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Article
Publication date: 28 September 2020

Yuri Seki, Monty Sutrisna and Ayokunle Olubunmi Olanipekun

The more contemporary views on managing projects recommend stakeholder engagement as an important part of the process. Challenges have been reported when attempting to…

Abstract

Purpose

The more contemporary views on managing projects recommend stakeholder engagement as an important part of the process. Challenges have been reported when attempting to involve project stakeholders in a construction project due to the complexity of the processes. In projects such as refurbishment projects, the efforts to incorporate end users' needs and preferences into spatial environmental functions increase the complexity of stakeholder engagement during the journey of the project. This paper presents a unique technique used to integrate different tools within the system enquiry methodology in modelling the project stakeholder engagement process for refurbishment projects.

Design/methodology/approach

Aiming to address the problem, system dynamics (SD) has been selected as the most suitable method for modelling the dynamic behaviour of this complex system over time. A tool known as a rich picture diagram (RPD) is proposed as the precursor of the development of a causal loop diagram (CLD) to facilitate a more holistic abstraction for applicable solutions. An example of a single case study involving the refurbishment of a higher education building project is presented to explain the analysis undertaken in the process of developing the CLD that models the dynamic behaviour within end-user stakeholder engagement.

Findings

This paper demonstrates the complementarity capabilities of the soft and hard systems of enquiry in modelling stakeholder's dynamics within the refurbishment construction contexts. The RPD soft system tool was found useful to congregate diverse stakeholder expressions and experiences of a complex system in a holistic manner. Subsequently, the development of the CLD was fully guided by the information and relationship captured and presented in the RPD to yield a representative system model. Furthermore, this paper also reports the dynamics of the actors, situations, events and their inter-relationship found in the presented refurbishment project.

Originality/value

This paper enriches the techniques within the system enquiry methodology by integrating hard and soft system tools for dynamic process modelling purposes. This is particularly achieved by utilizing the RPD as the precursor of SD that provides a useful way for researchers and stakeholders to fully understand the dynamics and develop robust systemic interventions to optimize end-user stakeholder engagement during the journey of refurbishment projects, particularly of higher education buildings.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 28 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Book part
Publication date: 20 October 2015

Mohammad Shamsuddoha

Contemporary literature reveals that, to date, the poultry livestock sector has not received sufficient research attention. This particular industry suffers from…

Abstract

Contemporary literature reveals that, to date, the poultry livestock sector has not received sufficient research attention. This particular industry suffers from unstructured supply chain practices, lack of awareness of the implications of the sustainability concept and failure to recycle poultry wastes. The current research thus attempts to develop an integrated supply chain model in the context of poultry industry in Bangladesh. The study considers both sustainability and supply chain issues in order to incorporate them in the poultry supply chain. By placing the forward and reverse supply chains in a single framework, existing problems can be resolved to gain economic, social and environmental benefits, which will be more sustainable than the present practices.

The theoretical underpinning of this research is ‘sustainability’ and the ‘supply chain processes’ in order to examine possible improvements in the poultry production process along with waste management. The research adopts the positivist paradigm and ‘design science’ methods with the support of system dynamics (SD) and the case study methods. Initially, a mental model is developed followed by the causal loop diagram based on in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and observation techniques. The causal model helps to understand the linkages between the associated variables for each issue. Finally, the causal loop diagram is transformed into a stock and flow (quantitative) model, which is a prerequisite for SD-based simulation modelling. A decision support system (DSS) is then developed to analyse the complex decision-making process along the supply chains.

The findings reveal that integration of the supply chain can bring economic, social and environmental sustainability along with a structured production process. It is also observed that the poultry industry can apply the model outcomes in the real-life practices with minor adjustments. This present research has both theoretical and practical implications. The proposed model’s unique characteristics in mitigating the existing problems are supported by the sustainability and supply chain theories. As for practical implications, the poultry industry in Bangladesh can follow the proposed supply chain structure (as par the research model) and test various policies via simulation prior to its application. Positive outcomes of the simulation study may provide enough confidence to implement the desired changes within the industry and their supply chain networks.

Details

Sustaining Competitive Advantage Via Business Intelligence, Knowledge Management, and System Dynamics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-707-3

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Article
Publication date: 23 August 2021

Fatemeh Shaker, Arash Shahin and Saeed Jahanyan

This paper aims to develop a system dynamics (SD) model to identify causal relationships among the elements of failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA), i.e. failure…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to develop a system dynamics (SD) model to identify causal relationships among the elements of failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA), i.e. failure modes, effects and causes.

Design/methodology/approach

A causal loop diagram (CLD) has been developed based on the results obtained from interdependencies and correlations analysis among the FMEA elements through applying the integrated approach of FMEA-quality function deployment (QFD) developed by Shaker et al. (2019). The proposed model was examined in a steel manufacturing company to identify and model the causes and effects relationships among failure modes, effects and causes of a roller-transmission system.

Findings

Findings indicated interactions among the most significant failure modes, effects and causes. Moreover, corrective actions defined to eliminate or relieve critical failure causes. Consequently, production costs decreased, and the production rate increased due to eliminated/decreased failure modes.

Practical implications

The application of CLD illustrates causal relationships among FMEA elements in a more effective way and results in a more precise recognition of the root causes of the potential failure modes and their easy elimination/decrease. Therefore, applying the proposed approach leads to a better analysis of the interactions among FMEA elements, decreased system's failure rate and increased system availability.

Originality/value

The literature review indicated a few studies on the application of SD methodology in the maintenance area, and no study was performed on the causal interactions among FMEA elements through an FMEA-QFD based SD approach. Although the interactions of these elements are significant and helpful in risks ranking, researchers fail to investigate them sufficiently.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Article
Publication date: 4 January 2013

Alan A. Stephens, J. Brian Atwater and Vijay R. Kannan

The collapse of the sub‐prime mortgage market parallels several earlier failures within the financial services sector, begging the question why the lessons of past…

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Abstract

Purpose

The collapse of the sub‐prime mortgage market parallels several earlier failures within the financial services sector, begging the question why the lessons of past failures were not learned. Throughout history from the tulip bulb crisis of the 1600s to the most recent economic crisis, decision‐makers keep making the same mistakes. This occurs in part because of a failure to recognize similarities between past and current events. This conceptual paper aims to use systems dynamics tools to examine the crisis and illustrate how seemingly independent events are linked.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides a fundamental review of systems thinking concepts and uses a tool of systems dynamics, causal loop diagrams (CLD), to provide a visualization of the dynamics of the sub‐prime market collapse over time. This approach provides insights that traditional analytic methods do not, which should be beneficial in understanding future cases where speculative demand drives behavior.

Findings

The paper uses the CLD tool to understand the evolution of the recent financial crisis. It finds that the dynamics of the collapse closely mirror many historic financial disasters (the paper cites several) and proposes the fundamental CLD of this phenomenon be elevated to a special category of the “limits to growth” archetype model. The paper makes this recommendation in the hope it will allow investors and policy makers to quickly recognize future speculative events when they happen again.

Originality/value

This paper argues that, despite the surface level uniqueness and complexity of the recent economic collapse, there is an underlying simplicity that links the recent collapse with speculative boom/busts going back over 400 years. The representation that the paper develops applies the language of systems thinking to the most recent financial crisis. A mental model of this system and the corresponding systems structure can be used to not only understand what happened, but also inform decision‐makers when similar speculative behavior occurs in the future.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

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Article
Publication date: 25 August 2021

Salvatore Ammirato, Roberto Linzalone and Alberto Michele Felicetti

System dynamics (SD) is emerging as a powerful approach to understand, analyse, simulate and predict complex and dynamic business processes. In particular, it is true in…

Abstract

Purpose

System dynamics (SD) is emerging as a powerful approach to understand, analyse, simulate and predict complex and dynamic business processes. In particular, it is true in the process of business model innovation (BMI) and not only as a computational approach. Due to the visual and diagrammatic tools employed by SD, innovation managers overcome humans' mental limitations and improve knowledge management in the BMI. This paper discloses the value of SD's visual tools, i.e. causal loop diagrams and stock and flow diagrams, to contribute to the “Knowldege Visualization” research line, and promote the application of SD as a powerful approach to support decisions in BMI.

Design/methodology/approach

Given the explorative nature and the “how” question driving the research, the methodology involved is a single, holistic case study. In particular, the case is about a business model (BM) diversification, in which an information and communication technology service provider has added to its existing business model a new BM based on a digital multi-sided platform, for passengers transportation.

Findings

The diagrammatic tools of SD, that is causal loop diagrams and stock and flow diagrams, allowed entrepreneurs to overcome the complexity of the business parameters concurring in the design of the BM.

Originality/value

The value of this research is in the exploratory approach and in the originality of the perspective by which SD is analysed: the visual knowledge perspective.

Details

Management Decision, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 2 August 2021

Abba Tahir Mahmud, Stephen O. Ogunlana and W.T. Hong

Empirical evidence suggests that many triggers influence poor cost performance in highway projects, whereas previous studies about the cost overrun triggers stem from a…

Abstract

Purpose

Empirical evidence suggests that many triggers influence poor cost performance in highway projects, whereas previous studies about the cost overrun triggers stem from a positivist standpoint supported by conventional statistical techniques, thus disregarding the sophisticated interactions and overall dynamics of the triggers. This study contends for a paradigm shift in investigating and understanding cost overrun triggers by adopting a holistic perspective through the lens of system thinking. This study aims to contend for a paradigm shift in investigating and understanding cost overrun triggers by adopting a holistic perspective through the lens of system thinking.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews with industry stakeholders in Nigeria were conducted buttressed by textual data from literature sources and project documents. Data analysis based on a developed data compatible coding framework and causal relations from textual data sources was used to develop a causal loop diagram depicting the interactions of the triggers which were validated by experts.

Findings

The analysis of the causal loop diagrams (CLDs) allowed identification of action points used to suggest changes for improved cost-effective highway project delivery. Among the suggested interventions are ensuring the provision of adequate funding prior to contract award will result in timely delivery of projects and indeed delivering key projects at the contractual agreed budget. This can be achieved through ensuring strict adherence to the provisions of Section 4 (2) (b) of the Nigerian Public Procurement Act, 2007 which stipulates that no contract should be awarded if funds are not available from the onset.

Research limitations/implications

The study was limited to only highway infrastructure projects in Nigeria and as such caution must be taken before using the outcome of the study to other context within Nigeria and beyond.

Practical implications

From a practical point of view, the causal model demonstrates that this study is capable of being used to make pragmatic decisions regarding policy leverages about improving cost performance in highway projects provision in the Nigerian highway infrastructure sector of the construction industry. Moreover, it will aid a clear understanding of the key influencing triggers of cost overrun by the relevant stakeholders within the highway sector of the industry.

Originality/value

The hybrid-based approach applied in the development of CLDs in this study is expected to provide new insight into understanding the linkages, interactions, feedbacks and processes among the key cost overrun triggers and suggesting leverages for cost performance improvement within the philosophy of system thinking.

Details

Journal of Financial Management of Property and Construction , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-4387

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Book part
Publication date: 26 April 2017

Prince Boateng, Zhen Chen and Stephen O. Ogunlana

Abstract

Details

Megaproject Risk Analysis and Simulation
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-830-1

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Book part
Publication date: 13 August 2020

Anna Pernestål, Albin Engholm, Ida Kristoffersson and Johanna Jussila Hammes

Automated vehicles are likely to have significant impacts on the transport system such as increased road capacity, more productive/enjoyable time spent travelling in a…

Abstract

Automated vehicles are likely to have significant impacts on the transport system such as increased road capacity, more productive/enjoyable time spent travelling in a car, and increased vehicle kilometres travelled. However, there is a great risk that automated driving may negatively impact the environment if adequate policies are not put in place. This chapter examines the effects of driverless vehicles and the types of policies required to attain sustainable implementation of the technology. To understand the effects on a systemic level, and to understand the needs and impacts of policies, the dynamics must be understood. Therefore, a causal loop diagram (CLD) is developed and analysed. One important insight is that the effects of driverless vehicles are mainly on the vehicular level (e.g., the reduced number of accidents per vehicle). These effects can be cancelled out on a systemic level (e.g., due to increased vehicle-kilometre travelled (VKT) that increases total number of accidents). The marginal costs of road transport are central to both freight and passenger transport. Automation will reduce marginal costs and shift the equilibrium in the transport system towards a state with higher VKT. This will lead to greater energy consumption and higher emissions. To attain sustainability goals, there might be a need to balance this reduction of marginal costs by using policy instruments. In the work, CLDs is experienced to be a useful tool to support the collaboration between experts from different fields in the dialogue about policies.

Details

Shaping Smart Mobility Futures: Governance and Policy Instruments in times of Sustainability Transitions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-651-1

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 2 March 2021

Russell Harpring, Amin Maghsoudi, Christian Fikar, Wojciech D. Piotrowicz and Graham Heaslip

This study aims to describe the compounding factors in a complex emergency, which exacerbate a cholera epidemic among vulnerable populations due to supply chain…

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1061

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to describe the compounding factors in a complex emergency, which exacerbate a cholera epidemic among vulnerable populations due to supply chain disruptions. Basic needs such as food, medicine, water, sanitation and hygiene commodities are critical to reduce the incidence rate of cholera and control the spread of infection. Conflicts cause damage to infrastructure, displace vulnerable populations and restrict the flow of goods from both commercial and humanitarian organizations. This study assesses the underlying internal and external factors that either aggravate or mitigate the risk of a cholera outbreak in such settings, using Yemen as a case study.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopts a system dynamics methodology to analyze factors that influence cholera outbreaks in the context of the Yemeni Civil War. A causal loop diagram with multiple components was constructed to represent the complexities of humanitarian situations that require critical decision-making. The model was built using data from humanitarian organizations, non-governmental organizations and practitioners, along with literature from academic sources. Variables in the model were confirmed through semi-structured interviews with a field expert.

Findings

Compounding factors that influenced the cholera outbreak in Yemen are visualized in a causal loop diagram, which can improve the understanding of relationships where numerous uncertainties exist. A strong link exists between humanitarian response and the level of infrastructure development in a country. Supply chains are affected by constraints deriving from the Yemeni conflict, further inhibiting the use of infrastructure, which limits access to basic goods and services. Aligning long-term development objectives with short-term humanitarian response efforts can create more flexible modes of assistance to prevent and control future outbreaks.

Research limitations/implications

The model focuses on the qualitative aspects of system dynamics to visualize the logistics and supply chain-related constraints that impact cholera prevention, treatment and control through humanitarian interventions. The resulting causal loop diagram is bounded by the Yemen context; thus, an extension of the model adapted for other contexts is recommended for further study.

Practical implications

This study presents a systematic view of dynamic factors existing in complex emergencies that have cause-and-effect relationships. Several models of cholera outbreaks have been used in previous studies, primarily focusing on the modes and mechanisms of transmission throughout a population. However, such models typically do not include other internal and external factors that influence the population and context at the site of an outbreak. This model incorporates those factors from a logistics perspective to address the distribution of in-kind goods and cash and voucher assistance.

Social implications

This study has been aligned with six of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), using their associated targets in the model as variables that influence the cholera incidence rate. Recognizing that the SDGs are interlinked, as are the dynamic factors in complex humanitarian emergencies, the authors have chosen to take an interdisciplinary approach to consider social, economic and environmental factors that may be impacted by this research.

Originality/value

This paper provides an insight into the underlying inter-relations of internal and external factors present in the context of a cholera outbreak in a complex crisis. Supply chains for food; water, sanitation and hygiene; and health products are crucial to help prevent, control and treat an outbreak. The model exposes vulnerabilities in the supply chain, which may offer guidance for decision makers to improve resilience, reduce disruptions and decrease the severity of cholera outbreaks.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

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Article
Publication date: 15 July 2020

Yos Sunitiyoso, Johan Prabandono Mahardi, Yudo Anggoro and Agung Wicaksono

The purpose of this paper is to apply a systems thinking methodology to analyse Indonesia’s new and renewable energy (NRE) electricity sector to describe the complex…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to apply a systems thinking methodology to analyse Indonesia’s new and renewable energy (NRE) electricity sector to describe the complex interrelations between its actors and variables, identify the systemic patterns and formulate recommendations for the policymakers.

Design/methodology/approach

Systems thinking methodology is used to observe the NRE electricity system and compile the corresponding data into a meaningful diagram to describe and recommend solutions for the sector’s issues. Causal loop diagram is used as the main method in this study with a deeper analysis of system archetypes to uncover the system behaviour. Soft system methodology and critical system heuristic are used partially to clarify the system boundaries, cultivate the perspective of the involved actors and problem categorization.

Findings

A comprehensive diagram is developed to present interrelation between all the components within the NRE electricity sector in Indonesia and the expected impact of any act or change to the entire system. Based on the causal interrelations between variables, typical systemic patterns or archetypes are used to identify unproductive patterns towards achieving the NRE electricity sector objectives.

Originality/value

The findings provide an initial outlook on the variables and systemic patterns within the system as a critical consideration in the decision-making process and policy development for the NRE electricity sector.

Details

International Journal of Energy Sector Management, vol. 14 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6220

Keywords

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