Artifacts and Organizations: Beyond Mere Symbolism (Organization and Management Series)

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Effort must be put into providing employees with tools and resources to successfully fulfill their duties. The interested reader will find here suggestions and warnings about tailor-made approaches to service quality measurement. Each dimension. The reader will learn how the measurement of quality is a perception, even though relative to expectations, whereas the mea- surement of satisfaction is an evaluation. Chapter 3 covers the operations management OM approach toward studying service, one of the parameters of interest of the organization.

The central question is what the firm does to yield the experiences that cus- tomers have, taking into account simultaneously—as much as possible— the delivery processes, the systems, the employees, and the customers. Following a discussion of the variability of customers, several models are presented e. Some major points are debated, such as the involvement of the customer in the process and procedures in this direction. Even though the involvement and the level of knowledge of the litera- ture, as well as the personal interest of the authors, are very high throughout the book, the most engaging chapter is the one on organizational climate and climate for service.

In a few dozen pages, the history of the develop- ment of the concept of climate for service and the latest empirical stud- ies are extensively explored. If a criticism can be made of this chapter, it would be about the discus- sion of methodological issues related to levels of analysis. Although surely a very important topic for the authors, it is not so relevant for the readers in this specific context.

Artifacts and Organizations

The interested reader could easily refer to the specific literature on the subject, which is widely published. Very enlightening for the newcomers to this field is the causality path for service quality, from customers to employees. Much more relevant for everyone, and well pre- sented, is the focus on a very practical issue: how to create a climate for service. Leadership and the foundations of the construct—work facilitation and internal service—are called out as causal, generating the HRM e. The final chapter integrates the emphasis on HRM issues with a mar- keting and operations management approach, and provides suggestions for future research directions.

My overall feeling about this book is that for all its apparent simplicity, it requires two readings: the first because the focused theoretical back- ground makes the reader want to see the conclusions; the second because of the enjoyable writing style, the strict linkages between the chapters, as well as the good practices that are spread throughout the book.

These good practices, as well as repeated suggestions about gaps in knowledge and the literature that can be useful for both professionals and scientists, calls for a second reading to focus on specific issues of interest. The value profit chain: Treat employees like customers and customers like employees. New York: Free Press. Understanding customer expectations of service. Sloan Management Review, 32, 39— Lucian Bebchuk and Jessie Fried.

Brumback, Palm Coast, FL. Having argued for a high—low in- come ratio of nine to one in his time, I wonder if Plato would be indignant today. Their perspective, instead, is theoretical and practical. It is theoretical because the authors espouse a theory they claim explains why executive performance is, in their view, insensitive to that part of compensation intended to drive performance, namely equity-based incentives, or stock ownership.

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It is practical because, if their theory is valid, a better understanding of executive pay setting could lead, in their opinion, to a recoupling of executive pay and performance and a significant increase in shareholder wealth. Theorists naturally defend their theories, so throughout the book the authors rebut rival theories. Basically, this model ar- gues that compensation committees of boards of directors, who represent the principals i. It does not work that way at all according to the authors. What really happens, they argue, is that CEOs, through their powerful influence, set their own pay and increase their own wealth.

As for shareholders, they are taken to the cleaners. Well, maybe the authors are right and their rivals are not.

They do not know, which is precisely why they have a theory. They do not sit in on negotiations. They simply believe that the presence of costly but useless incentives is evidence of the absence of arms-length contracting and that their model best explains why that is so.

In case you are curious about the four other rivals, and I think you should be if you are at all interested in the subject, and before I finish this review, here they are in a nutshell, as I label and understand them. One is the market model that predicts changes in executive pay when there are changes in the supply of and demand for CEOs. Another is the better board model that predicts CEOs will justifiably demand more incentives when boards are making them work harder.

A third is the turbulence model that predicts greater executive compensation when the corporation is buf- feted by strong outside forces such as major technological changes in the industry.

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The fourth is the accounting model that predicts changes in ex- ecutive pay based on how strict or lenient is the accounting for the equity component of pay. Remember, now, that the authors are lawyers, so if you read this book, be ready to wade through a lot of analytical arguments. And so on it goes. Besides their rebuttals of the alternative models, the authors cite numerous findings from the research literature that they believe can only be fully explained or predicted by their model. For instance, once anti- takeover defenses are deployed against hostile bidders, the subsequently less vulnerable CEOs extract significantly greater pay concessions.

These CEOs, the authors argue, have used their influence to protect and enhance themselves even further. The last two examples seem to demonstrate CEO power even when it is going out the door. In the broadest sense, if you ask me, any element of executive pay without performance, especially excessive pay, is fraudulent and not unlike embezzlement that may be the moralist coming out in me.

For lawyers who author a critical analysis not to go on to propose legal reforms as one means to curb abusive power is perplexing in light of arguments by some authoritative critics that legal reforms are absolutely necessary see, e. The right kind of expecta- tions and an honest appraisal ought to make oversized pay for undersized performance less likely or at least more conspicuous. To them, per- formance that does not increase shareholder wealth is unacceptable.

But increased shareholder wealth is neither the sine qua non of corporate greatness nor even in some cases a legitimate corporate objective.

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How could, for instance, increased shareholder wealth created through corpo- rate wrongdoing be considered legitimate? The authors would welcome good compensation contracts. To me, however, any compensation contract is an inherently bad management practice. It should be abolished and the role of compensation com- mittees minimized.

Go figure. Obviously, though, there is little or no risk if CEOs actually do set the parameters and are smart and devious enough in doing it!

An I-O psychological perspective on performance management at the top might be illuminating but this perspective is nowhere to be found in the book, and almost all of the nearly 40 pages of footnotes repre- sent the fields of law and economics. I am ambivalent about this book, but I have decided to endorse it anyway.


  • The Dog Walked Down the Street;
  • Artifacts and Organizations: Beyond Mere Symbolism.
  • Constructive Culture;

I would like to think there are a few I-O psychologists who would be interested in examining all six theories, adding their own, and keeping company with Lawler et al. If you are one of them or if you should decide to read the book for whatever reason, consider reading also the exchange articles I mentioned. Nevertheless, my intuition says this model makes the most sense among the rival theories, and seems consistent with all of the literature I have read about imperial CEOs and abusive corporate power see, e.

Pay without performance: Overview of the issues. Academy of Management Perspective, 20, 5— Corporate boards: Strategies for adding value at the top. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Conyon MJ. Executive compensation and incentives. Academy of Management Perspectives, 20, 25— Drutman L, Cray C.

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San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler. Huffington A. Pigs at the trough: Corporate greed and political corruption are undermining America. NY: Crown. When corporations rule the world 2nd ed. San Francisco: Berrett- Koehler. Lawler EE. Strategic pay: Aligning organizational strategies and pay systems. Rewarding excellence: Pay strategies for the new economy.

Rena M. Collaborating Online: Learning To- gether in Community. Working and learning collaboratively in an online environment has become an integral part of both business practice and the higher education process. Palloff and Pratt, experienced online instructors and educational consultants, tapped into this trend early and have produced a series of books about online learning, including Building Learning Communities in Cyberspace , Lessons from the Cyberspace Classroom , and the Virtual Student Collaborating Online is their latest entry in the series.

I have read all the Paloff and Pratt books and found them to be useful in both my teaching and my consulting practice. The book is divided into two parts, with the first part providing some basic concepts about collaboration in an online context and the sec- ond part outlining example collaborative activities. Part I consists of four chapters. Chapter 1 reviews some basic theory about collaboration and working with virtual teams. Collaboration refers to learners working together in pairs or small groups to achieve shared learning goals, such as solving a problem, completing a task, or creating a product.

The authors define the interactive nature of collaboration and community building and make the case for positive impact on learning. I like how the authors integrate relevant research into their discussion, providing a good set of references for readers who want to dig deeper. Another useful section in this chapter discusses virtual team dynamics and provides a model of the elements of effective online groups.