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ABSTRACT: The article focuses on advertising for online gambling products on social media platforms and examines advertising practices from the viewpoint of consumer fairness. It shows how online advertising is fundamentally different from traditional advertising in print media, offline media sites (such as billboards) and broadcasting. The growth of social media usage has created an opportunity for online advertising to exploit ways of advertising which are only beginning to be understood fully and receive regulatory attention, and which, therefore, may exploit current regulatory loopholes. In this article, we identify two major issues in respect of online advertising of online gambling: first the potential for unethical placing of gambling advertising targeted at vulnerable users, and secondly the opaque use of commercial advertising in user-generated content on social media platforms. Having identified these two problems of gambling advertising, we take stock of how the existing regulatory structures deal with gambling advertising online, with a view to making recommendations on how to tackle these problems. We argue that data protection law and gambling regulation have not yet satisfactorily addressed these issues and that a much more radical approach is needed, as set out in the article.
ABSTRACT: In this article, we study pole dancing as a potential site of feminist theorization. Finding that instructors at pole dancing studios figure themselves in and through tensions between empowering feminine sexuality and the taint of sexualized labour, we discuss the productive potential of these tensions in terms of postfeminist discourse, on the one hand, and the feminist critique of this discourse, on the other. Holding on to both ends of this pole, the pole dance instructors twist and turn their words and bodies so as to produce emotionally attractive and socially recognizable subject positions for themselves and their female customers. We do not seek to dissolve the inherent tensions of these moves, but discuss how they can become productive: for the pole dance instructors, as they find opportunity to discursively resist sexualization whilst materially performing sexuality; and for us as feminist scholars as we become able to celebrate and criticize the idea(l) of empowering feminine sexuality.
ABSTRACT: Impact investing is an emerging alternative asset class. In the last few years, the investment in impact investing has grown many folds, however the research has not kept pace with the growing practitioner interest. The lack of knowledge about the field coupled with the lack of knowledge production of field might be dangerous in the long run. This is a systematic review of impact investing. This systematic review involves study of 85 published articles and reports. This literature was collected using the harzing’s publish or perish academic search engine and cross-checked against databases such as JSTOR and Web of Science. This review has four major contributions. First, the study reveals a unique longitudinal perspective on how the field is evolving and moving from pre-paradigm stage to the stage of proper scientific inquiry. It reveals that the field is evolving, as the reviewed literatures find that a higher number of empirical works were published recently. Second, the field impact investing is unique on six characteristics namely (1) capital invested, (2) degree of engagement with the investee, (3) process of selection, (4) social and commercial outcomes, (5) reporting outcomes, and (6) government role. Third, it reveals that the scholarship in the field has been mostly exploratory. Only recently the field is engaging in confirmatory studies. The research methods have used existing databases or existing single or multiple case studies. Finally, the field has to delve deeper into concepts like selection process, stakeholder management, opportunity recognition, and performance reporting to move the field forward and generate applied knowledge.
ABSTRACT: Impact investing pursues the dual goals of creating socio-economic value for the marginalized, and ensuring net positive financial returns. Impact investing firms achieve their goals through their investments in projects and enterprises which create both social and commercial values. The primary aim of this article is to contribute to our understanding of the process of impact investing, particularly with respect to issues related to aligning impact investing and investee social enterprise goals. The research method employs case-based research methodology. The data consist of six cases of impact investing and their investee social enterprises. In addition, the data involve interviews with experts from the field of impact investing. The findings are that: (1) Social mission plays an important moderating role in the inter-organizational relationship between the impact investor and the investee social enterprise, (2) and an emphasis on due diligence, sector specialization, and communication increases the likelihood of investment while (3) social impact measurement and reporting and frequent engagement increase the likelihood of post-investment alignment. The key contribution of this article is that impact investing (unlike venture capital) is influenced by the ability of its investee to create social value, which plays an important role in the inter-organizational relationship between investor and investee. Furthermore, similar to industry specialization in the for-profit investing, social sector specialization is equally relevant for alignment and returns
ABSTRACT: During recent years, there has been a growing interest in CEO narcissism across disciplines. Various scholars document that CEO narcissism is an important factor that should not be overlooked when analyzing various organizational outcomes and strategies. Research on CEO narcissism has focused on its negative implications on organization outcomes. However, little attention has been paid to its effect on corporate social responsibility (CSR). This study explores the relationship between CEO narcissism and two distinct facets of CSR (stakeholder management and social issue participation), while taking into account the moderating role of outside board of directors. Using a sample of publicly traded U.S restaurants, the results document that an outside board of directors plays a moderating role on the relationship between CEO narcissism and the two distinct facets of CSR.
ABSTRACT: This article explores the relationship between future-oriented temporality and precarity in creative work. Existing sociological studies implicitly assume an unproblematic causal link between creative workers’ future-orientation and their precarity, subjugation and exploitation. This article problematizes this link and offers a more nuanced reassessment of creative work’s futurity by arguing for the analytical potential of the notion of hope in gaining a better understanding of creative workers’ hopeful – affective, practical and moral – responses to conditions of protracted precarity. Building on theories of hope, the article conceptualizes hope both as an existential affective stance and an active moral practice oriented towards the present – an orientation that enables workers to keep going in spite of economic hardship and job uncertainty. From ‘an atypical case’ study of creative work in South-East Europe, hope emerges empirically as the central quotidian practice of coping with precarity. Three practices of hope are discussed: (1) hope as therapeutic practice; (2) hope as informal labour practice; and (3) hope as socially engaged arts practice. In so doing, the article explores the possibilities of practising ‘a hopeful sociology’ of creative work.
ABSTRACT: This paper elaborate on how sustainabilising entails rethinking about areas that include rationality, organisations, knowledge, leadership and value and about transforming these areas into an ecological way of thinking, learning and acting. We argue that sustainability needs to become a verb, something we do. However, one thing is rethinking areas; another thing is to work it into a craft of research. Therefore, the second section in the paper unfolds a conceptualisation of a specific action-learning project in Danish municipalities, called ‘Sustainable and Healthy Cities through Urban Nature Relations’. This project transforms the theoretically rethinking of sustainability into a craft of research. Informed by the proposed theoretical lens, the action-learning process involves research based on the World Health Organization’s six P’s (people, place, participation, peace, prosperity and planet). The action research can be understood as a process of taking risks, becoming disorientated and moving beyond the comfort zone. However, the six P’s and thereby the cross-professional groups, the place, the participation and the value of the process is all about collective techniques and about care. It aims to create an emerging ecology of practices and of belonging and co-existing lives. It creates a field of actions a ‘milieu’ but without a fixed horizon.
ABSTRACT: Many studies have documented how welfare service and professional practices increasingly depend upon the willingness of the citizen to engage actively in dialogues with professionals. This, however, produces the problem of how to deal with citizens who are silent. The framework of Motivational Interviewing presents itself as one solution to this problem. This article explores how Motivational Interviewing operates with a set of strategies to avoid the silence of citizens. We draw on theoretical concepts developed by Niklas Luhmann to analyse a particular instantiation of Motivational Interviewing produced by the Danish National Board of Health, namely a conversation concept entitled, the Marijuana Conversation. We ask thus: what is put at stake when health communication is designed to anticipate and make itself immune to the citizens’ refusal to have a dialogue. Our analysis identifies the different strategies of the conversation concept to make it difficult for the citizen to refuse continued communication. We conclude that by trying to make itself immune to the citizen’s ‘no’, the conversation undermines the possibilities of reaching its objective of empowering the citizen.
ABSTRACT: We provide unifying inference theory for parametric nonlinear factor models based on a panel of noisy observations. The panel has a large cross-section and a time span that may be either small or large. Moreover, we incorporate an additional source of information, provided by noisy observations on some known functions of the factor realizations. The estimation is carried out via penalized least squares, i.e., by minimizing the distance between observations from the panel and their model-implied counterparts, augmented by a penalty for the deviation of the extracted factors from the noisy signals of them. When the time dimension is fixed, the limit distribution of the parameter vector is mixed Gaussian with conditional variance depending on the path of the factor realizations. On the other hand, when the time span is large, the convergence rate is faster and the limit distribution is Gaussian with a constant variance. In this case, however, we incur an incidental parameter problem since, at each point in time, we need to recover the concurrent factor realizations. This leads to an asymptotic bias that is absent in the setting with a fixed time span. In either scenario, the limit distribution of the estimates for the factor realizations is mixed Gaussian, but is related to the limiting distribution of the parameter vector only in the scenario with a fixed time horizon. Although the limit behavior is very different for the small versus large time span, we develop a feasible inference theory that applies, without modification, in either case. Hence, the user need not take a stand on the relative size of the time dimension of the panel. Similarly, we propose a time-varying data-driven weighting of the penalty in the objective function, which enhances efficiency by adapting to the relative quality of the signal for the factor realizations.
ABSTRACT: Purchasing & Supply Management (PSM) competencies are the individual-level foundations of organisational PSM performance. In light of recent developments in the workplace and the external environment, the question of what PSM competencies are needed now, as well as in the future, becomes one of increasing importance. Analysing qualitative data from 46 interviews from 16 companies, this paper identifies what current and future competencies are required by PSM professionals, categorizes PSM competencies according to the framework established by Tassabehji and Moorhouse (2008) and establishes how these competency requirements have changed over the last ten years. The most important current competencies required by PSM professionals are negotiation, communication and relationship management (e.g. ‘Interpersonal communication’), strategy and analytics (e.g. ‘Strategic thinking’), as well as professional knowledge requirements (e.g. ‘Basic knowledge on PSM role & processes’). When looking at future requirements, competencies in the areas of sustainability and digitisation were identified as becoming increasingly important. Overall, 17 competencies in addition to those shown in Tassabehji and Moorhouse (2008) were identified. The most prominent new competency areas are related to digitisation (e.g. ‘eProcurement Technology’, ‘Automation’), innovation (e.g. ‘Innovative sourcing’) and sustainability. The interviewees also identified 11 new competencies within the interpersonal skills cluster, most of them at the intersection between competencies and traits (e.g. ‘Deal with Ambiguity’, ‘Curiosity’, ‘Passion’).
ABSTRACT: Social entrepreneurship research highlights the collaborative nature of social entrepreneurial efforts. Further, acknowledging the embeddedness of social ventures in the wider socio-economic and cultural context, the literature stresses the need to move our analysis from the micro-level of intra-organisational practices to the meso-level of inter-organisational dynamics. To answer to these calls, the article engages Fligstein’s and McAdam’s theory of strategic action fields (SAF) to investigate the dynamics of the inter-organisational collaborative work of social ventures. Empirical material comes from the efforts of a social venture to scale up to a new city through developing a cross-sectoral collaboration with the city administration. Findings indicate the risk of mission drift that weaker partners in SAFs run when collaborating with incumbent actors. In this doing, the study illustrates how a meso-level analysis can further our understanding of social entrepreneurial ventures in particular, and cross-sectoral partnerships in general.
ABSTRACT: This article addresses how desire and fantasy function in a project-based welfare setting by examining a case from the context of Danish educational policy. Drawing on Žižek and others’ development of psychoanalytical concepts derived from Lacan, the paper shows through an interview-based empirical study how project managers believe in the project they manage through their fantasies about highly passionate ‘fiery souls’. However, as the paper argues such managerial fiery soul fantasies add a fantasmatic superstructure to the professional ideals in the reformed Danish public school in a way that challenges the profession category itself by eroding the difference between professionalism and volunteerism. The conclusion is that the secret of the fiery soul rather is its ability to make project-based welfare policy appear coherent than it is the almost supernatural abilities of particular individuals.
ABSTRACT: This article presents a case study on the use of open data in the Scandinavian parliaments (Norway, Sweden, and Denmark). While the three countries have all opened the gates and provided access to data—for example, on the voting in parliament, debates, and notes from meetings in committees—the uptake and use of data outside the parliaments is limited. While journalists and academia are users of the open data, hackathons and third-party portals are at an explorative level. Still, there are indicators that hackathons can enhance democracy, and parliamentary data can increase political transparency
ABSTRACT: This article develops an understanding of coworking spaces as organizational phenomena. Based on an ethnography of betahaus in Berlin, we demonstrate how coworking spaces not only provide a sense of community but also pattern the work activities of their members. We theorize this finding by drawing on the emergent literature on organizationality. Our contribution is twofold. First, we challenge current understandings of coworking spaces as neutral containers for independent work. Instead, we show how coworking incorporates the disposition of becoming organizational. That is, coworking spaces can frame and organize work and may even provide a basis for collective action. Second, we add to research on organizing outside traditional organizations by drawing attention to the complex and shifting interplay of formal and informal relationships in such settings. In doing so, we inform current debates about new forms of organization and organizing.
ABSTRACT: Traditional life-cycle models conclude that individuals should be fully invested in stocks when young—in stark contrast to observed stock holdings—and then gradually replace stocks with bonds as retirement is approaching. We show that a carefully specified and calibrated model of unemployment risk reduces the early-life stock holdings dramatically. The reduction is driven by the decline in current and expected future income caused by unemployment, the relatively high unemployment risk of young adults, and the business cycle variations in un- and reemployment probabilities that tend to deteriorate exactly when stocks perform poorly.
ABSTRACT: We analyze a large data set of fully employed individuals gathered through incentive-compatible surveys to study who joins professional social network sites (SNS) such as LinkedIn. We test the conflicting predictions that a) individuals who are unsatisfied with their career status adversely select into professional SNS in order to reap marginal online network benefits vs. b) high status individuals positively select into these networks because they are more likely to receive invitations to join. Our tests support b) and reject a). Similar estimations for private SNS (e.g., Facebook) reveal that the observed effects are specific to professional SNS and hence not driven by unobserved differences in social capital or the affinity to use social media. We also detect that environments conducive of professional social interactions increase the likelihood to use professional SNS. Controlling for sample selection bias does not qualitatively change the results.
ABSTRACT: Hypocrisy is usually understood as inconsistencies between talk and action. Most research on hypocrisy in the context of corporate social responsibility (CSR) tends to evaluate such inconsistencies in the immediate present, thus disregarding the temporal dynamics of hypocrisy, that is, what hypocrisy might do to organizations and society over time. Taking our point of departure in a performative notion of communication, we present time as an important intervening factor in talk-action relationships. Specifically, we base our discussion on a reflexive conception of time according to which dimensions of the past and the future are inevitably reflected in the ongoing present. On this backdrop, we propose four temporal modes of hypocrisy: aspiration, deferment, evasion, and re-narration. Applying our discussion to the context of CSR, we consider in each mode the performative potential of hypocrisy beyond the immediate presence.
ABSTRACT: The financial crisis of 2007–2009 is now broadly recognised as a once-in-a-generation inflection point in the history of global economic governance. It has also prompted a reconsideration of established paradigms in international political economy (IPE) scholarship. Developments in global tax governance open a window onto these ongoing changes, and in this essay we discuss four recent volumes on the topic drawn from IPE and beyond, arguing against an emphasis on institutional stability and analyses that consider taxation in isolation. In contrast, we identify unprecedented changes in tax cooperation that reflect a significant contemporary reconfiguration of the politics of global economic governance writ large. To develop these arguments, we discuss the links between global tax governance and four fundamental changes underway in IPE: the return of the state through more activist policies; the global power shift towards large emerging markets; the politics of austerity and populism; and the digitalisation of the economy.
ABSTRACT: Goal: To analyse the intersection between the constructs of modularity and business model in the literature. Design/Methodology/Approach: Quantitative and Qualitative approaches were utilized through bibliometric analysis and systematic literature review. A bibliometric analysis incorporates keywords, co-citation, and country co-authorship networks generated using VosViewer Software. The research in the databases was carried out in June 2018. Results: The intersection of modularity and business model is a rather recent study topic in the literature with a small number of articles published up to 2018. Although the concept of modularity has been widely discussed in terms of product, process and organizational levels, recent developments point to the application of this concept to services and business models.
ABSTRACT: Power has been a foundational concept in global value chain (GVC) research. Yet, in most GVC scholarship, power is not explicitly defined and is applied as a unitary concept, rather than as having multiple dimensions. Clarifying the concept of power has become particularly urgent in recent years as GVC research has proliferated beyond dyads of transacting firms or firm-state linkages and incorporated other stakeholders and mechanisms such as NGOs, labor unions, standards, norms and conventions. In this article, we propose a typology for the varied meanings and usages of power in GVC governance. We delineate two principal dimensions: transmission mechanisms – direct and diffuse; and arena of actors – dyads and collectives. Combined, these two dimensions yield four ideal types of power in GVC governance: bargaining, demonstrative, institutional and constitutive. We offer brief illustrations of these four types of power and provide an agenda for further research in the field.
ABSTRACT: As far back as the industrial revolution, significant development in technical innovation has succeeded in transforming numerous manual tasks and processes that had been in existence for decades where humans had reached the limits of physical capacity. Artificial Intelligence (AI) offers this same transformative potential for the augmentation and potential replacement of human tasks and activities within a wide range of industrial, intellectual and social applications. The pace of change for this new AI technological age is staggering, with new breakthroughs in algorithmic machine learning and autonomous decision-making, engendering new opportunities for continued innovation. The impact of AI could be significant, with industries ranging from: finance, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, supply chain, logistics and utilities, all potentially disrupted by the onset of AI technologies. The study brings together the collective insight from a number of leading expert contributors to highlight the significant opportunities, realistic assessment of impact, challenges and potential research agenda posed by the rapid emergence of AI within a number of domains: business and management, government, public sector, and science and technology. This research offers significant and timely insight to AI technology and its impact on the future of industry and society in general, whilst recognising the societal and industrial influence on pace and direction of AI development.
ABSTRACT: To capture elites, we must map out the organizational landscape through which they pass during their careers. This organizational landscape moulds the character of elites, tells us about the prestige of organizations that are elite incubators and provides valuable indicators about how different sectoral experiences serve to accumulate capital for the elite. Unpacking the organizational experience challenges theoretical and methodological understandings of the elite character, calling for a renewed focus on the organizational embedding of elites after school. By analysing the occupational history of 416 highly central individuals in a Danish elite network, what we term ‘the power elite’, a very distinct set of career trajectories, running through a subset of large, well-established, interconnected organizations, is mapped and analysed. To understand the different ways in which the members of this power elite accumulate ‘organizational capital’ in different fields, sequence analysis on six distinct channels, sector, subsector, size, level, rhythm and geography, is applied. Through this multi-channel sequence analysis, 10 distinct clusters of career trajectories are identified, distinguishing primarily between four private sector clusters: corporate ambassadors, industrial inner circle, bankers and landed gentry; and six public sector clusters: state nobility, professional politicians, lobbyists, scientists, unionists, and education and local politics. Analysing the careers, private sector careers are shown to be more homogeneous than public sector careers, while careers based on positions with a democratic mandate, mainly politicians and union leaders, are more turbulent and unpredictable. We link pathways to social backgrounds, showing preference for pathways for the natives in the upper class.
ABSTRACT: Incomplete information on explanatory variables is commonly encountered in studies of possibly censored event times. A popular approach to deal with partially observed covariates is multiple imputation, where a number of completed data sets, that can be analyzed by standard complete data methods, are obtained by imputing missing values from an appropriate distribution. We show how the combination of multiple imputations from a compatible model with suitably estimated parameters and the usual Cox regression estimators leads to consistent and asymptotically Gaussian estimators of both the finite-dimensional regression parameter and the infinite-dimensional cumulative baseline hazard parameter. We also derive a consistent estimator of the covariance operator. Simulation studies and an application to a study on survival after treatment for liver cirrhosis show that the estimators perform well with moderate sample sizes and indicate that iterating the multiple-imputation estimator increases the precision.
ABSTRACT: We build a life‐cycle model of housing decisions under divorce risk that predicts that the recent increase in divorce rates leads to reduced homeownership rates. The risk of a divorce triggers a precautionary‐savings motive. However, this motive is weaker when individuals can invest in owner‐occupied homes because homeowners' higher savings partially substitute for precautionary savings. When young, the larger asset accumulation due to divorce‐risk‐induced precautionary savings enables households to buy homes earlier, whereas the presence of transaction costs leads to reduced homeownership for middle‐aged and older households when divorce risk goes up.
Nudges are used to alter lifestyles and thus curb the rise of non-communicable diseases. Physical activity is a core prevention strategy to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases. This paper aims to (1) give an overview of the scope of interventions using choice architecture techniques to promote physical activity at the population levels and (2) identify research gaps by analysing the different approaches in terms of class and type of intervention used.
A systematic electronic database search was combined with snowball citation sampling of a starter set of publications to search for studies published through October 2018 reporting interventions to promote physical activity at the population level using choice architecture techniques. The methodology of the Joanna Briggs Institute for Scoping Reviews was applied.
In all, 35 publications were included. Most of the interventions used point-of-choice prompts tested at railway stations, shopping malls and airports (N = 27). Eight studies were online studies. While all studies were aimed at the general population, details, if reported at all, were vague and basic. All studies focused on individual-level lifestyle behaviour. None of the studies attempted to alter population-based lifestyle behaviour. Online and “real-world” approaches were rarely combined. Neither, interventions targeting meso- and macro-level structures nor combinations of individual-level and specific meso- or macro-level interventions were found.
Nudging is in principle an effective approach to promote physical activity within the general population. However, there are large gaps in research. Available opportunities have not yet been exhausted. Further research is needed that is explicitly based on behavioural insights and covering the full range of nudging approaches, particularly focussing on theoretical developments, practical feasibility tests and scale-up activities.
ABSTRACT: Analyzing 70 countries over the period 1973–2006, we empirically show that, in the aftermath of financial crises, income inequality exhibits no general pattern of change. This holds for both advanced and emerging economies. However, when we break down the analysis by crisis types, we find that, after stock market crises, inequality goes down in advanced countries, while there is no statistically significant association in emerging ones.
ABSTRACT: This article aims to shape understandings of the geographies of informal education by exploring an aspect of education that has been broadly overlooked by geographers to date—apprenticeships—within a Global South context. Drawing on qualitative research conducted in Accra, Ghana, where young male and female apprentices learn a trade alongside master craftspeople, the nature of the apprenticeship system and how it is evolving are explored. The article develops an analytical framework for examining the dynamics of informal education with three core elements: the people and everyday praxes; the materialities, technologies, and spatialities of the learning process; and the regulatory apparatus. The apprenticeship system in Ghana is shown to be constantly evolving, with some aspects of the learning process remaining informal, some being formalized, and still others informalized; the extent and nature of these processes vary between trades and over time. The article thus demonstrates how the boundary between informal and formal education is far from clear-cut, with processes of informalization and formalization occurring concomitantly. Calls are made to expand the agenda of geographies of informal education in both the Global North and South to incorporate livelihood-related issues, including apprenticeships, and geographers are challenged to rethink the informal–formal divide within education. This timely research thus forms part of broader trends to consider how addressing the Global South forces a rethinking and revisioning of theoretical frameworks.
Aim: The neuropeptide neuromedin U (NMU) known for its role in appetite, feeding and energy balance could be involved in the control of food choice and taste sensitivity. We examined the association between NMU polymorphisms/haplotypes and taste thresholds and food preferences in a population of European children.
Methods: A total of 578 subjects from the IDEFICS study (mean age 7.5 ± 0.8 SD, boys 53.6%) with NMU genotype data and food preference (salty, fatty, sweet, flavour and umami food) and taste threshold (salt, fat, sweet, umami) tests available were analysed. Three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs; rs6827359, T:C; rs12500837, T:C; rs9999653, C:T) of NMU gene were analyzed and five major haplotypes were inferred. The associations between genotypes and food preferences or taste thresholds were investigated (odds ratios –OR, adjusted for age, sex and country). A p < 0.05 after false discovery rate adjustment (pFDR) was considered statistically significant.
Results: The association between NMU genotypes and food preference showed two NMU SNPs associated with preference for food containing sodium glutamate (umami taste; rs6827359C, OR = 1.61, 95% confidence interval (CI):1.20–2.17; rs9999653T, OR = 1.59, 95%CI:1.18–2.13). In the haplotype analysis, the CTT haplotype showed an OR of 1.70 (95%CI:1.16–2.5) for the umami food preference, while CCT haplotype showed an OR of 1.63 (95%CI:1.11–2.40), compared to the most frequent haplotype (TTC). Carriers of CCT/CCT vs subjects with no CCT haplotype showed an OR of 4.78 (95%CI:1.86–12.30). Umami food preference was associated with low values of BMI z-score, arm circumferences, skinfolds and fat mass (pFDR<0.05). No association between NMU genetic variants and taste thresholds was found.
Conclusions: This study shows for the first time in children an association between preference for umami food and a NMU haplotype, previously found associated with low BMI values.
ABSTRACT: Economists have traditionally used a simple rule that restricts primary deficits to less than a threshold given by the interest-growth rate differential and existing debt in order to judge fiscal sustainability. This rule derives from a single period application of the government budget constraint. It is not forward looking. In the equivalent dynamic rule, the primary surplus needs to match any expected, discounted increases in public spending, the net interest on existing debt, and preferences for extending debt relative to changing taxes.
ABSTRACT: Increasingly, bots are being used to coordinate work in open source software projects. As mechanisms that ensure the smooth functioning of open source software projects, bot activity influences how scholars and practitioners understand open source software development.
ABSTRACT: In an ever more transparent, digitalized, and connected environment, customers are increasingly pressuring brands to embrace genuine corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices and co-creation activities. While both CSR and co-creation are social and collaborative processes, there is still little research examining whether CSR can boost co-creation. In addition, while previous research has mainly related co-creation to emotional outcomes (e.g., customer affective commitment), limited empirical research has related it to rational (e.g., customer trust) and behavioral outcomes (e.g., customer loyalty). To address these shortcomings in the literature, this paper examines the influence of CSR on customer loyalty, considering the mediating roles of co-creation and customer trust. It also investigates the influence of co-creation on customer trust. The data were collected in Spain in late 2017 using an online survey, and the sample contained 1101 customers of health insurance services brands. Structural equation modeling was used to test the hypothesized relationships simultaneously. The results show that CSR influences customer loyalty both directly and indirectly through co-creation and customer trust. However, the indirect impact is the stronger of the two, implying that embracing co-creation activities and developing customer trust can make it easier for CSR practices to enhance customer loyalty. In addition, co-creation has a direct effect on customer trust.
ABSTRACT: This article explores how therapists when introduced as new so-called frontline ‘experts’ in home care work, become both discursive and embodied mediators for the managerial ideology of rehabilitation, and how their presence regulates the care aides’ subjectivities at work. We show how the managerial discourse of rehabilitation mobilizes the care aides to transform their identity from traditional nurturing to rehabilitation, as a result of promoting the latter as more professional. While the traditional managers/nurses promote the identity transfer through more classic discursive regulation at a distance from ‘the office’, the therapists do so through what we label performative regulation. Performative regulation is exercised by the therapists performing the desired role at the frontline and thus embodies the ideal and transfers it by embodied practices, not directives. With this notion of performative regulation, the article emphasizes the material, physical, embodied and performative dimensions of professional identity regulation.
ABSTRACT: We argue technology and organization are inherently spatial phenomenon. We conceptualize this conjunction as atmosphere: a gathering of mood, human practice, material and environmental conditions, and values that has sufficient coherence and distinction to constitute a distinct interior. Atmospheres, however, are not entirely stable and present: the interior is porous to outside influence, and the interior is never wholly ordered. We show this through the study of digitally mediated architectural design practice. We find the technological mediation of atmospheres is constituted in sensory and affective spatial arrangements, and not in rationally calculated configurations of assets and goals. An atmosphere is inherently aesthetic. This allows us to gesture toward a definition of organization as technologically mediated spatial struggle to reconcile interior coherence with outward exposure.
Social entrepreneurship has become a growing field of research interest. Yet, past research has been held back by the lack of a rigorous measurement instrument. Rather than defining social entrepreneurship as an organizational form that a venture does or does not have, this paper agrees with Dees and Anderson (2006) that the construct is better thought of as a set of practices, processes and behaviors that organizations can engage in to a higher or a lesser degree. In other words, the construct is a set of behaviors that any organization can engage in. The purpose of the paper is to develop scale items to measure the construct of organizational social entrepreneurship (OSE).
The OSE scale is developed and tested through a sample of 182 nascent social enterprises from 55 different countries in the world and then revalidated using a second sample of 263 mature social enterprises from 6 European countries.
Results suggest that the scale items exhibit internal consistency, reliability, construct validity and nomological validity.
ABSTRACT: Customer engagement has emerged as a central concept in marketing. Despite extensive scholarly investigations and managerial interest though, considerations of customer engagement and emotional connections in business marketing have been scant. Researchers tend to focus on individual-level engagement, which is conceptually inadequate to address the inherently multi-actor nature of business-to-business marketing. Therefore, this article introduces the concept of collective engagement, highlighting both its characteristics and the conditions for its emergence. The resulting theoretical framework, with ten propositions, outlines the multidimensional nature of collective engagement, including its multiplicative aggregation, multidirectional valence, phenomenological and shared properties, emotional and institutional interdependence, and emergence in dynamic and multichannel settings. Collective engagement also offers a mechanism for considering emotions in business marketing, a topic that thus far has been largely ignored by the prevalent rational choice paradigm. Thus, this article contributes a systematic, coherent conceptualization of collective engagement and advances the theoretical domains of customer and actor engagement in particular and business-to-business research in general, while also suggesting a detailed research agenda.
ABSTRACT: Big data research has become an important discipline in information systems research. However, the flood of data being generated on the Internet is increasingly unstructured and non-numeric in the form of images and texts. Thus, research indicates that there is an increasing need to develop more efficient algorithms for treating mixed data in big data for effective decision making. In this paper, we apply the classical K-means algorithm to both numeric and categorical attributes in big data platforms. We first present an algorithm that handles the problem of mixed data. We then use big data platforms to implement the algorithm, demonstrating its functionalities by applying the algorithm in a detailed case study. This provides us with a solid basis for performing more targeted profiling for decision making and research using big data. Consequently, the decision makers will be able to treat mixed data, numerical and categorical data, to explain and predict phenomena in the big data ecosystem. Our research includes a detailed end-to-end case study that presents an implementation of the suggested procedure. This demonstrates its capabilities and the advantages that allow it to improve the decision-making process by targeting organizations’ business requirements to a specific cluster[s]/profiles[s] based on the enhancement outcomes.
ABSTRACT: Private military and security companies (PMSCs) are increasingly contracted to provide security in international peacekeeping missions. Yet, we know very little about the practical implications of this development. How do PMSCs reinforce and shape security management within UN peacekeeping operations, and what are the consequences for UN missions and their host populations? To answer these questions, we explore the operational, representative and regulatory security practices in the UN operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO). Our findings show how seemingly uncontroversial, even benign security practices can have unintended negative consequences. Specifically, we observe that the participation of security firms in MONUSCO's security management contributes to three developments: the differentiation of security between staff and locals, the hardening of MONUSCO's security posture, and the perpetuation of insecurity through the emergence of a local security economy. Contracted security is thus involved in reproducing forms of security that are in some ways diametrically opposed to the aims of the mission to protect civilians and facilitate a sustainable peace.
ABSTRACT: Labour issues in global supply chains have been a thorny problem for both buyer firms and their suppliers. Research initially focused mostly on the bilateral relationship between buyer firms and suppliers, looking at arm’s-length and close collaboration modes, and the associated mechanisms of coercion and cooperation. Yet continuing problems in the global supply chain suggest that neither governance type offers a comprehensive solution to the problem. This study investigates collaborative governance, an alternative governance type that is driven by buyer firms setting up a coalition with competitor firms to increase leverage and address the supplier and/or host country-specific labour issues. Based on interviews with managers involved in the establishment and management of such coalitions and supplier firms in the garment industry, we examine the rationale behind collaborative governance and discuss its opportunities and challenges in addressing labour issues in global supply chains.
ABSTRACT: Thanks to technological developments produced by scientists and engineers, franchising has grown to become a business model of choice for firm expansion in knowledge-intensive industries. We propose a formal model to explore to what degree franchisors should adapt their business practices or routines to successfully expand their franchises in newly targeted markets. By simultaneously considering the franchise's need to adapt locally in a new market and the level of business routine tacitness at the time of expansion, we integrate previously separate agency cost logics into one model. We offer refinements to the belief that expanding through a franchisee is the best when the business routines need adaptation, but expanding through a company-owned unit is best when these routines can be replicated.
ABSTRACT: Loyalitetsgrundsætningen er en obligationsretlig grundsætning, der finder anvendelse på alle typer af kontrakter. Imidlertid kommer de delforpligtelser, der følger af loyalitetsgrundsætningen, forskelligt til udtryk afhængig af kontrakttype og hvornår i kontraktens livscyklus, delforpligtelsen anskues og aktualiseres. Loyalitetsgrundsætningens indhold kan ikke anses for en eksakt størrelse, idet det retlige indhold i skikkelse af forskellige forpligtelser udvikler sig over tid. Loyalitetsgrundsætningen er derfor dynamisk. Formålet med artiklen er at systematisere og klarlægge delforpligtelsernes indhold med udgangspunkt i gældende ret for den givne kontrakts livscyklus og under hensyntagen til kontrakttypens særlige karakteristika, herunder om der foreligger en lex specialis for den givne kontrakt type. Det andet afledte formål er at klarlægge de retsvirkninger, der er knyttet til en tilsidesættelse af loyalitets forpligtelsen i forhold til den konkrete delforpligtelse, hvor der foreligger en lex specialis, og hvor en sådan ikke eksisterer for den givne kontrakttype.
ABSTRACT: The rise of digital platforms has enabled new forms of work, but the nature of these new forms, particularly the role of the digital platform in shaping work relations, is not well understood. This study explores how the presence of the digital platform manifests itself in workers’ perceptions of their work in the context of ride-hailing. We draw on the literature on work relations and theorize how the dimensions of work relations manifest themselves in work done for a digital platform. We employ the Gioia method to analyze 39 interviews conducted with Uber and Lyft drivers, and we identify six key mechanisms of platform-enabled work, namely self-employment, time management, income, information control, pricing, and rating. Our results illustrate that from workers’ perspective, flexibility in work relationships is a key positive element of platform-enabled work. The stark power disparity between workers and the platform is, in turn, a major source of discontent among workers. As a result, we put forward two key dimensions of work relations in the context of platform-enabled work: digital temporality and algorithmic administrativity. The study furthers understanding of the implications from the platform economy and sharing economy on work relations.
ABSTRACT: This paper examines the identity work of a budding entrepreneur through a longitudinal case study based on his ongoing personal reflections as he tries to construct an entrepreneurial life. In particular, we investigate the role of emotional reflexivity and liminality, concepts that give us analytical purchase in exploring the complex dynamics of this identity work. The liminal condition of multiple identity positions enables our informant to experiment with and integrate several parallel identity narratives as he tries on socio-political constructions of ‘the entrepreneur’ for size; and it is the permanence of the liminal condition that makes emotional reflexivity necessary so he can handle the constant lack he experiences. The contribution of our work lies in exploring how the operation of the discourse of enterprise never closes on the centre of subjectivity that is imputed in that discourse, and how our subject, through emotional reflexivity, deals with this fundamental lack.
ABSTRACT: Governments worldwide are introducing “reference class forecasting” to improve the accuracy of megaproject cost estimation and thus ultimately the ability to deliver megaprojects on budget without altering the project specifications and/or changing the time schedule. In contrast to current findings, which show that reference class forecasting leads to more accurate project cost estimates by counteracting human cognitive and organizational biases, this article indicates the contrary, that reference class forecasting does not lead to more accurate cost estimates. The article theorizes that reference class forecasting fails to produce more accurate project cost estimates because estimates are always a relational network effect of human and nonhuman actors’ “biased” efforts to establish them. This finding challenges the existing literature by pointing to a more complex understanding of project cost estimation and biases. The finding is based on a longitudinal case study of a 23.6‐billion‐kroner Danish public megaproject, which failed to meet its objectives despite the application of reference class forecasting.
ABSTRACT: Do personal background characteristics of a political candidate affect voter evaluations when voters also know the candidate's policy position? Several studies have shown that voters infer personal traits and policy positions from candidate characteristics such as gender, family background and occupation. However, in most elections, voters do not evaluate candidates absent of any policy information. We investigate whether the influence of personal background characteristics vanishes when policy information regarding a candidate is available to the voters. Using a survey experiment, we confirm that voters infer both personal traits and policy positions from the background characteristics of a candidate, and we furthermore show that explicit information on policy positions moderates the relationship between background characteristics and candidate evaluations. However, policy information does not simply crowd out the effects of candidate background characteristics. Instead, policy information can change the valence of background characteristics, turning otherwise disadvantageous characteristics into an electoral advantage.
ABSTRACT: Organiseringen af Finanstilsynet har været diskuteret med jævne mellemrum i kølvandet på diverse sager og kriser.
Debatten om organiseringen har været rejst igen i kølvandet på hvidvasksagen i Danske Banks Estland-filial. Vi mener, at der er vægtige grunde til at fastholde et enhedstilsyn. En opsplitning risikerer at ødelægge synergier, kultur og erfaringsudveksling. Der er intet i sagen om hvidvask, som indikerer, at et opsplittet tilsyn ville have reageret anderledes. Tilsynets udfordringer i forhold til eksempelvis fastholdelse af medarbejdere kan løses uden at ændre organiseringen.
ABSTRACT: This paper addresses resistance in studies about collaborative forms of governance. Although the literature discusses collaborative challenges, issues related to resistance are largely unexplored and mostly regarded as destructive. However, we argue for understanding resistance more dynamically – as a co-constructive aspect of collaboration. Drawing on extant resistance studies, we combine concepts of meaning negotiation and counter-narrative to examine power-resistance relations in a case study of collaborative forms of governance in the Danish education sector. The findings elucidate how resistance complicates, yet also co-constructs collaboration in governance processes; discursive struggles over meanings of collaboration and a quality model invoke power-resistance relations that destabilize a dominant narrative and enable counter-narratives, which influence future collaborative processes. Hence, we suggest understanding resistance as a constitutive feature in collaborative forms of governance, rather than a destructive obstacle. This contributes with empirical and theoretical insights into the complex role of resistance in collaboration and governance processes.
ABSTRACT:As the use of digitalization and automated decision-making becomes more common in the public sector, civil servants and clients find themselves in an environment where automation and robot technology can be expected to make dramatic changes. Social service delivery in Trelleborg, Sweden, is the setting for a case study of the goals, policies, procedures, and responses to a change in how social assistance is delivered using automated decision-making. Interviews with politicians and professionals complemented with government documents and reports provide the empirical data for the analysis. Four value positions: Professionalism, Efficiency, Service, and Engagement, are used as the analytical framework. The findings reveal that the new technology in some respects has increased accountability, decreased costs, and enhanced efficiency, in association with a focus on citizen centricity. While the findings establish a congruence among instances of some value positions, a divergence is observed among others. Examples of divergence are professional knowledge vs. automated treatment, a decrease in costs vs. the need to share costs, and citizen trust vs. the lack of transparency. The study confirms the power of applying the value positions lens in e-Government research.
ABSTRACT: Many countries today, especially in Europe, provide publicly funded public services in quasi-markets. As these markets commercialize, agencies of various types are providing technologies that support citizens’ choice of services. Citizens’ use of technologies for service provision is studied as e-government under labels of channel management, e-service uptake or adoption. In contrast, by using actor–network theory (ANT), the purpose of this paper is to focus on the marketing devices that are used to enroll citizens to choose technologies in a context with large penetration of quasi-market arrangements.
ABSTRACT: In Europe, Scandinavia holds the largest concentration of rock art (i.e. petroglyphs), created c. 5000–first century bc, many of them showing figurative and seemingly narrative representations. In this paper, we will discuss possible narratological approaches applied to these images. We might reasonably distinguish between three levels of pictorial narrativity: representations of (i) single events, understood as the transition from one state of affairs to another, usually involving (groups of) agents interacting; (ii) stories, e.g. particular sequences of related events that are situated in the past and retold for e.g. ideological or religious purposes; and (iii) by implication, master-narratives deeply embedded in a culture, which provide and consolidate cosmological explanations and social structures. Some concrete examples of petroglyphs will be presented and analysed from narratological and iconographical perspectives. We will as a point of departure focus on (i), i.e. single events, though we shall also further consider the possibility of narrative interpretations according to (ii) and (iii).
ABSTRACT: International pressures on Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) to fight corruption are increasing. Nevertheless, SAIs lack a clear mandate and may appear ineffective in their anticorruption work. Using an institutional approach, this paper compares the cases of seven SAIs from Scandinavian, South-European and African countries to better understand how these institutions perceive their role in fighting corruption. Our article demonstrates that the way SAIs organize their work cannot simply be explained by the countries' level of corruption. Rather, efforts to fight corruption reflect the ways in which coercive, mimetic and normative pressures interact with institutional logics to guide the SAIs' work. We conclude that the influence of INTOSAI still appears to be limited, and it needs increased institutional recognition if it is to be effective in harmonizing SAIs' work worldwide to fight corruption.
ABSTRACT: In recent years, various academics, consultants, companies and NGOs have advocated a move towards more cooperative approaches to private sustainability standards to address the widely identified shortcomings of the compliance paradigm. However, is it possible to address these limitations by moving towards stakeholder inclusion and capacity building while at the same time catering to the demands of lead firms supplying the mainstream market? In this article, we analyse how the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) seeks to do just that, in the process identifying three key tensions and competing policy concerns with which standard‐setters have had to grapple – (a) stakeholder inclusion vs process‐control/efficiency; (b) stringency of the standard vs scale of production; and (c) capacity building vs auditing. Combining theoretical considerations about governance in global production networks (GPNs) with a convention theory perspective, we explore these inherent tensions and show that due to pre‐existing power relations in the cotton GPN, it is hard to develop more cooperative approaches because market and industrial values tend to win out despite efforts to follow current best practice on sustainability standard‐setting.
ABSTRACT: This paper aims to reflect on relevance of business-to-business research based on Van de Ven’s (2007) engaged scholarship model. The paper is a reflection of the current state and potential future research avenues. The paper highlights that relevance is important in all four engaged scholarship activities. Pitfalls also occur at all four parts.The paper highlights challenges and opportunities in business-to-business marketing research. The paper reflects on relevance of research projects.
ABSTRACT: Codetermination through board-level employee representation has a long tradition in Denmark and Norway. Since employee representatives are in a minority on the board, do they have a real say in decisions? Using survey data, we find a relatively large proportion of employee representatives who state that they have little or no influence on the decision-making process. A small minority claim to have significant influence on major strategic issues such as company restructuring. Neither gender nor length of board membership is related to perceived influence, which is also the case for board size. However, the more frequent the board meetings, the higher the level of perceived influence. The findings suggest that the present system does not empower board-level employee representatives.
ABSTRACT: The sociotechnical perspective is often seen as one of the foundational viewpoints—or an “axis of cohesion”— for the Information Systems (IS) discipline, contributing to both its distinctiveness and its ability to coherently expand its boundaries. However, our review of papers in the two leading IS journals from 2000 to 2016 suggests that IS research has lost sight of the discipline’s sociotechnical character—a character that was widely acknowledged at the discipline’s inception. This is a problem because an axis of cohesion can be fundamental to a discipline’s long-term vitality. In order to address this issue, we offer ways to renew the sociotechnical perspective so that it can continue to serve as a distinctive and coherent foundation for the discipline. Our hope is that the renewed sociotechnical frame for the IS discipline discussed in the paper holds potential to contribute to the enduring strength of our diverse, distinctive, yet unified discipline. It also prompts members of the discipline to think more deeply about what it means to be an IS scholar.
ABSTRACT: This article explores the problem of regulating the so-called "composite services", which are services consisting in both an electronic and a non-electronic element, in the EU. The proliferation of platform economy has made this problem acute as EU regulation of the services sector is still divided between the law applying to information society services and the law applying to the offline world. Since the two regimes are different, there is a strong incentive for providers of innovative platform services to claim treatment as information society services only, often attempting to avoid burdensome market access rules. This article looks at present EU law in this area as well as at the recent CJEU attempts (Uber, AirBnB) to draw guidelines for distinguishing between different kinds of services and regimes applicable to them. An attempt at summarizing the salient features of future policy in this area is made at the end.
ABSTRACT:Within public sector accounting research, the question of how “costing” is implemented and how it transforms professional “caring” work has been widely studied and debated. Studies have, for instance, pointed to contextual variables that make cost information more or less useful in professional decision making. However, in doing so, scholars also assume that decision making follows a linear path that can be informed and transformed by cost information. In this paper, I take it as my starting point that both costing and caring vary as they are combined in professional decision‐making processes. I use the broad and processual definition of calculation from the work of Callon and Muniesa to analyze how distinctions about vulnerable children's situations are made relevant for the choice and delimitation of social services. This allows me to investigate how, when, and where distinctions between costing and caring are drawn rather than assuming that costing and caring are preexisting and stable practices that can be put to use or not.
ABSTRACT: Although strategy and identity are recognized as exhibiting different temporalities, research has yet to show how their temporal differences influence their mutual interplay. Based on a longitudinal case study, we make three contributions to understanding how temporal differences influence the interplay between strategy and identity. First, we articulate their temporal differences as differences in temporal structures, defined as the ordering of their past and future time horizons and the temporal depth between those horizons. Second, we show how different combinations of temporal structures lead to different modes of interplay, which we label “punctuated,” “subsumed,” and “sustained.” Third, we show how sustained interplay happens when strategy includes multiple horizons and greater temporal depth, while identity has more defined horizons and a temporal depth spanning the distant past and future. In a sustained mode of interplay, strategy is meaningfully framed by identity, while strategy serves to enact identity. These findings, we argue, have major implications for how organizations can comply with short-term business cycles while addressing long-term concerns.
ABSTRACT: Actors in data-intensive industries at times deliberately induce and reproduce organizational ignorance by engaging in over-production of data. This observation leads the paper to make two claims. First, members of these industries fetishize data excess not in order to reduce, but in order to reproduce and stabilize organizational ignorance. Second, in this process of fetishization, organizational ignorance gives rise to forms of collective effervescence similar to that found in totemistic religions. This effervescence allows organizational actors to draw defining lines around that which is marked as awe-inspiring, dangerous and off-limits, namely the sacred. In reviewing organizational ignorance from the perspective of the sacred, this paper proposes that, paradoxically, contemporary forms of data creation allow companies and industries to organize themselves around ignorance as opposed to the promise of knowledge and insight. The paper uses this theoretical proposal in order to outline the contours of an alternative ontology of organizational ignorance, one that understands this phenomenon in terms of excessive presence of data and information.
ABSTRACT: We find that small companies consistently earn higher returns than big companies in the Indian capital market. Also, instead of value premium, as in the US market, there is growth premium that works in the Indian capital market. We use the Fama-French 2006 methodology and find that investors earn growth premium on three out of the four smallest size quintiles, but for the largest size quintile they earn a high value premium. Further, we find that though CAPM is able to explain the value premium in big stocks, it fails to explain the growth premium in small stocks. This study has clear implications for evaluating the performance of managers. An investor should use the market factor, the SBM factor and an alternate form of the HML factor - GMV or Growth min val for evaluating the performance of managers investing in small firm. For evaluating the performance of managers investing in big firms only market factor i.e. CAPM should be used.
ABSTRACT: For nearly as long as the topic of sustainable business has been taught and researched in business schools, proponents have warned about barriers to genuine integration in business school practices. This article examines how academic sustainability centres try to overcome barriers to integration by achieving technical, cultural and political fit with their environment (Ansari et al. in Acad Manag Rev 35(1):67–92; Ansari et al., Academy of Management Review 35(1):67–92, 2010). Based on survey and interview data, we theorise that technical, cultural and political fit are intricately related, and that these interrelations involve legitimacy, resources and collaboration effects. Our findings about sustainability centres offer novel insights on integrating sustainable business education given the interrelated nature of different types of fit and misfit. We further contribute to the literature on fit by highlighting that incompatibility between strategies to achieve different types of fit may act as a source of dynamism.
ABSTRACT: Professions have been traditionally understood as an alternative way of organizing work that stands in opposition to the corporate or bureaucratic organizational form. Increasingly, however, corporations are seen to be the source of new forms of expert knowledge and occupational categories. Yet we have little understanding of how expert judgement forms and is legitimated inside a large organization. In this study, we examine the emergence of standards of professional judgement in a government organization. Using archival and interview data between 2000 and 2012 we examine how experts in the Danish Film Institute generated professional standards of decision making against the backdrop of intense bureaucratic control. Our analysis demonstrates that norms of professional judgement emerge in a process that is inextricably linked to the emergence of professional role identities. Our core theoretical contribution is the discovery that the legitimacy work of managerial professions operates in two spheres; by first grounding claims of professional legitimacy in broad societal norms, and second, by grounding claims of professional identity in localized but increasingly abstract expressions of professional expertise.
ABSTRACT: Using field work from the Armenian mining sector, we explore how MNEs practice community risk management. We start by conceptualising communities as communities of place (CofP), directly impacted by mining activities but have few resources, and communities of interest (CofI), as outsiders with an interest in mining projects and the resources to create uncertainty about the mine. We argue that community risk is a precursor to financial, political and cultural risks and that both CofP and CofI can expose the mining MNE to risks, either individually or in unison. We find that mining MNEs focus on mitigating community risks in the initial phases of the mine project, when the impact on the CofP is perceived to be lowest. Our interpretation is that the objective of the risk management practice is to commit resources to CofP for as long as there is a possibility that they will form partnerships with CofI
ABSTRACT: This article aims to reconstruct the normative distinction between sophistry and dialectics developed in Plato's treatment of sophistry. We begin by describing Plato's notion of sophistry as a knack of persuasion that succeeds by masquerading itself as truth-oriented and by providing gratification for its listeners. We then argue that the stringency of Plato's arguments becomes clear by using his definition of sophistry as a guideline for the interpretation of the dialogues Protagoras and Gorgias. Together, these dialogues provide a well-structured argument that questions the usefulness of sophistic practice, despite its effectiveness in attaining power within the Athenian democratic institutions. Plato's fundamental critique of sophistry differs from certain misleading prejudices against sophistry, also found in Plato's writings and challenged by historical research. The critique is therefore of lasting relevance not only to the understanding of Plato's philosophical agenda but also to the interpretation of 'the sophists'. We end by suggesting that Plato's normative distinction between sophistry and dialectics is also of relevance for our contemporary conception of democratic discursive culture and its legitimacy.