Systemic Business Community

A salon discussing research into systemics and business

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]

July 8th, 2008

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