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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Time really flies ...! Here we are at the beginning of the third year of publication of the Journal of Modelling in Management (JM2). Some of the indications have been positive. For example, JM2 has a very high level of downloads from the web. Our reviewing quality (as measured by increasing rejection rates) is providing an assurance to potential academic submission.
The fabric and structure of this issue is quite challenging not only in terms of its scope but, in particular, in terms of the diversity of business systems being modelling. Xu and Watada conducted a study to reinvestigate the regional urbanization gap in China. An innovative weighted kernel density approach was applied for identifying the regional urbanization development with population migration and investment. The proposed projects were evaluated. The study found that the regional urbanization gap is 7 and 9 percent with the unconditional estimation. In addition, there are 13 (23) percent and 13 (23) percent with population (investment) weighted estimation between eastern and middle region, eastern and western region, respectively. The project on the interior migration of population by 30 percent and the project on the selective investment enhancement by 30 percent; both reduce the regional urbanization gap by 4 percent between middle and eastern region. The study not only measures the urbanization development with the nonparametric approach but also designs some practicable projects for reducing the regional urbanization gap.
Sachdeva, Kumar and Kumar proposed a methodology based on generalized stochastic Petri nets to evaluate the reliability parameters of a screening system in a paper industry. The effects of failure and courses of action on system performance were investigated. Using the operational behaviour of equipments, reliability analysis of system in long run was conducted. The reachability graph generated with Petri net model helped to identify the state space evolution of the system. The sensitivity analysis was also performed to study the effect of failure/repair rates of each unit of the system on system performance. The reliability analysis of a screening system will help the management in deciding upon which maintenance strategy to be adopted to improve the performance of the system and consequently reduce the operation and maintenance costs.
Recently, many manufacturing companies in India are attempting to implement lean manufacturing systems (LMS) as an effective manufacturing strategy to survive in a highly competitive market. Such manufacturing systems selection process is highly complex and strategic in nature. Hence, they need to consider several quantitative and qualitative parameters. Rambabu Kodali conducted a case study of a small- and medium-scale enterprise. To supplement the decision-making process, a multi criteria decision-making model, namely, the preference ranking organization method for enrichment evaluations (PROMETHEE) is used to analyze the impacts. An extensive analysis showed that LMS was the best for the given circumstances of the case.
Tseng, Ho, Liu utilized data envelopment analysis in an input-oriented method to discuss the overall operational performance of 20 major international airports during the period of 2001 and 2005. They used cross efficiency measure to determine the international airports that enjoy the best operational performances and used the bilateral model to compare the performance differences between international airports of different regions. They found that none of the samples has achieved the most productive scale within these five years. (Only the Atlanta Airport in the USA achieved so between 2001 and 2004.) Except the Atlanta Airport in the USA (ATL) and the Beijing Airport in China (PEK), all other airports did not meet MPSS. Finally, the overall performance of international airports in Asia was better than those in Americas, Europe, and Oceania.
Internationally, change in healthcare is often a result of a knee jerk reaction to high-profile adverse events. Alternatively, change is driven by a reductionist set of targets and indicators, which do not reflect the complexity of hospitals. In their paper, Alan Gillies posit that hospitals would benefit from promoting organisational learning, and that system archetypes offer a mechanism for achieving this. They examine the application of healthcare system archetypes. Archetypes do not describe any one problem specifically. They describe families of problems generically. Their value comes from the insights they offer into the dynamic interaction of complex systems. As part of a suite of tools, they are extremely valuable in developing broad understandings about the hospital and its environment. Diagnostically, archetypes help the hospital managers recognize patterns of behaviour that are already present in their organizations. They served as the means for gaining insight into the underlying systems structures from which the archetypal behaviour emerges. The application of system archetypes to the strategic analysis of hospital reveals that it is possible to identify loop holes in management's strategic thinking processes and it is possible to defy these fallacies during policy implementation as illustrated by the results of the archetype simulation model. In this study, hospital executives found that policy modification helped to avoid such pitfalls and avoid potentially cost prohibitive learning had these policies been implemented in practice.
The paper demonstrates how system archetypes were deployed within a hospital to improve organizational learning, and provides an approach that may be deployed in other large complex health care organisations.
We hope you enjoy the “mind-stretching” characteristics of this issue's content. Thanks for your continuous support and readership.
Luiz Moutinho and Kun-Huang Huarng