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Mikael Sundström

Mikael Sundström

Senior lecturer

Mikael Sundström

When implementation falters: the challenge of having peripheral issues stick in organisations

När implementering misslyckas: utmaningen att få perifera frågor att fastna i organisationer

Author

  • Mikael Sundström
  • Robert Holmberg

Summary, in English

Purpose
The purpose of this paper is to study a class of issues that in spite of recognised needs and explicit managerial demands have proven hard to have “stick” in organisations (information security is used as an example). It offers a theory-driven rationale why superficially different issue areas can indeed be considered as instances of the identified class, and builds on complexity leadership theory (CLT) to explain how the related strategic challenges can be explained and possibly alleviated.

Design/methodology/approach
A. Kenneth Rice’s notion of organisations’ “primary task” is used to home in on its opposite that is here labelled “peripherality”. Existing strands of organisation research that can be related to this notion are then revisited to ground the fundamental concept theoretically. The CLT is finally used to provide a detailed understanding of the underlying dynamics.

Findings
The paper explains how and why certain issue areas seem resistant to common managerial intervention methods even though it would seem that organisational members are in fact favouring proposed changes (a state that would normally increase the chances of success). It also offers ideas how these challenges may fruitfully be approached.

Originality/value
Problems related to the suggested “peripherality” class of issues have thus far been approached as wholly unrelated (and for that reason as idiosyncratic). The proposed framework offers a hitherto never attempted way systematically to link these challenges – and so structure and concentrate discussion about possibly common remedies.

Department/s

  • Department of Political Science
  • Department of Psychology

Publishing year

2018-04-12

Language

English

Pages

224-240

Publication/Series

Journal of Strategy and Management.

Volume

11

Issue

2

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Topic

  • Political Science
  • Business Administration
  • Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)

Keywords

  • Complex adaptive systems
  • Peripheral tasks
  • Primary tasks

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 1755-425X