The purpose of this article is to examine the relationships between absenteeism and presenteeism and employee well-being. Absenteeism is the failure to report for work as scheduled. Presenteeism is showing up to work when one is ill and the decrement in productivity that follows from this practice. On a continuum, presenteeism stands between full work engagement and absenteeism. This article considers how attendance dynamics are affected by employee well-being. It also considers how attendance dynamics might affect well-being, a less researched subject. It takes a broad stance on what constitutes well-being, encompassing physical, mental, and emotional well-being and assuming that a positively evaluated work experience is conducive to employee well-being. It does not assume that the mere occurrence of either behavior somehow “speaks for itself” as an indicator of well-being.
Ensuring high levels of occupational health and safety remains a significant issue. Detailed accident analyses have highlighted the role played by front-line employees as well as the importance of organizational and managerial factors. The realization that organizational accidents occur within a cultural and social context has led to the rise in popularity of the concept of safety climate. Safety climate allows the individual to interpret organizational events and processes in relation to personal and organizational safety values and to determine the appropriateness of safety-related behavior. Although safety climate has been included as an element of the healthy work organization, the contribution that a positive safety climate can make to organizational health and well-being is little understood. Developing a fuller understanding of organizational safety climate has important theoretical and research implications, and also remains a significant issue for industry and wider society in terms of practical application.
Haldor Byrkeflot and Karsten Vrangbaek
The debate on accountability within the public sector has been lively in the past decade. Significant progress has been made in developing conceptual frameworks and typologies for characterizing different features and functions of accountability. However, there is a lack of sector specific adjustment of such frameworks. In this chapter we present a framework for analyzing accountability within health care. The chapter makes use of the concept of “accountability regime” to signify the combination of different accountability forms, directions and functions at any given point in time. We show that reforms can introduce new forms of accountability, change existing accountability relations or change the relative importance of different accountability forms. They may also change the dominant direction and shift the balance between different functions of accountability. The chapter further suggests that developments in accountability regimes are best analyzed with a combination of top-down and bottom up perspectives and that there is a need to develop research strategies to support this aim.
Martin Lodge and Lindsay Stirton
Accountability in regulation will never reach a state of ‘perfection’ and stability, but will remain, given competing values and shifting priorities, in a state of continued tension and fluidity. In other words, debates require transparency regarding the very different ideas concerning the appropriate means and ends of accountability. This article develops this argument in three steps. First, it considers the background to contemporary debates surrounding accountability, pointing to traditional concerns as well as to a change in context captured by discussions about ‘polycentric’ or ‘decentred’ regulation. Second, this article points to key components of any regulatory regime over which demands of accountability are commonly asserted, and to four ways of considering institutional design and accountability. Third, and finally, this article suggests that debates on whether the rise of the regulatory state has led to a decline or rise of accountability and transparency are misplaced.
Mahmoud Ezzamel and Keith Robson
This article aims to provide a brief overview of a variety of critical studies in accounting. Each section is concerned with a particular aspect of accounting practice under categories we regarded as the most obvious and accessible for non-accounting management specialists and students. The first section focuses upon accounting calculations between organizations and society – financial reporting practices and the regulation thereof. The second section examines critical studies of intra-organizational accounting calculations – management accounting and control practices. The third section discusses critical research that has studied the organizational and institutional characteristics of the accounting and auditing profession, with particular reference to the professionalization of accounting, the activities of the large auditing and accounting multinational firms, and the everyday socialization of professional accountants.
Robin Kramar, Vijaya Murthy, and James Guthrie
This article discusses how the shift to a knowledge-based economy has propelled firms' human capital (HC) and associated intellectual resources to center stage. It notes that while organizational researchers have highlighted the increasingly strategic role of HC, and despite a growing realization among firms that their human-knowledge resources are becoming more important, managerial awareness of the value of HC remains low. The article suggests that HC management, measurement, and reporting are increasingly vital capabilities that all organizations will need to acquire. It proceeds to analyse the nature of HC, trace the evolution of HC accounting, identify current accounting challenges, and describe contemporary frameworks that are seeking to address these challenges. The article defines HC within organizations as ‘employee capability, knowledge, innovation, adaptability, and experience’, noting that it is typically represented as one element in a tripartite framework of intellectual capital, the other two being relational capital and organizational capital.
Although the concept of meaningful work has not been addressed in accounting research, accounting scholars and practitioners have long grappled with how to reflect the value of employees and human capital in organizational accounts. This chapter examines how the features of a typical accounting system are likely to impact the treatment of meaningful work in organizations, including consideration of only its potential financial value, the exclusion of unpaid forms of meaningful work, and the limits on recognizing meaningful work as an organizational asset because quantifying its value is typically considered too subjective. It also examines how internal accounting and control practices, such as performance measurement and reward systems, tend to either ignore the possibility of meaningful work or focus on controlling and harnessing its instrumental value to improve organizational performance, thus downplaying its role in expressing values, fulfilling personal needs, and generating and sustaining meaning in our lives.
This article deals primarily with the problem of accounting for the cost of defined-benefit pension schemes in the accounts of the sponsoring company (the employer). This is one of the most controversial issues currently being debated by accounting standard-setters, following the introduction of an innovative standard on the subject, FRS 17, by the UK Accounting Standards Board (ASB). This standard measured the pension-fund deficit or surplus as the difference between the current values of the pension-fund assets and liabilities, and the effects of changes in valuations were to be reported immediately in the Statement of Recognized Gains and Losses (STRGL). The introduction of FRS 17 coincided with: a sharp decline in stock-market prices; a reduction in the value of pension-fund investment; and a revision of actuarial tables to reflect the increased expectation of life, which increased pension-fund liabilities.
The purpose of this article is to examine the relationship between the historical development of accounting, information, and communication systems and business organizations since the late eighteenth century. Its findings are based largely on research conducted by accounting and business historians during the last quarter of the century, a period in which accounting history, once a niche area of research heavily focused on the development of double-entry bookkeeping, has been brought more firmly into the business-history fold. This reflects the work of those historians who have focused their attention on the development of cost/management accounting practices within firms, and the “new” accounting historians who have examined the wider relationship between accounting and the organizations and society within which it is embedded.
Vocational education and training has emerged from traditional industry and technical training into a vigorous post-compulsory education sector focused on satisfying the ever-changing demands of today’s employers. This chapter considers issues around the accreditation and regulation of providers and the assessment and certification of outcomes. Quality and comparability of outcomes has been a common concern for regulatory regimes. The front-end emphasis of training assessors and the requirement for workplace assessment contexts is designed to align with employer needs. However there are legitimate concerns about the consistency of judgments. Competency based assessment (CBA) has been the dominant assessment model and contrasts with the traditional assessment approach in general education. However the more recent standards-referenced assessment movement in the latter sector suggests ways in which assessment approaches are converging. Employability and 21st century skills reinforce the interest in developing generic skills in all sectors of education.
David W. Cravens
The organization's effectiveness can be measured based on sales, market position, customer satisfaction, and profits, relative to competition and internal objectives. Effectiveness is a summary assessment of the sales organization's outcomes, and may be determined for the entire organization or for smaller units such as regions and districts. Sales unit effectiveness is a composite assessment of the unit's performance. Importantly, effectiveness and salesperson performance are distinct although closely related constructs. The salesperson contributes to unit effectiveness along with other determinants including the sales manager, business competencies, and the market and competitive environment. This article proposes and examines a conceptual framework for analysis and decision-making concerning sales organization effectiveness. It discusses important determinants of effectiveness including sales management control, salesperson performance, and sales unit design. Sales management is a core determinant of effectiveness, including management processes, design of the organization, and manager performance. Each salesperson also contributes to effectiveness.
The focus of this article is upon producing actionable knowledge. Propositions that are actionable are those that actors can use to implement effectively their intentions. Actionable knowledge requires propositions that make explicit the causal processes required to produce action. Causality is the key in implementation. One of the most powerful inhibitors of effective action is inner contradictions. Inner contradictions exist when the propositions to act are implemented correctly. One cause of inner contradiction is the methodologies used by most normal social scientists to discover problems and to invent solutions. These features cause the degree of seamlessness and the validity of the implementation to be reduced. The focus on describing reality in ways that satisfies the requirements of internal and external validity makes it less likely that attention is paid to the implementable validity of the propositions. This, in turn, leads to propositions that are abstract and disconnected from implementable action.
A distinguishing feature of comparative institutional analysis is the emphasis on understanding actors and actor constellations. Institutional analysis is concerned with processes of isomorphism and explaining similarities among organizations within an institutional field. This article briefly examines the relation between actors and institutions in economics, political science, and sociology. It demonstrates certain points of agreement – actors and institutions are seen as being mutually constitutive of one another. One implication is the need to adopt a more historical and process-oriented approach to studying institutions. The article explores the non-identical nature of actors in greater detail. It also raises the broader issue of how institutions influence action itself. Given the mutual interdependence of actors and institutions, institutionalization may be seen as a matter of degree. Actors respond to institutions as one element within a situation, but institutional contexts never fully determine action.
In employer-provided pension plans and individual retirement saving accounts, contributions over the working lifetime are used to purchase assets that are drawn down after retirement. In contrast, public pension systems typically use pay-as-you-go (PAYG) finance. With PAYG finance, current revenue to the program – which may be derived from a tax on payroll or from general taxation, – is used to finance current pension expenditure. Such a pension program is therefore a form of tax-and-transfer system, akin to other elements of the public welfare program. Given these general issues, this article describes an actuarial-based system and contrasts it with an explicitly redistributive program. It then delineates four dimensions in which public pension systems diverge from this actuarial benchmark, providing actual illustrations for OECD countries. The next section considers the limited empirical evidence on whether, in practice, deviations from an actuarial basis to the public pension system actually affect household behaviour.
With paradox moving toward a meta-theory, research is increasingly drawing on its rich philosophical foundation. These include diverse fields such as dialectics, existentialism, and logic, each of which emphasizes different aspects of paradoxes. However, discussions have mostly focused on single philosophical aspects, potentially leading to an incomplete and polarized view of paradox and hindering cross-fertilization. At worst, this development turns into reproducing “paradigm wars.” To avoid this, I introduce the main philosophical foundations dealing with different aspects of paradox, and interpret them as lenses. As such, I link them to paradox research in management, provide a systematic overview, and highlight avenues for future research.
Thomas N. Ingram, Raymond W. Laforge, and Charles H. Schwepker
This article considers the importance of job stress in the sales force to be an important management concern in many sales organizations. The complex business environment faces salespeople with escalating demands and expectations. There is continuous pressure to perform in the sales forces of most organizations. Stress is further compounded as salespeople regularly face non-routine situations, and often must work without the support that comes with supervision on a daily basis. The objective of this article is to examine the antecedents and consequences of job stress and to consider initiatives for reducing job stress among salespeople. While eliminating job stress in most sales organizations may be unfeasible, impractical, or even undesirable, the major negative effects of job stress require management initiatives to gain a reasonable level of control over salespeople's job stress. Finally, this article also develops a framework of salesperson job stress including antecedents, role stressors, and consequences.
Adjustment of MNE Geographic Market Strategy in Responding to the Rise of Local Competitors in an Emerging Market
J.T. Li and Zhenzhen Xie
Emerging economies are characterized by weak institutions but also a very dynamic competitive landscape. This chapter proposes that MNE subsidiaries may have to adjust their geographic market strategies as a response to the rise of local competitors. Information on 25,161 manufacturing subsidiaries exporting from China during 2005–2007 was analyzed to show that the export intensity of an MNE subsidiary first increases and then decreases with the export volume of the subsidiary’s local Chinese competitors in the same industry and with the same destination country. Subsidiaries that are older or more tightly controlled by their MNE parents are less likely to respond to the exporting of their Chinese competitors by changing their exporting intensities. Better developed market-supporting institutions make MNE subsidiaries more sensitive to the impact of Chinese local exporters.
J. Kevin Ford and Ruchi Sinha
Training evaluation is the systematic collection of descriptive and judgmental information necessary to make effective training decisions. A key characteristic of a systematic approach to training evaluation is an emphasis on the continuous use of feedback. This process, which includes both formative and summative evaluation strategies, can aid in identifying, collecting, and providing information to make a variety of instructional decisions. This article reviews the progress which has been made in evaluation science that has particular relevance to workplace training programs. It first focuses on the implications of the changing nature of work for conducting effective training evaluation. Second, the article describes how the field of training evaluation has progressed in terms of criterion development, measurement issues, and methodology issues. Third, it discusses the key challenges that remain in the field which require additional theory development and research.
Postcolonialism provides theoretical resources that speak well to the concerns of critical diversity scholars, notably the interest in culture, power, and the construction of (human) differences. Yet, with notable exceptions, there is a paucity of research on workplace diversity underpinned by postcolonialism. This chapter seeks to animate and advance postcolonial scholarship in critical diversity studies, and responds to calls to revitalize this scholarly sub-field. Based on a review of critical diversity studies (including the few that have used postcolonial perspectives), two recommendations are made to advance postcolonial critiques. First, critical diversity scholars might undertake a closer engagement with psychoanalytic and discursive variants of postcolonial theory to generate complex understandings of the psychological dimensions of (post)colonial subjectivities and the persistence of racism in organizations. Second, scholars might also consider the merits of ‘Southern Theory’ in order to move beyond the noted Eurocentric limits of existing gender and diversity research.