Abstracts: July 3rd, 1998

Visionary Leadership and Strategically-led Research-Based OD Interventions.
Hamlin B, Reidy M, Stewart J
Journal of Applied Management Studies, (UK), Dec 97 (6/2)
Start page: 233 No of pages: 19

Examines the impact of research-based organizational development (OD) interventions through the study of such interventions applied to an executive unit of the British Civil Service’s HM Customs and Excise department. Illustrates the importance of soundly based and rigorously constructed research for both contributing to and supporting OD interventions, and also the positive impact which the presence of a visible and active support of top management can have, enabling the possibility of OD interventions impacting a culture in support of strategic change. Describes the creation of a research-based OD instrument which comprises categories of managerial behaviour: consultation; communication; open, flexible/heavy autocratic management styles; gradism; co-operation; confronting team members on difficult issues; looking after the interests of team members; and team building. Discusses the outcome of research-based OD intervention workshops adopting this instrument, concluding that enabling managers to better understand the management culture of their organizations, and taking such cultural factors into account in the change process, contributes to effective management of organizational change.



Abstracts: July 2nd, 1998

Fowler A

People Management, (UK), 8 Jan 98 (4/1)
Start page: 44 No of pages: 2

Considers ways in which UK managers can try to reduce sickness absence, explaining how to develop a programme to tackle the problem. Advises on how to set targets for the programme, the data that can be gathered, the actions to take to understand the causes of absenteeism and to encourage good attendance, and the potential of bonuses, occupational health services and flexible working schemes for reducing absences.



Abstracts: July 1st, 1998

Customer Service.

Doyle J C, Carolan M D
Training & Development, (USA), Jan 98 (52/1)
Start page: 58 No of pages: 10

Advises on the contribution that trainers can make to planning, setting up and supporting a call centre. Explains how call centres are used for customer service, telemarketing, etc., and briefly outlines the capabilities of the technology used in them. Based on the needs of US companies, sets out the issues to consider when deciding where to site a call centre, the recruitment process to follow; the initial and ongoing training to provide, the rewards to offer, the evaluation processes to use and the retention strategies needed. Considers whether different strategies are necessary for in-house call centres and third-party services which provide call centre services for a number of companies. Quotes from trainers and front-line managers who have experience of running call centres on how to get the best performance from staff and the best service for customers.



Abstracts: June 30th, 1998

Organizational Learning

Lank E
People Management, (UK), 19 Feb 98 (4/4)
Start page: 40 No of pages: 3

Profiles how ICL, the UK computer firm, has approached organizational learning and knowledge management in its worldwide businesses. Focuses on the internal information services available to employees, describing how the organization has set up a project called Project Vik (Valuing ICL Knowledge) to create a global information service, Cafe Vik, using ICL’s intranet. Explains how the information service was developed, outlining the work done on identifying what information should be carried on the information service and the launch of the service. Assesses the success of the initiative so far and identifies how it should develop, listing the job roles needed to give the system sufficient support if it is to deliver ICL with competitive advantage. Briefly reviews the other initiatives undertaken at ICL to develop its knowledge management.

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Abstracts: June 29th, 1998

MacLachlan R

People Management, (UK), 5 Feb 98 (4/3)
Start page: 36 No of pages: 2

Interviews Hugh Taylor, HR director on the NHS Executive, about his career to date and the issues that he will have to deal with in his new role at the NHS Executive. Focuses on the experience he gained in personnel issues during his work at the Prison Service when he managed the transition of the Service to agency status. Also discusses his previous role as director of the Civil Service’s top management programme, a training programme for senior civil servants.



Abstracts: June 25th, 1998

Hill S, McNulty D
Health Manpower Management, (UK), Vol 24 No 1 98
Start page: 6 No of pages: 7

Considers whether transformational change, in the form of incorporation or merger, can assist the reshaping of an organization’s culture. Describes the incorporation of a nurse and midwifery training college into a larger higher education institution in Scotland, focusing on the contractual process, the management of the transfer which involved developing a strategy for communication, overcoming barriers to change and appreciating the importance of understanding the culture of the organization and the values that support it in terms of: stories about the merger; cultural symbols; power; organizational structure; and control. Examines how the barriers to change were overcome and relationships with the Department of Nursing and Community Health and the Scottish Office developed. Concludes that the challenge presented by incorporations such as this is to change the culture to enable staff to be innovative, empowered and participate in influencing their organizational environment.



Abstracts: June 23rd, 1998

Mapping the New Governance: the Department of National Heritage and Cultural Politics in Britain
Taylor A
Public Administration, (UK), Autumn 97 (75/3)
Start page: 441 No of pages: 26

Examines the new structure of government in the UK which sees the responsibility of central executive as formulating policy and monitoring its implementation by autonomous agencies which operate at arm’s length from the executive. Identifies a contradiction in this system of governance between the aim of limited government and the desire for control. Focuses on the Department of National Heritage, set up in 1992, and conceived as an ‘enabling ministry’, analysing its ability to control the complex policy networks through resource control, ministerial activism, systematic review and scrutiny, and the control of financial resources. Concludes that ‘arms length but hands on’ is an accurate description of the Department of National Heritage’s approach to government, suggesting that the Department presents a blueprint for the rest of the UK Government.

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A ‘PATIENT FOCUS RREVIEW’ OF SURGICAL SERVICES. Business Process Re-engineering in Health Care

Abstracts: June 22nd, 1998

Francis S D, Alley P G
Business Process Re-engineering & Management Journal, (UK), Vol 2 No 11 96
Start page: 48 No of pages: 15

Summarizes the progress made to date on a business process re-engineering (BPR) project in the department of surgery of a publicly funded hospital in Auckland, New Zealand. Discusses BPR in general, including the benefits and potential pitfalls and explains that the changes were necessary to meet the challenges of a competitive market-oriented environment of user pays and state sell offs. Describes the steps taken to involve staff in the changes and to study the existing patient experience with its improvement as a major aim. Concludes with considerations of information technology solutions, human resources, physical space, communications and involvement with staff, job security and the time required by the project team for undertaking BPR activities.

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Confrontation or Resolution Management.

Abstracts: June 19th, 1998

Discourse strategies for dealing with conflict in participative decision making.

Yeung L N T
Journal of Applied Management Studies, (UK), Jun 97 (6/1)
Start page: 63 No of pages: 13

Examines the extent to which managers adopt conflict-handling strategies during participative decision-making meetings with their subordinates. Presents the findings of a study of meetings held at three Hong Kong Banks which show a number of conflict handling strategies adopted by managers: sympathetic representation of dissenting viewpoints as a pacifying gambit; defensive account giving; presentation of ostensible choice; hedging opinions as a gambit to preface mandates; using double standards; and avoiding using the outcome of open argumentation. Suggests that although mixed strategies were being used for handling conflict, thus indicating the practice of participative decision making to a limited degree, there was still a hidden agenda which reaffirms management control over subordinates.

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A Benchmarking Tool for Change Management

Abstracts: June 18th, 1998

Clarke A, Manton S
Business Process Management Journal, (UK), Vol 3 No 3 97
Start page: 248 No of pages: 8

Explores the use of benchmarking as a methodology for measuring and improving business performance, and outlines a particular benchmarking tool aimed at helping organizations to be more effective in managing the change process. Describes the basis of the tool as a two-dimensional matrix combining key success factors with the change process, those success factors being a combination of practices, activities and methods critical to successful change, and include: commitment; social and cultural factors; communication; tools and methodology; and interactions. Explains the three-step method of using the tool, and lists its benefits as: a measurable way of assessing maturity in change management; offering exposure to best practices; a mechanism for identifying priority areas for improvement; and a tool which contributes towards improving corporate learning. Concludes with suggestions for its practical application within an organization.

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