Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

Search results for: Consultancy

3 Exploring Employee Experiences of Distributed Leadership in Consultancy SMEs

Authors: Mohamed Haffar, Ramdane Djebarni, Russell Evans

Abstract:

Despite a growth in literature on distributed leadership, the majority of studies are centred on large public organisations particularly within the health and education sectors. The purpose of this study is to fill the gap in the literature by exploring employee experiences of distributed leadership within two commercial consultancy SME businesses in the UK and USA. The aim of the study informed an exploratory method of research to gather qualitative data drawn from semi-structured interviews involving a sample of employees in each organisation. A series of broad, open questions were used to explore the employees’ experiences; evidence of distributed leadership; and extant barriers and practices in each organisation. Whilst some of our findings aligned with patterns and practices in the existing literature, it importantly discovered some emergent themes that have not previously been recognised in the previous studies. Our investigation identified that whilst distributed leadership was in evidence in both organisations, the interviewees’ experience reported that it was sporadic and inconsistent. Moreover, non-client focused projects were reported to be less important and distributed leadership was found to be inconsistent or non-existent.

Keywords: Consultancy, distributed leadership, owner-manager, SME, entrepreneur.

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2 Analysis of Factors Used by Farmers to Manage Risk: A Case Study on Italian Farms

Authors: A. Pontrandolfi, G. Enjolras, F. Capitanio

Abstract:

The study analyses the strategies Italian farmers use to cope with the risks that face their production. We specifically explore the potential and the limitations of the economic tools for climatic risk management in agriculture of the Common Agricultural Policy 2014-2020, that foresees contributions for economic tools for risk management, in relation to farms’ needs, exposure and vulnerability of agricultural areas to climatic risk. We consider at the farm level approaches to hedge risks in terms of the use of technical tools (agricultural practices, pesticides, fertilizers, irrigation) and economic/financial instruments (insurances, etc.). We develop cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses as well as analyses of correlation that underline the main differences between the way farms adapt their structure and management towards risk. The results show a preference for technical tools, despite the presence of important public aids on economic tools such as insurances. Therefore, there is a strong need for a more effective and integrated risk management policy scheme. Synergies between economic tools and risk reduction actions of a more technical, structural and management nature (production diversification, irrigation infrastructures, technological and management innovations and formation-information-consultancy, etc.) are emphasized.

Keywords: Agriculture and climate change, climatic risk management, insurance schemes.

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1 Mental Health Surveys on Community and Organizational Levels: Challenges, Issues, Conclusions and Possibilities

Authors: László L. Lippai

Abstract:

In addition to the fact that mental health bears great significance to a particular individual, it can also be regarded as an organizational, community and societal resource. Within the Szeged Health Promotion Research Group, we conducted mental health surveys on two levels: The inhabitants of a medium-sized Hungarian town and students of a Hungarian university with a relatively big headcount were requested to participate in surveys whose goals were to define local government priorities and organization-level health promotion programmes, respectively. To facilitate professional decision-making, we defined three, pragmatically relevant, groups of the target population: the mentally healthy, the vulnerable and the endangered. In order to determine which group a person actually belongs to, we designed a simple and quick measurement tool, which could even be utilised as a smoothing method, the Mental State Questionnaire validity of the above three categories was verified by analysis of variance against psychological quality of life variables. We demonstrate the pragmatic significance of our method via the analyses of the scores of our two mental health surveys. On town level, during our representative survey in Hódmezővásárhely (N=1839), we found that 38.7% of the participants was mentally healthy, 35.3% was vulnerable, while 16.3% was considered as endangered. We were able to identify groups that were in a dramatic state in terms of mental health. For example, such a group consisted of men aged 45 to 64 with only primary education qualification and the ratios of the mentally healthy, vulnerable and endangered were 4.5, 45.5 and 50%, respectively. It was also astonishing to see to what a little extent qualification prevailed as a protective factor in the case of women. Based on our data, the female group aged 18 to 44 with primary education—of whom 20.3% was mentally healthy, 42.4% vulnerable and 37.3% was endangered—as well as the female group aged 45 to 64 with university or college degree—of whom 25% was mentally healthy, 51.3 vulnerable and 23.8% endangered—are to be handled as priority intervention target groups in a similarly difficult position. On organizational level, our survey involving the students of the University of Szeged, N=1565, provided data to prepare a strategy of mental health promotion for a university with a headcount exceeding 20,000. When developing an organizational strategy, it was important to gather information to estimate the proportions of target groups in which mental health promotion methods; for example, life management skills development, detection, psychological consultancy, psychotherapy, would be applied. Our scores show that 46.8% of the student participants were mentally healthy, 42.1% were vulnerable and 11.1% were endangered. These data convey relevant information as to the allocation of organizational resources within a university with a considerable headcount. In conclusion, The Mental State Questionnaire, as a valid smoothing method, is adequate to describe a community in a plain and informative way in the terms of mental health. The application of the method can promote the preparation, design and implementation of mental health promotion interventions. 

Keywords: Health promotion, mental health promotion, mental state questionnaire, psychological well-being.

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