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The JGM Blog

Jul 10

Written by: Professor Stephen A. Drew
10/07/2015 09:15 

It is my pleasure to introduce this Summer 2015 edition of the Journal of General Management which presents papers on topics including risk management, electronic marketing, global strategy and the strategy-making process. As in previous editions we present a mixture of authorsfrom different national origins.

Our first paper by Professor Helga Drummond presents an unusual viewpoint on risk and disaster management through the lens of organisational symbolism.As the authornotesmanywell-knownevents took theorganisations concerned by surprise and in retrospectmight have been viewed as ‘predictable surprises’. There is clearly a gap between what organisations understood, believed to be true, and reality. Managers may have ignored weak signals from the environment and incorrectly constructed knowledge from their own perspective. Symbols such as certification and voluminous data may have contributed to an over-complacent state of mind. Any general manager concerned with risks and uncertainty may be well-advised to heed the author’s advice.

The second paper by Dr Sophie Yang and Dilip Mutum concerns the use of electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) for university selection. The educational sector is an important driver and component of the economies of most emerging markets and how students obtain information about potential places for study is of interest to senior university administrators and students alike. eWOM comprises the use of official and unofficial media such as blogs, wikis, chat and email. The advantages of these media are that marketing messages can spread virally and rapidly to a mass audience. Drawbacks include the potential for misuse and misinformation. The authors encourage a more proactive approach to eWOM in educational institutions based on their studies with groups of Taiwanese students.

The competencies of top management teams (TMTs) for international operations is the subject of our third paper by Professors Marina Latukha and Andrei Panibratov. Many discussions of international strategic options fail to consider the characteristics of the TMT in terms of their members’ previous experience of international business and knowledge of business environments in other countries. However it would seem intuitive that such capabilities affect the pattern of international expansion and the risks taken. The authors develop a competence-based model and test this on a sample of Russian enterprises.

Our fourth paper by Professor Torben Juul Andersen considers how strategy gets developed in organisations in practice. This conceptual paper discusses the notion of interactive strategy-making that combines the features of rational top down planning with a decentralised emergent approach. This model comprises elements of a dynamic adaptive system that can learn and respond to unanticipated events as they occur.

Finally we include a number of book reviews by Malcolm Warner on the Global Workforce and Japan’s economy.

Professor Stephen Drew

Executive Editor of the Journal of General Management

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