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Provides an introduction to simulation, and discusses the use of a modern simulation environment. Examples of the uses of simulation are queuing, scheduling and stock control. Simulation environments are now far more user‐friendly, and software is more competitively priced, than ever before. The manager can play a major role in model‐building by using icon‐driven simulation tools, which enable a system to be “drawn” on the screen, and which help to reduce the gap between manager and modeller. The gap is even further reduced if the manager understands something of simulation terminology and methods. Simulation is a tool which can aid managers in policy making and decision making.
Expert systems have become the more acceptable face of the much mooted “artificial intelligence” of the 1980s. A survey of UK organizations was undertaken in order to determine the usage rate and the main applications of expert systems. The responses indicate that very little use is being made of the available technology, and that where expert systems are used, they are often utilized in routine roles. Interviews were carried out with 12 high‐level managers in medium and large organizations to ascertain the possible results of poor or little use of expert systems and why organizations are reluctant to use them. The consensus is that, on a global scale, UK firms may lose sustained competitive advantage if they do not make the best use of the technology available.
Simulation is one of the most widely used tools within management science. The teaching of simulation has traditionally involved theory and practical model development…
Simulation is one of the most widely used tools within management science. The teaching of simulation has traditionally involved theory and practical model development. With the advent of modern software, practical model development can be undertaken with very little knowledge of simulation theory. This enables students who are more able in model building to develop their capabilities in this area and use their strengths to help develop the theoretical knowledge as they progress. This paper demonstrates how a little knowledge of the principles of simulation has been used to help students to develop working models by prototyping.
A major problem facing students undertaking postgraduate study isthat of taking far greater responsibility for their own independentlearning than was the case at…
A major problem facing students undertaking postgraduate study is that of taking far greater responsibility for their own independent learning than was the case at undergraduate level. In managing this transition, educators must ensure that students are provided with the necessary tools. In particular, at postgraduate level, a strong emphasis is placed on research, yet most undergraduate courses will not have equipped students with any framework for evaluating research. Such a framework is important in assessing the completed work of other authors, for evaluating a proposed research programme, and for reviewing work in progress. Provides a set of guidelines which will enable students to valuate management science research effectively and efficiently.
Suggests that hospitals are faced with variable demand patterns, and simulation provides managers with a powerful means to access the demands on resources created by…
Suggests that hospitals are faced with variable demand patterns, and simulation provides managers with a powerful means to access the demands on resources created by different case scenarios. Outlines the iterative development of a case study of patient flows at one clinic in an out‐patients department, describing the software used ‐ a Windows‐based simulation environment called SIMUL8.
Business process reengineering (BPR) is widely applied. However, its high failure rates give much cause for concern and call for more research, thus future BPR programmes might be implemented more successfully. Reports on one such research programme. Based on a holistic perspective, it critiques BPR as an approach to change management, in which four types of organisational change are classified: change in process, structure, culture, or power distribution. They are often seen to be interrelated, thus the management of the interaction is central. BPR, it is argued, is powerful in addressing process change, but incapable of dealing with other types of organisational change. Suggests that if BPR is to be applied successfully, either its usage needs to be restricted to change situations where process dominates, or a holistic approach is needed to help address adequately change situations where different types of organisational change are surfaced.
While total quality management (TQM) has been widely applied in the management of change, and is likely to remain a priority into the next century, failure rates at times above 75 per cent give cause for concern. The study on which this paper is based has reviewed TQM as an approach to change management. Four interrelated classifications of organisational change are presented: change as structure (or “functional change”), process, values, or power distribution. Of these, it is contended, TQM adequately addresses only process change, with incidences of failure closely correlated to the application of process‐based TQM techniques in change contexts characterised by structure, values or power. This study suggests that, for TQM to be applied successfully, either an approach is required which adequately addresses all types of change context (a so‐called “systemic” approach), or its application needs to be restricted to those contexts where process dominates.
External knowledge is generally believed to be of prime importance to small to medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs). However, a review of the literature shows that no empirical…
External knowledge is generally believed to be of prime importance to small to medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs). However, a review of the literature shows that no empirical research has looked at knowledge management issues at the inter‐organizational level in SMEs. This paper seeks to report on an empirical investigation with UK SMEs in the service sector to identify their needs and practices regarding inter‐organizational knowledge transfer, and thus provide empirical evidence to support the above belief.
A two‐tier methodology (i.e. using both questionnaire survey and interview approaches) is deployed to address the main research objectives. A questionnaire survey of SMEs is carried out to investigate their current inter‐organizational knowledge transfer situation and managers' perception on various relevant issues. Then 12 face‐to‐face interviews with SME managers are conducted to further validate key findings drawn from the questionnaire survey.
The empirical evidence collected from the survey and interviews confirms the general belief that external knowledge is of prime importance for SMEs, and demonstrates that SMEs have very strong needs for external knowledge and inter‐organizational knowledge transfer.
The findings provide very strong underpinning for further theoretical research on inter‐organizational knowledge transfer in SMEs. However, this study has certain limitations: its results may not be applicable to other industrial sectors or the same sector in other countries; or to micro or large companies; nor does it involve cross‐cultural issues.
By adopting a two‐tier research methodology, this study provides more reliable understanding and knowledge on SMEs' inter‐organizational knowledge transfer needs and practices, and fills the gap that exists in the empirical investigations on the subject.