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Strategic change and organisational restructuring: How managers negotiate change initiatives

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  • Taplin, Ian M.
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    Abstract

    This study examines the organizational changes and varied response amongst managers to those changes in seven subsidiaries of multinational apparel firms. Because of intensified competition from low wage economies, such firms have been forced to restructure production processes to heighten both their productive efficiency and attain greater flexibility at the plant level. Much of this change has involved the introduction of high performance work practices (HPWP), a central focus of much recent scholarship on post-Fordism. Drawing from several qualitative strategies, this paper focuses on the role of managers as agents of strategy implementation and discusses how they negotiate, accept or resist such changes. We describe the failure to implement HPWP as some firms seek efficiency gains from work restructuring rather than broader effectiveness goals that would have deepened employee participation. In doing so we theorise about structural impediments to organisational innovation, the operational constraints that render some managers change recipients rather than change agents, and what this might tell us about micro-political strategies within large organisations as key actors negotiate a new organisational reality.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Management.

    Volume (Year): 12 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 3 (September)
    Pages: 284-301

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:intman:v:12:y:2006:i:3:p:284-301

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    Related research

    Keywords: High performance work systems Organisation change Management resistance Restructured work Negotiating change;

    References

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    1. Kochan, Thomas A., 1996. "What works at work : overview and assessment," Working papers 3886-96., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    2. Steven W. Floyd, 1997. "Middle Management's Strategic Influence and Organizational Performance," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(3), pages 465-485, 05.
    3. Paul Osterman, 1994. "How common is workplace transformation and who adopts it?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(2), pages 173-188, January.
    4. John Godard, 2004. "A Critical Assessment of the High-Performance Paradigm," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 42(2), pages 349-378, 06.
    5. Pamela S. Barr, 1997. "Seeing isn't Believing: Understanding Diversity in the Timing of Strategic Response," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(3), pages 337-370, 05.
    6. Christerson, Brad & Appelbaum, Richard P., 1995. "Global and local subcontracting: Space, ethnicity, and the organization of apparel production," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(8), pages 1363-1374, August.
    7. Paul Osterman, 2000. "Work reorganization in an era of restructuring: Trends in diffusion and effects on employee welfare," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(2), pages 179-196, January.
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    Cited by:
    1. Schotter, Andreas & Beamish, Paul W., 2011. "Performance effects of MNC headquarters-subsidiary conflict and the role of boundary spanners: The case of headquarter initiative rejection," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 243-259, September.
    2. Williams, Christopher, 2009. "Subsidiary-level determinants of global initiatives in multinational corporations," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 92-104, March.

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