Systemic Business Community

A salon discussing research into systemics and business

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]

July 8th, 2008

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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]

July 8th, 2008

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In the second session of the SIG on Systems Applications in Business and Industry at Tokyo 2007, three papers are scheduled:

  • K. C. Wang, “A Process View of SWOT Analysis”, on the JournalsISSS Proceedings as Abstract and PlDF versions, and on the CDROM as paper #26;
  • Michael G. Norton, “Japan’s Eco-towns – Industrial Clusters or Local Innovation Systems?”, on the JournalsISSS Proceedings as Abstract and PDF versions; and on the CDROM as paper #657; and
  • Takafumi Nakamura and Kyoichi Kijima, “Systems of System Failures: Meta System Methodology to Prevent System Failures”, on the JournalsISSS Proceedings as Abstract and PDF versions, and on the CDROM as paper #684.

August 1st, 2007

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