James D. Abbey and V. Daniel R. Guide, Jr.
This article investigates closed-loop supply chain (CLSC) as a process flow. It then presents the evolution of CLSCs as a fundamental piece of the broader business and the natural environment (B&NE) related framework of reduce, reuse, and recycle. It addresses how reverse supply chains differ from forward chains, what activities drive a reverse supply chain, and how a CLSC coordinates the forward and reverse supply chains. Product acquisition management (PrAM) focuses on obtaining the used products from the user. The three core facets of PrAM systems are presented. The reduce, reuse, and recycle (3R) hierarchy can be used to gain a more holistic view of CLSCs. Finding an appropriate contract or other means to align the incentives can prove crucial for acquiring the returned products. The future of CLSC will require a more holistic view of CLSCs across multiple business disciplines.
Koen van Bommel and André Spicer
This chapter examines the role of Critical Management Studies (CMS) in the exploration of paradoxes in organizations. CMS focuses on the study of paradoxes in organizational life and aims to address these paradoxes in order to reveal and question structures of oppression and contribute to a progressive force for emancipatory change. The paradoxical aspects of CMS are discussed and various paradoxes addressed by its scholars are explained. These paradoxes are examined from diverse theoretical traditions such as feminism, queer theory, colonialism, and the work of Marx, Weber, and Foucault. Notwithstanding this theoretical pluralism, CMS’ aim is to uncover the often unseen dynamics that shape almost all core organizational processes. The value of considering paradoxes from a CMS perspective is also discussed. Finally, suggestions about how to locate and examine hidden paradoxes are offered and a research agenda around CMS and paradox is presented.
Rodney Turner, Jeff Pinto, and Christophe Bredillet
This article seeks to address the question of the current state of project management research through an analysis of the domain's advance over time, as evidenced in the pages of its principal academic research outlets. While there are many ways in which theoreticians and researchers have sought to examine the evolving nature of the project management research field, the attempt here involves a more forensic approach, based on a critical review of some of the published literature. Over the past twenty years there has been a substantial improvement in the quality and rigor of project management research, as evidenced by the standard of papers being published in three leading academic research journals that focus on project management research. This article represents the collective thoughts and reflections of the three journals' editors at the time of writing on the evolution of the project management research field.
Neil M. Coe
This article explores the potential for dialogue between the literature on the creative industries—with its emphasis on local clustering and policies—and that which explores the development and dynamics of global production networks (GPN). The central argument is that there is much to be gained by adopting a GPN approach to explore the creative industries. The article has two main sections. First, it explains what the GPN framework has to offer in terms of understanding the creative industries. More specifically, it suggests that researchers need be attuned to the various multi-scalar and cross-activity connections that constitute the creative sectors. Second, the article uses the example of the film and television industries. The globalization of production, marketing and finance in these specific sectors clearly show the importance of situating local clusters of activity within wider networks. The policy implication of the analysis is that forging extra-local connections may be just as important as promoting local networking.
Robert D. Klassen and Stephan Vachon
Any definition of greener supply chain management must capture design; material selection, extraction, and sourcing; manufacturing; logistics and delivery; and end-of-life management. Two major extensions of the operations system include from operations at a single firm to operations across the supply chain, and from the one-way supply chain to the closed loop. Both influence and accountability affect how a firm might position itself within the supply chain on particular environmental issues, and the means available to manage performance. The potential competitive advantage generated by environmental collaboration is addressed. Tightening environmental legislation generates opportunities to introduce new value-added services and products. Life cycle assessment encourages firms to look beyond first-tier suppliers to the entire supply chain. System-based measurement and stronger integration of the social bottom line in supply chains are areas that hold promise for both research and practice in the short to medium term.
This article outlines the key elements of organization and HRM associated with contemporary high-volume production, in particular the key arguments and characteristics of lean manufacturing. Lean manufacturing and the associated high-performance work system model has been influential in the development of management practices throughout manufacturing sectors and beyond. However, they are primarily premised on labor efficiencies and incremental improvement. The article reviews the evidence on the implementation and outcomes of lean adoption. The second main section reviews alternatives to ‘lean’. The requirement for innovation and higher value added noted above has meant that a greater emphasis on creating and managing knowledge than that associated with lean manufacturing has become central. One insightful, and increasingly influential, way of conceiving of this challenge has been developed from the concept of ‘communities of practice’, i.e. groups of largely autonomous and self-organizing experts.
Christoph Loch and Stylianos Kavadias
The realization is growing that projects fail not only because of incompetent execution, but also, and frequently, because of a muddled strategic context, inadequate scope, or unarticulated—and thus unresolved—tensions and/or trade-offs among the project stakeholders. This realization has a straightforward message: project managers could benefit a great deal from expanding their activity to account for strategy alignment and organizational enablers. This article proposes that this view, although a step forward, still decouples project management from strategy-making. It implies that the business people set the outcomes and charter, and project management executes. Yet, this view misses the fact that strategy is not made only “at the top” and then cascaded down. In a world of increasing uncertainty, volatility, and interdependence across forms, industries, and countries, strategy is emergent; it has to adjust to events as they occur.
Jennifer Whyte and Raymond Levitt
This article argues that emerging digital technologies are enabling new forms of project management in project-based industries. The 1960s project management approach originated in the mature project-based industries of petrochemicals, military, advanced manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, buildings, and infrastructure. This approach, which is termed “Project Management 1.0” (PM 1.0), evolved to manage small numbers of large, complex projects in business and regulatory environments that were relatively stable by today's standards. It involves detailed up-front planning, using multiple layers of hierarchical work breakdown structures. It then manages these projects by tracking and eliminating variance from plans. The approach is alive and well in some of those same industries, and has been greatly enhanced by widespread use of digital technologies for planning, visualization, communication, procurement, logistics, and other functions. However, there are important ways in which the use of information technology begins to challenge this traditional project management approach.
Stewart Clegg, Kjersti Bjørkeng, and Tyrone Pitsis
This article begins by considering the institution of contract and approaches to it. It follows this with an analysis of an institutional innovation, the development of alliancing as a specific form of contract premised on a far more normative mode of control than the disciplinary mechanisms of surveillance which have traditionally been seen as more typically associated with conventional contracts. A new way of managing projects is evolving, which is reported in this article. The article also considers some of its advantages as well as some of its disadvantages.
The close bond between the management of projects and innovation was well understood in the 1950s when pioneering organizations created new structures, techniques, and processes to manage complex and highly uncertain research and development projects in technologically advanced weapons and defence-related industries. Over subsequent decades, there have been some points of convergence when researchers investigated the nexus of innovation and project management, such as Japanese product development practices in the 1980s. But in the main, the literatures on project and innovation management followed distinct, largely self-contained trajectories of theoretical, professional, and practical development. In recent years, however, there has been a strong convergence and cross-fertilization of ideas between innovation and project management. A new wave of research is investigating the different ways in which organizations use projects to manage the uncertainties associated with innovation processes and outcomes.