Strategy & Organisation Research Seminar

Event Date: 18 June 2014

Presenter 1  Dr Peter McInnes

Title:  Bridge over Troubled Waters: ‘Heteroterse’ narratives at the confluence of managerial and neoliberal discourses

Introduction:  “The Promoter is, however, urged to reflect more on others’ understanding of what is meant by ‘consultation’ and ‘engagement’, and how intentions and expectations can be misinterpreted … and urges the Promoter to reflect on the different perceptions that exist in relation to prior consultation.” (Stage 1 Report on the FCB, May 2010)

Recent changes to the planning regime in Scotland have allowed decisions on major infrastructure projects to be taken through a legislative route. As this removes the need to deal with individual planning authorities, and the potential for a lengthy public enquiry, the legislation places emphasis upon the Consultation and Engagement (C&E) exercise as a vehicle through which the views of those affected by the decision are to be elicited and responded to.  In this paper we report upon a discourse analysis of the documents describing and reporting upon the C&E process associated with the building of a second road bridge over the river Forth near Edinburgh. At one level our work provides a critical assessment of the way neoliberalism’s valorisation of the programmatic allowed the government agency acting as Promoter for the project to conduct and report the exercise through a unitarist managerial approach that all but extinguished the potential for dialogue. Our purpose, however, is not simply to further chronicle the tendency of neoliberal reforms to permit, if not directly encourage, the precedence of expediency over democratic involvement. Rather, in exploring the subject positions offered up by the final report, we shed light upon the conflicting narratives of the consulted and engaged citizen contained within it. Taking as evidence and inspiration the concerns expressed above by the committee overseeing the C&E process, we theorise the report's ‘heteroterse’ narrative form that invites the audience to substitute ‘success’ for missing elements and dissenting voices.


Presenter 2Dilshod Makhmadshoev

Title:    Institutional influences on SME exporters under divergent transition paths: Comparative insights from Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic

 Abstract:  This paper compares the influence of national institutional environments on the internationalisation of SME exporters in two countries, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, which followed divergent paths in the transition process. It contributes in several ways, notably by responding to recent calls for a more comparative approach to the analysis of institutions and extending the knowledge base on the implications of national institutional differences on firm internationalisation. Analysis of case study evidence suggests appreciable differences in the institutional environments facing SME exporters in the comparator countries. More specifically, SME exporters in Tajikistan seem to experience tougher institutional constraints relative to their Kyrgyzstan counterparts, and this divergence in institutional environments appears to affect the internationalisation prospects and competitiveness of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan SME exporters adversely and favourably respectively. The above findings are richly illustrated in our paper, which also discusses implications for theory, managerial and policy practice and future research.

Published: 14 January 2016

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