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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.

Development of a framework for the sustainability of professional CoPs in education, health and industry : a multiple discovery led case study approach

Stewart, Ashley Shafii January 2014 (has links)
This thesis presents the results of a multiple discovery led case study research project. This research explored three professional Communities of Practice (CoPs) across three disciplines: education, industry and health. The thesis depicts the particularisations of the three case study CoPs. The study set out to explore the learning potential of CoPs and to provide empirical evidence to substantiate the link between participating in CoPs and learning, as there was a lack of empirical evidence indicating whether learning takes place within a community. The literature review within this study presents a summary of CoPs, the characteristics of a CoP, the lifecycle, organisational and online CoPs, and Communities of Learning (CoLs). This was very much in line with the study objectives, however, the themes identified and data gathered uncovered the importance and need for a framework for organisational CoPs. Consequently, new research questions emerged and the scope of the study shifted from one of learning to developing a framework which could be used by organisations to formulate and implement organisational CoPs. The methodology applied during this research study was a multiple discovery case study approach, which enabled the researcher to work with three unique CoPs. The methods of data collection included archival research, surveys, observations, semi-structured interviews and mapping. The survey findings were analysed using Mann-Whitney statistical analysis and Kruskal-Wallis tests indicated that there were significant differences between the three case study CoPs. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was conducted to analyse the interview transcripts. The outcome of the research study is a Formation and Implementation Framework which organisations can follow to form and implement CoPs within their professional environments. The framework also outlines a range of potential outcomes which an organisation can benefit from as a result of CoP implementation. The outcomes identified as a result of this study include: productivity, learning, knowledge transfer, professional development, performance and efficiency. This research makes contributions in three areas; knowledge, practice and policy. From a knowledge perspective; the literature review has presented a synthesis of the available literature, the research has contributed valuable insights by reporting the particularisations of three case study CoPs and a Formation and Implementation Framework has been proposed. From a practice perspective, a Formation and Implementation Framework has been developed, which is a practical tool for organisations to create and execute CoPs within organisations. The framework is the key outcome of the study and is an important original contribution as it addresses the weaknesses associated with existing frameworks. And finally, from a policy perspective, the research could influence organisational knowledge management strategies, professional development policies and support sectoral specialist interest groups.

What influences community positions towards nearby mining projects? : eight cases from Brazil and Chile

Maher, Rajiv January 2014 (has links)
This thesis looks at the influences and dynamics of community positions towards nearby mining projects in Brazil and Chile from an affected communities perspective. This subject is important because even after many initiatives and guidance aimed at helping companies to obtain good community relations, also known as a social license to operate (SLO), conflict in many mining community contexts is still prevalent today. In considering this, the thesis draws from Stakeholder, Resource Dependence and Social Movement Theories to help explain community positions towards these mining projects. The field research includes multiple stakeholder interviews from case studies of eight different mining affected communities in Brazil and Chile which are categorized into groups of higher or lower conflict. The main findings are that the more independent from mining a community is the greater the likelihood of conflict and the more independent type of communities perceived the mining projects as threats to their independence. The lower conflict communities were more economically dependent on their nearby mining projects. My findings also indicate that these more independent communities’ collective mobilization to resist such projects is nullified by influence strategies employed by mining companies via initiatives such as corporate social responsibility (CSR) that can serve as co-optation and lead to divisions within communities. The findings of this thesis call into question the validity of CSR-related notions such as an SLO from an affected communities perspective. An SLO implies community power; however, the research from the community perspective indicates that community power is not a constant or unchallenged. When countered by mining companies and the State, community resistance is broken down and community positions change. The scenario of mining company community relations set in a globalized world is dynamic and ever changing due to the various influences directed to and from affected mining communities. I propose a model which suggests that in situations of high interdependence between mining company and local community, stakeholder theory holds true. In these cases the vast array of social responsibility-related practical guidance literature on gaining good community relations is valid. Where a community is more independent and collectively resists the mining project, the company will use countermobilziation, CSR, co-optation and obstruction strategies to obtain a resistance free environment in which to conduct mining activity. The research contributes to stakeholder and resource dependence theories as well as to related practitioner literature on community relations and business and human rights by problematizing these theories and guidance. Specifically, the findings question the idea that CSR and best practice community relations lead to a win-win situation. In many cases implementing CSR exacerbates community conflict and divisions and is ultimately more irresponsible than responsible. The literature does not sufficiently consider the complexities of power imbalances between company/State and community in a globalized context and how this affects community relations and conflict from a community perspective. Further research should be conducted around the dynamics of influence strategies employed by State, company and community in the realm of development and human rights.

Benefits realization from IS/IT investments : a perspective from ERP systems

Aslam, Usman January 2014 (has links)
Delivery of benefits from many ERP systems remains disappointingly low. The high investment in ERP systems means that realizing benefits from these implementations is of critical importance to many organizations. Thus, the main aim this research is to develop insights that can help organizations to improve benefits realization from ERP systems. In doing so, this study is not only evaluating the benefits gained by different organizations, but it is also analysing the key activities that are deemed necessary for benefits realization. This research was conducted in two phases to explore the research objectives. The initial phase was conducted with a selection of stakeholders working in the ERP industry to gather insights concerning the adoption of benefits management approaches and the relationship between ERP customization and benefits realization. The second phase comprised of three in-depth case studies that investigated the activities that were necessary to realize benefits from ERP projects. The research provides a number of important contributions to the academic literature. With respect to the adoption of benefits management (BM) approaches, this research contributes by providing empirical insights about what organizations are actually doing to manage benefits. More specifically, the study provides evidence to suggest that organizations have an increased chance of realizing benefits if they develop localized BM approaches based on organizational needs and context. This study also highlights the role of organisational change in facilitating the realisation of business benefits, in the context of ERP projects. Another important contribution is an attempt in establishing of relationship between different types of customizations and the resultant benefits. The study also contributes by indicating that organizations, in the very particular context of ERP projects, can identify the additional un-planned benefits during the use of the system. This study makes another important new contribution to the literature, by demonstrating the importance of tackling any organizational inhibitors in order to realize maximum benefits at various stages of ERP systems life cycle. Finally, with respect to the evaluation of ERP systems, this research contributes by providing interpretive evaluation of operational ERP systems to explore the process of how benefits were realised, in the participating organizations. It is envisaged that interpretive evaluation will fuel the insights that will maximize the attaining of benefits from ERP implementations.

The governance dynamics of the emergent European administrative order : explaining the strategy process of EU Agencies

Ongaro, Edoardo January 2014 (has links)
Over the 1990s and the 2000s, subsequent waves of institutional-administrative reforms have established at the European Union (EU) level a variety of ‘public agencies’, characterised by a certain degree of autonomy from both the European Commission and the individual Member States. The research project aims at studying the under-investigated phenomenon of the process of strategy formation in EU agencies, thus contributing to both the field of public management (about the strategy process in semi-autonomous organisations) and the field of EU studies (about the impact on European governance of the organisational behaviour of EU agencies). The research question has been formulated, in most simple terms, as: how does strategy form in EU Agencies? The overall thrust of the research is exploratory and theory-building. The research design is a longitudinal multiple case study. The design school of thought in strategic management and, quite surprisingly, the entrepreneurial school have turned out to provide useful interpretive frameworks for accounting for the dynamics of the strategy process in EU agencies. Implications for public management, general management, and the contemporary debate on EU governance are discussed.

Information technology (IT) experts in flexible forms of employment

Voutsina, Katerina January 2008 (has links)
This research is concerned with the study of the conditions that govern the proliferation and diffusion of non-standard employment relationships in knowledge intensive sectors of the economy (i.e. the subcontracting of highly-skilled workers in the IS sector). It aimed at identifying and exploring the technological and socioeconomic conditions that pave the way for IT freelancing to blossom and spread. In other words, the objective of this study has been to investigate the possibilities that technological infrastructure and social and institutional conditions create in regard to the proliferation of IT freelancing. To achieve this research objective, the study explored how the asymmetrical relationship between client-firms and highly-skilled IT contractors is enacted and sustained in practice Previous studies on IT freelancing have usually examined the reasons that justify such a decision, focusing on the contactor or the client-firm's perspective. Little attention has been paid to the technological factors and the functional base of the work which potentially renders this kind of work amenable to freelancing practices. In this regard, the current research is distinguished by the attention it pays to the way the task infrastructure of IT work and information and communication technologies are associated with the contingent employment pattern. To this end, thirty ''ethnographic" interviews with highly-skilled IT contractors were conducted in Greece. An analysis of the findings suggests that the exchange of highly-skilled IT services between the IT contractor and the client-firm, instead of simply being subject to the rules of supply and demand governing spot markets, tends to be highly contingent on the technological infrastructure and socio-economic conditions which govern the current workplace. In other words, the particular technological tools that the contractors possess along with concrete social and institutional conditions that rule the IT sector appear to partly account for the spread and maintenance of IT freelancing techniques.

Intercultural competencies needed by global CEOs

Gibson, Barbara January 2014 (has links)
The world of international business has changed dramatically in the past two decades, shifting from being the exclusive realm of giant multinational corporations to a wide-open marketplace for companies of all sizes and stages of maturity. Although there is growing recognition that Chief Executive Officers need international experience, little is known about which intercultural competencies are needed at the top. Most of the research in the field has been focused either further down the management chain, on expatriate managers, or outside the business world, on international students. Both these groups are well-researched due to the relative ease of gaining access to subjects. Accessing CEOs and other business elites is considerably more challenging, which may explain the dearth of academic research at the top level of business. This research aimed to fill that gap by exploring the strategic-level intercultural challenges faced by companies doing business internationally and by identifying the intercultural competencies needed by CEOs. The study utilised an emergent approach, following on from an earlier pilot study. It included in-depth interviews with 28 global CEOs spanning 12 countries, leading companies ranging in size from fewer than 10 to more than 200,000 employees. The data was analysed utilising a “constructivist grounded theory” approach. The study concluded that intercultural competencies of CEOs have a potential impact in several key areas, including: decision-making; hiring; managing the top executive team; conflict and negotiation; working with partners and vendors; and market entry. Five intercultural competencies were identified as important at the CEO level: Cultural Self-Awareness; Cultural Sensory Perception; Open-mindedness; Global Perspective; and Adaptability. The study also discovered patterns of CEO behaviour in response to failure in intercultural interactions, which may impact the time and cost required to achieve objectives in foreign markets. Finally, the study found evidence of effective methods for developing the required competencies.

An exploration of corporate social responsibility in multinational companies (MNCs) in Saudi Arabia

Alomar, Jawaher January 2014 (has links)
The issue of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the Multinational Corporations (MNCs) of developing countries has received considerable attention in international business and international management literature in recent years, but there is a dearth of research on CSR in MNCs operating in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, especially in Saudi Arabia. In particular there is a scarcity of research on how MNCs, mainly from Western Countries, develop and implement their CSR activities in the Islamic world. Moreover there is a paucity of research exploring the role of CSR in shaping the MNC subsidiary-host country relationship. This study was undertaken to fill these gaps in the literature. In this respect, the study investigates MNCs' CSR initiatives in Saudi Arabia. In particular, it explores the perceptions of CSR held by managers of MNCs, the government, society and other stakeholders concerned. The examination also covered the factors affecting the subsidiary-host country relationship and the elements which facilitate cordial interdependency in Saudi Arabia. The study is innovative because of the dominance of religion and the government in the social, political and economic affairs of Saudi Arabia and the effects of these on the management of MNCs. A CSR theoretical framework was developed to guide the study and a qualitative research methodology was adopted. Essentially, questionnaires s and interviews were used to collect the data and evidence for the study. The data and other fieldwork empirical evidence were analysed thematically and with the support of NVivo. The study generated some novel and interesting findings, providing deeper insights into CSR practice and management and their impact on the subsidiary-host country relationship. The main finding of the study is that local Islamic culture and governmental rules are the most influential in shaping CSR in the MNC subsidiaries. The study also revealed that perceptions of the CSR concept were more or less in line with the Western perspective, but in Saudi Arabia the ethical impact was greater due to the dominant influence of local Islamic culture. It also emerged from the study that most of the challenges facing MNCs' subsidiaries in Saudi Arabia in their CSR implementation arose from a lack of government support and excessive, inefficient bureaucracy. Therefore, this suggests a need for MNCs to conduct CSR activities via existing or feasible governmental channels, such as through paI1nerships formed with the government and an alignment of CSR objectives with governmental concerns and initiatives. The study also emphasised the importance of using Islamic principles as a means of promoting CSR activities in order to ensure the acceptance of the MNCs' CSR initiatives. An interesting finding of the study was that the initiation of CSR activities by MNCs was primarily motivated by a need to enhance corporate reputation at both local and global levels. The conclusion drawn from the findings was that the adoption of CSR in MNC subsidiaries greatly depended on the actions and choices of the corporation in terms of how they wanted to be perceived by both the government and the public in Saudi Arabia. An analysis of the data and evidence gathered shows that in general, to achieve cordial interdependent relationships and the benefit of interdependence, an MNC needs to form a paI1nership between the subsidiary and local organisation or the government, in order to focus on local needs. It is therefore suggested that CSR activities should be aligned with the needs and issues specific to the host country.

Examining factors influencing employee adoption of knowledge management systems in the context of Saudi Arabian public sector organisations

Alatawi, Fatmah M. January 2014 (has links)
No description available.

International technology transfer in the Chinese coal mining industry

Li, Qi January 2014 (has links)
This study investigated international technology transfer (ITT) of the coal mining industry in the Chinese context, and it focused primarily on how to achieve successful ITT by identifying affecting factors. The coal mining industry, as a dominant industry in China, hopes to achieve technological innovation and leapfrogging by ITT, because innovation distinguishes a leader from a follower and followers will have to continue purchasing technology from leaders. ITT is a complex process and many factors affect its success, so understanding of the affecting factors facilitates the industry to sufficiently learn and absorb foreign technology to achieve innovation. A number of researchers have studied the ways in which ITT can be achieved successfully in contexts other than the Chinese coal mining industry. However, in the Chinese context, it is still relatively unclear what factors affect the effectiveness of ITT. Owing to the scant literature on ITT in the industry, a pilot case studies was firstly designed and conducted with involvement of the following three types of coal mines: large state-owned, local state-owned and small coal mines. Then a main case studies was designed through observing these types of coal mines and conducting eighteen in-depth semi-structured interviews with general managers, general engineers and directors from the respective three coal mines. The aim of the design is to develop a substantial theoretical framework for generating hypotheses by combining extant literature with the findings of the pilot case studies. In addition, a self-completion questionnaire was designed based on findings from the case studies and then administered through a web-based survey in order to test hypotheses and identify the affecting factors. 629 questionnaires were collected from large stated-owned coal mines and they were analysed by multiple linear regression. Design of the survey enables the researcher to generalize the qualitative findings beyond the specific case. Data from the case studies and survey were used to triangulate perspectives and 5 findings. The main finding of the research revealed that the Chinese government made relevant safeguard regulations and punished IPR violation, which facilitated ITT. However, the government drew up encouragement policies and innovation strategies blindly based on its own visions or goals rather than the practical situation of coal mines; a number of managers of the coal mines interfered excessively with learning activities even without relevant background knowledge; and these interventions resulted in poor ITT performance. Furthermore, the large state-owned coal mine as transferee owned relevant background knowledge and provided relevant training to staff as well as building a good learning environment and establishing efficient team learning, which improved the effectiveness of its ITT. The theoretical contribution of this study lies in filling gap in the ITT literature in China and tested the generalizability of the existing theories. The findings suggested that a number of extant theories are not applicable to the Chinese context. In order to make extant theories better ‘fit’ into the Chinese context, this study suggests modifying extant theories based on government, technology management and team learning, which are three controllable and vital dimensions affecting the effectiveness of ITT in the Chinese coal mining industry.

Comparing apples with apples : segmenting sub-Saharan Africa by affluence, expressed as a measure of living standard : a market segmentation study

Kadenhe-Mhizha, Tendai January 2012 (has links)
In 2002 some of the main challenges facings sub-Saharan African marketers and development strategists was the lack of credible and current income data and the absence of a reliable socio-economic profiling framework or affluence measurement tool to underpin consumer insights. There was no basis for affordability-based segmentation and no reliable market evaluation framework available in the public domain. This situation greatly limited the usefulness and applicability of other consumer data collected. This study aimed to explore the apparent methodology gap left by traditional socia/demographic methods of market evaluation and segmentation that were not optimally effective in the sub- Saharan environment and conditions. The need to explore this knowledge shortfall further in this study stemmed from a lack of research and empirical work that could have perhaps illuminated a more effective and more appropriate measurement tool developed in the same way for as many countries in sub- Saharan Africa as possible. It was very important to be able to effectively stratify the regions markets based on wealth, affluence or standard of living. The main aim of this thesis therefore, was to explore and develop an effective and reliable market evaluation and segmentation method in the form of a measure of the poverty/affluence level of the individual sub-Saharan countries, as well as the entire African sub-region. This measure was to act as a surrogate for SES group or income.

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