Our debts were heavy, the cash flow was low. We decided to create a central unit that had to manage the outsourcing. Beforehand, in this company […] there was a strong sense of identity, generations of people that worked to charismatic manager who really represented so much for everybody. We need to be aligned to our competitors about these and other elements that determine the stock price. We need to cut costs. Others did it through mergers and acquisitions, we need to do it through internal growth and synergies. This was the strong mandate of the CEO in those years. There are many examples.
The choice of high level people is one of them. A relatively young man coming from the financial sector, from another company, was placed in a very high level position with industrial responsibilities. This, just a few years before, was absolutely unthinkable. Also, the strategic planning approach was dismantled. The long term guidance of the company was weakened, and a CFO Chief Financial Officer role was established for the first time.
The strategic plan is no longer defined by the specialized unit, but by the CFO himself. The CFO becomes the key governance role of the company, and his background is a financial one. Indeed, today we talk about CFOO Chief Financial Operating Officer , a real business manager, someone who has to put the money where there are more returns.
The quarterly report is the bible, quarter after quarter […]. In those times of the year when you have the short-term obsession, you have to do anything to save the short term results, in order to save your ability to manage the long term you need to show short-term results, you are caught in this schizophrenic dilemma. This is the reality of most listed companies. First we talk about vision, human resource development etc.
Beyond Organizational Change - Structure, Discourse and Power in UK Financial Services
I have to fire people on which I invested just a month before for their growth and development […]. This inconsistency creates tensions between people. And when you have strong tensions, you abandon long term projects. If the shareholder asks a lot of dividends, this influences a lot the HR manager and his choices. We bought businesses just because we thought that the stock market might like it. Management choices became a way to communicate to the financial community — for example, to save the quarter. We had to show investors that we were doing something, that we were cutting costs.
Hence, the great relevance given to external communication, many people were hired in this area, a complete managerial renewal, at many levels.
Beyond Organizational Change: Structure, Discourse And Power In Uk Financial Services
And centralization is by far the most frequent one. If I want to steer the management according to what the Stock Market is asking, I need a centralized approach, decentralization does not allow me to do it. In the pharmaceutical company where I worked for so many years, this tendency was extremely obvious.
More or less the same thing happens here, in the company where I work today in the mining industry. Today I can do from the center things that 3 years ago were unthinkable, for example, I can decide where to place and move people even in very remote units, thanks to a sophisticated, centralized system of talent management and also thanks to new technologies. Technology helps because everything becomes remote, it gives me all the data I need. Everything is easier. The first project concerned the financial activities, that were completely centralized.
Another project concerned the centralization of the information technology management. Human resources management was also mostly centralized, as well all the insurance area, which for the company is very important. Recently the remaining administrative prerogatives that were left in the business division have been centralized as well.. This is my experience: efficiency and centralization. First and foremost, the obsession for cost reductions strongly pushes towards dramatic decreases of labor costs. A personnel manager used to travel, used to go were the problems were, we talked about the problems in the workplace.
Today managers are very far from the problems. They care about the external world, how to bring in resources. They see the company as global investment […].
Today companies pay a certain educational agency, they go there and provide their courses without even considering the idea of analyzing the specific training needs. It is not a learning process which depends heavily on the context, it is a predefined package of notions transmitted to the workers and aimed at homogenizing and controlling their behavior. There are no more significant investments on people. The organization is very variable. We have teams and interfunctional units and relations, all mediated by the information system. They are the ones on which the company makes investments.
And the mass can be controlled through hierarchy. However, financial goals can also be very relevant: transformation of fixed costs into variable costs, increase of liquidity to be invested in financial operations, and so forth. But it also can be seen as way to generate cash and increase the shareholders value or to engage in financial operations.
In my experience, this was not always the case. The assessment of suppliers was not always very accurate and verified. Also, there is the risk of losing competences. Not just because the knowledge about external activities cannot be accessed directly, but also because the need to directly and tightly control the suppliers through information system, procedures, logistics or other informal means may reduce their autonomy and their ability to experiment, learn and innovate.
Especially when there is a technological change, this is a real risk. This can become a crucial issue for many companies. This is because if I have a cash problem, the market will not forgive you, the quarterly report becomes crucial […]. For example, the financial services to the customers… you need to understand if this a service to the customer or a business in itself.
In the company I worked for this is an old issue. This leads to short-termism, to organizational choices that seem to contradict the general industrial strategies, and to a decrease of the relevance of the strategic reasoning itself. It also leads to a general organizational picture that sharply contradicts the mainstream rhetoric about Post-fordist companies.
However, the relevance of the companies in our sample all major multinational companies as well as the level of responsibility and the length of experience of our interviewees all top level managers with many decades of experience in major multinational companies lead us to hypothesize that what we found about the dramatic relevance of financialization is not an unlikely coincidence. We strongly believe that in order to understand the current reality of enterprises, in managerial and organizational terms, it is necessary to rethink the way we conceptualize and explain the changes we are observing.
Together with traditional explanations based on a logic of industrial rationalization, it is worth considering the enormous pressure coming from afinancialized economy. This is a system-level phenomenon, not just because it involves all major listed multinational companies on a global scale, but also because it may well involve a vast majority of the business world.
This is also a subject that should be better understood through the collaboration of scholars from different disciplines — economics, sociology, management, organization theory, and more. Adam Smith a Pechino: genealogie del ventunesimo secolo , Feltrinelli, Milano, Ferrari, P. Ronfani, S. ODIH P. Knights, H. Wilmott, R. Mercurio, G. Hirst, J. Zeitlin eds. Finanziarizzazione delle imprese e declino del lavoro , Carocci, Roma.
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Introduction 1 1 While this paper is the outcome of a shared research and reflection effort by the authors, the writ Total value of stock trades in billions of dollars Agrandir Original jpeg, k. Gid-dens proposed a view of human action and social structure as a mutually interacting duality rather than a dualism. He rejects the structuralist's notion that there exists a society over and above people by insisting that society is produced and reproduced through human action.
The critics claim that the duality concept "conflates" action and structure Archer , ; Callinicos If action and structure are not analytically as well as phenomenologically distinct, how change or stability can be explained theoretically and supported empirically? Mouzelis proposes that one needs the concepts of both duality and dualism simultaneously on the paradigmatic as well as on the syn-tagmatic level.
The aim of this article is to study organizational change and institutionalisation of technology as a structuration. The structurational model of technology Orlikowski, will be reconstructed by incorporating both duality and dualism of technology in organisations. The structurational model of technology is reconsidered to articulate a model of how institutions are formed, reproduced and modified through and interplay of action and structure during the structuration of technology in organisations.
The boom of internet-related economic activities in the industrialised countries during the second half of the s appeared to imply a major structural innovation in terms of the functioning of a post-industrial labour market and work organisation: Widely project-oriented work in teams characterised by flat hierarchies, a new culture of en-trepreneurship and self-determination, the interdisciplinary integration of business and technological matters with aspects of content and creativity: all these features appeared to give an impression of how the information economy would look like, be-ing primarily built around the personality of the individual "reflexive" worker Lash and Urry on whose creativity and capability the business success was considered to be based.
This view of the new economy was seriously challenged with the crisis having af-fected the sector since the middle of , not only in terms of the economic success of the structural changes. The present situation has also accentuated the fact that the "novelty-rhetorics" Grabher around new media often hid the fact that organisa-tional forms and work patterns of the firms had essentially drawn on existing patterns of the diverse precursor industries the new activity had started from, such as IT con-sultancy, print media and advertising.
The suggested paper is to depict the empirical results of an in-depth research project on the new media employment system of Hamburg. Beginning with a conceptual ac-count of the ambivalence of innovation and continuity in new media, it shows how the sector crystallised around the city's pre-existing media and advertising cluster.
In ad-dition it demonstrates how it, on the one hand, still interacts with this history and, on the other, is shaped by the changing structure of competition in their market place, in terms of both work organisation and professional culture, in that project organisation is coming closer to what is labelled as 'managed projects'.
Beyond Organizational Change
At least presently, the genuine 'new' media patterns appear to be restricted to a niche market of small and regionally oriented clients. At the same time, however, they influence the urban economy as a whole by gradually diffusing into various sectors of the old economy. In the early 's Finland was gripped by a deep economic recession which brought major changes to the labour markets.
Precarious employment increased notably.
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