivity from the six Ms [we call it. Men or Women (People), Material, Machines, Methods, Measurement and Markets]. After studying current literature and case studies on the subject and interacting with his former employers in Europe, America, Africa and Asia, and his potential customers (the 67 Plants in 1997) Author devised a Model that was futuristic, holistic, simple to be understood as the 'Art of Managing the Workplace', small or big. This was supported by a detailed Road Map and Methodology for Implementation of the Revolution for Excellence in the Group. A set of unique actions that would change the Mindset and Inspire the troops were developed and applied. Each of the 67 Plants have developed and deployed its own actions for percolating the philosophy, concept, tools and technique for the Deployment, Assessment and Review for becoming a world class manufacturer (WCM) The results are most satisfying as, the Model, its Road Map and Methodology with actions for Sustaining the Momentum has led to significant improvements in Products, Processes, Mindset and Culture of the People; they have attained higher knowledge level in their work, become extremely customer focused and have sent positive signals to all the stakeholders about their ability to protect the future, enhancing the competitiveness of their business, and therefore the Nation, and thereby protect the future of the next generation of employees, investors as well as other stakeholders. The tangible savings (over a period of approximately 5 years) in both Indian rupees and UK Pounds Sterling are summarized here under. On an average there are savings of about 9.5 millions UK £ per year. The turnover of the group is about 5500 millions UK (E). The savings thus comes equivalent to about 0.2 % of the Group's turnover which is a substantial amount creating a big impact on bottom line.
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