International Journal of Business Environment (6 papers in press)
Social Networks, Psychological Empowerment, and Work Outcomes: Mediating Role of Psychological Empowerment Dimensions on the Relations between Social Networks, Job Dedication, and Individual Creativity
by Ahmad Adeel, Samreen Batool, Rizwan Ali
Abstract: This study linked social networks with work-related outcomes. We tested dimensions of psychological empowerment as mediators between internal bonding networks, external bridging networks, job dedication, and individual creativity using Mplus 7. With a sample of 317 higher hierarchical level employees and their supervisors, it has been found, competence and self-determination dimensions of empowerment mediate the relationship between internal bonding networks and job dedication and between external bridging networks and job dedication. Meaning, competence, and self-determination dimensions of psychological empowerment mediate the relationship between internal bonding networks and individual creativity and between external bridging networks and individual creativity. Contrary to our prediction, impact dimension of psychological empowerment was not significant with internal bonding networks and external bridging networks. Our findings suggest that membership of social networks enhance empowerment perceptions of employees which in turn enhance their dedication towards job and their individual level creativity.
Keywords: Social Networks; Psychological Empowerment; Individual Creativity; Job Dedication.
Cluster Policy Resilience: New Challenges for a Mature Policy
by James Wilson
Abstract: Cluster policy has proved to be an extremely resilient feature of the regional competitiveness policy landscape over thirty years. To examine why cluster policies have become so widespread, this paper makes a clear conceptual distinction between clusters themselves, cluster policies, and cluster policy instruments. This distinction helps to disentangle the cross-over with other policies and provides the foundations for exploring new directions. Three sets of challenges for what is now a mature policy are highlighted: the links between clusters, cluster policies and territorial strategy processes; more effective evaluation of how different policy instruments influence what happens inside clusters; and harnessing the capacity of clusters to respond to social alongside economic challenges.
Keywords: Clusters; Cluster Policy; Cooperative Dynamics; Regional Competitiveness.
Restructuring for service business development: insights from a machine tool manufacturer
by Bart Kamp
Abstract: The present paper considers how a manufacturing company with product-oriented services was able to redesign its organization to take advantage of service business opportunities. It also looks at the role played in this process by company agents other than top management. For the case study selected, the analysis of initial conditions and subsequent change dynamics is based on action research methods, thus producing a semi-longitudinal case study. The findings are that, contrary to established viewpoints, actors from lower hierarchical levels within the organization do not necessarily behave as opponents to change and can in fact foster the development of organizational solutions to tackle the challenges of servitization. In addition, the case at hand shows that such organizational solutions can build simultaneously upon a dual product/service approach across the firm, upon a reconsideration of front-line and back-end functions, and upon semi-detached or stand-alone structures. As such, it illustrates how multi-faceted organizational restructuring can take shape within the context of servitization. Similarly, it provides a complement to studies that analyze organizational adaptations with a view to servitization in terms of either how to divide responsibilities between the front-line and back-end of the organization or whether the product and service businesses should be handled separately. Moreover, the present study finds that manufacturing companies that prepare for servitization do not necessarily have to limit themselves to internal resources, but can also team up with and incorporate third parties to devise organizational solutions to service business development.
Based on these findings, it can be asserted that senior directors can try to build upon change agents inside the firm to develop a servitization-friendly organizational structure. Similarly, the study highlights that the organizational solutions that servitizing companies implement can contain both internal and external elements.
Keywords: service delivery; organizational change; buyer-seller relationships; servitization.
IT implementation and customer results: the mediating role of the competitive priorities achieved by the firm
by Manuel Rios De Haro, Marco Opazo-Basáez, Daniel Arias Aranda
Abstract: Studies in Information Technology (IT) increasingly focus on key variables that might explain the effect of the implementation of IT strategic tools on business performance. In the search to uncover how to achieve greater performance, this study examines how IT implementation, measured through IT use and IT integration, affects the competitive priorities achieved by the firm and customers results. To do so, an analysis of these interactions is carried out applying the Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) methodology to a survey on Spanish manufacturing firms. The results show a significant and positive relationship between IT implementation and competitive priorities related to the flexibility observed, innovation developed, and delivery time needed. The study also notes that IT integration is positively and directly related to customer results, whereas the relationship between IT use and customer results is positively but indirectly related to those customer results, with the competitive priorities achieved by the firm acting as mediators in this relationship. The main conclusions deriving from the present study clarify the role of IT implementation in organizations, highlighting the role of previous competitive priorities as being responsible for the success of IT implementation.
Keywords: information systems; competitive strategy; customer results; structural equation modeling.
Inside the hiring process: How managers assess employability based on Grit, the Big Five, and other factors
by Nikolaus Butz, Reed Stratton, Max Trzebiatowski, Tyler Hillery
Abstract: Hiring managers priorities are shifting from traditional criteria such as work experience and education to intrinsic traits such as Grit and the Big Five. The purpose of this study was to investigate how hiring managers assess job seeker employability based on Grit, the Big Five, and other factors. Participants were 100 employers from a three-county area in the Midwest United States. The results indicated that service organizations and goods-focused organizations value Grit as a hiring criterion above a point of theoretical indifference. Furthermore, several bivariate relationships were found between Grit and the Big Five. Independent samples t-tests revealed that service companies prioritize conscientiousness more than good-focused organizations. Regression analysis showed that 27% of the variability in Grit was explained by other hiring criteria. Implications and theoretical contributions are provided for universities, hiring managers, and jobseekers. Specific recommendations include embracing failure, adopting behavioral-based interviewing practices, and conveying grit in application materials.
Keywords: grit; employability; hiring; big five personality traits; higher education; graduate placement; GPA; internships; technology skills; communication; leadership; problem solving; teamwork; university reputation; volunteerism.
Assessing the financial aptitude of industrial firms to implement servitized earnings models
by Bart Kamp
Abstract: Servitization research covers a large variety of aspects related to novel earning models, like pay-per-use schemes or other outcome-oriented charging modalities. However, it may overlook aspects related to bookkeeping and financing such operations. The article introduces the concept of financial aptitude to hypothesize under which circumstances industrial firms are more likely to introduce servitized earnings models or not. It builds upon insights from management reporting an financialization theories for that purpose. It postulates that activity-based cost accounting and interaction with organizations that specialize in the financing and/or managing of industrial assets raise the propensity to take up servitized earnings models.
Keywords: Servitization; financialization; business models; accounting; asset-based financing; life cycle financing.