• Wasta: Advancing a holistic model to bridge the micro-macro divide

      Ali, Sa'ad; Weir, David; University of Derby; York St John's University (Cambridge University Press, 2020)
      This paper offers a synthesis of understandings of Wasta, seen as a form of social network prevalent in the Arab Middle East. Whilst there has been increasing interest in this practice, research remains fragmented and has been criticised for its limited theoretical rigor. To address this issue, a systematic review of peer-reviewed journal articles exploring Wasta published between 1993 and 2019 was conducted. The authors analysed the identified papers according to the theoretical lens from which Wasta was viewed, creating a bridge between a theoretical focus on the macro aspect of Wasta and an alternative focus on its micro aspects, leading to the development of a holistic model of Wasta. The model also helps us to understand the complexity of Wasta, both as the network itself and as the social ties that exist among its members, and sheds light on the complex nature of the role and interactions of the Waseet. The findings respond to calls for more holistic and inclusive research to inform social networks research and bridge the micro–macro divide. The paper offers recommendations to future researchers to build on the holistic and emic approach to Wasta research adopted here.
    • Social media in politics – simple aggregator or the emerging Ministry of truth

      Amoncar, Nihar; Deacon, Jonathan; University of South Wales (Academy of Marketing, 2017-07-06)
      Ravi and Vasundara (2015) posit that Social Networking Sites (SNS) like Twitter and Facebook have become great tools for the reluctant young Indians to actively engage in discussions concerning Political, Economic and Social issues. Within the last decade, authors have identified the competitive advantage SNS can offer in shaping Political discourse in a country as Simba (2009) highlights that beside Obama’s ability of public speaking and inspiring people, his use of Social media and Internet to engage voters provided him with the support that most of other candidates never saw. On the other hand, confronted by an increasingly cynical and distrustful electorate (Whiteley et al., 2016), political parties and candidates have now started to adopt digital communication tools as a means to engage with publics. Consistent with Whiteley’s assertion, several international publications earmarked the 2014 Indian general elections as “India’s first social media elections” (Pandey, 2015). Over 500 million voters turned up to exercise their right in the world’s largest democracy which also recorded a record voter turnout of 66.38% beating the previous record on 1984 polls, results showed that the BJP won the biggest victory by any party for 30 years (BBCnews.com, 2014). Authors such as Sambandan (2014) and Ravi and Vasundara (2015) have explored and discussed the approach of Indian Prime Minister Modi and his party i.e. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the use of social media for communication, these studies highlight the communication initiated from the Political party/Government end. However, this paper explores the role of Citizen initiated discussion forum on Facebook and the role they play within the national Political dialogue. The paper hence presents literature that explains how the factors that have caused social media to emerge as a tool of choice in political dialogue between Government/Party and the citizens; but more importantly the paper explores the role of region-centric Facebook based discussion forum in the political dialogue in order to gain clarity over ‘why’ social media is emerging as an alternate medium of political dialogue to Mainstream Media (MSM), what is the rationale behind social media forums like Goa+ emerging? The paper conducts a netnographic study using Administrators and Moderators of Goa+, a Facebook based Political discussion forum originating in Goa, India and consisting of over 76, 680 members.
    • The emerging conditions of meta-modernism: an observation-based interpretivist perspective on the curious case of Royal Enfield

      Amoncar, Nihar; Deacon, Jonathan; University of South Wales (Academy of Marketing, 2016-07-07)
      The paper aims to propose the emerging conditions Meta-modernism through an observation based, interpretivist perspective on Royal Enfield, an erstwhile iconic British motorcycle manufacturer from Redditch, England. The company went out of business in the UK, however, what remained of the company was a single functioning manufacturing plant in India, which was established in 1955. The company was saved from disappearing all together in 1994 by Eicher Group (a diverse automotive firm, better known as the manufacturer for Eicher Mitsubishi trucks in India). Fast-forward to 2015, at a time when the entire motorcycle industry in India is struggling (overall motorcycle sales in India were down 4.06 per cent during April to September 2015), Royal Enfield defied the trend by posting over 50 per cent sales growth during the April-September 2015 period (Doval, 2015; economictimes.indiatimes.com, 2015). This paper explores the authors’ perspective over some of the Marketing methods that attempts to propose possible reasons behind Royal Enfield, today, boasting a ‘niche’ bike manufacturer image not just in its home market of India but again: globally. Market segmentation is to understate the cult following the company has in terms of fans and enthusiasts of the brand and the product. Hence the paper unashamedly and in line with the meta-modernist view, revisits the concepts of post-modernism and tribe and seeks to gain insight into phenomena through this lens, attempting to explain and justify the use of culture, heritage, tribes and a disruptive marketing ‘campaign’ by a company which was on the brink of collapse, but has recently raced past Harley Davidson in terms of global sales.
    • Role of culture in effectuation: exploring the Marwari cultural philosophy and entrepreneurial approach

      Amoncar, Nihar; Deacon, Jonathan; Stephens, Paula; University of South Wales (Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship Conference 2016: Institutional voids, 2016-10-28)
      Social constructivist research within Entrepreneurship has gained momentum in recent years and this paper fits within this category. The paper explores the Marwari Business community from India which according to Timberg (2014, pp. 12), starting out as mere shopkeepers, the Marwaris controlled much of India’s inland trade by the time of the First World War. From trading and money-lending in the early 19th century, they gradually entered industrial entrepreneurship and by the 1970’s owned most of India’s private industrial assets. They now account for a quarter of the Indian names on the Forbes billionaires list (Timberg, 2014, pp. 12). The sustainable success of the Marwaris resulted in the authors of this paper leading an exploration on the history of the business community in India. This exploration led the authors of the paper into exploring the Hindu cultural philosophy based on the Vedantic school of thought to understand the roots of the Marwari community. The paper explores in detail the accounts of the limited empirical data available on the community through the works of Timberg (2014) and Damodaran (2008). This exploration resulted in identifying examples of entrepreneurial practice, which closely resemble what Sarasvathy (2001) terms as Effectuation. Effectuation theory has gained traction as growing number of researchers acknowledge that todays entrepreneurs tend to work within an uncertain environment wherein it is not possible to predict the future (Morrish, 2009, pp. 35). But according to Chandler (2011, pp. 387), there is need to explore more antecedents or determinants of Effectuation than simply uncertainty. The paper hence explores whether culture may emerge as an antecedent or determinant of Effectuation by presenting literature on the relationship between Effectuation, Entrepreneurial Orientation and Culture. The research questions emerging are as follows: RQ1) Do certain socio-cultural conditions positively impact Effectual behavior in Entrepreneurship? RQ2) Can culture be positioned as an antecedent to Effectuation in a collectivist society? This paper is based on the literature being explored as a part of PhD research. The research is in its early stage and the approach involves interpretive deductive analysis of the existing literature on Marwaris, Hindu Philosophy, Entrepreneurial Orientation and Effectuation, which results in the conceptual framework. The second stage of the PhD research will involve thematic analysis of narratives gathered from prominent members of the Marwari community from Calcutta and Jharkhand in India, which is aimed at inducting contemporary empirical evidence of Marwari entrepreneurial philosophy and potentially addressing not only the conceptual framework, but also the questions and discussions arising from the interpretive deductive analysis of the literature presented within this paper. The paper begins with the Methodology chapter in order to a) present an early clarity on the flow of literature within the paper and b) to avoid a break in flow of the ‘story’, a manner in which the literature and arguments are presented thereafter. This is followed by review of literature on Effectuation, community entrepreneurship, role of culture within entrepreneurship, Indian Hindu cultural philosophy and finally, a case account of Marwaris through review on limited existing empirical data on the community.
    • The pursuit of economic prosperity – exploring the entrepreneurial philosophy and approach of the Marwari Business community in India

      Amoncar, Nihar; Deacon, Jonathan; Stephens, Paula; University of South Wales (Academy of Marketing, 2017-07-06)
      The Marwari business community has evolved from being one of merely shopkeepers to controlling majority of India’s inland trade by the First World War. Moving from trading and money lending in the 19th century, the Marwaris owned majority of India’s private industrial assets by the 1970’s. From controlling much of India's industrial enterprise throughout the twentieth century, they now account for a quarter of the Indian names on the Forbes billionaire list (Timberg, 2014). Despite their prominence, surprisingly little research has attempted to explore the reasons for their success. This study addresses that gap by undertaking an examination of Marwari entrepreneurs operating in Kolkata, India. The paper leads an exploratory study into the Marwari approach to Entrepreneurship by conducting a narrative based research among Marwari entrepreneurs. The study presents evidence of the Marwaris’ unique approach to Entrepreneurship and argues for further research into the community in view of the research questions emerging out of this exploratory study.
    • Capacities of business incubator and regional innovation performance

      Wang, Zhaoxing; He, Qile; Xia, Senmao; Sarpong, David; Xiong, Ailun; Maas, Gideon; Coventry University; University of Derby; Brunel University London; Chongqing Technology and Business University, China (Elsevier, 2020-06-04)
      Recent years have witnessed the fast development of business incubators in many emerging economies, such as China. Business incubators are seen as important facilitators for innovation which provide office space, equipment, mentoring services, as well as financial, legal and administrative supports for technology entrepreneurs and start-up companies. Much investment has been undertaken to facilitate the development of business incubators, for example in financial frameworks, human resource development and communication infrastructure. This paper investigates the effects of business incubator capacities on the regional innovation performance, using a panel representing 31 Chinese provinces. This study finds that three capacities of business incubators have significant impacts on the regional innovation performance, while the incubation capacity appears to have a much greater effect than the basic capacity and the finance capacity. Moreover, this study also identifies that the regional communication infrastructure is an important moderator of the relationship between business incubator capacities and the regional innovation performance. This paper supports the view that emerging economies should encourage the development of business incubators in order to promote the development of technology entrepreneurs and domestic innovation performance, but more focus should be on creating free knowledge transfer platforms.
    • Social capital in Jordan: wasta in employment selection

      Sa'ad, Ali; Raiden, A; Kirk, S; University of Worcester; Nottingham Trent University (2015)
      Social capital has emerged as a concept of great interest and potential to help understand and explain how social structures and networks impact political, social and business practices at the collective and individual levels. The basic premise is: investment in social relations will yield expected returns. Extant research has largely focused on the West; our knowledge of how social capital plays out in the Middle East is limited. We marry social capital with ‘wasta’, the strong family and tribal based connections secured in networks in the Arab world, and investigate HR managers’ perceptions of wasta in employment selection in Jordan. Often use of wasta in employment selection is related to favouritism and nepotism and the many negative outcomes of not adhering to merit-based selection. Through in-depth interview data we reveal a more nuanced and multifaceted view of wasta in employment selection. When examined through the social capital lens six distinct themes emerge: (i) wasta as an enabler to get jobs, (ii) wasta as social ties/ solidarity, (iii) wasta as a method to transfer/ attain information, (iv) wasta as a guide in decision-making, (v) wasta as an exchange, and (vi) wasta as pressure. Our findings confirm that at times wasta grants individuals unfair access to employment that is beyond their qualifications, skills, knowledge and/ or abilities. However, organisational context is relevant. In banking, not all roles are open to wasta. Where the possible negative impact on the organisation poses too great a risk HR managers feel able to resist even strong wasta. Context also emerges as being of key importance with regards to the background and business model of an organisation. Family businesses tend to operate wasta more frequently and extensively using tribal connections, religious networks and geographical area based networks as a key source in hiring. Despite globalisation and international nature of banking, wasta and tribalism feature strongly in daily business conduct in Jordan. Our paper illuminates the positive effects of wasta, e.g.as a method to transfer information, together with discussion on the dangers of ‘cloning’, a (lack of diversity), and the dangers of an incompetent workforce
    • Use of social networks by women in the Jordanian banking sector for career development

      Ali, Sa'ad; Ross, Catharine; Risheg, Layla; University of Worcester (2019)
    • Wasta: towards an integrated approach

      Ali, Sa'ad; Weir, David; University of Worcester; York St John University (2019-06)
    • Using social capital to secure employment – wasta in the Jordanian banking sector

      Ali, Sa'ad; Kirk, S; Riaden, A; University of Worcester; Nottingham Trent University (2017)
      This paper set out to address the gap in our knowledge on how social capital impacts the employee selection process in banks operating in Jordan. Bonding and bridging social capital are used to explore the prevalent practice of ‘wasta’ in Jordan. the preliminary analysis of 17 in-depth interviews highlights two uses of wasta in employee selection. Namely, the use of wasta as a guide for employers in the decision to hire and the use of wasta as a pressure mechanism by candidates to attain employment in specific organisations. Previous research often associates wasta with the negative outcomes of not adhering to merit-based selection such as reduced workforce diversity, lack of employee engagement, and the lost opportunity cost from hiring unqualified candidates based their social connections. However, the interviewees signpost some positive uses of wasta such as its ability to confirm information about the candidate and his/ her fit with organisation’s culture prior to employment.
    • Developing and delivering L&D solutions for international markets

      Ali, Sa'ad; Loon, M; University of Worcester; Bath Spa University (Kogan Page, 2016-11-03)
      In Chapter 8, 'Developing and delivering L&D solutions for international markets', Sa'ad Ali and I examine how different dynamics within and amongst countries can impact the development and delivery of L&D. We build upon the previous chapters, in particular Chapters 5 to 7 that discussed how L&D solutions may be developed in consideration of enhancing engagement, the digital world, and collective and social learning. In doing so, we examine how the effectiveness, and even appropriateness of the concepts discussed in these chapters, may be contingent on country-specific factors such as culture.
    • Quality improvement projects in catheterization laboratories: a systematic literature review

      Martinez, Cecilia Rodriguez; Gonzalez Aleu, Fernando; Granda, Edgar M.A.; Nadeem, Simon Peter; University of Derby (IEOM Society, 2020-03-10)
      A catheterization laboratory (Cath lab) is a place that has high-tech equipment that mainly allows the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases, which represents 31% of all global deaths, according to the World Health Organization. (WHO, 2019) In an attempt to minimize process inefficiencies in Cath Lab, these organizations have been using quality improvement projects such as Six Sigma, Lean Six Sigma, Kaizen events (rapid improvement events), general quality improvement projects (plan-do-check-act) and others. However, there is a lack of publications synthesizing the literature available in this research field (quality improvement project). Therefore, this paper aim is to assess the published literature relating quality improvement projects in Cath labs in three dimensions: publication characteristics, author characteristics, and content characteristics. To achieve the purpose of this research, a systematic literature review (SLR) will be conducted to obtain the most relevant papers from three platforms: EBSCOhost, ProQuest, and Scopus.
    • Strategic alliance research in the era of digital transformation: perspectives on future research

      He, Qile; Meadows, Maureen; Angwin, Duncan; Gomes, Emanuel; Child, John; University of Derby; Coventry University; University of Nottingham; Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal; University of Birmingham (Wiley, 2020-05-21)
      The emerging digital transformation in the 21st century is rapidly and significantly changing the business landscape. The fast-changing activities, expectations and new modes of collaboration suggest it is time to review the current theoretical insights from Strategic Alliance (SA) research, which are based on assumptions from a different era. We therefore aim to stimulate multidisciplinary debate and theoretical reflections to better understand emerging paradoxes and challenges that contemporary firms face in the formation, evolution and dissolution of strategic alliances. Specifically, we offer alternative visions of SA research and suggest fresh applications or supplements of existing theoretical perspectives and research methods that can better address research questions that are emerging from an era of digital transformation.
    • Ethical judgement and intent in business school students: the role of the psyche?

      Conway, Elaine; Kotera, Yasuhiro; University of Derby (Springer, 2020-05-12)
      The aim of this paper is to highlight how business schools can improve the ethical behaviour of future managers. It assesses the positions of ethical judgement and ethical intent within a sample of UK business students, together with an analysis of underlying explanatory factors to those positions, such as levels of depression, anxiety, stress, motivation and self-compassion. A range of scales were used to evaluate the ethical stance and psychological characteristics of a group of UK business students. The results indicate that feelings of self-compassion, a sense of self-direction and mental health (in particular, depression) affect the ethical judgement and intent of students in a range of business and university scenarios. It is recommended that in addition to more formal ethics education, universities consider the mental health and psyche of their students to improve the efficacy of ethical training.
    • Transgenerational business legacies and intergenerational succession among the Igbos (Nigeria)

      Igwe, Paul; Madichie, Nnamdi; Amoncar, Nihar; University of Lincoln; Abertay University Dundee; University of Derby (Taylor and Francis, 2020-04-17)
      The main purpose of this study is to highlight the entrepreneurial exploits of an ethnic group within the African context. The research context is the Igbos in Eastern Nigeria who have been celebrated as the pinnacle of African entrepreneurship. The study also draws on the narratives of 25 experienced business owners, and the emerging data thematically analysed to identify key variables associated with transgenerational business legacies and succession. Additional insight on salient cultural and community nuances like the role of Di-okpara (first son), Umunna (sons of the land), Ikwu (members of a Kindred) and Umuada (daughters of the land) were unravelled through interview transcripts and validated by respondents. These insights inform a contribution to the discourse of ethnic or indigenous entrepreneurship, which has both theoretical and policy implications.
    • Membership of Chinese farmer specialized cooperatives and direct subsidies for farmer households: a multi-province data study

      Zhang, Jinhua; Wu, Junjie; Simpson, Jestine; Arthur, Clement Lamboi; Zhejiang University of Technology, China; Leeds Beckett University; University of Cape Coast (Taylor & Francis Group, 2019-07-29)
      The introduction of direct subsidies to farming households and the development of farmer cooperatives has provided two important approaches to China’s twenty-first century food policy challenges. However, research undertaken largely separates and focuses on subsidies or cooperatives. This neglects their interaction and complementarities. This article seeks to rectify this omission using a survey from 35 farmer specialized cooperatives (FSCs) and 561 farming households in 16 provinces, based on a two-stage treatment effect model. The findings suggest FSCs have become important organizations that improve farmers’ net income. Moreover, usage of agricultural machinery and direct subsidies also result in higher net income, though they have little impact on farmers’ machinery investment. The results provide an evidence source that contributes to debate concerning government subsidy policy. Policy may act more like an income transfer program, since it has little impact on farmers’ investment in agriculture. The study also highlights that there are complementary effects between FSCs and direct subsidies, and that China’s cooperative policy integrated with direct subsidies could be progressive.
    • Not everything in textbooks is true: teaching discourse analysis to undergraduate business students

      Bass, Tina; Coventry University (Greenleaf Publishing/ Routledge, 2014-09-08)
      Coventry University adopted the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Management in 2007 and the Business School has taken up the challenge to embed these important principles throughout their course offerings in order to provide the very best education for future business leaders. ‘Managing Business Responsibly’ is a final-year, undergraduate module which grew partly out of some of the author's teaching. The module poses a series of critical challenges to students and in the first few weeks many find it uncomfortable as the theories drawn upon are not those generally found within a business course. Within the module students are invited to think of themselves as agents of change in the broadest sense and to carefully consider those aspects of their future organisations that they might be able to influence. The module team have to work extremely hard to manage student anxiety around the coursework and have to repeatedly stress that discourse analysis is an invaluable critical thinking tool.
    • Online social networks, media supervision and investment efficiency: An empirical examination of Chinese listed firms

      Yang, Zonghan; Bass, Tina; Yang, Xiaoping; Andrikopoulos, Panagiotis; Cao, Dongmei; Zhejiang Yuexiu University of Foreign Language; Coventry University; University of Shanghai for Technology and Science; University of Derby (Elsevier BV, 2020-02-22)
      Prior literature suggests that media reports acting as external supervision improve information transparency and corporate governance leading to increased investment efficiency. This study empirically tests this hypothesis in the context of online social networks by investigating the combined effects of online social networking and media reports on investment efficiency using a sample of Chinese listed firms. Our results show that the interaction of media reports and Tobin's q ratio is negatively related to corporate investment efficiency. However, the introduction of online social networks turns this relationship from a negative to a positive and statistically significant one. The combined factors significantly increase investment efficiency in non-SOEs (State Owned Enterprises) but not in SOEs. We provide evidence that online social networking effectively mitigates the negative effect of media supervision on investment efficiency, further advancing knowledge of the link of external supervision and corporate governance.
    • Defining contextual advantage: exploring the contextual relation between effectuation and entrepreneurial marketing for creating new markets effectually

      Amoncar, Nihar; Deacon, Jonathan; Stephens, Paula; University of South Wales (Asia Pacific Institute of Advanced Research, 2016-01-12)
      The paper explores the behaviour of the Entrepreneur and the Effectual use of available resources mainly social capital in new market creation. The study dwells on creating a unique ‘Context’ by leveraging these resources to increase the Entrepreneurial orientation of a firm. The paper further attempts to explore whether the Contextual link between Effectuation and Entrepreneurial Marketing helps develop a ‘Contextual Advantage’, which can be used as a mean of developing a unique business model which differentiates the firm in the market. The paper hence explores contemporary theories of Entrepreneurship and Marketing namely Entrepreneurial Marketing, Effectuation and Contextual Marketing by studying their inter-relation. The nature of these theories is under-explored according to the authors and requires further investigation to evolve the field of Marketing and Entrepreneurship.
    • The notion of growth: A research agenda for SMEs and entrepreneurs

      Deacon, Jonathan; Amoncar, Nihar; University of South Wales (AMED and ISBE, 2016-07-15)
      Academics within the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise (SME) sector have been working towards identifying the factors that are impediments to the growth and development of SMEs around the world. This article attempts to understand the ‘notion of growth’ as experienced by SMEs in Wales and East India (particularly West Bengal), by exploring the narratives of entrepreneurs within those regions (see images 1 and 2 below). Our research is primarily qualitative in nature and is based on a semi-structured interview approach in Wales, and on narrative inquiry in India. We believe that such a methodology is critical in understanding the notion of growth, and our method involved interviewing established entrepreneurs in order to ascertain their multiple perspectives on growth. We assert the importance in Government policy formulation of understanding and using the language of growth as defined by the ‘context’ of the entrepreneurs. Our research approach: briefly, our research involved the collection and interpretation of both qualitative and quantitative data. In Wales, we worked with six gender-balanced focus groups, each consisting of eight business-owners who represent a range of MSMEs across the regions. Group discussions were augmented by in-depth 1:1 interviews. We also conducted a comprehensive, questionnaire-based pan-Wales telephone survey. In West Bengal, we engaged in a narrative inquiry, derived from 1:1 conversations and field notes, with a group of eight male entrepreneurs. Requests for confidentiality were a particular issue here. We selected the West Bengal Chamber of Commerce and CREDAI – (the Bengal branch of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India), as well as other forums that we mention throughout this article, according to their relevance to thematic analysis of the data we collected. If you would like a more detailed account of our sampling and research methods, please feel free to contact Nihar Amoncar.