Evolving at an unprecedented pace, digital technologies promise to automate not only labor-intensive and repetitive work, but also the traditional and exclusive domain of educated humans—knowledge work. This is evident in the new ways of reaching customers and coordinating activities, as well as in the fact that companies conducting a business built on the new technologies now constitute the world’s largest enterprises. The presence and evolution of these companies challenge established divisions of labor between man and machine, and almost casually redraws the boundaries between industries. Machine learning and analytics challenge the managers leading and the managerial scientists studying organizations. Everybody says they want to be data driven—but what does a company really need to do to achieve that?
This article will explore the managerial, organizational, and strategic implications of allowing an ever increasing number of organizational decisions to be taken not by managers employing intuition and common sense, but by algorithms and learning systems based on massive amounts of data derived from electronically based customer interactions. We argue that these companies can be thought of as “intelligent enterprises” with enhanced abilities to sense, comprehend, act, learn and explain (SCALE) their environment and their interactions with it. To acquire these capabilities, managers need to cede authority over some decisions while acquiring new capabilities and roles for themselves.
In this chapter, we highlight the on-going research of BI Norwegian Business School’s Nordic Center for Internet and Society to better understand the function, status, and meaning creation of work in the digitized economy, and the impact of digital technologies in organizations. Specifically, the chapter aims to set out an agenda for mastering the labor challenges of the digital transformation based on our studies conducted over recent years. We highlight the challenges of adapting our current notions of managerial feedback to platform organizations, and present insights on how to support the creative potential of online crowdsourcing. Further, we showcase the pitfalls of the emerging practice of virtual leadership and propose measures with which good leaders may greatly increase the effectiveness of online communities. Lastly, we conclude by outlining what might constitute attractive organizations for the future workforce and labor designs that could render the digital economy more inclusive, effective, and human-centered.
This chapter takes up the subject of reputation and its strategic importance for organizations. We provide an overview of generally accepted definitions of reputation and recognize the complexity of reputation by introducing a discussion on why managing reputation is a wicked problem and how organizations can best “solve” it by building awareness of reputation into organizational DNA. The chapter offers insight into a number of areas where future research might better assist all organizations in realizing the potential of their reputation.
Digitalization of markets, media channels, and consumers’ decision making challenges brand management. A key question is whether the traditional strategic understanding of branding is relevant in the digital age. In this chapter, three challenges are discussed: digital consumer journeys, big data, and online brands. These challenges influence branding practices, but do not necessarily invalidate basic branding principles. On the contrary, branding will continue to be important in the future.
In most industries, the competitive landscape is rapidly changing and, as a result, companies are speeding through their life cycles at an unprecedented pace. Whole industries are being transformed—media and entertainment, energy—and the changing positions within industries are greater than ever. Digital is the main driver of the current changes. It affects all aspects of how customers behave and how companies create and capture value. We suggest that these technological changes call for the renewed importance in understanding both value creation and principles of organization. Our aim is to address how value creation and organization design is affected by digitization—the opportunities and challenges that digitization presents. We organize our discussion around the concepts “business model” and “organization design” respectively.
This chapter reports main findings from a comprehensive study of how Norwegian family firms are governed and how they behave and perform as economic entities. Analyzing all firms from 2000 to 2015, we show that the family firm represents the most widespread way of organizing economic activity, and that family firms differ fundamentally from other firms. Our results suggest that deeper insight into the economics of family firms may make the firms better, and the public debate more informed.
The State is not like any other owner. No other owner both owns firms and legislates. Notwithstanding great improvements in corporate governance and the Norwegian Parliament's white papers over the years, substantial legal issues still remain unclear. Role overlap, financial liability, exercise of control over firm's board, management, actions, and structure still remain unresolved.
This article traces the origins of the considerable state ownership in listed companies in Norway. The Norwegian state is the owner of approximately 30 per cent of the market value of the Oslo stock exchange, and controls companies that account for over half of the market value. The Norwegian parliament has agreed that the state shall operate as a private owner in these companies, respecting other shareholders and the companies’ integrity as private enterprises, and thus accommodating the attendant principles of being listed companies. This ownership model for the state developed in the post-war era as a result of the state’s ownership in Norsk Hydro; hence, the ownership model is called the Hydro model. The paper will provide a historical explanation of why the Hydro model prevailed, and thereby provide an important explanation for the considerable state ownership in Norway.
Financial statement auditing is useful as it provides assurance about the reliability of financial information that firms issue. To protect companies’ stakeholders and to safeguard audit quality, financial statement auditing is heavily regulated. We explain why and when auditor regulation is necessary and warranted, and discuss important recent changes in auditor regulation, such as mandatory audit firm rotation in the EU. We also identify a number of auditing-related issues that require further deliberation.
Creative ideas fuel modern organizations and are increasingly salient in times of change. However, novelty—one defining characteristic of creative ideas—is associated with risk. That being said, highly creative ideas tend to represent the most potential, relative to the value they add to organizations and their members. How can leaders increase the odds of successfully transforming high-potential creative ideas into innovative realities? This chapter reviews the most current research findings on optimizing high-potential creative ideas to render the innovation advances they promise. It summarizes and exemplifies the following four leadership lessons: 1) change agents, 2) supportive leadership, 3) integrating multiple perspectives from assorted stakeholders, and 4) facilitating creative employee behavior in the workplace. Research suggests that effectively capitalizing on high-potential ideas in organizational settings requires active leadership that involves a mastery of the competencies of relevant change agents, as the development of new ideas requires rigorous in-context management of the change process. Leaders need to show two-dimensional support of tasks and individuals, not only to provide resources and assistance as needed, but also to facilitate proactive behaviors by challenging employees to depart from the status quo. The successful leader, above all, recognizes that capitalizing on creativity is a social process that requires contributions from multiple viewpoints, and that various stakeholders need to be involved.
In this chapter, I review research on the consequences of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, and conclude that intrinsic motivation is a far more efficient type of motivation than is extrinsic motivation. I also review research on the Job Characteristics Theory (JCT) and Self-Determination Theory (SDT) to pinpoint the most important antecedents to intrinsic motivation, and to show that highly performance-contingent pay can have a detrimental effect on intrinsic motivation, also outside the laboratory.
Several recent studies have concluded that subsidies for environmentally friendly R&D should be high initially and decline over time. This study shows that scale aspects connected to knowledge spillovers from environmental R&D support the opposite conclusion. Increasing returns to scale in the production of abatement knowledge, as well as an increasing price of carbon emissions, are aspects that favor increasing subsidy rates to firms conducting environmentally friendly R&D.
JEL classification: O32; O38.
We present results of a laboratory experiment on costly lobbying, comparing the behavior of elite politicians and students. Our main finding is that members of the Norwegian national assembly deviate more from equilibrium predictions than students. This is in opposition to earlier experimental findings comparing the behavior of students and experienced public relations officers. Our finding is somewhat troubling, given that the underlying model addresses experienced real-world, decision makers. Ours is the first systematic study using members of a national parliament as subjects in a lobbying experiment.
Service marketing emerged in response to the shortfalls of product marketing. Although earlier traces exist, it gained traction in the mid 70s. The field’s evolution can be divided into phases in which critical incidents can be identified that have led the service field in new directions. Central to the discipline is the service encounter. Research referred to here consists of ways of understanding customer experiences with the service encounter and consequences of the encounter. We summarize various methods or approaches that have been and are applied to understand the service encounter.
Amir Sasson is a provost and professor at BI Norwegian Business School. Amir Sasson has a PhD from BI, Norwegian Business School. He has been a lecturer at University College Dublin, Ireland, and a visiting scholar at Stanford University, USA, and The Technion, IL. He has published in top journals in the fields of network theory, inter-organizational relations, entrepreneurship, business models and industrial competitiveness. He has recently co-headed a large national research project on the competitiveness of Norwegian industries, Knowledge-Based Norway.