Now showing 1 - 10 of 74
  • Publication
    Fostering Innovation in Irish Innovation Policy
    Over the past decade or so there have been many radical changes in the Irish national system of innovation and how it is administered. To some extent these administrative changes were a consequence of the financial crisis and the subsequent need to control public expenditure. This paper argues that it is now time to reassess these changes and to consider if the innovation system and its governance is fit for purpose for the challenging times ahead. The management of the Irish system of innovation is now radically out of line with systems in peer, small developed countries such as Sweden, Denmark and Finland. A particular problem is the absence of any independent mechanism for providing expert policy advice to the Government and its agencies on the various aspects of innovation. In large part, this is a consequence of the 2014 government decision to dissolve Forfás (and, with it, the Advisory Council for Science, Technology & Innovation) and to transfer its innovation-related staff into the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation. However, the Forfás functions around strategy and analysis have now been so diluted that, for the first time since the 1960s, Ireland does not have a vital element of the national innovation system – a mechanism to provide a continuously updated source of expert policy advice and evaluation on all aspects of innovation. The main recommendation in this paper is creating a new-style Irish Innovation Council that will take a holistic approach to the formulation and evaluation of policy. A Council drawn from business, academia and government/public service would be in keeping with the approach previously and successfully adopted. Such a Council would need expert secretarial support. A detailed argument for this and the functions of such a body are provided in the paper. Other recommendations are: conducting a Foresight exercise and commissioning an OECD Review of Irish Innovation Policy.
  • Publication
    Ríastartha - Introduction
    (University College Dublin. School of Business, 2014)
  • Publication
    Restoring Phronesis and Practice: Marketing's Forgotten P's
    (Emerald, 2014)
    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the evolution of marketing’s philosophical conversation over the last 120 years, focusing on the emergent meaning of the notion that marketing should become more 'scientific'. Design/methodology/approach: Focuses on the US academic marketing literature, primarily journal articles and books published in the first half of the twentieth century. Findings: The Aristotelian distinction between techné, epistemé and phronesis provides a rich basis for framing philosophical discussion in marketing, and should supplant the art-science debate and Anderson’s distinction between science1 and science2. Prior to 1959, the marketing journals provided a forum for phronesis, though this diminished as the academic marketing community largely abandoned the inductive, contextual approach in favour of a deductive, 'scientific' methodology. The Ford Foundation played an important role in effecting this change. Practical implications: The paper highlights the importance of forums where practitioners can reflect on the ethical and social implications of their practices and then work to enhance these practices for the greater social good. Originality/value: Advances the concept of phronesis in the marketing literature and distinguishes it from epistemé, which has dominated academic marketing discourse over the last 60 years.
  • Publication
    Theory Games
    This paper examines the remarkable and unexplored correspondence between games (and board games in particular) and what is commonly understood as theory in the social sciences.  It argues that games exhibit many if not most of the attributes of theory, but that theory is missing some of the features of games.  As such, game provide a way of rethinking what we mean by theory and theorizing.  Specifically, games and their relationship with the ¿real¿ world, provide a way of thinking about theory and theorizing that is consistent with recent calls to frame social inquiry around the concept of phrónēsis.
  • Publication
    Management Technologies - Are they worth it? A normative study of ISO 9001 and Project Management
    This research inquires into the value of two common 'management technologies', namely ISO 9001 and project management. To avoid certain methodological problems, we study the value of these micro-level practices by inductively analysing macro-level data, specifically the intensity of project management and ISO 9001 certification (termed project management score and ISO 9001 score) in different countries against national measures of wealth and innovation. There is no correlation between ISO 9001 score and innovation, while high ISO 9001 scores are correlated with decreasing levels of wealth. The project management score is positively correlated with wealth and with innovation, though very high project management scores are negatively correlated with innovation. The study includes a cluster analysis which finds that, with one exception, countries tend to adopt either project management or ISO 9001 but not both. The analysis indicates that project management is more likely to be associated with high innovation and high wealth than ISO 9001.
  • Publication
    (Un)marketing the Uncanny
    1. Purpose: Argues that the uncanny should be retrieved as a valuable concept in understanding the relationship between religion and marketing. 2. Design/methodology/approach: Case analysis of reported apparitions in Ballinspittle in 1985 and Medugorje since 1981. 3. Findings: Distinguishes between vicarious and unmediated consumption of the uncanny. Explicates how the uncanny and the sacred are distinguished from and relate to one another, and how the former may or may not be translated into the latter. Highlights the role of market actors and institutions in mediating the uncanny. Shows how the uncanny upsets some of the precepts of social science inquiry, as well as the scholar’s mediating role between the emic and the etic. 4. Research limitations/implications: Scope for more research on the marketing of religion. 5. Practical implications: Building on the notion that the uncanny is an unconcept, the paper identifies unmarketing as a way of thinking about marketing in this context. 6. Social implications: Religious beliefs – which are a potent, peculiar and intoxicating admixture of the uncanny and the sacred – continue to have a unique hold on what we might describe as consumers. Consequently, it is important that they be studied. 7. Originality/value: Very little, if any, prior research on the marketing of the uncanny.
  • Publication
    Ethnography in and around an Algorithm
    If 'headwork' is "the conceptual work that informs ethnographic fieldwork and its various representational practices", then this paper is a piece of headwork about what an ethnography in (or around, or of) an algorithm might entail. We begin by situating this question in ethnography’s long tradition of philosophical reflection on method and representation. This reflection has been deep and cutting, and some would argue that it has evacuated ethnography of its essence, identify and value.
  • Publication
    The Odyssey of Instrumental Rationality: Confronting the Englightenment's Interior Other
    In this paper we advocate and demonstrate the value of science fiction as a potent way of ‘practicalising philosophy.’ Science fiction narratives provide an ideal-typical setting through which theory can be represented, clarified and developed. They also help us link the abstraction of theory and the messiness of practice, while partly side-stepping the enigma whereby any study of the empirical world may merely reflect back the particular ontologies and epistemologies that constitute that world. In particular, we claim that the television series Star Trek provides a powerful metaphor for understanding and teaching certain themes regarding modernity, including the possibility of universal progress through economic expansion (capitalism, colonialism), technological development (industrialism, positivism), and the possibilities for universal emancipation (democracy). We especially focus on the Borg Collective, a form of life that has become one of the most enduring and critical mirrors that Star Trek has held up to contemporary society, and which can be usefully understood as a metaphor for the dark side of instrumental rationality. The paper draws on the various encounters between the Enterprise and the Borg to illustrate and engage with the diverse writings of Weber, the Frankfurt School, Habermas, Foucault, and Haraway on modernity’s continuing and ambivalent struggle with instrumental rationality.
  • Publication
    The Lost Experiment in Exploration and Exploitation
    This paper focuses on James March’s 1991 article on 'Exploration and Exploitation in Organizational Learning', which is now the seventh most highly cited paper in management and organisation studies. March’s paper is based on a computer program that simulates the collective and individual learning of a group of fifty individuals. The largely forgotten story that this paper re-calls is the real-life experiment that March, in large part, designed and conducted when he was the new 'boy Dean' of the School of Social Sciences in the University of California at Irvine between 1964 and 1969. Taken together, both stories illuminate important moments in the history of organisation studies. The comparison suggests that March’s model, which was probably the first simulation of an organisation learning, also worked to constitute rather than model the phenomenon.