The `smart city' label is internationally used by cities, researchers and technology providers with different meanings. As a popular concept it is widely used by city administrators and politicians to promote their efforts to prepare their cities for the future. There are decent definitions for what a smart city is, but it is much harder to find a trustworthy description of what it takes to become a smart city and how a city administration is impacted by that effort. This paper sets out to investigate how a city, aspiring to become a `smart city', can manage its internal organization to realize that ambition. Specifically, it describes the case of the City of Ghent, Belgium, and the key challenges it has been facing in its ongoing efforts to be a smart city. Based on in depth interviews with city representatives six key challenges for smart city realization were identified and tested with a panel of representatives from five European cities that are in the process of becoming a smart city. The study contributes to a more professional pursuit of the smart city concept and elaborates the academic body of knowledge on smart city development, as an instance of IT-enabled transformation in public services.
A digital transformation is felt in every fibre of the organisation. In order to deal with the challenges that come with such a transformation initiative, one-off point solutions are not enough, but a more systemic, architecture-driven approach is needed. What does digital transformation mean for the enterprise architect? Through a multiple case study approach, this research aims to gain insights into the changing role of enterprise architects in a digital transformation context, as well as to identify the new challenges and opportunities arising in this regard. Today, enterprise architects are at a crossroads: the digital transformation projects in their organisations have rendered them more valuable. However, the key question is whether they will focus on enabling and support, or whether they will move one step beyond, leading the way, becoming true opportunity architects.
Fehre, Kerstin; Kronenwett, Daniel; Lindstädt, Hagen; Wolff, Michael (Springer, 2016)
Prior empirical studies provide evidence that the learning-curve perspective from manufacturing settings is not directly applicable to strategic management settings. In the latter case learning relates to the quality rather than to the quantity of experience. Regarding the antecedents of organizational learning especially, there are still unanswered questions remaining; for example, the questions what kind of experience has a positive effect on performance and what kind of experience is more of a hindrance than a help. This becomes obvious when looking at acquisitions as examples of strategic management decisions. Results of prior empirical studies analyzing the relationship of acquisition experience and acquisition performance have been mixed. By introducing the concept of strategic consistency, we intend to facilitate a better understanding of the kind of experience necessary for organizational learning. Therefore, we measure the concordance and frequency of change in strategic actions. Employing a sample of 379 acquisition series, we find evidence for a positive transfer effect of strategic consistency within series and, therefore, a positive relationship between strategic consistency and acquisition performance.
In times of crisis, the fundamental principles of companies erode, leading to strategy shifts. This paper aims to examine whether corporate social responsibility (CSR) is on management’s agenda in times of crisis, indicating CSR embeddedness into corporate strategy. The focus is on the four pillars of CSR: social, environment, economy and governance.
Starting points are competing hypotheses based on shareholder and stakeholder theory. Chief executive officer (CEO) letters to shareholders of German HDAX firms from 2003 to 2012 are analyzed by means of computer-aided text analysis.
The authors find that CEOs talk less about CSR in times of crisis, especially about social and governance issues, indicating that CSR is not fully embedded into corporate strategy, and that, in times of crisis, other aspects gain more importance on management’s agenda.
Vereecke, Ann; Van Steendam, Tom; Van den Broeke, Maud (2016)
Companies increasingly realise that the strength of supply chain management not only lies in cost reductions and efficiency improvements, but also in driving profitable growth. We identify, based on the literature, the ‘7 Cs of supply chain management': Connect, Create, Customise, Coordinate, Consolidate, Collaborate and Contribute. These ‘7 Cs' are essential categories of supply chain practices that help companies grow by offering new, different, more and better products and services to (potentially new) markets. Case research in 16 European companies provided evidence of all except one practice (Contribute), thus illustrating the strategic importance of supply chain management.
Whether an organization is managed in a formal-directive or an informal-emergent way has an impact on how organizations adapt to external change. What so far has remained unnoticed is the influence of the body and embodied knowledge, especially reacting to these different kinds of management. In this paper we give first indications on how different the body and embodied knowledge respond to different ways of management and how this might affect the adaptability of groups and organizations. In an MBA-course on adaptive organizations we applied movement improvisation to let students experience the difference between formal and informal group coordination. We let students compare their experiences and substantiated their reflection by a video comparison of students' movements. As a result, we found that the mutual body awareness and connectedness increased after a movement improvisation exercise, stimulating informal-emergent coordination. The embodied knowledge was enriched and evoked to support emergent coordination amongst the students compared to a disconnectedness amongst students in a formal-directive way of coordination.
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