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Open access

Jacqueline Byrne, Tomás Dwyer and Declan Doyle

Abstract

Organisations with market-oriented cultures outperform other organisations. Thus, the creation of such a culture is paramount. This paper details how distinct layers of an organisation’s culture can in combination influence market-oriented behaviours. The importance of organisational culture in the successful implementation of a market orientation strategy has been recognised. However, an awareness of how the layers of organisational culture, such as values, norms and artefacts, can contribute to market-oriented behaviour is still under research. The layers of organisational culture were thus investigated in three mixed-method case studies of Irish companies utilising a questionnaire survey, interviews and observations. The core conclusion of the study is that the combined synergistic effect of the particular unique organisational cultural layers in a company encourages market-oriented behaviours. This research adds necessary details for managers who seek to develop and create a market-oriented culture to improve company performance.

Open access

Gabriel J. Costello

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the literature on theories of the firm and argues for the importance of an innovation-based view (IBV). In doing so, it examines the incumbent management theories of the firm, resource-based view (RBV), knowledge-based view (KBV) and dynamic capabilities, considering the recent developments in the academic literature and in the nature of the firm. The research approach of abduction (conceiving of theory) proposed by Peirce and described by Van de Ven is used. A conceptual framework that incorporates the growing influence of information and communications technology and open innovation on the characteristics of the firm is developed. The managerial tradition that originated in the scholarship of Edith Penrose is used to develop the framework, as opposed to the lens of economic ‘black box’ theories.

Open access

Desmond Gibney and Martin Quinn

Abstract

This study details the management practices of a malting business called Bennetts of Ballinacurra (Bennetts), from approximately 1920s to the mid-1930s, a period when the Irish Free State was in its infancy. There is little extant literature on the management practices of Irish businesses of the time. Archival records, containing the company’s books, records and correspondence, were our primary source. Our findings revealed a relatively sophisticated management information system for which its merchant background and close connections to Arthur Guinness & Sons Ltd. (Guinness) were a potential explanatory factor. In addition, despite the business being small, the study revealed how management coped with issues such as business structure and industrial relations in a time of great political and economic change. There is scope for future research to utilise the archives of Bennetts, as well as other archives identified in our study.

Open access

Book Review on HR from the Outside In: Six Competencies for the Future of Human Resources

Dave Ulrich, Jon Younger, Wayne Brockbank and Mike Ulrich New York: McGraw Hill, 2012

Sarah Kieran

Open access

Chris O’Riordan

Abstract

This paper explores how general practitioners (GPs) address potentially opposing motivations stemming from being altruistic and self-interested, and the implications for patients and GPs. The author finds that GPs address dual goals of patient care and profit generation. This can be challenging, while professional values (altruism) encourage a patient focus, business realities (self-interest) mandate other priorities. Viewing clinicians as altruistic in isolation of business needs is unrealistic, as is the notion that profit is the dominant motivation. A blending of interests occurs, pursuing reasonable self-interest, patients’ best interests are ultimately met. GPs need a profit focus to sustain/improve the practice, benefitting patients through continued availability and capacity for enhancement. Therefore, it is argued that GPs behave in a manner that is ‘part altruistic, part self-interested’ and mutually beneficial. These insights should be considered in designing incentive systems for GPs, raising compelling questions about contemporary understanding of the nature of professionals.

Open access

Darragh Flannery and Tom Turner

Abstract

Over recent years pay levels in the public sector of the economy have come under increasing scrutiny. This paper provides an assessment of the key issues and challenges central to a comparison of wage levels in the private and public sector in Ireland. A review of the extant studies that have employed multivariate analysis to estimate the gap between public and private sector wages in Ireland indicates a wage premium in favour of public sector workers. However the actual magnitude of the earnings gap is difficult to accurately assess as the size of the premium varies markedly across these various studies. A number of possible options are suggested to guide the development of a fair system for assessing wage levels in the public sector.

Open access

Lisa Halpin and Tony Dundon

Abstract

This article explores the introduction of the 2014 Protected Disclosures Act in the Republic of Ireland. It does so by using a justice theory lens to examine the potential for the Act to protect workers who may feel the need to blow the whistle on employer wrongdoings. Data is collected from public records and documents, along with interviews with senior representatives from ‘all’ the social partner agents involved in drafting or contributing to the Act. The evidence suggests that the Act may have limited utility in ensuring fairness and justice for the whistle-blower. In particular, employers appear reluctant to embrace the idea of more legal protections, while cultural stigmas attached to the idea of ‘blowing the whistle’ may inhibit people coming forward. The article contributes to justice theory and employment regulation, as well as whistle-blowing practices, and some recommendations are suggested to improve awareness of whistle-blowing rights for workers.

Open access

Orla Byrne and Joe MacDonagh

Abstract

Employee engagement is an important construct in management research as engaged employees not only perform better in their jobs but also feel happier and more fulfilled in the workplace. Employee engagement is a function of the job resources employees have in coping with their job demands. This paper makes a threefold contribution to the existing engagement literature by: (1) exploring this construct with a sample of third-level academics in the Irish public sector – a relatively unmapped sample in engagement research, (2) identifying organisational support as a key job resource that enables academics to cope with their job demands and (3) proposing that employee engagement reflects how strongly an employee puts his or her heart into work – suggesting a reconceptualization of engagement as love. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.

Open access

Maureen Maloney and Alma McCarthy

Abstract

This paper applies a model of bounded rationality to study small employers’ decision-making on pension provision in Ireland. Personal Retirement Savings Account (PRSA) pension products were intended to provide inexpensive, flexible pension options, particularly targeted towards small enterprises. After 10 years of their introduction, evidence suggests that the PRSA pension product has little impact on pension coverage in Ireland and the employees of small organisations are least likely to be the members of pension schemes. Drawing on the theory of bounded rationality and a review of the legislative and institutional context within which small employers in Ireland make decisions on pension provision, this paper presents a pension decision-making model of small employers based on the work of Simon (1983). A range of propositions are set out for empirical research to examine pension provision practices of small employers relating to whether they have a tendency to organise rather than sponsor PRSAs for their employees. The implications for theory, research and policy are explained.

Open access

Nagarajan Ramamoorthy and Donna Stringer

Abstract

In the current study, using a sample of 467 employees from Ireland, we examined the effects of distributive justice perceptions, based on equity versus equality principles, on two forms of employee commitment: affective and normative. Furthermore, we also tested whether employees’ gender moderated the relationships between these two distributive justice perceptions and the two forms of commitment. Results indicated that equity perceptions positively influenced both forms of commitment and equality perceptions positively influenced only normative commitment. Additionally, results revealed that women reported greater affective and normative commitments than men when equity perceptions were higher than when they were lower. Gender did not moderate the relationship between equality perceptions and normative commitment. Women, however, reported lower affective commitment than men when equality perceptions were lower; there were no differences between men and women on affective commitment when equality perceptions were higher. Implications are discussed.