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Posted by divirtual on July 8, 2008 under ISSS View recent posts with the tag ISSS on Technorati 

At ISSS Madison 2008, the Special Integration Group on Systems Applications in Business and Industry has scheduled six sessions: two conversations panels, and four paper sessions.

  • Conversation Panel 1 will be held on Monday, July 14, 15:30 to 17:30, in the Reception Room. The topic is on globalization and localization. The trigger question to start the conversation will be …
    • What can we expect in social systems and economies as the world simultaneously seems to be becoming global (with free trade, information and communication technologies) and becoming local (as supplies of energy, soil and water have become stressed)?
  • Conversation Panel 2 will be held on Tuesday, July 15, 15:30 to 17:30, in the Reception Room. The topic is on information revolution / services revolution in business. The trigger question to start the conversation will be …
    • How much have learned about the “neweconomy” associated with the “information revolution” or “services revolution”, and what don’t we yet know?

Four paper sessions are scheduled:

  • Session 1 will be held on Wednesday, July 16, 09:30 to 10:30.
  • Session 2 will be held on the same day, 11:00 to 12:30.
  • Session 3 will be held on Thursday, July 17, 13:30 to 15:00
  • Session 4 will be held on the same day, 15:30 to 17:30.

The first paper session of the Special Integration Group on Systems Applications in Business and Industry will discuss two papers on the theme of dialogue.

Gary Metcalf, “Dialogue and Ecological Engineering in Social Systems Design”

A number of systems theorists and practitioners have described ways in which human systems of thought and interaction might be consciously designed. Banathy (1996) specifically proposed approaches to the design of human social systems through conversation and dialogue. More recently, Allen, et al, (2003) have proposed distinctions between environmental engineering and ecological engineering, which offer valuable insights into some of the difficulties inherent in the design of human systems. This paper will explore ways in which dialogue in the development of social systems might be related to ecological engineering in biological eco-systems, and how the design of organizational and other social systems might be better understood.

[see abstract] [see full paper]

David Ing, “Business Models and Evolving Economic Paradigms: A Systems Science Approach”

For professionals at the beginning of the 21st century, much of the conventional wisdom on business management and engineering is founded in the 20th century industrial / manufacturing paradigm. In developed economies, however, the service sector now dominates the manufacturing sector, just as manufacturing prevailed over the agricultural sector after the industrial revolution. Simultaneously, as end products have transitioned from material outputs to information in digital form, traditional business models are under siege. The economic sociology in this new world challenges the integrity of models, methods and interventions successful in an earlier paradigm.

Since 2005, IBM has encouraged universities to develop a new field of Services Science, Management and Engineering (SSME). Researchers are responding with development of a new science of service systems, but mature foundations will require years of collaboration. In the absence of a well-established science from which educational curricula can be deduced, teachers can develop educational programs for joint learning, guided inductively by relevance and pragmatism.

A new course on business models – ways in which business organizations operate and evolve – is proposed. Complementing traditional management and/or engineering curricula, this course challenges students to reconsider contexts, surface assumptions and explore alternative approaches to business. With a domain that includes both human and technological parts, systems science serves as a skeleton on which content can be structured.

[see abstract] [see full paper]

The second paper session of the of the Special Integration Group on Systems Applications in Business and Industry has three papers. Unfortunately, Marianne Kosits will not be present to discuss her article on “Meaningful Measurement in the Contemporary Enterprise“, as she was called away for a business meeting in China. I had previously discussed a dialogue with Doug McDavid, and he has agreed to take advantage of this open slot.

Doug McDavid will speak on “A Viewpoint on Business Architecture”. He had posted an article on his blog, beginning with …

We are hearing more and more about the concept of business architecture these days, as a specialized professional area of expertise. What follows is a personal viewpoint, developed over a number of years of study and experience.

In the context of growing interest, it is fair to ask, “What is the specialization that is represented by business architecture?” In answer to that question, I like to turn the phrase around and ask, “What do we mean by the architecture of a business?”

[see the full content posted at]

The second and third papers in this session have themes related to measurement and organizations:

Kambiz E. Maani and Annie Fan, “Systems Thinking for Team and Organisational learning: Case of Performance Measure Conflicts in a Multinational Supply Chain”

Performance measurement and management have received great deal of attention in the literature in recent years. However to date, there is scant attention to dynamics and trade-offs amongst performance indicators in theory and in practice (Santos, Belton et al. 2002). Thus, performance management systems (PMS) have remained static, fragmented, and backward looking (Bourne et al. 2000) leading to adverse outcomes, often unknown to managers and organisations. A systems view of performance, on the other hand, calls for a holistic approach to performance measurement integrating multiple dimensions, functions and time horizons across the enterprise. A systemic performance measurement would take into account the interdependencies of functions and their dynamic influence on the performance of the organisation as a whole. This paper addresses this challenge using the four level thinking (Senge, 1991) and causal loop models to highlight the inter-relationships between the KPIs and their trade-offs within and across different functions. The study reports on an action research within a multinational company where through real case scenarios we demonstrate how KPIs influence, contribute or impede one another in a manufacturing/supply chain setting. The paper reveals how the use of systems thinking concepts and causal loop models by novice users facilitated an open environment for cross-functional communication and collaborations, leading to team and organisational learning and enhanced performance.

[see abstract] [see full paper]

Junya Minegishi, Andreas Gehrmann, Yoshimitsu Nagai, Syohei Ishizu, “Improving the usability of Ontology based Audit Support System”

Auditing against Generic Management System requirements, like requirements of ISO 9001, is an established means for evaluating organizational capabilities. In ISO 9001, auditors check individual management systems based on generic management system standards. Auditors faced with semantic problems because they must interpret the meaning of individual complex management system from the stand point of generic management system standards. To solve this semantic problem, audit support system has been developed using ontology editor. However the audit support system is not widespread, because the ontology editor is so complex. In ontology editor Protégé, too many functions for the ontology operations are provided. The main objective of this paper is to develop a new audit support plug-in system, which supports auditors who don’t know about ontology concepts will be able to solve the semantic problems. In this paper, first we analyze complexity of conventional audit support system. Next, we construct plug-in system that is customized in audit by the use of protégé plug-in function. In addition, we demonstrate the use of audit support system following the typical audit activities.

[see abstract] [see full paper]

The third paper session of the of the Special Integration Group on Systems Applications in Business and Industry has three papers. on the theme of learning and design.

John Pourdehnad, “Idealized Design: An “Open Innovation” Process for Successful Business Model Creation”

In industry after industry, companies with superior performance are displaying innovation in the totality of the way they are doing business. This explains why a recent IBM survey of over 765 CEOs shows: Business Model Innovation is on the top of their list. In the absence of a single genius entrepreneur/leader, one of the challenges confronting the businesses today is to develop a process of “open innovation,” that taps into the creativity of the stakeholders and in particular the employees of the organization (s) to create a successful business model. Traditional models of innovation, which relied solely on “creative types,” usually within R&D functions or strategic planning function, are being replaced with “open innovation”. One of the most potent open innovation processes, is idealized design. Originally conceived as an internal process to facilitate corporate planning, idealized “design thinking” is now being used for opportunity recognition. In this paper, the operating principles of idealized design as an open innovation process together with the Enterprise 2.0, a system wide enabling technology that facilitates participation, is discussed.

[see abstract]

Takafumi Nakamura and Kyoichi Kijima, “Failure of foresight: Learning from system failures through dynamic model”

A dynamic model for holistically examining system failures is proposed, for the purpose of preventing further occurrence of these failures. An understanding system failure correctly is crucial to preventing further occurrence of system failures. Quick fixes can even damage organizational performance to a level worse than the original state. There is well known side effect of “normalized deviance” which leads NASA’s Challenger and Columbia space shuttle disasters. And there is so called “incubation period” which leads to catastrophic system failures in the end. However this indicates there is a good chance to avoid catastrophic system failures if we can sense the incubation period correctly and respond the normalized deviance effect properly. If we don’t understand system failure correctly, we can’t solve it effectively. Therefore we first define three failure classes to treat dynamic aspects of system failures. They are Class 1 (Failure of deviance), Class 2 (Failure of interface) and Class 3 (Failure of foresight) respectively. Then we propose a dynamic model to understand system failure dynamically through turning hindsight to foresight to prevent further occurrence. An application example in IT engineering demonstrates that the proposed model proactively promotes double loop learning from previous system failures.

[see abstract] [see full paper]

Shankar Sankaran, “Incorporating Systems Thinking in Organizational Change Projects using Action Research by Practitioners Conducting Academic Research”

This paper will first explore the use systems thinking in action research projects. It will then describe three ‘real’ action research projects, where systems thinking processes were used by managers who conducted action research, to introduce change in their own organizations. It will elaborate how applying systems thinking principles supported the application of action research. All three managers have successfully completed their doctorates in programs conducted by an Australian University. The paper will then discuss the merits and problems in applying systems thinking in action research projects and conclude with how systems thinking approaches could be effectively applied by management researchers planning to conduct academic research. The principal author of this paper was involved in the supervision of the doctoral research of the projects discussed in this paper. The three managers are being contacted for participating in writing this paper.

[see abstract] [see full paper]

The fourth paper session of the of the Special Integration Group on Systems Applications in Business and Industry has three papers on systems science bringing new perspectives to knotty issues.

Allenna Leonard, “Symbiosis as a Metaphor for Sustainability Practice in Human Affairs”

This concept paper is an exploration of various symbiotic relationships and their potential relevance for the organization and conduct of human affairs. Many types of symbiosis exist: between plants, between plant and animal life and between different animals. They contribute to protection and defense, cleaning, reproduction, nutrition, transportation and illumination. Some symbiots are so tightly coupled that they are not able to exist, or exist in the same form, separately. Others can exist separately but they are less viable alone than together. Still others benefit from but do not depend upon the relationship. All seem to provide complementary features and strengths that either enhance the success and well being of both or impose a bearable burden on the non-advantaged partner.

We are seeking, and none too soon, new ways to make a difference in the achievement of sustainable relationships in human society and organizations and between human activity and the natural environment. A broader and deeper appreciation of symbiosis in the general public and among researchers in different disciplines may make a contribution to both innovation and a more effective application of existing knowledge and tools.

[see abstract] [see full paper]

Jerome Galbrun, Kyoichi Kijima, “Growth Strategy and Hierarchy Theory: Emergence of Super-players in the Healthcare Computed Tomography Oligopoly”

This paper examines how firms discover effective strategic positions in a business technology-driven oligopoly context (limited players, no possible entrant and rapid technological change). In such settings, neither rational deduction nor local search is likely to lead a firm to a successful growth: firms escalate by launching new products faster, developing new services or acquiring new capabilities. Demonstrating the complexity of the business oligopoly, however, allows us to define the emergence of a new type of players, “super-player”, able to write a new set of rules and to substantially influence the industry for a given period of time. With respect to the Hierarchy Theory, we find the attributes of context changing, filtering information and simplifying multilevel business systems for this “super-player”. More surprisingly, we find a succession of “super-players” that we identify as a consequence of co-evolution for a given oligopoly-type industry, in the Healthcare Computed Tomography: the “super-player” evolves in a way that the entire industry ultimately adapts itself and co-evolves in the same way.

[see abstract] [see full paper]

Abraham Briones-Juarez, Ricardo Tejeida-Padilla, Oswaldo Morales-Matamoros, “A Soft Systems Methodology approach to Design a Restaurant Management Model for a Great Tourism Hotel”

This paper is about the design of a systemic model used in restaurants’ management inside the hotels of Great Tourism category in Mexico City, applied to the Restaurant the Gifts of the Hotel Sheraton Historical Center.

With the purpose of establishing a Holistic vision of the work’s development, the use of the Systems’ Paradigm and the Soft Systems Methodology by Peter Checkland was determinate, since the case of study is a social system that is not only able to choose means to reach certain goals, but also capable to select and to change them.

The designed model was conceptually defined with the restructuring of the information flows, the reorganization of the restaurant’s organizational structure and the view of the elements that affect the system in its intern and external environments.

[see abstract] [see full paper]

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