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Managerial practices, location and ICT: productivity of UK aerospace firms in business clusters

Grous, Alexander (2009) Managerial practices, location and ICT: productivity of UK aerospace firms in business clusters. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Globalisation and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) once appeared to be allies attempting to thwart the notion of the local economy. Recently, and somewhat paradoxically, policymakers and firms appear to be harnessing ICT to foster the development of local economies. To compete globally, firms are frequently looking locally, often by co-locating in industrial districts ('clusters'). Despite similar access to ICT, software, and government policies designed to ameliorate productivity impeding variables, wide gulfs continue to appear in ICT-led productivity between firms in different countries, within the same country, or within the same region or cluster. Attention is increasingly turning to the role that management practices may play in explaining such variations. Concomitant to, or perhaps as a result of this focus, the relationship between ICT and productivity warrants further consideration, with the recognition that ICT by itself cannot affect competitive capacity: it can only be productive if it is appropriately embedded in the organisation and is a function of managerial practices and skills. This dissertation has been undertaken at the nexus of ICT, managerial practices and spatial orientation. It has a firm-level focus and will rectify a current methodological and sampling deficit to provide answers on how and why managerial practices affect ICT both within and between organisational settings, and how this in turn influences productivity. A multiple embedded case study design has been utilised, nested in the aerospace sector in the UK. The research utilises both qualitative and quantitative empirical methodologies and is multidisciplinary, working across the Information Systems Group in the Department of Management and the Centre for Economic Performance at the LSE. Ontologically, the research ascribes to the assumption that technology is neither omnipotent nor uncontested, and impinges on the terms by which individuals interact with one another, influencing the individual-world interaction and affecting the behaviour of the organisation as a social system. Success or failure can ultimately depend on the negotiation of practices, with information systems capable of mediating productivity. By addressing the current lacuna at the overlap of the principal themes being explored, this research makes an original and relevant contribution on a topical issue that transcends borders, culture and language.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Business Administration, Management, Sociology, Organization Theory
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > Management

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