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Article
Publication date: 30 June 2021

Torbjørn Hekneby, Jonas A. Ingvaldsen and Jos Benders

Companies create company-specific production systems (XPS) by tailoring generic concepts to fit their unique situation. However, little is known about how an XPS is…

Abstract

Purpose

Companies create company-specific production systems (XPS) by tailoring generic concepts to fit their unique situation. However, little is known about how an XPS is created. This paper aims to provide insights into the creation of an XPS.

Design/methodology/approach

A retrospective case study was conducted in a Norwegian multinational company over the period 1991–2006, using archival data and interviews.

Findings

The development of the XPS did not start with a master plan. Instead, dispersed existing initiatives were built upon, along with an external search for novel ideas. Widespread experimentation took place, only later to be combined into a coherent approach. Once established, the XPS was disseminated internally and further refined. The CEO orchestrated the experimentation by facilitating the adaptation and combination of different concepts and by allocating resources to institutionalize the XPS in the global network.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to study how an XPS is created. This study contributes with novel empirical insights, and it highlights the role of top management in facilitating experimentation and step-by-step organizational learning.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 October 2020

Hannelore Schouten, Stefan Heusinkveld, Wouter van der Kam and Jos Benders

The aim of this study is to document and analyze experiences with building a new hospital guided by lean-led hospital design (LLHD) (Grunden and Hagood, 2012) and to…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study is to document and analyze experiences with building a new hospital guided by lean-led hospital design (LLHD) (Grunden and Hagood, 2012) and to investigate key mechanisms enhancing healthcare professionals' participation and collaboration in implementing this innovative approach.

Design/methodology/approach

An in-depth case study of the implementation of LLHD in a Dutch hospital was performed based on multiple data sources. The case hospital presented a unique opportunity since there was embedded access to the data by the first author.

Findings

Three mechanisms supporting participation and collaboration of staff for implementing LLHD were identified. (1) Freedom in translating a concept enables managers to balance it with variations in practice at the organizational level. (2) A set of key principles governing the design process appeared an important anchor on a managerial level in a changing environment. (3) Creation of a supportive attitude toward lean and lean facility design, with co-creation as a key element of LLHD.

Practical implications

By using the emerging mechanisms, managers/change agents can enlarge collaboration and participation of hospital staff when implementing organization-wide innovations.

Originality/value

This case study delivers a unique inside view on the dynamics evolving in the complex change processes at organizational, managerial and personal levels involved in implementing LLHD.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

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Article
Publication date: 13 May 2020

Jonas A. Ingvaldsen and Jos Benders

This article addresses why movements towards less-hierarchical organizing may be unsustainable within organizations.

Abstract

Purpose

This article addresses why movements towards less-hierarchical organizing may be unsustainable within organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

Eschewing hierarchy may prove sustainable if alternative forms of management are acceptable to both employees and managers accountable for those employees’ performance. Developing alternatives means dealing with the fundamentally contradictory functions of coordination and control. Through a qualitative case study of a manufacturing company that removed first-line supervisors, this article analyses how issues of control and coordination were dealt with formally and informally.

Findings

Removal of the formal supervisor was followed by workers’ and middle managers’ efforts to informally reconstruct hierarchical supervision. Their efforts to deal pragmatically with control and coordination were frustrated by formal prescriptions for less hierarchy, leading to contested outcomes. The article identifies upward and downward pressures for the hierarchy’s reconstruction, undermining the sustainability of less-hierarchical organizing.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited by the use of cross-sectional data and employees’ retrospective narratives. Future research on the sustainability of less-hierarchical organizing should preferably be longitudinal to overcome these limitations.

Practical implications

Unless organizational changes towards less hierarchy engage with issues of managerial control and upward accountability, they are likely to induce pressures for hierarchy’s reconstruction.

Originality/value

The article offers an original approach to the classical problem of eschewing hierarchy in organizations. The approach allows us to explore the interrelated challenges facing such restructuring, some of which are currently unacknowledged or underestimated within the literature.

Details

Baltic Journal of Management, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5265

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Article
Publication date: 10 October 2016

Lander Vermeerbergen, Geert Van Hootegem and Jos Benders

Decentralisation attempts that aim to increase job autonomy do not always succeed. This paper aims to study to what extent the tendency to maintain existing operational…

Abstract

Purpose

Decentralisation attempts that aim to increase job autonomy do not always succeed. This paper aims to study to what extent the tendency to maintain existing operational task divisions is an important explanation for this lack of success.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 456 employees in 25 organisations participated in a cross-sectional intervention study. Each employee filled out a questionnaire on job autonomy both before and after the decentralisation process, in which all organisations shifted regulatory, preparatory and supportive tasks to the lowest organisational level.

Findings

This study found small, but significant, effects of decentralisation attempts on job autonomy. The size of the effects, however, depended on the way the way in which the operational tasks were divided. Simultaneously, larger effects were found for organisations which decentralised tasks and changed the way operational tasks were divided. Both findings reached the conclusion that although decentralisation attempts seemed important for increasing job autonomy, the way in which the operational tasks were divided and even changed, was at least as important for a successful decentralisation process.

Originality/value

After decades of research on modern sociotechnical theory, this study is the first to show that decentralisation attempts do not merely increase job autonomy. The effect of such attempts depends on the way in which operational tasks are divided in organisations.

Details

Team Performance Management, vol. 22 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 8 April 2014

Jos Benders and Petru L. Curseu and Geert Van Hootegem

Abstract

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2003

Patrick Vermeulen and Jos Benders

Publications in the managerial press tend to stress the positive sides of teamworking. Teamworking is heralded at the neglect of possible downsides such as the propensity…

Abstract

Publications in the managerial press tend to stress the positive sides of teamworking. Teamworking is heralded at the neglect of possible downsides such as the propensity to withhold effort. This is, however, studied in at least two strands of academic work: social psychology and economic organization theories. From these literatures the paper draws attention to the potential downsides of teamworking. However, various options for overcoming these problems have been identified in the same literatures. Thus, the body of our paper explicitly concentrates on possible solutions for managers to remedy the potential negative effects of teamworking.

Details

Team Performance Management: An International Journal, vol. 9 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

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Article
Publication date: 10 February 2012

Stefan Heusinkveld and Jos Benders

This paper aims to explore how management practitioners make sense of management fashions as sedimented elements within organizations.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore how management practitioners make sense of management fashions as sedimented elements within organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

To further understanding about sedimentation in management fashion, an institutional perspective was used.

Findings

This analysis reveals that sedimented fashions within organizations are framed as comprising different forms that are systematically associated with divergent evolution patterns.

Research limitations/implications

This study extends the current literature on management fashion by showing how, unlike present conceptualizations, the long‐term impact of fashionable ideas in organizations cannot be considered a single entity with a uniform pattern of development. Building on this, the paper seeks to develop a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the evolution of popular management ideas in organizational practice, which opens fruitful new research directions.

Practical implications

This paper may help managers, as important consumers of fashionable ideas, to better understand how elements of fashions may remain in organizations and play an important conditional role in future change initiatives.

Originality/value

Despite the substantial attention to the field‐level dissemination and evolution of popular management ideas in the management fashion literature, the possible long‐term impact of these ideas within organizations has received scant attention beyond the assumed transience of a fashion's discourse and the possible persistence of the organizational practices associated with a fashion.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article
Publication date: 23 October 2007

Geert J.M. Braam, Jos Benders and Stefan Heusinkveld

The purpose of this paper is to better understand the production and diffusion of the balanced scorecard (BSC) by analyzing the reception pattern of the BSC in The Netherlands.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to better understand the production and diffusion of the balanced scorecard (BSC) by analyzing the reception pattern of the BSC in The Netherlands.

Design/methodology/approach

Print‐media indicators and content analysis.

Findings

The BSC is popular yet not transient. Consultants are the leading BSC disseminators, while on the “consumption side” the BSC tends to be interpreted differently in varying professional communities. Compared to its intensive discourse actual BSC use in praxis appears to be limited and lags intended use as strategic management system.

Research limitations/implications

Use of secondary data limits insight into use of the BSC in organizations. Further research should focus on the influence of subsets of discourse on the evolution of the BSC in organizational praxis.

Practical implications

Discourse is loosely coupled to organizational praxis: publications on the BSC may affect organizational behavior but also reflect that behavior. In addition, increased understanding of how and why different interpretations of the BSC exist in organizational practice may assist managers to position their perspectives vis‐à‐vis others.

Originality/value

The study shows how Dutch BSC‐discourse evolves, gives “windows on BSC‐praxis” and argues that different interpretations of the BSC may be found between disciplines.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 20 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article
Publication date: 18 September 2009

Jos Benders, Roel Schouteten and Mohamed Aoulad el Kadi

The purpose of this paper is to gain insights into the effects of an enterprise resource planning (ERP)‐implementation on job content.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to gain insights into the effects of an enterprise resource planning (ERP)‐implementation on job content.

Design/methodology/approach

Data are collected using a qualitative expert instrument (WEBA) and a questionnaire (NOVA‐WEBA) among HR‐assistants in a case study in the Dutch hospitality industry.

Findings

Contrary to what one might expect, the introduction of an ERP‐system does not automatically result in a more centralized organization: in granting local authorizations user/employee job decision latitude is affected c.q. realized. However, even when a decentralization policy is pursued as is the case in our study, job decision latitude is not necessarily enhanced. This is partly caused by ERP‐related changes such as increasing standardization of operational procedures and data entry requirements, and partly by organization‐specific developments in how tasks get assigned to jobs.

Research limitations/implications

The configuration of ERP‐systems varies by organization, and is largely a matter of organizational choice. The case is unique, as is indeed any case.

Practical implications

Insights into ERP's effects can help organizations achieve better designed jobs. Pre‐implementation simulations of effects can help steering towards desired outcomes.

Originality/value

The paper provides useful insights into the effects of an ERP‐implementation on job content through a case study of HR‐assistants.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 38 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2003

Jos Benders and Sander Verlaar

An organization concept is “a more or less coherent, prescriptive vision on (aspects of) organization design”. Practitioners are often faced with the problem of how to use…

Abstract

An organization concept is “a more or less coherent, prescriptive vision on (aspects of) organization design”. Practitioners are often faced with the problem of how to use insights from organization concepts. The redesign of a parts distribution centre is discussed to illustrate how two organization concepts and insights from other sources were drawn on and combined to formulate a new organization design. We derive four different reasons for such combinations, namely conceptual clarification, conceptual additions, technical instrumentalization and legitimation.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 23 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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