Open AccessArticle
Value of Uncertainty: The Lost Opportunities in Large Projects
Adm. Sci. 2016, 6(3), 11; doi:10.3390/admsci6030011 -
Abstract
The uncertainty management theory has become well established over the last 20–30 years. However, the authors suggest that it does not fully address why opportunities often remain unexploited. Empirical studies show a stronger focus on mitigating risks than exploiting opportunities. This paper [...] Read more.
The uncertainty management theory has become well established over the last 20–30 years. However, the authors suggest that it does not fully address why opportunities often remain unexploited. Empirical studies show a stronger focus on mitigating risks than exploiting opportunities. This paper therefore addresses why so few opportunities are explored in large projects. The theory claims that risks and opportunities should be equally managed in the same process. In two surveys, conducted in six (private and public) companies over a four-year period, project managers stated that uncertainty management is about managing risk and opportunities. However, two case studies from 12 projects from the same companies revealed that all of them had their main focus on risks, and most of the opportunities were left unexploited. We have developed a theoretical explanation model to shed light on this phenomena. The concept is a reflection based on findings from our empirical data up against current project management, uncertainty, risk and stakeholder literature. Our model shows that the threshold for pursuing a potential opportunity is high. If a potential opportunity should be considered, it must be extremely interesting, since it may require contract changes, and the project must abandon an earlier-accepted best solution. Full article
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Open AccessConcept Paper
Understanding Collaboration in Integrated Forms of Project Delivery by Taking a Risk-Uncertainty Based Perspective
Adm. Sci. 2016, 6(3), 10; doi:10.3390/admsci6030010 -
Abstract
Background: Cross-discipline team collaboration between the project ownership team, design team and project delivery team is central to effective management of risk, uncertainty and ambiguity. A recently-developed framework that was developed to provide a visualisation tool to enable various project procurement and [...] Read more.
Background: Cross-discipline team collaboration between the project ownership team, design team and project delivery team is central to effective management of risk, uncertainty and ambiguity. A recently-developed framework that was developed to provide a visualisation tool to enable various project procurement and delivery forms has been adapted to answer the research question How can uncertainty best be managed in complex projects? Methods: The research involved reviewing transcribed recorded interviews with 50 subject matter experts that was originally analysed using axial coding with Nvivo 10 software to develop the framework that the paper refers to. It extends analysis to focus on risk and uncertainty previously reported upon in that study. Results and Conclusions: The adaptation presents a hypothetical partnering and alliancing project collaboration map taken from a risk and uncertainty management perspective and it also refines its focus on coping and sensemaking mechanisms to help manage risk-uncertainty in a practical and ‘how to do’ manner. This contributes to theory by extending the relationship based procurement (RBP) framework from taking a purely procurement theory focus to being applied in a risk-uncertainty project management theory domain. It also provides a practice contribution by explaining how the RBP mutation to a collaboration and risk-uncertainty management framework may be applied. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Strengthening the Energy Policy Making Process and Sustainability Outcomes in the OECD through Policy Design
Adm. Sci. 2016, 6(3), 9; doi:10.3390/admsci6030009 -
Abstract
This study investigates the nature of the energy policy making process and policy priorities within the OECD in order to identify opportunities for improvement in these processes and to improve sustainability outcomes. The Qualitative Content Analysis methodology is used, investigating governance and [...] Read more.
This study investigates the nature of the energy policy making process and policy priorities within the OECD in order to identify opportunities for improvement in these processes and to improve sustainability outcomes. The Qualitative Content Analysis methodology is used, investigating governance and energy policy making alongside energy policy goals and priorities within eight OECD nations. A congruous energy policy making process (policy cycle) is discovered across the assessed nations, including the responsible bodies for each stage of the policy cycle and the current energy policy priorities. A key weakness was identified as a disconnect between the early stages of the policy cycle, issue identification and policy tool formulation, and the latter stages of implementation and evaluation. This weakness has meant that the social aspects of sustainability goals have been less developed than environmental and economic aspects and a heavy burden has been placed on the evaluation phase, risking a break down in the policy cycle. An additional “policy design” stage is proposed including a sustainability evaluation process prior to decision making and implementation, in order to remedy these identified shortcomings. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Successful Control of Major Project Budgets
Adm. Sci. 2016, 6(3), 8; doi:10.3390/admsci6030008 -
Abstract
This paper differs from scientific papers describing current research. In line with the theme of this special issue, it challenges conventional risk management practice against the background of former research results successfully finished decades ago. It is well-known that conventional practice frequently [...] Read more.
This paper differs from scientific papers describing current research. In line with the theme of this special issue, it challenges conventional risk management practice against the background of former research results successfully finished decades ago. It is well-known that conventional practice frequently results in budget overruns of large projects. International reviews document that. Severe delays of schedules are also well-known. This paper describes successful research results from almost three decades ago, which successfully challenges this severe problem and has led to new practices. The research involved is an unusual mix: Scandinavian researchers from psychology, statistical theory and engineering economy. The resulting procedure has been widely used since around 1990 and challenges conventional procedures. The procedure is documented to be able to yield statistically correct prognoses, when the “rules of the game” have been correctly followed. After a short summary of the basic situation, this paper summarizes the research, followed by some resulting experiences, focusing on two recent studies each of 40 infrastructures and other major projects. In both sets, the actual final cost largely equaled the expected project cost. This result is a marked change from international past and present experience. Finally, the need for further research and progress is discussed. Full article
Open AccessEditorial
Customer Relationship Management and Recent Developments
Adm. Sci. 2016, 6(3), 7; doi:10.3390/admsci6030007 -
Abstract In the past two decades, the notion of “customer relationship management” (CRM) has been widely discussed and researched.[...]
Full article
Open AccessArticle
Advertising between Archetype and Brand Personality
Adm. Sci. 2016, 6(2), 5; doi:10.3390/admsci6020005 -
Abstract
The aim of the paper is the alignment of C.G. Jung’s (1954) archetypes and Aaker’s (1997) brand personality framework in the context of advertising. C.G. Jung’s theories had a tremendous impact on psychology. David Aaker and his daughter Jennifer are seen by [...] Read more.
The aim of the paper is the alignment of C.G. Jung’s (1954) archetypes and Aaker’s (1997) brand personality framework in the context of advertising. C.G. Jung’s theories had a tremendous impact on psychology. David Aaker and his daughter Jennifer are seen by many as the branding gurus. Despite the fact that both frameworks refer to persons/personalities there is no publication linking the two frameworks. Our research tried to fill this gap by developing a joint framework combining Jung’s and Aaker’s attributes and apply it by analyzing two distinctively different TV commercials from Asian hotel chains. A total of 102 Executive MBA students had to watch both TV commercials and then conduct an Archetype (C.G. Jung) Indicator test and rate Brand Personality (Aaker) traits of the two commercials. Results show that there is common ground. This has implications for advertisers who may want to specify an archetype and related personality attributes for their promotional campaigns. Game changers in the hospitality sector may want to be seen as Outlaw whereas established hotel chains may position themselves as Lover with personality attributes such as welcoming, charming, and embraced. Full article
Open AccessEditorial
The State of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research
Adm. Sci. 2016, 6(2), 6; doi:10.3390/admsci6020006 -
Abstract Innovation is informed by the ability to see connections, spot opportunities, and take advantage of them. Full article
Open AccessEditorial
Entrepreneurship as Facilitator for Sustainable Development? Editorial for the Special Issue “Advances in Sustainable Entrepreneurship”
Adm. Sci. 2016, 6(1), 4; doi:10.3390/admsci6010004 -
Open AccessArticle
Is Self-Regulation Sufficient? Case of the German Transparency Code
Adm. Sci. 2016, 6(1), 3; doi:10.3390/admsci6010003 -
Abstract
The German pharmaceutical industry is stepping ahead with its implementation of a new transparency disclosure code for cooperation between pharmaceutical companies and health care professionals (HCPs) and health care organisations (HCOs). In Germany, this transparency code (“Transparenzkodex”) is applicable since January 2015, [...] Read more.
The German pharmaceutical industry is stepping ahead with its implementation of a new transparency disclosure code for cooperation between pharmaceutical companies and health care professionals (HCPs) and health care organisations (HCOs). In Germany, this transparency code (“Transparenzkodex”) is applicable since January 2015, and data will be publicly available around mid-2016. No empirical work has been done that addresses the impact of the transparency code on cooperation between HCPs, HCOs and the pharmaceutical companies, including the possibilities of competitive analysis of the available data. In this paper, we interviewed experts from 11 pharmaceutical companies representing small, medium-sized as well as multinational corporations which represent 80% of the German pharmaceutical market. Besides interviews, the authors designed a game to evaluate possible financial investments in key opinion leaders. The market can be regarded as a zero sum game. By allowing public identification of such key HCPs and HCOs, the amount spent on them might increase and not decrease. In a way, the transparency code may foster more and not less spending; in our simulation game, the financial investment in marketing key HCPs and HCOs exceeded sustainable limits. Full article
Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Administrative Sciences in 2015
Adm. Sci. 2016, 6(1), 2; doi:10.3390/admsci6010002 -
Abstract The editors of Administrative Sciences would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2015. [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Dilemma of Incumbents in Sustainability Transitions: A Narrative Approach
Adm. Sci. 2016, 6(1), 1; doi:10.3390/admsci6010001 -
Abstract
In the context of the larger sustainability discourse, “sufficiency” is beginning to emerge as a new value throughout Western societies, and the question asked in this article is: Can we observe and conceptually identify opportunities to link successful business strategies of incumbents [...] Read more.
In the context of the larger sustainability discourse, “sufficiency” is beginning to emerge as a new value throughout Western societies, and the question asked in this article is: Can we observe and conceptually identify opportunities to link successful business strategies of incumbents to principles of sufficiency? Thus, how feasible is sustainable entrepreneurship for incumbents? In this paper, a conceptual approach is developed combining insights from sociology, transition research, management and sustainable entrepreneurship research with a focus on narratives as a translation mechanism in situations where tensions emerge between corporate narratives and unexpected societal trends, e.g., the emergence of sufficient lifestyles. It will be shown that even though these are still a niche phenomenon, a focus on corporate narratives is an important element in understanding the role of incumbents in transitions to sustainability. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Role of Sustainable Entrepreneurship in Sustainability Transitions: A Conceptual Synthesis against the Background of the Multi-Level Perspective
Adm. Sci. 2015, 5(4), 286-300; doi:10.3390/admsci5040286 -
Abstract
This paper conceptually synthesizes prior studies on sustainable entrepreneurship against the background of the multi-level perspective. It thereby relates separate streams of literature on sustainable entrepreneurship, sustainability transformations and ecopreneurship, which have previously not been systematically connected and synthesized, to the multi-level [...] Read more.
This paper conceptually synthesizes prior studies on sustainable entrepreneurship against the background of the multi-level perspective. It thereby relates separate streams of literature on sustainable entrepreneurship, sustainability transformations and ecopreneurship, which have previously not been systematically connected and synthesized, to the multi-level perspective. The paper furthermore provides suggestions on how the multi-level perspective can be advanced based on the inspirations of these previously only sparsely-connected streams of literature. Finally, implications for entrepreneurs, academia and politics are presented: means to increase the contribution of sustainable entrepreneurship to sustainability transitions are suggested, and the importance of growth and degrowth is discussed in the context of sustainable entrepreneurship. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Rationality and Irrationality of Financing Green Start-Ups
Adm. Sci. 2015, 5(4), 260-285; doi:10.3390/admsci5040260 -
Abstract
Green start-ups contribute towards a transition to a more sustainable economy by developing sustainable and environmentally friendly innovation and bringing it to the market. Due to specific product/service characteristics, entrepreneurial motivation and company strategies that might differ from that of other start-ups, [...] Read more.
Green start-ups contribute towards a transition to a more sustainable economy by developing sustainable and environmentally friendly innovation and bringing it to the market. Due to specific product/service characteristics, entrepreneurial motivation and company strategies that might differ from that of other start-ups, these companies might struggle even more than usual with access to finance in the early stages. This conceptual paper seeks to explain these challenges through the theoretical lenses of entrepreneurial finance and behavioural finance. While entrepreneurial finance theory contributes to a partial understanding of green start-up finance, behavioural finance is able to solve a remaining explanatory deficit produced by entrepreneurial finance theory. Although some behavioural finance theorists are suggesting that the current understanding of economic rationality underlying behavioural finance research is inadequate, most scholars have not yet challenged these assumptions, which constrict a comprehensive and realistic description of the reality of entrepreneurial finance in green start-ups. The aim of the paper is thus, first, to explore the specifics of entrepreneurial finance in green start-ups and, second, to demonstrate the need for a more up-to-date conception of rationality in behavioural finance theory in order to enable realistic empirical research in this field. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Payment Schemes in Conditional Cash Transfer Programs: The Case of 4Ps in the Davao Region, Philippines
Adm. Sci. 2015, 5(4), 240-259; doi:10.3390/admsci5040240 -
Abstract
This paper evaluates current payment schemes employed by the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in the Philippines using six assessment criteria: transaction cost, security/risks, speed and timeliness, acceptability, resilience and flexibility. Employing data collected at the regional level, we establish four main [...] Read more.
This paper evaluates current payment schemes employed by the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in the Philippines using six assessment criteria: transaction cost, security/risks, speed and timeliness, acceptability, resilience and flexibility. Employing data collected at the regional level, we establish four main findings: (1) all 4Ps payment conduits present trade-offs; (2) a payment approach that uses mainstream financial infrastructure is beneficial if cost, speed and simplicity of the payment system are critical; (3) competition for 4Ps contracts for Payment Service Providers (PSPs) has improved the quality of payment services and minimized costs; and (4) the efficiency of the program is greatly influenced by the commitment of the PSP to deliver the cash benefits to the recipients in a timely manner rather than by maximizing conduit branches. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Local Management of National Cluster Policies: Comparative Case Studies of Japanese, German, and French Biotechnology Clusters
Adm. Sci. 2015, 5(4), 213-239; doi:10.3390/admsci5040213 -
Abstract
Cluster policies have attracted increasing attention worldwide, but only a few studies have focused on their management by local cluster organizations. We investigate the relationship between national cluster policies and their management by local cluster organizations from a comparative perspective. For this [...] Read more.
Cluster policies have attracted increasing attention worldwide, but only a few studies have focused on their management by local cluster organizations. We investigate the relationship between national cluster policies and their management by local cluster organizations from a comparative perspective. For this purpose, we provide a detailed comparison of national cluster policies in Japan, Germany, and France as well as six prominent biotechnology clusters in these countries. Information on the focal clusters and on the management of cluster policies was obtained using semi-structured interviews with cluster managers. We find that national cluster policies considerably differ among these countries according to basic conditions of clusters and that the patterns of national cluster policy are closely related to those of local cluster management, despite some differences between clusters in the same country caused by various regional characteristics. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Cluster Policy in the Light of Institutional Context—A Comparative Study of Transition Countries
Adm. Sci. 2015, 5(4), 188-212; doi:10.3390/admsci5040188 -
Abstract
The business environment in transition countries is often extraordinarily challenging for companies. The transition process these countries find themselves in leads to constant changes in the institutional environment. Hence, institutional voids prevail. These institutional voids cause competitive disadvantages for small and medium [...] Read more.
The business environment in transition countries is often extraordinarily challenging for companies. The transition process these countries find themselves in leads to constant changes in the institutional environment. Hence, institutional voids prevail. These institutional voids cause competitive disadvantages for small and medium enterprises. Cluster policy can address these competitive disadvantages. As cluster policy generally aims at supporting companies’ competitive advantage by spurring innovation and productivity, it can help to bridge institutional voids. This article’s research question aims at analyzing and comparing cluster policies in the institutional context of two transition countries (Serbia and Tunisia) and analyzes to what extent cluster policies in these two countries are adapted to institutional voids prevailing there. The case studies offer insights into apparent difficulties of clusters in bridging formal institutional voids, as well as, notably, into the informal void of skill mismatches in the labor market. Still, for some specific voids, clusters do at least implicitly assume a bridging role. While the cluster policies examined do not explicitly target the institutional voids identified, cluster management can—in the course of time—align its service offering more closely with these voids. Bottom-up designed cluster policies can play an especially important role in such an evolution towards bridging institutional voids. Full article
Open AccessEditorial
Nonprofit Governance, Organizational Purposiveness and Design
Adm. Sci. 2015, 5(4), 177-187; doi:10.3390/admsci5040177 -
Abstract
The final article published in this Special Issue on nonprofit governance provides a platform for myself as the guest editor in two ways: both to reflect in a Postscript on the editorial process in which I became involved since posting a call [...] Read more.
The final article published in this Special Issue on nonprofit governance provides a platform for myself as the guest editor in two ways: both to reflect in a Postscript on the editorial process in which I became involved since posting a call for papers, as well as to write this Foreword that helps readers to become engaged in a meaningful discourse with the contributing authors. Incongruous as it may appear to be, I begin with the Postscript, as the Introductory Note to the Special Issue is not meant to integrate the articles published into a consistent concluding argument, but rather to evaluate my role ex post and at the same time to reveal to readers ex ante the premises based on which as guest-editor I selected articles for this Special Issue on nonprofit governance. [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Leasehold: An Institutional Framework for Understanding Nonprofit Governance in a Civil Society Context
Adm. Sci. 2015, 5(3), 165-176; doi:10.3390/admsci5030165 -
Abstract
Nonprofit organizations play a role in the creation of a society that is civil, and it is an important one that neither the state nor for-profit organizations undertake. This raises the question of governance and accountability, which is often addressed by looking [...] Read more.
Nonprofit organizations play a role in the creation of a society that is civil, and it is an important one that neither the state nor for-profit organizations undertake. This raises the question of governance and accountability, which is often addressed by looking to agency-based models from the private sector. The acknowledged problem is that the agency’s notion of owners does not translate well to nonprofits. Adapting the concept of leasehold (wherein the managers and organization operate with broad autonomy, using resources supplied by supporters in exchange for the promise that specific societal value will be created, and are accountable for doing so) allows for a more flexible and responsive arrangement. It also suggests a mechanism whereby many independent nonprofits taking multiple approaches help civil society evolve. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Learning from the Co-operative Institutional Model: How to Enhance Organizational Robustness of Third Sector Organizations with More Pluralistic Forms of Governance
Adm. Sci. 2015, 5(3), 148-164; doi:10.3390/admsci5030148 -
Abstract
Third sector organizations are oftentimes seen as contributing to a robust civil society. Yet the dominant modes of third sector organizational governance often adhere to a unitary orientation. The over-reliance on unitary modes of governance introduces two challenges: first, organizational stakeholders are [...] Read more.
Third sector organizations are oftentimes seen as contributing to a robust civil society. Yet the dominant modes of third sector organizational governance often adhere to a unitary orientation. The over-reliance on unitary modes of governance introduces two challenges: first, organizational stakeholders are kept from utilizing participatory mechanisms that would enable them to act as societal intermediaries, and; second, these organizations may underperform due to the artificial separation of stakeholders from participating in governance. This paper addresses calls to widen our knowledge by translating theory into practice through a discussion about the efficacy of pluralistic governance. The co-operative enterprise in introduced to focus analyses on pluralist modes of stakeholder governance. A specific co-operative’s governance structure and practice is introduced—Choctaw Electric Co-operative—through an archival analyses of secondary media accounts of a stakeholder-led reform initiative in rural Oklahoma. The Ostrom Design Principles—a diagnostic used to assess institutional robustness—are applied to demonstrate the shortsightedness of unitary governance, and highlight the potential benefits of pluralistic stakeholder engagement. Knowledge is widened in two ways: first, empirical analyses of co-operative enterprise may provide for significant insights and innovations in third sector governance, and; second proper systems of pluralistic governance exhibit enormous capacity to better orient the firm toward better serving the stakeholder base, improving performance and institutional robustness, while empowering stakeholders as societal intermediaries. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Conflicting Incentives Risk Analysis: A Case Study of the Normative Peer Review Process
Adm. Sci. 2015, 5(3), 125-147; doi:10.3390/admsci5030125 -
Abstract
This paper presents an approach to conduct risk assessments of complex incentive systems, using a case study of the normative Peer Review Process (PRP). This research centers on appliances and adaptations of the Conflicting Incentives Risk Analysis (CIRA). First as an approach [...] Read more.
This paper presents an approach to conduct risk assessments of complex incentive systems, using a case study of the normative Peer Review Process (PRP). This research centers on appliances and adaptations of the Conflicting Incentives Risk Analysis (CIRA). First as an approach to Root Cause Analysis of a known incident, and then for a full assessment of the incentives in the PRP together with possible risk treatments. CIRA uses an alternative notion of risk, where risk modeling is in terms of conflicting incentives between the risk owner and the stakeholders concerning the execution of actions. Compared to traditional risk assessment approaches, CIRA provides an insight into the underlying incentives behind a risk, and not just the technical vulnerability, likelihood and consequence. The main contributions of this work are an approach to obtain insight into incentives as root causes, and an approach to detecting and analyzing risks from incentives in the normative PRP. This paper also discusses risk treatments in terms of incentives to make the PRP more robust, together with a discussion of how to approach risk analysis of incentives. Full article