Theses (Business)

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    Through the Looking Glass - Strategies in Achieving Stakeholder Performance
    (2024) Salmon, Emily; Murphy, Matthew
    This dissertation thoroughly explores stakeholder value capture through three interconnected studies, collectively advancing our understanding of how community stakeholders systematically capture diverse elements of value over time. By challenging fundamental economic assumptions within value-based strategy theory and incorporating a behavioural theory lens, I develop a theoretical model to offer conceptual clarity on the concept of value capture, disentangling potential from realized value capture. The subsequent empirical studies test and build upon these theoretical advancements, with a specific focus on Indigenous communities impacted by nearby mining projects. In this context, I investigate the impact of contractual stakeholder governance, specifically the negotiation and implementation of Community Benefit Agreements, on community stakeholder value capture outcomes. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the findings indicate that contractual forms of stakeholder governance, particularly CBAs, do not consistently lead to higher value capture outcomes. Furthermore, the research reveals that stakeholders concurrently experience both value capture and destruction across various dimensions, challenging existing theoretical explanations. Expanding on these insights, the research then uncovers the diverse value capture strategies associated with achieving higher levels of value capture, finding that communities can capture value across varying levels of bargaining power while the ease of capturing value varies according to the type of value. This holistic exploration enhances our understanding of the determinants of stakeholder value capture, supplementing established explanations centered on bargaining power with innovative theoretical developments related to complementary resources and institutional contexts. Collectively, these studies offer a nuanced and comprehensive perspective on stakeholder value capture processes, contributing to the evolving landscape of value capture theory and practice.
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    Managing linguistic diversity through ambiguity: the case of a non-formalized corporate language policy
    (2023-09-28) Brighi, Carlo; Danis, Wade; Thomas, David C.
    Growing linguistic diversity has become the reality for many organizations, and how such diversity is addressed has become the focus of a stream of research within the management literature. The adoption of a corporate language policy aimed at regulating language choices is considered a common mean to facilitate communication and integration within a linguistically diverse workforce. Most notably, organizations often rely on the formal introduction of a common corporate language. Recent studies, however, have exposed the possible detrimental consequences that can follow the adoption of this policy. In this dissertation, I study an alternative approach to address linguistic diversity – a non-formalized language policy – examining its key features, theoretical assumptions and underlying mechanisms, as well as its perceived positive and negative outcomes. Relying on a single case study design and employing a variety of data collection approaches ranging from interviews to observations of in-person and virtual interactions, I show how an underlying concept – termed language ambiguity – captures the main features of and assumptions behind this type of policy. Adopting Spolsky’s conceptualization of language policies, I develop a framework that links each of the three dimensions of language ambiguity to different dimensions of the non-formalized language policy. Results of this study show also how this policy might contribute to facilitating communication and promoting diversity, while also playing a role in possible losses in knowledge transmission. Finally, based on the findings, I show how the policy can be seen as part of a set of measures aimed at promoting multilingualism within the organization. The frameworks and theoretical insights presented in this dissertation contribute to the ongoing debates in the fields of language-sensitive management research and equity, diversity, and inclusion on how an organization can better address linguistic diversity by turning it from a potential challenge into a valuable resource.
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    Unpacking complexity: actors' work in the shaping of institutional contexts, processes, and outcomes
    (2023-04-27) Chavez Ramirez, Juan Francisco; Murphy, Matthew
    This dissertation investigates the different forms in which actors’ actions and interactions influence institutional fields, processes and outcomes. Using the oil pipeline industry in Canada as the empirical context, and a large dataset of hearing transcripts from the National Energy Board of Canada, I developed three empirical studies that highlight agency and variation, rather than determinism and isomorphism. Across the three studies, I rely on the literature on institutional work, institutional plurality, institutional complexity, and performativity. These bodies of work highlight the increasing pressure that organizations face to navigate contexts in which agentic actors skillfully mobilize a variety of demands stemming from multiple notions of value. In my first study (Article #1), I take a configurational approach to unpack the notion of institutional complexity and demonstrate that “not all complexity is created equal” – actors’ actions and interactions influence the presence and intensity of different complexity-related components, which in conjunction result in distinctive types of complexity. By differentiating among types of complexity, I was able to identify the conditions under which different organizational responses to complexity (e.g., avoid, hybrid, compartmentalized, or loose coupling) were more likely to be associated with different outcomes, such as legitimacy maintenance or loss. In my second study (Article #2), I take a quantitative approach to investigate the role of emotional language in institutional work under conditions of complexity. Through a set of statistical analyses, I demonstrate that the use of emotional language is mainly an actor’s choice rather than being determined by the type of concern mobilized (i.e., the institutional prescription). Likewise, we demonstrate that relying on emotional language enhances the effectiveness of disruptive institutional work but only around certain issues – when advocating for environmental issues, while the opposite is true for social issues (i.e., less emotional language enhances disruption). In my third study (Article #3), I take a grounded theory approach to investigate how marginalized actors affect change to advance and protect their interests in institutional fields that are adverse (or hostile) towards them. The change in question is the emergence of aboriginal monitoring programs in the oil pipeline industry, which imply the recognition of the rights of Indigenous Peoples to be stewards of their territories and of the value of their knowledge systems in the identification, appraisal, and management of environmental impacts. I contribute to the literature by proposing the notion of institutional subversion as a form of institutional work through which marginalized actors can undermine notions of knowledge validity and power (or authority) governing a field in order to affect change.
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    Entrepreneurial conflation in American business dynasties
    (2023-04-25) Israelsen, Trevor; Suddaby, Roy
    This dissertation explores how collective action becomes conflated with heroic individuals. My thesis is that the individual entrepreneur is the product, rather than the agent, of successful acts of entrepreneurship. That is, “the entrepreneur” of American business mythology is the product of successful acts of entrepreneurial conflation in which the narrow economic project becomes embedded in a broader societal project that involves multiple individuals, unfolds across generations and embraces overlapping domains such as culture, religion, politics, philanthropy and history. I introduce entrepreneurial conflation as a transformative social practice of collapsing, blurring or amalgamating underlying distinctions used in the conceptual architecture of prevailing institutions. I elaborate conflation as a theoretical construct through an empirical examination of the legacies of prominent entrepreneurs and their families in American business history. My core argument is that the skillful use of conflation is the key mechanism through which entrepreneurial families subvert the conceptual architecture of prevailing modern institutions to achieve legitimacy as business dynasties in American society. By introducing the construct of conflation, I identify how a loose constellation of practices that we intuitively associate with entrepreneurial success are composed by an underlying social process. By applying my conceptualization of entrepreneurial conflation to the phenomenon of successful entrepreneurial families, I demonstrate how business dynasties—which are typically seen as anachronistic and irrelevant in modern, western societies—have enduring relevance for good and bad in business and society of the twenty first century. And by situating empirical research on entrepreneurial conflation at the intersection of grounded theory and historical methodologies, I illustrate how patterns in the analysis of historical evidence and narratives can be used to develop theory in management and organization studies.
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    Value Creation Through Stakeholder Management: Three Essays Assessing the Effects of Competitive Strategies, Environmental Performance Feedback, and (Inter)national Governance Institutions
    (2023-01-04) He, Ye; Chittoor, Raveendra
    This dissertation is composed of three related yet independent studies, with a consistent theme on stakeholder management and value creation of organizations. Using the instrumental stakeholder theory lens, in Essay 1, I examine how generic competitive strategies influence the link between stakeholder management (SM) and firm financial performance. I develop a framework that highlights the synergistic effects of a differentiation strategy on SM, but also the trade-offs between a cost leadership strategy and SM in their consequences for financial performance. I further propose that for firms pursuing a low cost competitive advantage, secondary SM intensifies the trade-offs between SM and financial performance when compared with primary SM, whereas both primary and secondary SM are likely to improve financial performance for differentiators. Drawing from behavioral theory studies, Essay 2 of my dissertation examines how negative/positive performance feedback (i.e., the negative/positive attainment discrepancy between firms’ actual performance and aspirations) with respect to firms’ environmental performance can serve as a determinant of firms’ subsequent social orientation. I found a U-shaped relationship between negative environmental performance feedback and corporate social performance. I also found an inverted U-shaped relationship between positive environmental performance feedback and firms’ social orientation. The results suggest that when firms have extremely poor environmental performance far below aspiration levels, they are more motivated to perform better in addressing social issues, mainly due to legitimacy concerns. On the contrary, as firms’ environmental performance is well above aspirations, their motivation to improve social performance will be decreased significantly, partly because their legitimacy is already secured by the satisfactory environmental performance. Essay 3 examines the relationship between private voluntary governance institutions (via the compliance with the UN Global Compact) and corporate social responsibility (CSR), as well as how public governance (via the quality of national institutions) will condition this relationship. In particular, I argue that the positive impact of the UN Global Compact (UNGC) on CSR is likely to wear off over time. I further propose that national institutions moderate the UNGC-CSR relationship, such that the inverted U-shape between the UNGC and CSR is steeper when national institutions are stronger. The findings in this dissertation have implications for research on stakeholder management and value creation of organizations, CSR, behavioral theory and (inter)national governance institutions.
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    The power of babel: language diversity, clusters, and the implementation of on-the-job training programs
    (2020-09-08) Kalra, Komal; Danis, Wade
    This dissertation examined the relationship between language diversity and the implementation of on-the-job training programs. Using India as the empirical context, I conducted a multi-case study research, which involved semi-structured interviews and direct observations in the headquarters of two Indian multinational enterprises. Drawing from social identity theory, I first examined the factors that influence the emergence and transformation of two types of language -based clusters, coping clusters and clusters of convenience. The two types of clusters display distinct mechanisms related to arousal, ingroup favoritism and outgroup bias, which questions one of the key assumptions of social identity theory related to the role of affect. Additionally, I found that language diversity can create cognitive discomfort for training recipients, and emotional anxiety for both training facilitators and recipients. However, training recipients, training facilitators, and the executive management, (i.e., the firm) can utilize certain language accommodation approaches that can reduce the emotional and cognitive discomfort experienced by employees. Using communication accommodation theory, I discuss that the influence of each language accommodation approach depends on its source and time of implementation. As well, language -based clusters can facilitate the exchange of interpersonal information during on-the-job training programs. The emergent findings also suggest that linguistic identity seldom operates in isolation. It often intersects with other dimensions of social identity, specifically, the status differentials attached to gender, education and regional dialects. The findings have implications for research on language diversity and language management in international business, social identity theory and communication accommodation theory.
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    Cleaning up the big muddy: psychological ownership and its effect on entrepreneurial persistence
    (2020-08-31) Silla, Michael; Brown, Graham
    While research has shown that persistence is an important predictor of entrepreneurial success, evidence also indicates that entrepreneurial persistence can lead to disastrous consequences. Therefore, it is crucial to manage entrepreneurial persistence to limit an entrepreneur’s exposure to failure and improve their likelihood of success. However, our current understanding of why entrepreneurs persist is fragmented, as the determinants of persistence have yet to be integrated in a meaningful way. As a result, our current understanding of entrepreneurial persistence lacks the clarity required to manage entrepreneurial persistence effectively. I propose that psychological ownership is a key variable that facilitates the integration of the four (psychological, project, social and structural) determinants of entrepreneurial persistence. I assert that psychological ownership can provide a psychological explanation for entrepreneurial persistence by positing that entrepreneurs persist in order to address the impairment of their self-concept that results from their venture’s failure. I then establish that psychological ownership can provide a link to project determinants by noting that psychological ownership enhances the expected utility of the course of action, which increases the likelihood of entrepreneurial persistence. Following, I articulate that collective psychological ownership can provide a social explanation for entrepreneurial persistence by arguing that a team of entrepreneurs persist to address the collective impairment of their identity that stems from receiving negative feedback. Finally, I demonstrate that psychological ownership can provide a link to structural determinants by noting that psychological ownership motivates entrepreneurs to increase their commitment to their venture following negative feedback in order to prevent investors from gaining control of their ventures. In order to test my hypotheses, I modified and extended Staw’s (1976) seminal research design on escalation of commitment to fit the entrepreneurial context and conducted mediated moderation tests on data collected from 229 entrepreneurs. The results of this study show that psychological ownership is positively related to commitment when controlling for the performance of the venture. Thus, the results indicate that psychological ownership predicts entrepreneurial persistence. In addition, the results suggest that there is tentative support for the notion that psychological ownership can link the four determinants of entrepreneurial persistence and provide a holistic explanation for why entrepreneurs persist. I conclude by highlighting the importance of psychological ownership in managing entrepreneurial persistence. I note that psychological ownership can be a useful criterion for investors to identify which entrepreneurs are likely to persist and go the extra mile to advance their entrepreneurial projects. In addition, I note that an effective measure to mitigate entrepreneurial persistence, when it is time to pull the plug on an entrepreneurial project, is to reduce an entrepreneur’s psychological ownership for their ideas or ventures.
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    Growing local food: charting meaning emergence through the dynamics of discourse, rhetoric and framing
    (2020-08-28) Karmali, Shazia; Suddaby, Roy
    This dissertation seeks to understand how new meanings emerge in the context of institutional change. Existing research seeking to understand shifts in meaning has primarily accessed meaning, across numerous contexts, via the three key constructs of discourse, rhetoric, or framing. Within the context of the emergence of the local food movement in Canada, I employ a mixed methods approach using term frequencies, topic modelling and qualitative content analysis, within a computational grounded theory framework for Big Data analysis. My data consists of all articles containing any mention of the term “local food” in popular Canadian press over 37 years from 1978-2014, a database totalling 31,421 articles. My results show that firstly, new meanings pertaining to local food emerged rapidly over the 37-year period. The emergence of a new meaning for local food, associated with the politicization of food production occurred in the second half of my dataset, whereas the first half was marked by connotations of poverty and hunger, associated with the local food bank. Secondly, unexpected actors were found to significantly impact the propulsion of meaning change, by establishing new vocabularies surrounding the term “local food”. Finally, this dissertation shows that the new meanings associated with local food emerged as a result of discursive opportunities, momentarily arising through the confluence of discourse, rhetoric and framing. I propose an emergent process model of meaning change and, further, propose that discursive opportunity structures can be better understood through the metaphor of an emergent property.
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    Strategic shifts toward regenerative sustainability: the pivotal role of ecological knowledge
    (2020-01-02) Rahman, Saeed; Winn, Monika I.
    Increasingly, firms like Patagonia, IKEA, General Mills, or Barilla actively seek to understand their interdependence with nature, build innovative capabilities, and generate more radical shifts toward sustainability. This creates exciting opportunities to investigate exactly how these companies obtain knowledge about ecosystem dynamics and processes and how they use it both to cope with climate change or declining ecosystem resilience and contribute to maintain or even strengthen ecosystems. Despite the considerable potential to advance research on organizational strategy and corporate sustainability, the notion of ‘ecological knowledge’ has yet to enter the scholarly work of management and business organization in a substantive manner. At present, we know almost nothing about the processes, mechanisms, and routines that enable an organization to, first, recognize the value of such knowledge and to, then, systematically access, co-create, integrate and utilize such knowledge into its broader knowledge and resource base. My dissertation attempts to fill this gap and opens up new directions for research on the role of ecological knowledge in corporate sustainability management. More specifically, I ask: What are the processes through which organizations can effectively access, co-create, integrate and utilize ecological knowledge with current organizational knowledge and strategies? I link strategic and organization-focused concepts of knowledge and the perspective of absorptive capacity with the notion of ecological knowledge from modern ecology, especially from the social-ecological systems literature, to shed light on the processes through which organizations can effectively access, co-create, integrate and utilize new ecological knowledge into their operational and strategic decision making. I adopt a qualitative, emergent, and inductive strategy drawing on a grounded research approach to gain an in-depth, cross-validated, and processual understanding of the mechanisms through which organizations can promote and enhance ecosystem health including biodiversity. I undertook my study on the organic agriculture sector, a sub-sector of the modern agriculture and agri-food industry. I collected data from nineteen agriculture and agri-food organizations based in British Columbia (BC), the westernmost province of Canada, using multiple data sources including in-depth interviews, observations, company documents, reports, newspaper articles and field reports. Based on my analysis, I develop a grounded theory about the processes through which organizations can successfully deepen their ecological knowledge and then utilize this knowledge to more sustainably manage their relationships with nature and contribute to protecting or even strengthening ecosystem functionality. With my dissertation, I address the call from scholars in Organization and the Natural Environment (ONE) and Corporate Sustainability for more transdisciplinary cross-fertilization as an essential approach to building compelling new theory and models in the field. First, my analysis offers a more fine-grained understanding of the types, components, dimensions, and characteristics of ecological knowledge. Second, my analysis uncovers a micro-level account of the processes by which individuals as critical actors identify, evaluate and make sense of the organization-environment interrelationships across various scales of time and space. I also identify the multiple personal characteristics of individual actors that influence these processes in various stages and circumstances. Third, my study offers insights into the factors that can strengthen an organization’s relational capacity to build mutual trust and collaboration with holders of ecological knowledge. Fourth, it sheds light on how firms engage with and motivate multiple community stakeholders in building a collaborative process of mutual learning, knowledge sharing, and knowledge co-creation to build joint capacity for coping successfully with many complex challenges of sustainability, thus contributing to the wellbeing of the entire social-ecological system. Collectively, these contributions provide a deeper and more holistic understanding of the processes of acquiring and co-creating ecological knowledge that can allow an organization to transition successfully towards greater ecological sustainability. My dissertation also offers numerous practically relevant insights for businesses facing the challenges of economic, social and environmental sustainability, as well as specific guidance on how companies can protect or enhance their supply of natural capital and contribute toward greater stability of the broader human-nature systems in which they are embedded.
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    Our quest for a great place to work: meaning in and at work through the fit perspective
    (2018-09-18) Kar, Anirban; Elangovan, A. R.
    Our work and the organization in which we work play significant roles in many of our lives. Yet, theoretically grounded understanding of when is it that the relationships with our work and that with our work environment make a great place to work is almost non-existent. So far the organizations that feature in the Fortune Best Companies to Work For, or the Forbes the Happiest Companies to Work For, or the Glassdoor Best Places to Work, etc., are considered as proxies for great places to work. However, the characterizations of the antecedents of these workplaces are fragmented, idiosyncratic, and confounding, as they cover a wide span of factors (e.g., pride, job satisfaction, flexibility, inspiring leadership, camaraderie, trust, work-life balance, etc.), and adopt a one-size fits all approach, without a theoretical underpinning, limiting their generalizability and usefulness. In my dissertation, I addressed these shortcomings through the fit perspective and through the mechanism of meaning in and at work. I proposed the meaning-through-fit model of great places to work, underpinned by identity (Stryker & Berke, 2000), social identity (Ashforth & Mael, 1989), and social information processing theories (Salancik & Pfeffer, 1978). The model hypothesized that the employees’ perception of a great place to work is built and sustained by meaning in work (from the relationship with the work itself) based on the underlying person-work fit, and by meaning at work (from the relationship with the work environment) based on the underlying person-supervisor, the person-group, and the person-organization fits. I tested the proposed model using a mixed methods approach, with the help of three Studies. In Study 1, I conducted 26 semi-structured interviews to assess the face validity of the model and to obtain inputs for the survey instrument and for the scenario descriptions to be used in Study 2. In Study 2, I tested the hypothesized model with the help of quantitative data gathered through a three-wave Main Survey with participants from MTurk (N=481), after two Pilot Surveys (N=95 and 247). I confirmed the results through Scenario Analysis with participants from MTurk (N=399). Out of the seven main variables in the proposed model, I developed scales to measure three variables (employees’ perception of a great place to work, meaning at work, and person-group fit), and refined the scales to measure four variables (person-work fit, person-supervisor fit, person-organization fit, and meaning in work). In Study 3, I conducted 45 structured interviews in order to gain a deeper understanding of the findings from Study 2. The quantitative data gathered in Study 2 provided partial support to the proposed model, indicating that meaning in work partly mediated the relationship between person-work fit and employees’ perception of a great places to work, and meaning at work partly mediated the relationship between person-organization fit and employees’ perception of a great place to work. The data also indicated that meaning at work is the more significant predictor compared to meaning in work. Among the fits, person-organization fit mattered the most. Study 3 provided interesting insights and explanations about the findings from Study 2. The meaning-through-fit model of great places to work works around the problematic one-size fits all approach, acknowledges the differences among the employees in the understanding of and expectations from a great places to work, offers increased generalizability and a pathway to leaders to build great places to work from the employees’ perspective, and contributes theoretically and empirically to Positive Organizational Scholarship.
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    New venture delegation
    (2018-08-28) Zhu, Helena; Brown, Graham
    Many start-ups fail or never achieve their full potential due to founder’s resistance to delegate. Yet our understanding of delegation in entrepreneurship is limited to research on later events in the organizational life cycle with a key focus on succession and exit. Moreover, the existing research focuses on single entrepreneurs; however, many new ventures are created by teams and decisions around delegation of authority are critical, even amongst the founding entrepreneurs within the venture team. Accordingly, the purpose of this dissertation research was to understand when and how delegation occurs in modern new ventures, and how it enhances or undermines new venture survival and growth, with a particular interest in exploring the role of psychological ownership in delegation practice. To understand the phenomenon of interest, I conducted a qualitative study, involving in-depth interviews and non-participative observation, in five growing technology start-ups. In doing so, I utilized the existing literatures on new venture growth, founder delegation, psychological ownership/territoriality and management control systems that more or less address delegation in entrepreneurship. As well, I incorporated other literatures based upon the emerging findings, namely entrepreneurial leadership and agency/stewardship theory. To my knowledge, this work is one of the first of its kind to examine early delegation activities in new ventures. It has the potential to make a number of significant and multi-disciplinary contributions. First, it fills in the gap of knowledge in new venture growth literature, the school of dynamic growth models in particular, where empirical evidence that addresses people management challenges at critical transition points is rare and needed (Phelps et al., 2007), by elucidating the occurrence of new venture delegation. Second, it contributes to psychological ownership and territoriality research being among the first to empirically explore psychological ownership over dynamic objects like business ideas and new ventures, as well as the impact of psychological ownership and the territorial behavior associated with it on delegation in entrepreneurship. This study extends our understanding of psychological ownership and territoriality and facilitates future research on many important organizational phenomena related to psychological issues in entrepreneurial contexts. Third, it enriches founder delegation research by expanding its focus onto the critical delegation events before entrepreneurial succession/exit, since the experience that founders gain through early delegation activities significantly influences their departure decisions, which is recognized as the most critical event in most firms (Hofer & Charan, 1984; Carroll, 1984). In addition, I identify the application of the theories regarding management control systems and agency/stewardship theory in early delegation in the context of entrepreneurship.
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    Team effects of bicultural individuals: insights from football team performance
    (2017-08-25) Szymanski, Michal; Wolfe, Richard A.; Suddaby, Roy
    The recent wave of globalization triggered by the end of the Cold War and stimulated by progressing liberalization of trade and international migration policies has led to a significant surge in numbers of bicultural individuals, i.e. people with more than one ethnic identity (Nguyen & Benet-Martinez, 2007), and thus, a surge in bicultural employees. An emerging stream of research from psychology and organizational studies indicates that bicultural individuals have a particular set of skills and competencies that can contribute to the performance of international teams and, in turn, organizations. However, to date there has not been a large sample empirical study investigating the oft-stated relationship between biculturals and performance. This dissertation seeks to fill this gap in the literature by examining said relationship by relating the composition of national association football teams to results in six consecutive FIFA World Cup and six UEFA European Championship tournaments (i.e. the results of 272 teams in 12 competitions). The results indicate that biculturalism improves team performance when moderated by the cultural diversity of the competitive environment of the team.
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    Homelessness through different lenses: negotiating multiple meaning systems in a Canadian tri-sector social partnership
    (2016-04-29) Easter, Sarah; Brannen, Mary Yoko
    Research has shown that socially-focused partnerships that cross sectors (referred to as social partnerships within) are necessary in order to effectively address pressing societal issues such as poverty. Yet, in these complex organizational contexts, there is often variability within and between involved organizations as it relates to basic assumptions around work and the meanings given to practices at macro, meso and micro levels of analysis. Put differently, there are often a plurality of meaning systems at play in such multi-faceted organizational arrangements. Accordingly, the purpose of this dissertation was to understand to what extent multiple meaning systems exist in social partnerships focused on addressing multi-faceted societal challenges and, whether and how such differences in meaning systems are strategically negotiated over time. At a deeper theoretical level, this research was focused on illuminating the processes by which meaning systems are negotiated when organizational boundaries are blurred and when a plurality of meaning systems are at play, with a central focus on players that act as boundary spanners within these complex organizational contexts. To understand the complexities at play in social partnerships emanating from multiple meaning systems, I conducted a multi-site ethnographic study, involving in-depth interviews and participant observation, of the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness Society (Coalition) located in Victoria, British Columbia. In doing so, I utilized the principal literature streams that address multiple meaning systems at work: the culture literature in organization studies and the institutional logics perspective. As well, I incorporated other literatures based upon the emergent findings, namely organizational identity. Through this work I make a number of contributions within the area of sustainability, particularly the social partnership literature, as well as organizational theory. Empirically, I develop a process model that elucidates how players negotiate multiple meanings of organizational identity over time in a social partnership setting characterized by permeable boundaries and shared authority, at the group level of analysis. This is significant as we know little about how identity plays out in such multi-faceted organizational settings with continual blurred boundaries even as research has indicated that such arrangements are likely to surface identity issues among players (Maguire & Hardy, 2005). I also elucidate how individual players bridge across multiple meaning systems in a social partnership over time, answering the call for more research concerning the role of individuals and their interactions with organizations in the collaboration process over time (Manning & Roessler, 2014). To my knowledge, this work is one of the first of its kind to empirically explore tri-sector socially focused collaborations – involving players from the public, private and nonprofit sectors – that are more integrative and interconnected in nature (Austin & Seitanidi, 2012a) and that employs a process based perspective to understand how such collaborations unfold over time. In addition, I theoretically develop the link between institutional logics and organizational culture that emerged empirically via this study to guide future integrative work to holistically account for the multiplicity of meaning systems at work within and between such multi-faceted arrangements.
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    The business of the university: research, its place in the 'business', and the role of the university in society
    (2012-09-05) Zornes, Deborah; Carroll, William K.; Clover, Darlene E.
    Neoliberal ideologies have been adopted through most of the developed world. In North America, they dominate and provide the backdrop for the way decisions are made, organisations are governed, and policies are considered and implemented. Universities have not been exempt from the pressures of neoliberalism and increasingly are becoming what is being referred to as ‘corporatised’. Using a multi-institutional ethnographic case study, drawing on elements of institutional ethnography and using discourse analysis and interviews, this research focused on these topics with four research intensive universities in British Columbia: UBC, UNBC, UVic and SFU. This research sought to answer the question: In what ways is corporatisation visible in the practices and discourses related to university research in British Columbia, and, in turn, what impacts are being felt? The findings from the research indicated that there is, as might be expected, strong support for post-secondary education. The rhetoric in the documents from the universities and governments shows a ‘grand vision’ for education as the cornerstone of a successful society. The findings confirm that universities are viewed internally and externally as important and that, in turn, research and discovery is paramount. However, what the research also showed was that there are differing views among those in power regarding how that vision plays out. Those differences can be summarized as: citizen preparation versus job training; social innovation versus commercial innovation; targeted research (both in the type of research carried out and to what ends); and the level of autonomy of the university. These tensions can be considered through the theoretical frameworks that guided the research: commodification (i.e., of education and research); resource dependence theory; and institutional theory. Universities are increasingly being corporatised and this is visible in: increased oversight and control by governments with regard to the direction of the university, both from an educational and research perspective; an emphasis on the fiscal bottom line; increased accountability requirements (in complexity and frequency) related to funding for educational programs and research; increased demands for, and focus on, demonstrable impacts and quantifiable measures from research; a reduced amount of collegial governance; increased bureaucracy; and pressures to adopt business models, practices, and processes from the private sector.
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    How do (or can) local farmers make it work?
    (2011-10-17) Tunnicliffe, Robin; McMahon, Martha
    Small, locally-marketing farms are garnering more attention with regard to their ability to supply their regions with food. Their economic viability is called into question because if they cannot sustain themselves financially, they cannot be relied upon as an alternative food system. This paper looks at economic viability and ask the question “how are farmers making it work?” Data is based on a 25 interviews with farmers on the Saanich Peninsula, British Columbia, Canada. The decision to continue running a farm year to year is complex. The answer to valuing these farms may come by looking at the productivity of the farms, their many services to the environment and to their communities, rather than just the financial picture. Farmers are finding ways to retain more of the value of their productivity from transactions with customers. Navigating the regulatory environment remains a challenge. The paper concludes with policy recommendations.
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    Service design in the ER
    (2010-04-08T21:40:34Z) Steinke, Claudia; Dastmalchian, Ali; Cunningham, J. Barton
    The Service Profit Chain is a simple conceptual framework linking employee satisfaction and loyalty, customer satisfaction and loyalty, and financial performance. Although widely used by practitioners, the Service Profit Chain's series of hypothesized relationships between employee, customer, and financial outcomes has seldom been tested using data that span all components of the model. Using a modified version of the Service Profit Chain, this study explores service design in the ER. In essence, the Service Outcome Chain asserts that certain structural elements. through their impact on process, have the potential to positively influence outcomes in the ER. The Service Outcome Chain proposes that for quality service to be delivered to the end-user (patients). service providers (nurses. physicians) must receive the support of those who serve them (management, training, the design of jobs and the design of the physical setting). Organizations that create the proper set of structural conditions for employee work also provide a basis for the development of a positive service climate. A positive service climate influences service quality and the end results of patient satisfaction with service and patient empowerment. In this study, using data from frontline service providers and service recipients in the ER, principle chain relationships are explored. A mixed methods approach is applied to examine the relationships identified in the Service Outcome Chain. A survey of emergency nurses is conducted followed by case studies of two ERs where survey, interview and photographic methods arc applied. Insights into the relationship between the structural, process and outcome elements of service design are gained. In addition. findings about the how managerial practices and physical design significantly influence service climate and service quality are revealed. Some of the strongest results of this study point to the role of physical design and service climate in setting the stage for a quality service strategy in the ER. In sum, this research provides the first theoretical and empirical examination of the Service Profit Chain or a modified version of it. applied to public sector health care in general and ERs in particular. It also provides the first empirical examination of physical design, service climate and patient empowerment in the ER. The importance of these three elements has been highlighted by this research.
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    Processing sushi / cooked Japan: Why sushi became Canadian
    (2008-12-30T19:11:50Z) Tachibana, Rumiko; Demirdirek, Hulya; Craig, Timothy
    Sushi is a widely consumed food in North America. Along with other ethnic cuisine and food items it is subject to fusion and localization. This thesis explores the transformation of sushi in Victoria, BC, on the basis of an extensive survey, participant observation, and interviews with producers and consumers. The physical and symbolic transformation of sushi is analyzed both from the vantage point of business and cultural trends. It is shown that sushi became a food item different to what is known as sushi in Japan. This makes Victoria as one of the North American markets which threatens the Japanese national identity. This study thus not only reveals the local process of transformation of sushi but also shows how a food item becomes a multi-vocal symbol. While consumed by North Americans as healthy and exotic in its transformed style, it becomes a politically significant concern of national identity in Japan.
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    Exploring energy poverty perspectives in Senegal : the applicability of scenarios
    (2008-04-10T06:02:07Z) Abbott, Clint L.; Peredo, Ana Maria.|Gutberlet, Jutta.
    Energy poverty refers to a situation where physiological energy needs are not met with the resources available for cooking, lighting, and heating. Billions of people worldwide still rely on biomass fuels such as wood, charcoal, and dung to satisfy their primary energy needs. With high population growth and urbanization trends, energy poverty is especially prominent in sub-Saharan Africa, where electrification rates remain low and biomass use continues to rise. The need for solutions and strategies to increase the access to clean, efficient and sustainable energy resources has never been greater. However, projects by local governments and international development agencies have met limited success in alleviating energy poverty concerns, largely due to a lack of local involvement in the project planning, implementation, and continued operation. One method that has been advocated as a tool to increase public participation through non-traditional techniques is the use of scenarios. Scenarios have proven effective as an aid in creating policy for various sectors, and involve describing future possible events and conditions in efforts, by decision makers, to consider possibilities that cannot be captured by studying past data. While benefits of scenario use are well documented, a paucity of literature exists regarding the procedural details and effectiveness of each stage of the scenario method. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to bring together a diverse group of research and policy professionals fi-om Senegal and examine the effectiveness of the scenario process in capturing their perspectives and priorities on energy poverty in Senegal. Research methods included document research, participant observation, focus group research, semi-structured interviewing and questionnaire surveying. A two day scenario workshop was conducted in Dakar, Senegal and involved 22 research and policy professionals. The workshop revealed that political cohesiveness, social cooperation, and economic development were the three most influential forces influencing energy access. The local participants' perspectives of the issues, barriers, and possible future outcomes of energy poverty in Senegal were documented, and the results and conclusions will help fill a void in the literature on energy poverty perspectives in West Africa and Senegal. The scenario process proved to be an effective, financially efficient means to engage policy and research professionals in a participatory process. The process fostered open communication between all participants and encouraged cooperative learning.