Managing Global Transitions

Volume 8 · Number 4 · Fall 2010 · ISSN 1581-6311 (printed) 1854-6935 (online)

Metropolitan Cities under Transition: The Example of Hamburg/Germany
Amelie Boje, Ingrid Ott, and Silvia Stiller

In the intermediate and long run, energy prices and hence transportation costs are expected to increase significantly. According to the reasoning of the New Economic Geography this will strengthen the spreading forces and thus affect the economic landscape. Other influencing factors on the regional distribution of economic activity include the general trends of demographic and structural change. In industrialized countries, the former induces an overall reduction of population and labor force, whereas the latter implies an ongoing shift to the tertiary sector and increased specialization. Basically, cities provide better conditions to cope with these challenges than do rural regions. Since the general trends affect all economic spaces similarly, especially city specific factors have to be considered in order to derive the impact of rising energy costs on future urban development. With respect to Hamburg, regional peculiarities include the overall importance of the harbor as well as the existing composition of the industry and the service sector. The analysis highlights that rising energy and transportation costs will open up a range of opportunities for the metropolitan region.

Key Words: urban development, regional specialization, structural change, demographic change, transportation costs
JEL Classification: R11, J11
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Quo Vadis, Slovenia? Between Framework Conditions and Internal Capabilities
Borut Rončević, Janez Šušteršič, Peter Wostner, and Tamara Besednjak Valič

We consider the new EU member states as semi-peripheral countries standing at the development crossroads. We emphasize the sociocultural factors of development, present a model for bringing together several cultural and social influences, and test its validity by applying a fuzzy-set methodology, a rather novel approach in social sciences. We augment our analysis of internal socio-cultural factors by considering the likely changes in the external framework conditions. Focusing on demography, technology, and global economic and political structures, we outline possible scenarios for European development that will certainly affect the chances of individual countries. As our contribution, we discuss the interplay between such framework conditions and internal development capabilities and draw some implication for the case of Slovenia.

Key Words: development, socio-cultural factors of development, long-run scenarios
JEL Classification: E66, O10, O20, Z13
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Evolving Role and Nature of Workplace Leaders and Diversity: A Theoretical and Empirical Approach
Jan C. Visagie and Herman Linde

Blumer (1962) regarded the ‘many possibilities of uncertainty as inherent to the process of joint action.’ Joint action reflects the efforts of participants to work out the line of action in light of what they observe each other doing. Leadership appears to be approached from two fundamental perspectives: an organisational perspective (the influence that is exercised to change the direction of the organisation), and an individual task perspective (the influence that is directed at changing the work behaviour of an individual). In this article, it is suggested that the symbolic interaction of perspective integrates the two fundamental perspectives in that both perspectives require meaningful, reflexive integration and meaning, group membership, organisational role and experience. The evolving role of leaders to attract, retain and connect with a diverse workforce in a changing environment gives rise to interactive leadership competency requirements. This article suggests that managing diversity requires business leaders to adopt an approach to diversity management that is sensitive not only to race and ethnic differences, but also to the background and values of all individuals at work. The empirical study was done and four hundred and forty (440) leadership styles were measured in eleven (11) organisations. The study used the Hall and Hawker (1988) inventory leadership styles and a diversity questionnaire to measure diversity management experience.

Key Words: discrimination, diversity management, engaging leadership style, experience, heroic leadership style, management, transformational leadership
JEL Classification: J5, J53
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The Organisational Gap Model for Hotel Management
Maja Uran

This paper describes the development of the organisational gap model for hotel management. It descries a management measurement instrument that helps to assess the 3 organizational service gaps that are preconditions for delivering service quality (the positioning gap, specification gap and evaluation gap). The described theoretical model was constructed based upon the four organisational gaps of the Parasuraman et al. service quality model, then redefined and reassessed. Data were gathered on the sample of 500 questionnaires from the Slovenian hotel industry and analysed with exploratory factor analysis and structural equation modelling. The results can be useful guidelines for hotel management on how to improve the service delivery process.

Key Words:service quality model, organisational gaps, multivariate analysis, hotel industry
JEL Classification: M1, L83
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The Service University
Arild Tjeldvoll

The traditional western research university’s academic freedom is increasingly challenged by external economical interests. This has consequences for what has been regarded as a key quality dimension of a university. The balance between institutional autonomy, academic freedom and accountability to external stakeholders is claimed to be changing in disfavour of the academic freedom kept up by the professoriate. From its stakeholders the institution is expected to serve politicians, state bureaucracy and market in a qualitatively different way from before, primarily from economic motives. Is academic freedom at all possible in an institution predominantly financed by producing services to meet economic criteria? A likely answer would be no, and another tentative, answer could be that yes, it is possible, due to the strong academic legacy imbedded in western academics’ identity – and to the global communicative room of free actions made possible by the new information technology.

Key Words: service university, quality, academic freedom, ICT, management
JEL Classification: Z
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