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Title: The management of stringency and the nature of organisational sub-cultures
Author: Frame, Philip George
ISNI:       0000 0001 3481 1272
Awarding Body: Sheffield City Polytechnic
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 1987
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The thesis explored financial stringency by analysing differing managerial interpretations and responses. The data was partially collected through an action research process with three management teams in a Social Services Department of a Local Authority. A concept of organisational monetarism was developed as a description of those approaches which predict positive benefits from restricted resource growth. Organisational monetarism, together with other analyses which also explain managerial responses solely in terms of characteristics of the stringency itself were found to be inadequate. Additionally sub-cultures and contextual features were identified as significant determinants of responses to stringency. Subculture is defined as collective, taken for granted, values and behaviours of a management team. These included management style and role and their definitions of the task. Contextual features were defined as variables within each group's internal environment. The five variables identified were: environmental control, task visibility, pattern of spending, unionateness and degree of professional development. Because these factors differed for each team, the extent to which management teams could effectively manage stringency also varied. The degree of congruence between organisational factors and the reductions task, and thus, the extent of management change required if the task is to be accommodated, determined the interpretation and response to stringency by management groups. With a high degree of congruence, where both sets of organisational factors facilitated the performance of the reductions task, stringency was interpreted as a routine matter and assimilated. With less congruence, stringency posed a threat and was avoided. A low degree of congruence indicated a need for radical change if the task were to be routinised. In this latter case stringency led to crisis and managers responded by overt resistance and withdrawal from reductions related activities. The organisational costs and benefits of these different responses, in terms of resource consumption, conflict, control and innovation, were explored. Finally, the significance of managing diversity and reformulating the organisation's strategy in circumstances of financial stringency was stressed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Stringency effects in business