Volume 3, Numbers 1 & 2, 2000

Contents

1. Integrating Three Organizational Approaches: Breakthrough Performance in a State Government Office..........................................1
     J. N. Badovinac, P. V. Kovac, J. D. Jardine and G.. M. Mudacumura
2. What Drives Merger Behavior of Firms? Strategic Momentum Versus Bandwagon ..............................................................................37
     N. Pangarkar
3. Eyewitness to History: Public Servant Perspectives, Methodological Suggestions, and Professional Publications.......................73
     P. M. Leitner and R. J. Stupak
4. On Context and Content: The Study of Organization in Two Academic Settings ....................................................................................115
     Y. Samuel
5. Developing Internal Organization Development Consultants ....................................................................................................................135
     L. M. Dyer and J. C. Preston
6. A Revised Look at Management in Network Structures................................................................................................................................185
     M. P. Mandell
7. Job Involvement, Personal Characteristics and Performance among White-Collar Employees in the Kuwaiti Civil Service ........211
     A. G. Al-Otaibi
8. The Retirement Planning Gap: A Review from the Public Sector ...............................................................................................................235
     H. A. Frank, K. M. Condon, B. D. Dunlop and M. B. Rothman

ABSTRACT. How do public-sector workers assess their prospects for retirement? This article examines retirement planning at a public university in South Florida, where contemporary demographics mirror the nation's expected demographics in 2010. Like their private sector Counterparts, our respondents believe quality of life at retirement will be favorable. Yet many respondents appear to be under-saving for retirement and fail to recognize that part-time employment is likely to be an integral part of their retirement experience. As expected, socio­ economic factors, particularly education, gender, and ethnicity, play a significant role in determining retirement planning and perceived quality of life in the "Golden Years." Investment literacy is limited among many of our respondents, particularly females and minorities. This is critical in light of increased reliance on defined contribution pensions and possible reforms in Social Security.

ABSTRACT. Notwithstanding of the profound impact of sociology on the study of organizations, the overall flow of contributions made by sociologists is rather limited. This field is now identified with the business and management schools, whose embers contribute most of the current publications on organizations. Nevertheless, most of those scholars primarily focus on business firms, and prefer practical problems. They tend to look at organizational issues from a management's perspective, and they study topics at the micro level of organizational behavior. This paper presents data on journal articles in six major periodicals, for the entire period of 1986-1996, indicating those trends.

ABSTRACT. This study explores the effect of demographic variables, such as age, education, length of service, marital status and salary, on job involvement and examines the relationship between job involvement and job performance in a sample of 300 white-collar Kuwaiti civil service employees. Results suggest that the demographic variables have no effect on job involvement. However, the group exhibiting high job involvement did score higher in job performance, a relationship that accounted for 39% of the total variance in job performance.

ABSTRACT. Involvement in formulating, implementing or evaluating public policy initiatives, regulatory requirements, or executive/legislative interaction provides a rich opportunity for "reflective practitioners" of public policy to inform the outside community on how the government really operates. However, their close involvement in the process requires a multifaceted methodological approach to ensure objectivity and clarity. The combination of participant observation and case study offers such a vehicle. This approach may create an expanded qualitative methodological vehicle for reflective practitioners to inform students of public policy by breaking out of the confining and simplistic "iron-triangle" model, as well as adding "substantive flesh" to the "stark skeletons" of systems analysis, operations research, rational incrementalism, and logical positivism.

ABSTRACT. Many complicated community problems (i. e., health, economic development, crime, etc.) require organized collaborative efforts. Many of these organized efforts result in a unique structural arrangement called a network structure. In network structures people must actively work together to accomplish what is recognized as a problem or issue of mutual concern. A network structure does not just involve the ability to co-ordinate individual efforts, but rather the ability to manage interdependencies. There are a number of unique management problems which are the result of both structural characteristics as well as the processes involved in operating in a network structure. Applying management theories that may apply to individual organizations may do more harm than good in these settings. Instead, managers will need to develop new ways to build and maintain a network structure. These include: Influencing/Building Legitimacy; Maintaining Legitimacy/Building Consensus and Building Management Skills.

ABSTRACT. Mergers represent a common means of restructuring assets. The existing literature on mergers, however, has a strong bias towards viewing firms' decisions as outcomes of comprehensively rational processes. In this study, we propose two alternative explanations regarding mergers, namely strategic momentum and bandwagons. Both these explanations incorporate factors such as incomplete information, cognitive simplifications by managers and principal-agent issues. Bandwagon theories argue that firms will tend to imitate their close rivals regard less of whether such imitation is value-enhancing or not. Strategic momentum theory argues that firms tend to continue with strategies they have implemented in the past. Based on an exhaustive sample of acquisitions, domestic as well as international, undertaken by 43 large pharmaceutical firms based in the triad region over a period of 15 years, we find robust support for the bandwagons explanation. We do not find unequivocal support for the strategic momentum explanation.

ABSTRACT. This research project was designed to address the current void in the literature regarding developing organizational development skills and knowledge in internal personnel representing unions, management and support staff, who are undereducated and inexperienced in organization development (OD). The venue was a copper smelting and refining complex, which was implementing a socio-technical redesign and required support in the transition to the new design. The project describes the OD skills and knowledge required; the nominal level required of these skills; the training methodology employed to build skills to the nominal level, referred to as "Consulting University"; an analysis of the effectiveness of the training intervention; and key learnings.

ABSTRACT. Improving organizational performance under turbulent internal and external environments has been a challenging managerial task. This paper highlights the reengineering experience of a state government office that successfully improved its performance. Keeping in mind its strategic goals throughout the integration of keys aspects of business process redesign (BPR), information technology (IT) and organization development (OD), prevented the department from random reengineering which, in many organizations, leads to downsizing. Putting more emphasis on OD through the reengineering process resulted in building the organization's ability to assess its current functioning and to achieve its goals.

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