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+”