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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.
11

Corporate social responsibility and multinational enterprises in developing countries : natural resource exploitation in Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia

Eweje, Gabriel January 2001 (has links)
This thesis critically examines the corporate social responsibilities of multinational enterprises (MNEs) operating in developing countries. A conceptual and theoretically oriented literature review is followed by focused discussions, chapter by chapter, of employee relations, community development projects, health and safety, and environmental impacts. The empirical domain is the activities of MNEs in the extractive industries of Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia. The discussion in each of the main empirically based chapters is lent focus and direction through the analysis of critical incidents from the perspectives of various stakeholders: governments, companies, employees, local communities and the media. Primary data relating to critical incidents was gathered from archival sources and through fieldwork interviews with personnel from multinational oil and mining companies, governments, petroleum and mining unions and local community representatives in Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia. Oral history testimonies and documentary materials have been analysed with reference to three influential and widely used theoretical frameworks. This approach has enabled the testing of various theoretical propositions and the establishment of benchmark standards for evaluating the activities of MNEs in terms of corporate social responsibility and business ethics. It is shown that multinational oil and mining companies often fall short of international benchmark standards of corporate social responsibility when operating in developing countries. The perceptions of host governments, unions and local communities are often negative and arouse strong feelings of hostility to the point that the behaviour of MNEs is described by informants as unethical or immoral. Hostile feelings and negative attitudes of the kind revealed in this thesis have their foundation in industrial and corporate strategies and structures, defying any explanation cast in terms of poor corporate communications. It follows that the remedy needs to be fundamental and thoroughgoing. This conclusion has not yet been fully accepted by all of the extractive MNEs operating in Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia. However, they do concede that their operations can have negative consequences for health, families, local communities and the environment. As a result, and in the absence of sufficiently binding national regulations, they have introduced voluntary codes of conduct and emphasise corporate social responsibility in mission statements and other public relations materials. On the basis of the evidence presented in this thesis, it is argued that these efforts, though laudable, are inadequate when confronting the strategies and structural pressures that give rise to unethical business practices. 2
12

Development of an optimum framework for lean six sigma in small and medium manufacturing enterprises

Shamou, Mohamed Elfaith Ibrahim January 2011 (has links)
For small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the manufacturing industry, the ability to survive competition and run a profitable business depends on the performance of the manufacturing operation. Much industry work and many researchers have been applied to improve manufacturing operation performance; these efforts have resulted in structured procedures and methodologies such as Lean manufacturing, Total Quality Management, Total Quality Control, Agile manufacturing, Six Sigma and others. Each of these improvement methodologies has its own merits and shortcomings. Previous research projects addressed the idea of combining these methodologies in order to get a perfect combination that can solve all problems. One of those attempts is the integration of Lean and Six Sigma. All research work in this area has followed either a complementary or integrative approach. None of the research projects presented so far have followed a synergetic approach with mathematical modelling to integrate Lean and Six Sigma. Also, most of the Lean Six Sigma integration ventures have been in private manufacturing organisations. The literature has not provided a structured framework for deploying Lean Six Sigma in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). This research presents the Lean Six Sigma Framework (LSSF) for SMEs, which provides a different way of integrating Lean and Six Sigma using a synergetic approach based on mathematical modelling. The LSSF for SMEs defines operation variables and performance indicators. It provides operational mathematical models for controlling performance, a tools system for selecting the right tool for the problem, and performance targets, to ensure operation is performing at or above industry standard. The input to the LSSF development came from empirical study, observations, and feedback from computer simulation. The framework presents a step-by-step process to help with implementation and ensures the desired results are achieved. The LSSF was validated firstly through computer simulation and then through an industrial trial conducted at an SME manufacturer's premises
13

Corporate social responsibility and the role of transnational corporations in global justice

Lim, Ai Leen January 2009 (has links)
This thesis poses two questions: (1) Why should transnational corporations ("TNCs") have responsibilities in global justice, and (2) If the business of business is business, why should it care about global justice. My objective is to lay the foundation for a coherent theory of corporate social responsibility ("CSR") - one that presents a normative account of the moral basis for, and the constraints on, CSR. The conception of CSR here is about the role TNCs ought to play in global justice, which is distinct from what business ethics is about. Addressing the first question, my thesis is that, only when we have a rigorous conception of what responsibility is, will we be able to construct an account of who is responsible. So instead of asking 'What does an ideal cosmopolitan just global order look like.' and then trying to "fit in" TNCs, a constructivist approach that asks the basic question: 'What is responsibility.' is adopted. Moreover, the theme of 'responsibility' is supported by a notion of 'global justice as duty', contrary to the predominant rights-based approach to global justice. I then articulate a category of corporate responsibility based on capabilities and the scope of that responsibility. Despite its normative intentions, a theory of CSR cannot offer action-guiding principles unless it takes into account the real-life business constraints corporations face. I address the second question and suggest how we can think philosophically about these non-moral constraints on CSR - chiefly, companies' fiduciary duty to maximise profits and shareholder value. The question is how these business considerations fit into our philosophical remit. Contrary to normative theories that attempt to "squeeze" everything into ideal theory (e.g. theories based on economic rationality), I argue that a full realisation of the role of TNCs in global justice should prompt theorists to devote more attention to non-ideal theory.
14

Corporate diversification : the role of industry-specific expertise and the impact of mergers and acquistions accounting

Custodio, Claudia Perdigao Dias January 2010 (has links)
This thesis is organised in three chapters. The first two chapters link the industry-specific expertise of managers to the value of conglomerates and diversifying acquisitions. The third chapter explains how Mergers and Acquisitions (MandA) accounting can explain the diversification discount. The first chapter studies the cross sectional variation of conglomerate's value. I test the hypothesis that unrelated diversification destroys value because managers (CEOs) lack expertise outside the core business. I test two main implications: firms with more business activities outside the core business should have lower value and the discount should be greater for firms with more activity in unrelated-to-core secondary segments. The evidence supports both hypothesis. I test more directly if the results are linked to a lack of managerial expertise by using an industry index of managerial discretion. I find that increasing non-core business sales weight by 10% decreases firm value up to 3%, if the firm has high managerial discretion. The second chapter quantifies the value of CEO industry-specific experience, using diversifying MandA announcements. I find that industry experienced CEOs add value for their shareholders. The abnormal return is between 1.0% and 1.3% higher when the acquirer's CEO has top management experience in the target's industry. Analyzing potential mechanisms, I provide evidence that CEOs with industry experience in the target's industry negotiate better terms and that this experience is particularly valuable in environments of high informational asymmetries (1.6% - 2.9%). The results suggest that certain CEO skills are neither completely general nor firm-specific but rather specific to an industry. The third chapter shows that MandA accounting can explain the diversification discount measured with Tobin's q. The typical MandA accounting procedure inflates the book value of assets and creates a mechanical drop in the common measure of acquirers' q. Because diversified firms are more acquisitive than standalones, their q is likely to be lower, generating a spurious diversification discount. After adjusting q for goodwill by excluding it from the book value of assets, I find no significant diversification discount in most specifications. As an alternative to the goodwill correction, I use the change in the MandA accounting rules in 2001 as a natural experiment to test my main hypothesis.
15

Transformational and transactional leadership : an exploratory study in a developing country

Khokhar, Faisal Qadeer January 2001 (has links)
Leadership has been an important topic in the social sciences for decades. Recently, there has been renewed interest in leadership. In all of the new developments the theory, which has generated the most interest by practitioners and academia alike, is the model of Bass and coworkers, which claims that their transformational - transactional leadership model is a new paradigm, neither replacing nor explained by other models. This study explores these concepts in the business settings of a developing country. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods are employed to collect data for triangulation purposes. For quantitative data collection the researcher translated, tested and applied English and Urdu versions of standard transformational and transactional inventory - Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) by Bass & Avolio 1997. A similar process was followed with a climate inventory - Creative Climate Questionnaire (CCQ) by Ekvall 1993. These inventories were completed by followers. In total 290 usable questionnaires were obtained. The researcher also developed semi-structured interview schedules for both leaders and their followers. The results of the factor analyses of MLQ showed that the three postulated types of leadership responses can be found in the data. The scales were found to differ slightly from those reported by Bass & Avolio 1997. Furthermore, transformational leadership had strong positive correlation with outcome factors and creative climate and transactional leadership also showed positive correlation with outcome factors and creative climate. Hierarchical regression analysis also showed that transformational leadership showed significant add-on effects to transactional leadership in explaining the outcome factors and creative climate. Its importance flows from the critical difference in implications when we challenge the orthodoxy of Bass and Avolio. To the researcher's knowledge this is the first analysis made in this fashion and therefore contributes evidence that transformational leadership and transactional leadership coexist. The Creative Climate Questionnaire (CCQ) was employed to test the convergent and discriminant validity of MLQ. MLQ showed strong convergent validity as the indicated strengths of the correlation were decidedly in favour of the transformational leadership factors and transactional leadership. Furthermore it also showed a strong discriminant validity as there was strong negative correlations between creative climate and passive leadership factors. To the researcher's knowledge this is the first time convergent and discriminant validities of MLQ have been tested in this fashion and therefore contributes further evidence of the validity of MLQ. The researcher believes it is also important as it shows that a carefully selected single instrument can be used to test the convergent and discriminant validity of another instrument. The content analysis of interviews of both leaders and followers showed that there were distinct differences between reported characteristics of transformational leaders and non-transformational leaders. The leadership characteristics that differentiated transformational and non-transformational leaders were: vision, captivating/inspiring speaking skills, an ability to excite, and countercultural/nontraditional behaviour and practices, high energy and dynamism, brilliance in terms of strategic insight and knowledge and active campaigning for organisational goals. A further distinguishing point between the transformational and non-transformational leaders is that, in interviews, subordinates of the transformational leaders described their leader's approval as a critical source of leader confirmation. Context was also examined to determine its role in fostering the appearance of the phenomenon. No specific context appeared to play a determining or catalytic role. Evidence from three surrogate measures for context appears to confirm the hypothesis that no one specific context (e.g. context of crisis) plays the determining role in the appearance, presence, and therefore impact of a transformational leader. Nonetheless the findings do not preclude the possibility that an underlying, determining dimension exists or that certain environments are more conducive to emergence of transformational leadership than others.
16

Enhancing higher education services in the Sultanate of Oman through implementing total quality management: Sultan Qaboos University as case study

Al-Ghanboosi, Salim Saleem Mohammed January 2003 (has links)
By the end of last century, higher educational institutions in general and in the Sultanate of Oman faced the problem of how to respond to dramatic changes in society and business as they where called upon to provide society and the marketplace with well qualified graduates and quality services. Many institutions round the world found the solution in adopting the new management approach known as Total Quality Management (TQM). A survey of TQM literature reveals that a number of public and private higher education institutions in the USA, the UK and many other countries in the world have adopted TQM principles in order to improve their educational processes and services, to satisfy their customers, and to gain competitive advantages. The objective of this study is to examine the extent to which the environment of higher education sectors in general and Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) in particular is suitable for the implementation of TQM principles. To achieve this goal the author proposed a model consisting of eight principles. These principles were used to explore the opinions of staff members of SQU and the environment of the university in order to arrive at a framework for implementation of the TQM model. The nature of this research was exploratory and descriptive. A questionnaire contain thirty statements was designed to examine the extent of agreement among staff members of SQU to the eight principles of the proposed model. The researcher also conducted open face-to-face interviews to measure the extent to which the environment of SQU was suitable to the implementing of TQM principles. One-way ANOVA tests were used to calculate the means, standard deviations, and variances of each statement in order to determine the significant differences between the means of opinions of the three groups of the sample according to their occupation levels. The thesis's contribution to knowledge can be summarized as follows: a) It is the first study of its kind to measure the possibility of implementing TQM principles in the field of higher education services in the Sultanate of Oman. b) The study presents a TQM model in the belief that its implementation will enhance higher education services in the Sultanate of Oman in general and in SQU in particular. c) The study presents a framework for implementing the proposed model. According to the research questions, the present study reached the following: 1) The literature on TQM and its implementation in higher education has revealed that everyone can adopt TQM in the higher education field on condition that there is commitment to its principles. 2) The discussions of the present study regarding the feasibility of the application of TQM in the SQU showed that there are some obstacles facing its success, i. e. lack of participation of juniors staff in decision making, lack of clarity of the responsibilities for senior positions, lack of clarity of formal procedures and criteria for those related to rewards system, promotions system, measurement of staff performance, moreover, the absence of strategic plan for training. On the other hand there is an excellent infrastructure, which can help with the implementation of TQM with the environment of SQU. 3) The primary data analysis revealed that the three groups of the sample agreed the commitment to TQM principles would help SQU to improve and reduce the cost of its services. Data also showed that the sample agreed that only the leadership of SQU has the decision-making powers as to whether to adopt TQM principles in SQU or not.
17

Unmasking organisational agility : an exploration of characteristics and influences

Mann, Andrew January 2014 (has links)
The essence of agility is how organisations can remain in tune with and respond to changes within the operating environment, but achieving these aims becomes more problematical when the environment is turbulent or fast moving. Whilst the origins of organisational agility lay within manufacturing, turbulent conditions are not restricted to that sector. Whilst definitions of agility are not hard to come by, just what makes an organisation agile is less clear. There is a consensus that agility is not homogenous but is situation-specific and comprises of a number of characteristics, with the importance of each, idiosyncratic to every organisation. A gap in the literature exists in that, whilst the defining characteristics may be unique to each firm, there is no agreement on what they might be, with virtually no attempts made to quantify how one organisation might be any more or less agile than its peers. The primary aim of this study is to devise a means of measuring agility and this is supported by a number of objectives which make a contribution to theory and practice. Objective 1 – To examine the existence of factors determining organisational agility The literature suggests agility is enabled by a range of hallmarks which are idiosyncratic to each organisation, but fails to ariculate what these might be. To bridge this gap, a survey was conducted to test the existence of agility characteristics drawn from the literature. Agility is contested (Bottani 2009) so the hallmarks identified in the literature were tested with industry practitioners using semi-structured interviews. Understanding the relative importance of agility factors addresses a gap in the literature but additionally has commercial appeal for organisations with agile ambitions. Objective 2 – Explore ways in which organisational agility can be quantified by the development of a measurement tool Although the literature does not specifiy the hallmarks of an agile organisation, it does suggest firms experience varying need to be agile and this makes the necessary characteristics heterogenous. Reviewing the literature highlighted virtually no attempts to quantify agility which would allow comparisons to be made across organisations from varying backgrounds. Having identified key characterisitcs of the agile firm in objective 1, the Corporate Agility Matrix (CAM) aims to quantify the importance. This contributes to theory by addressing the absence of a dynamic measurement tool which allows comparisons to be made across organisations.
18

Planning and implementing change in organisations: to what extent is it possible for a model of good practice from a commercial environment to be applied and successfully replicated in a local authority in England?

Murray, Michael C. January 2014 (has links)
The thesis research is concerned with change management in organisations, and specifically within a public sector organisation, a local authority (LA) in England. In particular the research first seeks to examine the utility and practical application of a selected model of good practice in workplace health that has been tested in the commercial world and secondly, the research examines the feasibility or otherwise of transferring and implementing the selected model of good practice to the LA in question. The first step was to undertake a literature review of models of good practice in healthy workplace programmes and select the model to use. Next, the process was to review management change theories and strategies in order to identify how best to transfer and implement the selected model of good practice. After following a comprehensive research of workplace health programmes a Canadian model, Investing in Comprehensive Healthy Workplace Promotion was selected as the model of good practice. The research utilised a constructive case study, aimed at an understanding of the phenomenon and creating a useful and theoretically grounded solution for the relevant problem. A collaborative action research programme involving participatory inquiry and reflection was considered and after reviewing alternatives it was deemed to be the most suitable framework for the purpose of the project; the intention was to develop a shared strategy whereby management and staff could provide better control over conflict resolution and work together. The main approach was then to undertake a stress/satisfaction survey throughout the LA and consult with management and staff on how best the results from the research could be utilised to develop the project. Important empirical research material included an agreed questionnaire which was distributed to staff to broaden out the input of those actively involved in the exercise. 562 completed questionnaires from a workforce of some 800 were returned and the completed questionnaires were analysed and results fed back to management and staff in a further series of meetings. The reliability of questionnaires was tested using Cranach’s alpha coefficient, giving a value of .81 and this reliability was within criteria for research of this type of research. In addition to the questionnaire a series of focus groups were held together with briefings sessions to which all staff were invited to attend. The results from the survey then formed the basis for future action. This included the call for the establishment of a healthy workplace strategy and highlighted issues to be addressed in the immediate future and longer term. A report of the findings and recommendations was submitted to the Corporate Management Team (CMT). The report recommended that the results of the questionnaire should be noted and the CWHP be implemented by the LA with external consultancy support. The research then describes and offers analysis and debate on the actions that were subsequently taken/not taken by the Corporate Management Team CMT.
19

Embracing uncertainty : a critical systemic approach to innovation and development in organizational information systems

Welch, Christine Elizabeth January 2010 (has links)
The body of work presented here makes a contribution to critically-informed research on management of Information Systems in their organizational contexts. An interpretive stance is taken, recognizing that people create their own perspectives of `realities' in context, through sense-making processes that are unique to them. A research agenda within a distinctive approach of Critical Systemic Thinking is elaborated. This is based in phenomenology and focuses upon individual uniqueness as a legitimate sphere of inquiry. Critical Systemic inquiries do not seek to generalise from the particular, but to gain a richness and depth of understanding. This is intended to enhance the dimension of transparency, rather than clarity in reflections upon unique phenomena: relevance in understandings, rather than rigour. Critical Systemic inquiry provides support for exploration of contextual factors in the experience of particular individuals, without losing a holistic, open systems perspective on complex problem situations. This perspective is applied in order to explore and critique the ideas and values underpinning practice in the fields of Information Systems and Knowledge Management, and in particular IS strategies. Two alternative paradigms within which information Systems may be conceived are contrasted. The impact of uncertainty inherent in dynamic organizational environments is explored. In particular, ways in which individuals approach dealing with unstructured problem spaces are subjected to inquiry. An observed desire to simplify complex decision spaces is problematised in the discussion. The dangers inherent in breaking down such spaces are highlighted and an approach that embraces uncertainty is advocated instead, through exploration of specific learning cases. These cases are used to illustrate how paradoxical thinking can inhibit effective practice. It is suggested that problem spaces may best be resolved through creation of productive learning spirals, in which all engaged stakeholders are encouraged to participate. This work suggests that practice can be improved by giving greater recognition to individually-unique understandings of context held by different engaged stakeholders. Furthermore, approaches to decision-making that embrace uncertainty are suggested to be more effective than those that seek to simplify, ignoring the inherent complexities of organizational life. Difficulties in applying complex, open systems methods such as those described within constraints of time and resources are recognised. Suggestions for dealing with these challenges are put forward and illustrated, through identification of constitutive rules for Critical Systemic Thinking as a basis for evaluation.
20

Online knowledge sharing in virtual communities of practice

Majewski, Grzegorz January 2012 (has links)
Knowledge Management (KM) techniques and tools have been utilized by organizations from diverse sections of the Economy to achieve numerous goals such as: competitive advantage, increased innovativeness and global project management. One of the techniques of KM that has gained prominence as a very useful knowledge sharing tool is Virtual Communities of Practice. It originated from work on situated learning. In order to utilize it in a proper way it is necessary to take into account human, psychological, social and technological factors. The purpose of this research is to investigate the factors that influence participants of VCoP while they play two distinct roles: knowledge provider and knowledge receiver. This is a gap in knowledge as there is a shortage of studies that analyse these two roles in VCoPs. Most of the research in this area focus on the knowledge provider role, with few studies considering the knowledge receiver role. Both roles are present only in a few studies and even so they are not the main topics of those researches and thus these roles are not fully recognized by the authors. This leads to the research problem of how to evaluate knowledge sharing activities performed by the participants of VCoPs while they play these two distinct roles: knowledge provider and knowledge receiver. In order to address this research problem it was necessary to identify and analyse the underlying constructs and how they interact with each other. The process of identifying these constructs and their relationships was supported by existing literature and models formulated by other researchers. In 2 particular and substantial to this research were three models formulated by: Chiu et al. 2006, Lin et al 2009 and Jiacheng et al 2010. The research built relationships between the identified constructs in order to develop a research model. The constructs of the research model were operationalized into appropriate questionnaire items and interview questions. Data was collected using a validated questionnaire and interviews with key members of two VCoPs. The first study was performed with Laurea Labs in Finland and focused on knowledge intensive processes, while the second study with a group in Second Life investigated online knowledge sharing in an immersive virtual environment. In order to evaluate the research model, collected data was analysed. The tools used were Principal Components Analysis, Correlation Analysis and Multiregression Analysis. It was utilized to evaluate the conceptual model. The contribution to knowledge of this study is the identification of the critical factors influencing online knowledge sharing in virtual communities of practice, the design of conceptual model for knowledge sharing that brings together the two distinct roles participants can play (knowledge provider and knowledge receiver), operationalisation of the factors into questionnaire items and interview questions as well as empirical research in two diverse environments (research lab and immersive virtual world). 3 The most significant relationships were between Knowledge Provision and Knowledge Reception on the one hand and Online Knowledge Sharing on the other as well as Perceived Benefits and Perception of Community. The nonsignificant relationships were dropped in the final model. Qualitative findings introduced Language and Innovation Capabilities as new constructs. Besides, further findings from correlation analysis have introduced new relationships termed as propositions on the model. The implications of the research include the difference in the way the receivers as opposed to givers of knowledge in VCoPs should be motivated to engage in knowledge sharing processes. Some of the motivatiors confirmed by this study are benefits, social ties and reciprocity.

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