Topic: Business Challenge or Opportunity?
Host: Doctoral Research Programmes, Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University
Date: Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Time: 11:00 am, GMT Summer Time (London, GMT+01:00) – 1 hour in duration
With the economic climate showing few signs of improvement in the short term and, as focus on the bottom line sharpens, organisations are finding it increasingly difficult to come to terms with the rapidly changing business landscape. Firms are also struggling to identify – and realise – the potential of the most powerful tools and resources available to them.
This webinar is aimed at senior business managers around the world and offers insight and ideas, as well as some practical advice, about to how you can identify and address some of those frustrating business challenges and turn your next initiative from a quiet, dead-end street into a buzzing superhighway that has real impact within your business.
Dr Emma Parry, International Executive Doctorate (DBA) Director, Reader in Human Resource Management will lead this unmissable webinar, which includes:
The Role of Presence, Poetry and Persistence
in Creating Positive Futures
Donna Ladkin, Professor in Leadership and Ethics
at Cranfield School of Management
Improving Business Performance
Using Evidence-Based Approaches
Mark Baker, Head of Risk & Assurance, Pentland Brands plc
There will also be an opportunity for participants to ask questions to our presenters at the end of the webinar. This webinar will last for 1 hour.
To register for this training session
Go to http://bit.ly/12NiSmy and register.
Once you are approved by the host, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the session.
Networks of influence: Practising Safety Leadership in Low Hazard Environments – Project Launch 13 June
A research-led event invitation from Dr Colin Pilbeam, Senior Research Fellow; David Denyer, Professor of Organizational Change; and Dr Noeleen Doherty, Senior Research Fellow at Cranfield School of Management.
Cranfield University, School of Management
Cranfield Management Research Institute
Thursday 13 June 2013
from 1000 to 1600
Meet the Project Team:
The aims of this project launch are to:
- Share our vision for the project.
- Identify issues for Health and Safety leaders in low hazard environments from different sectors.
- Explore safety leadership practices in different organizational settings.
- Engage individual and organizational participation in the research.
- Capture your thoughts on potential audiences for the research.
A synopsis of his DBA research, by John Pillay at Cranfield School of Management.
Corporate turnaround as knowledge subversion: a dialogic perspective on transformational change
My DBA research focuses on the subversion of knowledge in transforming organisations. Like much research, my topic went through a number of iterations before settling on a key area of interest. Initially, I was interested in finding out why organisations didn’t seem to learn more from the changes that they undertook. But then I started to think about the converse view: what do we need to unlearn in order to successfully transform an organisation? After examining the literature, I came across the work of Mikhail Bakhtin, a Russian philosopher (1895 – 1975). Bakhtin was interested in how meaning is created and transformed through social interactions and dialogue. Bakhtin was useful to me because his work spans many of the areas that I wanted to explore in more detail: how language reveals deeply held beliefs, the destabilisation of meaning through dialogue, and the rituals required to subvert knowledge. Some of these ideas have precedents in change theory but are somewhat underdeveloped.
To develop the concepts I engaged with an organisation that had undergone profound organisational change to find out how it had transformed itself. I also decided to focus on corporate turnaround as a subset of change for two reasons. Firstly, it is a variety of change which is particularly dramatic: the ongoing existence of the organisation is at stake. Secondly, the outcome of a corporate turnaround tends to be more clear-cut than many other varieties of transformational change: the organisation either fails or survives. The company that I chose to research was a turnaround in the UK payments industry. Over a period of nine months, I gathered perspectives from interviewees across the organisation on the changes that had happened and the key events leading up to and following the turnaround. What I found was that processes of knowledge subversion were present throughout the period of the transformation. This provided evidence that knowledge subversion played an important part of the turnaround of an organisation and that this was something that needed to be developed further.
In my next project I focused on broadening the empirical base. Over a twelve month period, I interviewed and spent time with successful corporate turnaround practitioners to find out how they viewed transformational change and to learn about the practices that they applied to turn around an organisation. What I found from these practitioners was a high degree of consistency in their view of change and in the methods that they applied. They all engaged closely with the organisation at all levels from the board room to the shop floor. They were also attentive observers of the key assumptions and patterns held within the organisations. In transforming the organisation they actively set about challenging these deeply held organisational beliefs. This required a range of approaches, some spectacular: one practitioner described how he stole a fleet of trucks to demonstrate the lax security practices at a haulage firm. Some approaches were more subtle: another interim CEO described how he turned up during the night shift in a logistics company to meet up with the overnight supervisors. Needless to say, no top level manager had ever engaged with staff in such a direct way before in that company. All of these activities gave the turnaround professional unfiltered access and an opportunity to short circuit the rhetoric that managers were providing. These challenges to the dominant narrative were part of the process of disrupting beliefs and existing ways of working and thinking: essential to resetting the organisation and setting it on a different path.
Bringing together these findings, the main outcome from my studies was a model for corporate turnaround that puts knowledge subversion at the centre of the change. In this view I combine the classic Slatter et al (2006) framework on the phases of a corporate turnaround with developing stages of knowledge subversion in the organisation. The first stage is to understand current knowledge structures in the organisation and the ways in which they are woven into the fabric of the organisation (or “architectonics” to use the Bakhtinian term). The second stage is to undermine and subvert these structures through dialogue, deconstruction and debasement of the dominant narrative (the Bakhtinian concepts of “polyphony” and “carnival” are at play here). The final stage is to embed new narratives and routines, to cement the change and to stop rollback to previous ways of thinking and working. This model for knowledge subversion is represented diagrammatically in Figure 1 below.
There is much more that I could tell about the concepts and the doctoral process, but I hope that gives you a flavour of the topics at the heart of my thesis and the DBA journey that I went through.
David Denyer, Professor of Organizational Change and Director of the PhD Programme and Dr Emma Parry, Reader in Human Resource Management and Director of the International Executive Doctorate (DBA) discuss the similarities and differences between the PhD and the DBA programmes at Cranfield School of Management.
Mark Baker explains how the applied research approach of the DBA programme and its focus on engaged scholarship has enabled him to access and interrogate academic knowledge in order to develop models and frameworks which have then been applied to address real business problems.
‘Any large organisation will have “bad apples”, but it is unlikely that the NHS has hired 1.3 million of them in recent years’
Creating a patient-centred culture has been a long-held objective for the NHS, so is there a need for the Francis report’s proposed culture overhaul? By David Buchanan, Mike Bourne and Steve Macaulay
Is Robert Francis right? Does the NHS really need a culture overhaul? A key recommendation from the inquiry into events at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust concerns changing NHS culture to one that pays closer attention to patients.
Creating a more patient-centred culture was an objective of The NHS Plan in 2000. Has nothing changed?
Read the full blog post here: Making the right changes after Mid Staffs | Resource centre | Health Service Journal.
At the Centre for Business Performance here at Cranfield University School of Management, our team have many decades worth of combined experience in researching and advising organisations on performance measurement and target setting. We have tapped into this expertise and distilled for you what we consider the critical elements of creating, reviewing, and acting on performance measurement information.
Read the full blog post here Best Practice in Performance Measurement.