ULMS Organisation and Management Group Research Seminar Series 2013/14    

6 06 2014
Time and Date: 2pm, 11th of June
Location: Seminar Room 4, ULMS
Nibbles and drinks served
Andrew Popp
“The Broken Cotton Speculator”
Professor Ansgar Richter
“Revisiting the Role of the Environment in the Capabilities-Financial Performance Relationship: A Meta-Analysis”
Dr. Andrew Smith
“Between Organizational Theory and Historical Methodology: a Possible Exit from the Impasse for Business Historians”
Andrew Popp
Professor of Business, ULMS
Paper title: “The Broken Cotton Speculator”
Liverpool, 1904, is a city caught in the onrush of modernity. The world’s commodities, cotton in particular, flow into its docks in a never ending stream; vast new armies of white collar workers, pouring into the centre from new suburbs via overhead railways and tram, are corralled into emerging bureaucracies; the streets of the commercial centre, lined by an ever growing array of impressive architectural monuments, teem with life; telephones lines criss-cross the centre like a nervous system. At the heart of the city lies The Exchange. On March 3rd 1904 someone sent a postcard of that Exchange to a sweetheart in London, its rich but cryptic language and symbolism capturing some of the essence of this modern life and its dislocating effect.
Ansgar Richter (with Amit Karna and Eberhard Riesenkampff)
Professor of Management, ULMS
University Webpage:
Paper Title: “Revisiting the Role of the Environment in the Capabilities-Financial Performance Relationship: A Meta-Analysis”
Within the dynamic capabilities view of the firm, there is debate about the relative importance of ordinary and dynamic capabilities for firm performance, and about the extent to which their performance effects are contingent on the environment in which a firm operates. We meta-analyze 115 studies to investigate the relationship between both ordinary and dynamic capabilities and the financial performance of firms in stable versus changing environments. The results suggest that the performance effects of both types of capabilities are positive, and similar in magnitude. We find support for the view that environmental dynamism reinforces the effects of both ordinary and of dynamic capabilities. Furthermore, the two types of capabilities are closely associated. Our findings mediate between more moderate and stronger perspectives on dynamic capabilities.
Andrew Smith
Lecturer in International Business, ULMS
Paper title: “Between Organizational Theory and Historical Methodology: a Possible Exit from the Impasse for Business Historians”
In a path-breaking article Michael Rowlinson, John Hassard and Stephanie Decker (2013) deal with the relationship between historical writing and organization theory. Rowlinson, Hassard and Decker (henceforth RHD) identify three important methodological differences in how organization theory and historiography approach the study of the past. In stressing the massive differences between these two interpretative traditions, RHD suggest that the two approaches are effectively at an impasse. This paper will draw on what might be called “moderate” postmodernism and will suggest a methodology that could support a research programme capable of bridging the divide between organization theory and historical theory. The paper will suggest that business historians in management schools ought to shift their focus from the study of actual historical events to the examination of how perceptions of the past influence the thoughts, discourses, and actions of present-day economic actors. It will then provide some specific examples of how this social-memory research programme could be implemented with a view to producing business-historical research that is genuinely useful to a wide range of knowledge users in both universities and private industry.



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