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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1999

Alan Fowler

110

Abstract

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Career Development International, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1999

Alan Fowler

Argues that in increasingly turbulent and complex environments, the tools of “systems thinking” may provide a valuable resource in the drive to attain integration between…

5607

Abstract

Argues that in increasingly turbulent and complex environments, the tools of “systems thinking” may provide a valuable resource in the drive to attain integration between strategic and operational objectives. Particular examples in the domain of production control and supply‐chain management are presented as illustrations of the dynamicist’s paradigm. Hence it is suggested that familiar concepts such as JIT/Kanban and supply chains are actually special cases of generic feedback control principles, while pure MRP is a classic example of feedforward. In practice, the complexities of real world operations require combinations of these two approaches and the paper therefore assesses the implications of these theoretical concepts, for the design of practical operations systems.

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International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1998

Alan Fowler

Although there currently exists an unprecedented level of interest in business processes, focusing on their analysis, evaluation and reengineering, many business process…

2735

Abstract

Although there currently exists an unprecedented level of interest in business processes, focusing on their analysis, evaluation and reengineering, many business process reengineering (BPR) initiatives have yielded disappointing results. This paper suggests that one of the reasons for this might be the difficulty of intuitively grasping the full dynamic complexity of the processes and systems encountered. It is therefore proposed that current developments in systems thinking and continuous system simulation, when applied within the context of an operations management framework, may offer the prospect of improved success ratios in such BPR projects. The issue of supply chain dynamics and associated control problems is presented as an example in order to illustrate the potential power of this approach in the design of supplier interactions. A framework is also presented based on the classic “5Ps” model of operations management, adapted with feedback loops and inertia elements to produce the basis of a part generic, high level, dynamic model from which specific BPR simulation studies may be constructed.

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International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 18 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2000

Tony Boland and Alan Fowler

Presents, from a systemic perspective, an examination and discussion of performance measurement, performance indicators and associated improvement initiatives, as typically…

18117

Abstract

Presents, from a systemic perspective, an examination and discussion of performance measurement, performance indicators and associated improvement initiatives, as typically applied in public sector organisations. Such mechanisms are usually implemented as a causal loop which is established between perceived performance and resulting actions, thereby constituting a form of feedback control. Within this context a two‐dimensional matrix model is postulated in which the independent dimensions are the source of control and the nature of the resultant control‐action. The paper examines the implications revealed by this model within the context of performance management and system dynamics. The potential role of influence diagrams and dynamic simulation models is thereby introduced as a potential means of unravelling the complex behaviour which can often arise in the presence of such interactive cause‐effect loops. A number of typical examples, drawn from within the public sector, are invoked to illustrate the discussion.

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International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 13 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2001

Alan Fowler and David Campbell

The article features a study based on postal questionnaires and structured interviews, targeting senior members of the hospital pharmacy profession. The aim was to examine the…

3860

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The article features a study based on postal questionnaires and structured interviews, targeting senior members of the hospital pharmacy profession. The aim was to examine the potential of practice and performance benchmarking as a means of improving competence and capabilities within the clinical pharmacy service of NHS Trust hospitals. Postulation of models and analysis of data is followed by discussion of results. This leads to a number of suggestions and conclusions with respect to the potential role of benchmarking including an assessment of its suitability, limitations, and implementation issues associated with this particular service sector.

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International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2003

Alan Fowler and Julia Pryke

The paper addresses the issue of knowledge management in public service organisations where the concept of provider competitiveness is of limited significance but other priorities…

2081

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The paper addresses the issue of knowledge management in public service organisations where the concept of provider competitiveness is of limited significance but other priorities prevail. The broad aim is to understand how the concept of “competitive advantage through knowledge management”, as practised in the broader business community, might translate to the modern Civil Service? This issue is explored through the medium of a study within the UK's Child Support Agency (CSA) based on the results of interviews with, and questionnaire responses from, the senior management group. The central question thereby investigated was: “To what extent can the conditions required for successful knowledge management be observed and evaluated?” A “conditions framework” and associated analysis is then used to assess broader implications and the possibility of wider application within other such public service organisations.

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International Journal of Service Industry Management, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-4233

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2005

Wade T. Roberts

Many scholars and practitioners consider development to be as much an institutional and organizational phenomenon as it is an economic one. Among other elements, civil society is…

1176

Abstract

Many scholars and practitioners consider development to be as much an institutional and organizational phenomenon as it is an economic one. Among other elements, civil society is a key determinant of a country’s level of social capital. Important links appear to exist between a robust associational milieu and the effective operation of democracy. However, the role of civil society organizations in human development has only recently gained attention.

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International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 25 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1991

Ian Kessler

The range of pressures which has impacted on localgovernment in the 1980s has forced the emergenceof dynamic and sophisticated forms of industrialrelations at the workplace level…

Abstract

The range of pressures which has impacted on local government in the 1980s has forced the emergence of dynamic and sophisticated forms of industrial relations at the workplace level. It is clear, however, that with conceptual tools forged to analyse developments in the private manufacturing sector, very few attempts have been made by academics, policy‐makers or commentators to discuss the structures and processes which have emerged. The character of the changes at authority level are considered using material from a survey of personnel officers in over a third of authorities in England and Wales and within the context of prevailing analytical and theoretical frameworks. It is argued that the distinctive development of the personnel function in local government has resulted in a managerial process which conforms to key features of the human resource management (HRM) model, in particular the devolution of personnel responsibilities to line managers and the integration of personnel concerns at the strategic level. However, other features of this model are less in evidence. The search for employee commitment and flexibility remains patchy and often appears as a practical response to labour market and competitive pressures. Furthermore, collectivist features of employee relations remain well entrenched with the continued encouragement of both union membership and involvement. This is not to deny change beyond the HRM model. Thus, it is clear that established joint machinery is becoming increasingly unable to deal with ongoing issues while the trade unions are gradually being forced into a consultative rather than a bargaining role.

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Employee Relations, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2002

Teresa G. Labov

Catalogues how Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda are meeting, individually, the AIDS epidemic with governmental and non‐governmental organizations (NGOs). Uses data from the United…

Abstract

Catalogues how Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda are meeting, individually, the AIDS epidemic with governmental and non‐governmental organizations (NGOs). Uses data from the United Nations and World Bank. Gives background of NGOs in East Africa and their field work. Concludes that the social dimensions of each country are very restrictive in slightly differing ways, with the various religious beliefs also having an effect which is deleterious in nature. States that, even so, there are more similarities than there are differences in the three countries.

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International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 22 no. 4/5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1999

K.H. Spencer Pickett

Using the backdrop of an (apparently) extended visit to the West Indies, analogies with key concerns of internal audit are drawn. An unusual and refreshing way of exploring the…

40081

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Using the backdrop of an (apparently) extended visit to the West Indies, analogies with key concerns of internal audit are drawn. An unusual and refreshing way of exploring the main themes ‐ a discussion between Bill and Jack on tour in the islands ‐ forms the debate. Explores the concepts of control, necessary procedures, fraud and corruption, supporting systems, creativity and chaos, and building a corporate control facility.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 37 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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