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Title: Autonomy, bureaucracy, professionalism and accountability: A transaction cost approach to shipboard controls
Authors: Kowtha, N.R. 
Issue Date: 1998
Citation: Kowtha, N.R. (1998). Autonomy, bureaucracy, professionalism and accountability: A transaction cost approach to shipboard controls. Maritime Policy and Management 25 (1) : 3-19. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: In recent years, the shipping industry has encountered severe competition, technological change, and environmental and safety concerns. In order to remain competitive, firms need to review and redesign shipboard work. A crucial aspect of these efforts is shipboard controls that define the extent of autonomy and accountability of officers and crew. This study examines four types of controls on board ships. These are monitoring and autonomy, outcome accountability, formalization and professionalization. The study applied transaction cost theory to test eight hypotheses on board 16 ships in two companies. The results largely confirm theoretical predictions. Task visibility, complexity and uncertainty show strong relationships to the four types of controls. However, there are also significant gaps in that accountability for outcomes is low, and the situation with regard to crew training and autonomy can be improved. Implications for human resource practice and future research are discussed. © 2008 Taylor & Francis Ltd.
Source Title: Maritime Policy and Management
ISSN: 03088839
DOI: 10.1080/03088839800000042
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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