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  • About
  • The Global ETD Search service is a free service for researchers to find electronic theses and dissertations. This service is provided by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations.
    Our metadata is collected from universities around the world. If you manage a university/consortium/country archive and want to be added, details can be found on the NDLTD website.

Narrating an organisational matter of fact : negotiating with enterprise resource planning technology to achieve order within a traditional academic administration

Wagner, Erica Lynn January 2003 (has links)
This thesis draws upon social science contributions related to the study of organisations in order to understand how working information systems are created. Its main concern is the process of negotiating through IT-enabled change as actors work to design, implement, install, and use a standard software package in their daily administrative activities. In other words we consider how Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software becomes accepted across diverse groups as an institutional matter of fact - an unquestioned part of the institutional narrative. We argue that in spite of the complexity of implementing ERP technology, the actions and events that lead to their creation as an organisational fact rely on communication and coordination across groups with conflicting political and social agendas. These groups negotiate with the ERP technology in an attempt to enrol the software as a delegate for their goals. To develop the argument, we employ a novel interpretation of actor-network theory routed in the field of science and technology studies (STS). These theoretical foundations inform the collection and analysis of narrative data from one in-depth study of longitudinal change. The case centres on an Ivy League University who partnered with a multinational ERP vendor to create a standard software package to be sold to higher education institutions around the world. The study follows the negotiations involved in creating a standard package and their subsequent attempts to naturalise the standard software into local administrative practices. The application of the theoretical concepts constitutes a contribution in information systems research because it presents a novel interpretation of technology's role within contemporary society. This thesis also contributes to the use of actor- network theory within the IS field because the narrative research approach adopted allowed us to highlight aspects of the theory that have as yet been under used. Furthermore, these findings are useful for business leaders, and IS professionals who might reconceptualise the details of negotiating through IT-enabled change initiatives. The thesis concludes by arguing that negotiating with technology necessarily implies the reordering of organisational reality through design, implementation, and customisation activities.

Contesting corporate environmentalism in post-apartheid South Africa : a process of institutional and organisational change

Van Alstine, James D. January 2010 (has links)
The environmental governance of multinational corporations in developing countries is relatively understudied. Much of the existing work on the greening of industry focuses on one scale of governance (international, national or local), without adequately accounting for the socio-spatial complexities, either external or internal to the firm, which influence the take up and implementation of corporate environmentalism at the site level. My thesis explores how and why corporate environmentalism has evolved in three South African fuel oil refineries (two in Durban and one in Cape Town) between 1994 and 2006. Institutional and organisational theory, with insights from the literature on spatialities of corporate greening, informs this study. An analytical framework of multinational corporation complexity and organisational field dynamics is established to explore the process of institutional and organisational change. At the macro or organisational field level, actors compete to construct meanings of legitimate corporate environmental practice. Organisational fields are shaped by the interaction between institutional actors, institutional logics and governance structures. At the micro level, firm legitimation strategies and characteristics may explain how corporate greening differs. The research findings are triangulated using key informant interviews, document analysis and social network analysis. Punctuated by key events, bifurcated processes of institutional and organisational change are documented. In Durban changing normative and cognitive institutions drove the evolution of regulation: above all, an internationally networked civil society exercised discursive power by demanding environmental justice and corporate accountability from the private and public sectors. In Cape Town the organisational field remained fragmented as community-driven discursive strategies did not achieve significant governance outcomes and institutional and organisational change evolved more slowly. The company with the most significant home country and parent company pressure, Shell/Sapref, made the most gains in repairing its legitimacy and improving its environmental performance. In sum, corporate environmentalism in post-apartheid South Africa has been contested and constructed by processes of scalar and place-based politics.

Agents of transparency : how sell-side financial analysts make corporate governance visible

Tan, Zhiyuan January 2010 (has links)
This thesis examines the phenomenon of sell-side financial analysts (analysts hereafter) "doing" corporate governance. The term "doing" is used in the current study to designate the various ways in which some analysts in the US and the UK, across the past decade or so, have made corporate governance visible. The thesis examines how this has occurred, and the mechanisms and devices that have made it possible. Analysts, it is suggested, can be viewed as "agents of transparency", in so far as they have taken the evaluation of companies beyond the financials, to include corporate governance issues. The thesis focuses primarily on the corporate governance reports produced by analysts, the official documents issued by various organisations and institutions, selected financial and business newspapers and magazines, together with other documents such as textbooks of corporate governance, as well as academic and practioner publications on corporate governance. Through an examination of these materials, the thesis investigates the pre-conditions that made possible the appearance and development of the corporate governance work pursued by analysts in the early twenty-first century. It examines the evaluations performed by analysts of the corporate governance procedures adopted by companies. In particular, it focuses on the ways in which analysts benchmarked the corporate governance procedures of companies against formal regulations, and how comparisons of the governance procedures adopted by different companies were undertaken and facilitated by analysts. Benchmarking, and the making of comparisons of corporate governance practices through a range of devices, are examined. The thesis also examines the linking of corporate governance to the financials (such as profitability, stock price performance, and equity valuation) in the investment analyses performed by analysts. It concentrates on the way in which analysts integrated corporate governance issues in the investment decision making process. Attention is paid to the ideas that shaped and articulated the integration, as well as to the tools and devices deployed by analysts. This thesis argues that greater attention is needed to the "doing" of corporate governance by analysts, and its implications for these "agents of transparency" that have broadened the parameters through which transparency is assessed.

A longitudinal and cross-sectional examination of intellectual capital information disclosure in six large FTSE 100 UK companies, 1974-2008

Che Abdul Rahman, Mara Ridhuan January 2013 (has links)
This study developed a multidimensional content analysis instrument for the cross sectional and longitudinal analysis of intellectual capital disclosures in the annual reports of six UK FTSE 100 companies over a period of 35 years (1974-2008 inclusive). Motivated by empirical deficits in intellectual capital disclosure studies over a lengthy longitudinal period and also in content analysis instruments capable of resolving the qualitative characteristics of intellectual capital disclosures, this study disaggregated content into three main categories and twenty six sub-categories. Recording took place at the level of the theme or clause, and data was captured using a volumetric measure (frequency of themes) and also using three interrogations for qualitative characteristics: the extent to which disclosures contained qualitative and quantitative content, the time orientation of disclosure and the division between fact and perception in reporting. Representing the most detailed and complex analysis of ICR in UK companies so far, this study is also distinguished by having, by some distance, the longest longitudinal period of any IC study. The complexity of the content analysis instrument, unique to this study, enabled a number of original findings, deriving from the large sample size and unique content analysis instrument, to be offered. Intellectual capital disclosure, as measured by the frequency of clauses, increased over the period of the study. Within this overall trend, relational capital was observed to be the highest frequency category of IC, when compared to human capital and structural capital. The rates of category growth varied by company, with the differentials between relational capital and other categories also varying by sector. Qualitative characteristics also showed longitudinal and cross-sectional effects. This study also found an appropriateness of the existing theories in explaining the study findings with no single theory explaining more than a small part of the observed reporting behaviour.

Using structural complexity to explain decision-making on corporate responsibility

Nguyen, Tam Robert January 2013 (has links)
Intra-organizational factors are an important line of inquiry to improve the explanation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) behavior in current theory and management concepts. Contributions from organizational behavior literature were used in this thesis to orient the analysis to the company’s structure in order to provide alternative explanations as to ‘why’ and ‘how’ companies addressed social responsibility issues and activities. Qualitative methods were employed to investigate the structure/decision relationship among a sample of decision processes of multinational business organizations. Conclusions suggest that social responsibility issues and activities can be treated contextually by the company, and its complexity can influence and shape the development of alternatives to address the issues and activities.

The salience of boundaries : strategies of distinction, boundary reification and knowledge sharing in a nascent field of practice

Zduânczyk, Katarzyna Anna January 2013 (has links)
The practice of knowledge sharing across socio-epistemic boundaries is one of the key areas of inquiry in Practice-Based Studies of knowledge and learning. A considerable body of work dedicated to issues of boundary transcendence has been developed by scholars working in this tradition. The main themes of this literature focus on the idea of bridging boundaries and include boundary-spanning practices, boundary spanners and brokers, and boundary objects. Due to its disproportionate reliance on a consensual and harmonious view of the practice of knowledge sharing, this approach has resulted in (implicitly) treating boundaries as structural givens. Such a conceptualization runs contrary to the predominant view of social and symbolic boundaries in social science, where they are commonly acknowledged to be enacted and relational phenomena. This thesis seeks to contribute to the considerably less developed strand of Practice-Based Studies of knowledge and learning that draws upon these insights and explores the themes of boundary salience, distinction, and reification. The empirical foundation for the thesis is a case study of a Regional Innovation Strategy (RIS) project, funded by the European Commission as part of the Lisbon Strategy for Europe and based in one of the New Member States that acceded to the European Union in 2004. The project was a partnership between three European regions and eight organisations. The key premise of the project was the idea of knowledge transfer from regions with experience of developing regional innovation strategies under the EC aegis to the focal New Member State region. As such, the project represented a heterogeneous knowledge-sharing context, where multiple boundaries could be expected to come into play. The main findings of the thesis reveal a far from harmonious nature of the practice of knowledge sharing associated with the project. The most salient boundary was found to be a pragmatic knowledge boundary, which polarised the nascent field of regional innovation development in the focal region. ‘Knowledge sharing’ took the form of a struggle over the definition of competence within the field, and thus over field dominance. The study identifies first-order and second-order strategies of distinction ii deployed by each of the opposing parties: the former included perspective-pushing, exploitation, and opportunity hoarding; the latter were knowledge transfer, consensus building, and collaboration. The study also identifies a set of six paired practices which constituted both the boundary work and the practice work between the two opposing groups. These practices were found to fall into two categories associated with the relative position of power of those practicing them, i.e. strong and weak practices. Eventually, the struggle for field dominance ended in the concession of defeat by one of the parties, which was immediately followed by the euphemization of the relations across the pragmatic boundary.

An empirical investigation of factors affecting cloud computing adoption among SMEs in the North East of England

Alshamaila, Yazan Yassen January 2013 (has links)
The growing adoption of cloud computing is changing the way business information systems are developed, scaled up, maintained and paid for. This not only applies to large organisations, but also increasingly to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs). In particular, cloud computing promises to improve the reliability and scalability of IT systems, which allows SMEs to focus their limited resources on their core business and strategy. In the SME context, technology adoption and usage decisions are influenced by many factors. Despite the extensive literature, there is still limited research related to the factors which impact on SMEs' adoption of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) innovations. By adopting the Technological, Organisational and Environmental (TOE) Model, this research project attempts to conceptualise cloud computing adoption and to enhance understanding of the range of factors affecting cloud computing adoption decision making in SMEs. This work utilises both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies to meet the research objectives. This study proposes a conceptual framework of SMEs' adoption of cloud computing. Before carrying out a survey to test this model, a preliminary empirical study involving 15 SMEs in the North east of England was conducted in order to specify the factors that can be included within the developed conceptual framework. Our pilot study findings were fed into the second stage of our empirical study involving 184 SMEs in the North East of England. Among the factors examined, relative advantage, uncertainty, innovativeness, and external computing support were found to have significant influence on whether SMEs adopted cloud computing. These findings have important implications and great value to the research community, managers and ICT providers, in terms of formulating better strategies for cloud computing adoption. The research model in this study can improve their understanding of why some SMEs choose to adopt cloud computing services, while seemingly similar ones facing similar market conditions do not.

Perception of the risk factors associated with implementation and post-implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems in Jordan

Tezeny, Khansaa January 2013 (has links)
The implementation of ERP systems has increased during recent years. These systems bring a great many benefits to organisations but, at the same time, have been problematic for them. A literature review showed that some companies have succeeded in implementing ERP systems while other companies have failed in this regard, illustrating that ERP systems are complex and risky to implement and operate in companies. Perceiving and understanding the risk factors related to the implementation and operation of ERP systems could have a positive impact on the success of these systems. Therefore, it is important for organisations to perceive and understand risk factors in order to make ERPs more successful and reduce the failure of their implementation and operation. Reviewing the literature helped in evaluating previous research work on the success or failure of ERP implementation and operation. It was found that there is a gap in the literature regarding understanding the risk factors related to ERP implementation and operation, as well as perceptions of those risk factors on the part of managers in the same organisations who have different levels of ERP expertise, come from different professional backgrounds, and have different cultural outlooks. This thesis constitutes an attempt to clarify the relationship between the perceptions of risks factors associated with ERP systems and cultural worldviews, professions and levels of ERP expertise. Exploratory interviews, based on a pilot study, were carried out in order to identify the main issues and also to test the risk factors proposed in the literature. Twenty seven interviews were conducted with Jordanian managers to gain an understanding of their opinions and perspectives concerning what they considered to be risk factors. The results of the pilot study elicited 20 risk factors that could lead to the failure of ERP systems during their implementation or operation. A preliminary research model of the impact of these risk factors on the implementation and operation of ERP systems was built, based on the literature and the findings from the exploratory stage of the research. Also, a framework was constructed in order to understand the relationships between different groups of managers and their perceptions of the risk factors related to the implementation and operation of ERP systems. The main groups of managers were information technology managers, financial accounting managers, auditing managers, and others groups, such as HR or manufacturing operations managers. To develop and test further the research framework, a survey was conducted. Based on the findings from the pilot study and the literature review, a survey instrument was developed. A 21-item scale to assess the four worldviews identified by Cultural Theory, a five-item scale to measure the level of ERP expertise, and a 65-item scale to assess perceptions of 27 risks factors related to ERP systems were developed. The questionnaires were sent to accounting financial managers, IT managers and other managers with at least one year’s experience with ERP systems. The major finding of the survey, obtained from a sample of 166 manager respondents, suggested that there were critical differences in perception among participating managers in Jordan according to their differing culture, level of ERP expertise, and profession. Culture, however, had a stronger effect on the perception of risk factors regarding ERP systems than profession or ERP expertise. The contribution made by this thesis is the theoretical framework which was built on an analysis of the findings of this research. This is the first such framework, derived from a literature review and empirical study, that has explored the risk factors that lead to failure in implementing ERP systems and which are most important in ensuring success, together with their interrelationships with managers’ groups. Furthermore, risk factors concerning the operation of ERP systems were also incorporated into the research framework. Since the risk factors concerning ERP operation have not been highlighted in other studies, this thesis adds new theoretical insights to the existing literature. Moreover, this thesis not only confirms some of the factors stated in the literature, it also adds several new ones, such as working with two systems (old and new) in parallel, sharing passwords, incorrect entry data, repetition of errors, flowing of errors, illogical processing, and lack of information quality. In addition, groups of managers (such as accounting and financial managers, IT managers and others, who have at least one year or more ERP expertise) are important considerations and need more attention. The research framework of this thesis shows that the perception of ERP risk factors varied among those managerial groups and highlights the influence of managers’ groups regarding their perceptions of these risk factors, as well as identifying which factors were the most important.

Entrepreneurship education in Indonesian higher education institutions

Soepatini January 2013 (has links)
For a variety of socio-economic and educational reasons, Entrepreneurship Education has become a critical aspect of the Indonesian higher education system. Contemporary Indonesia is characterised by high levels of youth and adult unemployment, low rates of business competitiveness, lack of entrepreneurial skills amongst graduates and negative attitudes towards entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship. Most universities in Indonesia that have adopted entrepreneurship education view it as a traditional subject, lacking innovation in its design, delivery and assessment. As a new phenomenon, entrepreneurship education remains an under-researched topic of academic endeavour. The aim of this study is to understand students' and faculty members' perceptions, aspirations and expectations as a basis for the development of entrepreneurship education models for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Indonesia. Developing models of entrepreneurship education specific to the Indonesian context is of great importance for those who are in charge of establishing this new type of education initiative. It also will benefit the Indonesian government as they can use these informed models to make effective decisions on entrepreneurship education policy. The purpose of this study is to discover the different ways students and faculty members conceptualise entrepreneurship education and the logical relationship between these various conceptions. Focussing on this structural framework has been proven to contribute to new understandings of entrepreneurship education field. The research study upon which this thesis is based has employed a phenomenographic approach to the collection, analysis and interpretation of primary data obtained from seven Indonesian HEIs, including seventy semistructured interviews with students and faculty members. To complement the phenomenographic approach, face-to-face interviews were carried out with a sample of seven members of senior management, one in each institution. Due to the relatively small sample size, interpretive analysis rather than phenomenography was employed to analyse the results of these interviews. iii There are a number of important results emerging from this research study. Students indicated more variation in the ways in which entrepreneurship education is being experienced. Interestingly, faculty members appear to share with students the ‘dimensions of variation’ upon which the ‘outcome space’ was constituted. Regarding respondents’ aspirations of entrepreneurship education, variations emerged between students and faculty members in relation to 'themes of expanding awareness'. Both sample groups, however, seemed to accept that preparing students to become successful entrepreneurs should be considered a common aspiration of students and staff involved in entrepreneurship education. In terms of expectations, students felt that a market-driven strategy would be the best way to enhance the effectiveness of entrepreneurship education. In contrast, faculty members highlighted the importance of being part of, and contributing to, an entrepreneurial university. Based upon the result of this research study, three models of entrepreneurship education have been identified in relation to Indonesian HEIs: (i) ‘Traditional University’; (ii) ‘Entrepreneurial University’; and, (iii) ‘Transitional University’. Students' and faculty members' perceptions, aspirations and expectations of entrepreneurship education are the basis upon which these models have been developed. These models offer an original and innovative perspective on how entrepreneurship education should be conceptualised in a higher education context, in developing countries in general and Indonesia in particular.

A model for readiness for change in knowledge sharing initiatives : grounded in micro-foundations

Samara, Khalid January 2012 (has links)
A knowledge sharing initiative is a long term process that necessitates significant changes for the organisation to constantly adapt to new challenges. Many of these initiatives are commonly associated with technologies or organisational level (macro-level) factors to drive change. Such initiatives require that individuals are ready to commit to new ways of doing things. However, a large proportion of knowledge sharing initiatives are often considered a failure, partially because individuals do not accept or embrace the change. This presents a unique challenge for organisations implementing knowledge sharing initiatives to understand factors that may influence individuals’ readiness for change. Despite a significant number of theories and models, the individual’s views and experiences on factors that affect their readiness-for change have rarely been studied. Moreover, little research in knowledge sharing builds upon existing theories and models of organisational change. The study integrates three areas of research, readiness-for change, organisational change, and knowledge sharing to provide an integrated view of knowledge sharing initiatives in an organisation. The research investigates the individuals’ readiness-for change by studying organisational knowledge sharing initiatives from a micro-foundational perspective, in particular, the various influential factors affecting an individual’s readiness-for change. In doing so, the inhibitors and supporting factors of an individual’s readiness-for change have been investigated. In addition, this research deviates from previous quantitative studies that developed theories on readiness-for change. To understand the various interpretations, meanings, and patterns of the different influential factors supporting or inhibiting an individuals’ readiness-for change, necessitates an exploratory grounded theory approach, to analyse the participants' experiences and views regarding the factors affecting their readiness-for change during knowledge sharing initiatives. Findings support the view that while macro-level factors such as organisational structure and technology can contribute to the success or failure of knowledge sharing initiatives, the underlying factors related to individuals readiness-for change (at the micro-level) is integral to understanding the sources or origins of these failures and successes. In addition, awareness of change and communication within knowledge sharing initiatives, are highlighted as two of the key influential factors effecting change at the individual (micro) level. Finally, the research provides an individual readiness-for change model that fills an important gap in the knowledge sharing literature, by addressing the micro-foundations (sources or origins of change) of individuals’ change behaviours which have not previously been explored.

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