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情境因素与组织绩效的关系(2)-伯明翰assignment代写

2016-12-26 | 来源:51due教员组 | 类别:更多范文

英国Assignment论文精选范文:“情境因素与组织绩效的关系(2)”,这篇论文采用了健身景观的方法来测试应急时假设关系的经营战略、组织结构、管理会计系统和业务单位的有效性。通过研究发现,该方法存在有价值的分析,且可能会影响组织的情境因素。

 

Ethical concerns

 

In the sample selection process, the researchers after making initial contacts and 'obtaining approval from senior management, asked a contact in the top management to nominate a business unit and contact person to be surveyed (p.188; 189). The researchers have also suggested to top management a particular specification of the contact person, thus:a manager responsible for a particular product or group of products that adopts similar strategy, a controller or a management accountant… this is considered necessary to ensure that the respondents have an understanding of the market in which the business unit operates as well as the strategic and operating decisions they make' (p.189).

 

While it is useful to have the appropriate person(s) with the right skills and knowledge participate in the research to give it credibility, this raises some ethical concerns. Asking a contact in the top management to nominate a person to be surveyed may bring to bear issues about 'informed consent'. It also draws attention to issues of coercion as the nominees may not be willing to participate on their own volition. Questions may also arise as to whether the nominated person(s) were appropriately informed of their right to refuse to be a part of the survey process, and the consequences that may follow withdrawal since a superior has selected them to participate.

 

Krumwiede (1998) argues that selecting controllers or management accountants and managers may bring in bias in responses relating to their professional duties. In the same vein, being selected by a superior to participate in the research process may put on the participant the burden of protecting the organizational image and hence responses may be tailored to suit the image the superior would want portrayed of the organization.

 

To address this sort of concerns, Govindarajan, (1988) sent individual letters addressed to the selected participants explaining the purpose of the study and assuring them of confidentiality in whatever information they make available for the study. This resolved the ethical concern of voluntary participation, informed consent and issues of accessibility. Alternatively, a qualitative research approach requiring face-to-face interviews would have allowed for more detailed probing.

 

Thoroughness

 

Efforts were made by the researchers to ensure that the effects of 'environmental heterogeneity' are reduced by concentrating the research on a single industry. While this has made the results difficult to generalize, this has been intended to give more credibility to the research. Consumer goods industries which are supposed to possess the necessary characteristics suitable for this research have also been selected among the industries in the 'Jakarta Stock Exchange'.

 

Data collection was done through 'mail survey and personal interviews'. The personal interviews served as a pilot study which enabled the researchers to test for the understanding of the questionnaires among a few of the intended respondents. This enabled them to refine the data collection instrument for clarification and simplicity. The process adopted by the researchers in the design of the data collection instrument is ideal for this kind of study with similar processes followed by prior and subsequent studies (Abdel-Kadar and Luther 2008; Chenhall and Langfield-Smith, 1998; Govindarajan, 1988).

 

Govindarajan (1988) for instance employed interview to refine the questionnaires to capture the specific objective(s) intended, reviewed prior studies to find questionnaire instruments fitting for the study, discussed the draft questionnaires with experts who help fine-tune it to give it 'content validity' and ensured a pre-testing of the instrument among the class of intended respondents to ensure clarity and understanding. Jermias and Gani (2004) have followed a similar path to giving validity to the research instrument.

 

However, improvements could have been made to the data collection process by involving more than one respondent per firm (in different sub units) so as to be able to compare the different responses for commonalities. Where a member of the top management has been selected to make a nomination of the participant, Govindarajan (1988) ensured a cover letter was sent to the nominated official explaining the rationale of the study and giving assurance that information given will be confidential. This has the effect of allowing the nominated personnel to be as open as possible in giving responses without the fear of what consequences my follow certain responses. The researchers failed to create that impression among respondents.

 

Data Analysis/ Warranted Conclusion

 

Given a high response rate to the survey and data from the interviews, the researchers found it compelling to analyze the data without taking into consideration a test for non-response. A total of 106 valid responses representing a 92% response rate were recorded. Statistically these responses were subjected to thorough analyses, first to sort the data into strategy adopted by organizations (product differentiation or low-cost). They then evaluated the concept of fit by 'calculating the weighted sum of the fitness contribution of each contextual variable using the formula derived from the fitness landscape theory…' (p. 193).

 

A correlation test was run to ascertain the relationship between the concept of fit and business unit effectiveness. Comparison was also made between the variable studied. A reverse coding of some of the variables analyzed was done to ensure consistency in result. Overall, a thorough analysis was conducted on the data gathered, the results of which gives insight to the measurement of contingency variables.

 

On the basis of the analyses of the data collected by the researchers, they asserted that the effectiveness of a business unit was dependent on the fitness between its contextual variables and the strategy adopted. Their finding upholds the concept of the contingency theory, that there are no optimal systems for organizations. Rather organizational structures leading to effectiveness are the outcome of various situational or contextual factors acting on them. Although the researchers did not show how these factors interact as a bundle to drive performance.

 

The 'implication for future research' implies the researchers had tried to establish a relationship between strategy, contextual variable and performance. They however suggested that future researchers could do that by integrating the variables studied instead of working on the assumption that variables contribute independently to the fitness concept.

 

The basis of warranted conclusion, given the quality of the data collection instrument and the rigor in the data analyses process, it might be argued that the researchers' conclusions are based informed evidence. Thus the conclusions drawn from the evidence they were able to show from their statistical analysis warrants their claims. The subject of warranted conclusion holds that the evidence informing the conclusions should be convincing enough to draw a logical link to the conclusions (Gorard, 2002).

 

However like previous studies, the study reviewed is not explicit about the impact of situational variables on performance; which is central to how the research will affect practice. This is crucial as Gerdin and Greve (2004) contend that such omissions may have implications on the choice of theory building and testing. They argue that: 'With a contingency approach, it is assumed that organizations may have varying degrees of fit. Thus, the researcher must show that a higher degree of fit is associated with higher performance' (p.305).

 

Gerdin and Greve, (2008), contended that studies which fail to link the studied variables to performance would be more appropriately referred to as congruence studies rather than contingency studies. Congruence studies assumed that only the best-performing organizations survive to be observed. Therefore context-structure paradigm could be evaluated without relating it to performance.

 

The relationship between structure and context, or the degree of fit between an organization structure and contingencies is suggested as the explanation for any variation in performance in organizations. Itterner and Larcker (2001) suggested that improved outcome(s) of research in this area (contingency theory) could be enhanced by improving the measurement of strategy. They argued that measuring strategy as a band between companies following 'low cost' or 'product differentiation' would unlikely pick-out many vital distinctions.

 

Appropriateness of Alternative Approach

 

Researchers have argued that the formulation and implementation of strategy is a social process which is dynamic in nature (Helliar et al, 2002). Therefore the quantification of such variables may not appropriately generate results that are applicable to other situations. However, contingency theory research has attracted a functional appeal in which quantification and analyses of data using correlation and regression is a common norm (Langfield-Smith, 1997; Caniato et al., 2008).

 

Studies adopting the positivist perspective which is informed by quantification produce results which could be widely applied. This is the strong point of quantitative studies and a disadvantage of the qualitative approach. Qualitative research approaches aim at evaluating; in a much detailed manner the impact situational factors on a studied case. It therefore produces outcomes that cannot be easily generalized.

 

In the study by Jermias and Gani (2004), although the researchers have adopted a positivist perspective, it is difficult to generalize their findings as a result of the sample selection which may not depict the likely pattern in similar situations. If the results of the study were not intended for generalization, then a case study research design would have been a more suitable approach to conducting the study.

 

A case study would have given the researchers the opportunity to have an in-depth understanding of how these contingencies combine into a state of 'fit' in actual circumstances to drive performance. This research design would have enabled the researchers to inductively infer what situational factors impact on organizational performance and to what extent, instead of having to test priori hypotheses. Adopting a case study design would also have enabled the researchers gain an understanding into what internal factors besides the external factors studied that affect performance in organizations (Helliar et al, 2002).

 

Given the second of objective of the paper to contribute to theory building, a case study design would have enhanced the achievement of this objective by building theories rather than the testing of hypotheses. Studies adopting the dynamic contingency model suggest firms in the same industry are not exactly exposed to the same situational factors at the same rate and in the same manner. It also asserts that these factors influence but do not determine the functionality of the organization (Mintzberg, 1985).

 

A case study design to this kind of study would have enabled an understanding of how these contingencies influence organizational choices of strategy and other policy decisions which impact on a particular firm; further studies comparing the effect of a particular factor on different firm would then give credence to the effect of that factor on organizations if a consistent result is found. For instance Hellier et al. (2002) adopting a longitudinal case study design were able to gain understanding into factors that persistently affect organizational strategic choices and others whose impact may be for a while. These kind of study would have enabled the researchers to come to the understanding of other variables besides the ones anticipated by them which influence performance in organizations.

 

Concluding comments

 

The researchers set themselves the task of developing a model that measures the contingency fit between variables that impact on organizations. They were also keen at contributing to theory building. Although their work has enhanced understanding on the measurement of contingency fit as intended, they failed to show how these variables interact to drive performance which is needed for practice.

 

Their findings give credibility to the contingency theory which is grounded on the notion that there is no universally optimal system that fits into any organizational setting, but rather, various situational factors impact on the design and strategies of organizations (Ittner and Larcker, 2001; Abdel-Kader and Luther, 2008). Thus suggesting that adequate considerations should be given to these factors if an organization is to meet its objective(s) (Gerdin and Greve, 2004; Cadez and Guilding, 2008).

 

The researchers have however given readers the impression that there are only two strategic choices from which a company must choose one. This supposition has been refuted by other researchers who acknowledge the existence of other strategic choices. Their choice of firms in a single industry although has the advantage of reducing 'environmental heterogeneity', suggests that all firms in the same industry are exposed to the same situational factors at same rate. As a result, the impact of contingency factors would be felt in similar manner. Researchers have suggested that impact of situational factors on individual firms vary.

 

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