New Book Chapter: »Meta-organisations as Drivers for Sustainability across Tourism Clusters in the Alps«

We analyzed the case of “Alpine pearls” with a meta-organizational lens

Monica Nadegger and I are happy to share the news that our contribution to the volume “Clusters and Sustainable Regional Development: A Meta-Organisational Approach”, edited by Evgeniya Lupova-Henry and Nicola Francesco Dotti is now available online. The abstract of the chapter entitled “Meta-organisations as drivers for sustainability across tourism clusters in the Alps: A case study of ‘Alpine Pearls’” reads as follows:

The tourism industry faces the urgent need to change its business models to become more sustainable. However, to face such a global challenge, destinations must collaborate beyond their geographical boundaries. While tourism research has theorised intra-destination collaboration through the concept of tourism clusters, literature on organising collective action towards a common goal beyond destination boundaries remains scarce. This chapter takes a meta-organisational perspective to understand inter-destination collaboration with an illustrative example of ‘Alpine Pearls’ – a European tourism association for green mobility and sustainable travel. It shows the rationale for collaboration, the types of member organisations, and the decision-making structures typical for meta-organisations and tourism clusters. The research question looks at how ‘coopetitive’ intra-destination dynamics and meta-organisational inter-destination management can be combined to facilitate sustainable development. The study suggests that intra-destination ties in tourism clusters and inter-destination collaboration in meta-organisations can help destinations strive for sustainable development.

In case your institution does not provide access to the volume, I would be happy to send you a copy of the full-text of the chapter.

Best Paper Award at SMS 2022 for Paper “Taking individual choices seriously: Self-selection and the coordination of strategy work”

At the 42nd Strategic Management Conference in London, the paper “Taking individual choices seriously: Self-selection and the coordination of strategy work” co-authored by Martin Friesl, Christoph Brielmaier (both University of Bamberg) and myself, was awarded the Best Paper Award of the Strategy Practice Interest Group of the Strategic Management Society (SMS). Christoph was so kind to collect our award certificate in London.

The Abstract of the paper reads as follows:

An increasing body of work investigates the participation of a diverse set of actors in strategy making. There is also a converging view in strategy practice and process research that diverse participation in the strategy process has positive implications for corporate renewal and success. In this paper, we argue that extant research tends to gloss over a fundamental condition underpinning participation in such types of strategizing: participation does largely do not involve a hierarchical mandate but is the result of processes of self-selection on the individual level. While this may seem self-evident, it is of crucial importance. These forms of strategizing are, therefore, not the outcome of deliberate top-down choice, nor do they form a ‘random’ pattern. Rather, they are based on an ‘endogenous’ logic, which explains whether an individual self-selects into the process or not. Thus, it is this logic of self-selection that ultimately gives rise to strategic outcomes. This paper aims to make three contributions to strategy practice and process research. It differentiates two forms of self-selection (managed and unmanaged) and describes their implications on the level of the organization and the level of the individual. Moreover, this paper also theorizes the underlying mechanisms governing selection choices.

We are currently revising the article for publication in a journal. In case you are interested in the conference paper, I am happy to provide it via e-mail.

Between Retro- and Neo-Taylorism: A Brief Review of “Severance” on AppleTV+

The dystopian workplace TV series “Severance”, which has been described as a mixture of “Lost” and “The Office” and was nominated for 14 (!) Emmy Awards, offers a lot of reflection for anyone interested in organization and management. Having finished the show’s first season comprising 9 one-hour episodes, let me offer some observations in this blog post (which is based on a Twitter thread).

Let’s start with the Retro-Tayloristic premise and setting: the basic idea of the “severance procedure”, which separates employee’s non-work memories from work memories, describes the ultimate wet dream of Tayloristic management scholars and professionals. Taylor’s “Scientific Management” treats organizations as machines and workers as tools that ought to follow formalized operational procedures to the letter. Management’s task is to develop, measure, optimize and control these procedures. This is exactly what the severance procedure promises to offer: workers able to solely focus on work tasks they do not (need to) understand without any personal and extra-organizational interference or distraction.

Continue reading “Between Retro- and Neo-Taylorism: A Brief Review of “Severance” on AppleTV+”

Neuer zfo-Artikel: »Fehlschläge offen Einräumen: Über das Nachleben gescheiterter Startups«

(Bild wurde mit Hilfe der AI-Bildgenerierungssoftware DALL·E 2 erstellt, der Schriftzug händisch eingefügt.)

Auf Basis unseres bei Long Range Planning erschienen Beitrags “Open about organizational failure: A communication perspective on postmortem impression management” haben Nils Köster, Erik Schäfer, Christoph Seckler und ich für die transferorientierte zfo – Zeitschrift Führung + Organisation eine deutsche Fassung mit stärkerem Fokus auf Ableitungen für unternehmerische Praxis verfasst:

  • Offen über eine gescheiterte Unternehmensgründung zu kommunizieren bietet die Chance für ein (Re-)Framing der Unternehmensgeschichte – auch nach der formalen Beendigung der Geschäftstätigkeit. Die Unternehmensgeschichte kann noch lange darüber hinaus fortgeschrieben werden.
  • Über das eigene unternehmerische Scheitern kann in verschiedenen Subgenres berichtet werden. Die Subgenres bieten jeweils unterschiedliche Chancen für das Impression Management.
  • In ihren Post-mortem-Statements sollten die Gründer:innen darauf achten, dass das Genre und die Impression-Management-Strategie zusammenpassen.
  • Das Leben nach dem formalen Tod einer Organisation währt so lange, wie die Folgekommunikation andauert. Gründer:innen, die an einem langen Nachleben ihrer Organisation interessiert sind, sollten daher dafür sorgen, dass die digitalen Statements möglichst lange im Internet zu finden sind. Suchmaschinenoptimierte, persönliche Blogs scheinen ein geeigneter Ort dafür zu sein – solange die Domain nicht aufgegeben wird.

Hier entlang zum Volltext des Beitrags “Fehlschläge offen einräumen: Über das Nachleben gescheiterter Startups”.

Why attend conferences? In-person encounters

The European Group of Organization Studies (EGOS) Symposium 2022 took place on the WU Campus in Vienna. (Photo: Marilyn Poon)

I follow quite a few academia-related accounts on Twitter (the hazards of doing digital methods). Just before embarking on my first conference this summer, I came across a tweet by a PhD student (in an anonymized fashion) asking: what’s the big deal about going to conferences anyway?

Continue reading “Why attend conferences? In-person encounters”

Call for Applications: PhD program on „Entrepreneurship, Management & Innovation“ at Leuphana University Lüneburg

Foto: Gerritgutzeit, CC BY-SA 4.0

The Leuphana University of Lüneburg, one of the most dynamic hubs for organization studies scholarship in the German-speaking area, is inviting applications for its PhD program on „Entrepreneurship, Management & Innovation“, incl. scholarship opportunities in the areas of management or psychology:

Our doctoral programme is aimed at future scholars in the fields of entrepreneurship, management and innovation. Our goal is to train doctoral students for research positions at leading universities or for research-related careers in consulting firms, governments or industry. You will receive training at the forefront of current research on entrepreneurship, management and innovation in our doctoral programme and develop a strong knowledge base in your respective research area. You will acquire skills to further develop theories, design scientifically sound research designs and publish your research results in renowned international journals. As a doctoral student, you will learn the necessary tools to contribute to debates in your research field as an independent scholar.

The deadline for applications is August 15, 2022.

New Article: “Governing by protection: Studying the problematization of whistleblower protection in the EU”

Check out this new article published by doctoral fellow Paul Zimmermann on “Governing by protection: Studying the problematization of whistleblower protection in the EU”, which has recently been published in Administrative Theory and Practice:

Despite the proliferation of whistleblower protection legislation across the world, increasingly scholars report that these laws fail to fully protect the whistleblower. In this paper, I direct attention to the politics of whistleblower protection and suggest that the Foucauldian concept of problematization can help to clarify how legal regulation is involved in the exercise of political power. I situate my study in the EU context and the Whistleblower Protection Directive drawing on Carol Bacchi’s WPR approach. The study finds, that by mobilizing the engagement of workers in law enforcement, whistleblower protection works as a technology of power to rectify the problematics of EU government. I conclude by reflecting on the ethico-political implications of governmentalizing whistleblower protection in advanced liberal democracies.

Neuer APuZ-Artikel: “Objektivität in Anführungszeichen: über Wissenschaft und Aktivismus”

Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte (APuZ) ist, so Wikipedia, “eine seit 1953 erscheinende Beilage der deutschen Wochenzeitung “Das Parlament”. Trotz der ungewöhnlichen Veröffentlichungsform zählt sie zu den wichtigsten deutschsprachigen Fachzeitschriften für Politikwissenschaft.” Umso erfreulicher ist, dass ich dort in der aktuellen Ausgabe einen Beitrag zum Verhältnis von Aktivismus, Wissenschaft und Journalismus beisteuern durfte. Auszug daraus:

Für die Lösung von Glaubwürdigkeitsproblemen in Wissenschaft und Journalismus gilt dasselbe, hier sind beide aufeinander angewiesen. Im Rahmen einer wissenschaftlichen Fachdebatte lassen sich Glaubwürdigkeitsdefizite in der Bevölkerung nicht beheben. Dafür braucht es öffentliche Auseinandersetzungen jenseits wissenschaftlicher Gemeinschaften, die maßgeblich von Journalist:innen mitgestaltet werden. Die Rolle der Soziologie könnte in diesem Kontext zusätzlich die Analyse der Metaebene im Luhmann’schen Sinne von Beobachtungen zweiter Ordnung sein. Bis zu einem gewissen Grad tut das auch dieser Text, indem er hinterfragt, was Aktivismusvorwürfe eigentlich bedeuten und ob sie nicht vielleicht sogar Teil des Problems sind, das sie kritisieren.

Der Beitrag ist Open Access online und als PDF (gesamte Ausgabe) verfügbar. Check it out!

New Article in the Journal Leadership: “A ‘leaderless’ social movement?”

In a just-published (online first) article for the journal Leadership, my co-author Martina Kohlberger and I applied a communication as constitutive of organizing (CCO) perspective in a case study to examine Twitter’s influence on the leadership dynamics in the 2019 Hong Kong Protests. We argue that Twitter is a powerful nonhuman leadership actor by demonstrating how it coordinates a plenum of co-participating agencies to construct meaningful narratives. In addition, we show that while many social movements call themselves leaderless, because of Twitter’s co-participation, they are not leadership-less. Using digital methods, we first harvested movement-relevant tweets based on hashtags and retweet counts from a key event of the protests, and then analysed the video content of the three most-retweeted tweets. Our analysis shows that Twitter’s various mechanisms dictate how online conversations unfold and that Twitter, therefore, influences how “authoritative text” is established. Our study contributes to the literature in three ways. First, we contribute to critical leadership studies by showing that Twitter is a leadership actor that enacts sociomaterial leadership, which further challenges the dominant human-centric and masculine views of leadership. In doing so, we reveal that the persistent leaderless movement narrative is a fantasy. Second, by illustrating how Twitter’s authorship mechanisms generate authority and polarity, we contribute to a stream of CCO studies showing that platforms influence power dynamics. Third, by attending to multivocality and dissensus, where a myriad of voices could speak up against the established and perceived injustice, we assert that Twitter as a leadership actor dictates specific modes of communication with performative effects.

You can find the full-length article here: