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Article
Publication date: 26 August 2021

Matin Mohaghegh and Andreas Größler

Adopting the dynamic capability perspective, this study aims at exploring which problem-solving capabilities result in fundamental solutions with a potentially low…

Abstract

Purpose

Adopting the dynamic capability perspective, this study aims at exploring which problem-solving capabilities result in fundamental solutions with a potentially low likelihood for problems to recur. This can also shed light on why, despite many attempts, process improvement programs often fail to produce such long-term solutions.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study is carried out to inductively describe and classify problem-solving in companies and to indicate why problem-solving efforts are typically bounded to short-term solutions. The empirical findings are triangulated with findings from the extant literature.

Findings

First, the authors propose three problem-solving modes with different characteristics and potential impacts on operational performance: intuitive problem-solving, semi-structured problem-solving and systematic problem-solving. Second, by emphasizing dynamic capabilities' micro-foundations and with the focus on learning mechanisms, the authors show that, among these modes, only systematic problem-solving can serve as a dynamic capability with fundamental solutions. Third, based on insights from the case study, the authors address behavioral and organizational impediments that curb dynamic capabilities and limit systematic problem-solving adoption.

Originality/value

This study is an empirically informed attempt to understand systematic problem-solving as a dynamic capability. The authors uncover the micro-foundations and the learning mechanisms through which systematic problem-solving becomes a dynamic capability. By highlighting problem-solving orientation as a hardly investigated dimension of improvement programs, the authors show that a mixture of a static problem-solving approach and a set of impediments at both individual and organizational levels is the major reason of failures of improvement programs over time.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 60 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 27 July 2021

José C.M. Franken, Desirée H. van Dun and Celeste P.M. Wilderom

As a problem-solving tool, the kaizen event (KE) is underutilised in practice. Assuming this is due to a lack of group process quality during those events, the authors…

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Abstract

Purpose

As a problem-solving tool, the kaizen event (KE) is underutilised in practice. Assuming this is due to a lack of group process quality during those events, the authors aimed to grasp what is needed during high-quality KE meetings. Guided by the phased approach for structured problem-solving, the authors built and explored a measure for enriching future KE research.

Design/methodology/approach

Six phases were used to code all verbal contributions (N = 5,442) in 21 diverse, videotaped KE meetings. Resembling state space grids, the authors visualised the course of each meeting with line graphs which were shown to ten individual kaizen experts as well as to the filmed kaizen groups.

Findings

From their reactions to the graphs the authors extracted high-quality KE process characteristics. At the end of each phase, that should be enacted sequentially, explicit group consensus appeared to be crucial. Some of the groups spent too little time on a group-shared understanding of the problem and its root causes. Surprisingly, the mixed-methods data suggested that small and infrequent deviations (“jumps”) to another phase might be necessary for a high-quality process. According to the newly developed quantitative process measure, when groups often jump from one phase to a distant, previous or next phase, this relates to low KE process quality.

Originality/value

A refined conceptual model and research agenda are offered for generating better solutions during KEs, and the authors urge examinations of the effects of well-crafted KE training.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 41 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Book part
Publication date: 21 December 2010

James L. Nolan

Purpose – This chapter considers the consequences on liberty in relationship to the development of the international problem-solving court movement.…

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter considers the consequences on liberty in relationship to the development of the international problem-solving court movement.

Design/methodology/approach – The research, which relies principally on ethnographic fieldwork in six different common law countries (England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, Canada, and the United States), explores the development of local problem-solving courts in each jurisdiction. These include drug courts, community courts, domestic violence courts, and mental health courts. The ethnographic fieldwork was supplemented with data from various other sources, including government reports, parliamentary debates, evaluations of individual court programs, publications issued by various advocacy groups, media accounts, public statements and articles by problem-solving court judges, and analyses of specialty courts in law reviews and other academic journals.

Findings – The research reveal that the five countries outside of the United States demonstrate greater concern with protecting the dignity of the court, due process, and individual rights – or what the Australians refer to as open and natural justice.

Originality/value – It is the first large-scale comparative study of problem-solving courts in the common law countries where the movement is most advanced.

Details

Social Control: Informal, Legal and Medical
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-346-1

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Book part
Publication date: 4 August 2017

Stephen M. Fiore and Eleni Georganta

In a variety of domains, teams represent the main mechanism for dealing with change, complexity, and uncertainty in organizations. Consequently, teams need to be able to…

Abstract

Purpose

In a variety of domains, teams represent the main mechanism for dealing with change, complexity, and uncertainty in organizations. Consequently, teams need to be able to adapt and effectively use shared and complementary cognitive processing while collaborating to deal with these challenges.

Methodology/approach

A conceptual review is provided that addresses this type of complex collaborative cognition via discussion of macrocognition and the processes contributing to effective team problem-solving.

Findings

Despite extensive research on problem-solving, research and theories regarding how problem-solving changes over time as teams develop is missing. With this review, we extend research on team problem-solving and team development through integration of existing theory and concepts from the team literature.

Social implications

This review provides a theoretical foundation for understanding and studying the developmental dynamic of team problem-solving.

Originality/value

A team problem-solving development model is described which outlines the degree to which the primary elements of team development are likely to affect macrocognitive processes within problem-solving phases. A set of propositions is offered in order to guide research on team development in collaborative problem-solving.

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Book part
Publication date: 28 September 2011

Reneta D. Lansiquot and Candido Cabo

This chapter describes our innovative approach to the teaching of computer programming and writing; professors worked with students across classes united by a theme of…

Abstract

This chapter describes our innovative approach to the teaching of computer programming and writing; professors worked with students across classes united by a theme of narrative. A year-long study examined if using Alice, a three-dimensional microworld programming software that allows users to create interactive narratives, was more effective than Visual Basic (VB) in developing problem-solving abilities in first-year college students in introductory computer programming courses. Results revealed that although both the Alice and VB group showed a statistically significant (p<0.05) increase in performance for problem-solving questions related to computer programming, only the Alice group showed a significant increase in problem-solving abilities not directly related to computer programming, and an increase in student retention.

Details

Transforming Virtual World Learning
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-053-7

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Book part
Publication date: 20 September 2018

Olivia B. Newton, Travis J. Wiltshire and Stephen M. Fiore

Team cognition research continues to evolve as the need for understanding and improving complex problem solving itself grows. Complex problem solving requires members to…

Abstract

Team cognition research continues to evolve as the need for understanding and improving complex problem solving itself grows. Complex problem solving requires members to engage in a number of complicated collaborative processes to generate solutions. This chapter illustrates how the Macrocognition in Teams model, developed to guide research on these processes, can be utilized to propose how intelligent tutoring systems (ITSs) could be developed to train collaborative problem solving. Metacognitive prompting, based upon macrocognitive processes, was offered as an intervention to scaffold learning these complex processes. Our objective is to provide a theoretically grounded approach for linking intelligent tutoring research and development with team cognition. In this way, team members are more likely to learn how to identify and integrate relevant knowledge, as well as plan, monitor, and reflect on their problem-solving performance as it evolves. We argue that ITSs that utilize metacognitive prompting that promotes team planning during the preparation stage, team knowledge building during the execution stage, and team reflexivity and team knowledge sharing interventions during the reflection stage can improve collaborative problem solving.

Details

Building Intelligent Tutoring Systems for Teams
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-474-1

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Book part
Publication date: 29 June 2016

Paul J. Riccomini, Jiwon Hwang and Stephanie Morano

While deficits for students with learning disabilities (LD) are prevalent in almost all aspects of mathematics, difficulty in the application and understanding of…

Abstract

While deficits for students with learning disabilities (LD) are prevalent in almost all aspects of mathematics, difficulty in the application and understanding of problem-solving tasks are much more challenging to remediate than computational and procedural skills. Given the complexities involved in authentic problem-solving activities emphasized in current mathematics standards and the inherent challenges presented to students with LD, the importance of using strategies and techniques guided by evidence-based practices is paramount. Yet, ineffective instructional strategies for problem solving are still widespread in both mathematics curricula and available teacher resources. In this chapter, we provide a description of a commonly used ineffective problem-solving strategy (i.e., the keyword strategy), an overview of the keyword research, and an explanation for its ineffectiveness. We conclude with a description of three evidenced-based problem-solving approaches and practices that significantly improve the mathematical performance of students with LD.

Details

Instructional Practices with and without Empirical Validity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-125-8

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Article
Publication date: 9 July 2021

Cheryl Desha, Savindi Caldera and Deanna Hutchinson

This study aims to explore the role of planned, sudden shifts in lived experiences, in influencing learner capabilities towards improved problem-solving for sustainable…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the role of planned, sudden shifts in lived experiences, in influencing learner capabilities towards improved problem-solving for sustainable development outcomes. The authors responded to employers of engineering and built environment graduates observing limited “real-life” problem-solving skills, beyond using established formulae and methods, in spite of attempts over more than two decades, to train engineers and other built environment disciplines in areas such as whole system design and sustainable design.

Design/methodology/approach

A grounded theory approach was used to guide the analysis of data collected through ethnographic methods. The process involved reflecting on authors’ efforts to develop context appreciation within a course called “International Engineering Practice”, using two years of collected data (archived course information, including course profile; completed assessment; lecture and field visit evaluations; and focus groups). The study is built on the authors’ working knowledge of Bloom’s Taxonomy and Threshold Learning Theory, and the well-established role of “context appreciation” in complex problem-solving. After the first iteration of the course, the authors looked for additional theoretical support to help explain findings. The Cynefin framework was subsequently used to augment the authors’ appreciation of “context” – beyond physical context to include relational context, and to evaluate students’ competency development across the four domains of “clear”, “complicated”, “complex” and “chaotic”.

Findings

This study helped the authors to understand that there was increased capacity of the students to distinguish between three important contexts for problem-solving, including an increased awareness about the importance of factual and relevant information, increased acknowledgement of the varying roles of professional practitioners in problem-solving depending on the type of problem and increased appreciation of the importance of interdisciplinary teams in tackling complex and complicated problems. There were several opportunities for such courses to be more effective in preparing students for dealing with “chaotic” situations that are prevalent in addressing the United Nations’ 17 sustainable development goals (UNSDGs). Drawing on the course-based learnings, the authors present a “context integration model” for developing problem-solving knowledge and skills.

Research limitations/implications

The research findings are important because context appreciation – including both physical context and relational context – is critical to problem-solving for the UNSDGs, including its 169 targets and 232 indicators. The research findings highlight the opportunity for the Cynefin framework to inform holistic curriculum renewal processes, enhancing an educator’s ability to design, implement and evaluate coursework that develops physical and relational context appreciation.

Practical implications

The study’s findings and context integration model can help educators develop the full range of necessary problem-solving graduate competencies, including for chaotic situations involving high degrees of uncertainty. Looking ahead, acknowledging the significant carbon footprint of global travel, the authors are interested in applying the model to a domestic and/or online format of the same course, to attempt similar learning outcomes.

Originality/value

Connecting Bloom’s taxonomy deep learning and threshold learning theory critical path learning insights with the Cynefin framework context domains, provides a novel model to evaluate competency development for problem-solving towards improved holistic physical and relational “context appreciation” outcomes.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 22 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 22 January 2021

Dezhi Wu, Jingjun (David) Xu and Sue Abdinnour

The paper aims to investigate how a tablet's design features, namely, its navigation design and visual appearance, influence users' enjoyment, concentration and control…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to investigate how a tablet's design features, namely, its navigation design and visual appearance, influence users' enjoyment, concentration and control, when using tablets for problem-solving, and thereafter how their core flow experiences impact their perceived performance and efficiency with problem-solving.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses a field survey approach to engage 87 participants in a decision sciences class to use eTextbooks and a few other associated educational apps including CourseSmart app for e-notes and highlighting, sketchbook app and a calculator app in tablets to resolve class problems at a large US university.

Findings

This study finds that the tablet's interface design features (navigation and visual appearance) make users engrossed in their problem-solving processes with perceived enjoyment, concentration and control. This, in turn, impacts their perceived performance and efficiency. Moreover, visual appearance plays the most significant role in arousing users' affective emotions (i.e. enjoyment), while interface navigation is crucial to engage users' deep concentration (i.e. cognition) and control for problem-solving.

Practical implications

Modern tablets are being used widely in various sectors. More in-depth user flow experience design associated with tablet use for problem-solving contexts should be further advocated in order to provide more engaging and meaningful flow experiences to users.

Originality/value

This study shows that the design of the tablet interface can engage users in problem-solving processes in both affective and cognitive ways. It provides valuable insights on tablet interface design for problem-solving.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 29 April 2021

Ezgi Kırıcı Tekeli and Aziz Gökhan Özkoç

It is understood that the personality traits and intelligence levels of the tourist guides directly or indirectly affect their ability to solve the problems they encounter…

Abstract

Purpose

It is understood that the personality traits and intelligence levels of the tourist guides directly or indirectly affect their ability to solve the problems they encounter on tours. This study aims to test whether emotional intelligence has an intermediary effect on the problem-solving skills of professional tourist guides with perfectionist personality traits.

Design/methodology/approach

Field research was conducted within the study to analyze suggestions on the interaction of variables on an empirical basis, and data were collected using interview, document review and survey technique. Thus, the mixed-methods approach was used in the study. Within the scope of this study in which 410 professional tourist guides were surveyed, a substantial part of the research data was obtained through the application of the survey technique. Besides, interviews were carried out with 12 professional tourist guides. The clues obtained by the qualitative study were transformed into hypotheses within the scope of the quantitative study, and the intermediary effect was tested.

Findings

A relationship between the main themes, sub-themes and codes was determined within the framework of the qualitative method. As a result of the mediation test, it has been revealed that emotional intelligence has an intermediary role in the relationship between perfectionism and problem-solving skills. According to the results of bootstrapping, the indirect effect of emotional intelligence on perfectionism and problem-solving skills was found out to be significant.

Practical implications

The study acknowledged that positive perfectionism, high emotional intelligence and problem-solving skills contributed to the professional tourist guides being willing to provide better service. In tune with the assumption that the more the quality of the tours carried out through agencies increases, the more satisfied tourists are; the study implicated that it would be advisable for agencies to prioritize the trainings provided for their tour guides to enhance their positive perfectionist, emotionally intelligent personalities and problem-solving skills. Given that professional tourist guides may create a positive country image with the quality service they provide, the significance of such trainings stretch beyond the benefits of such organizations.

Originality/value

Relevant variables were analyzed with a mixed method and applied on professional tourist guides.

Details

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9792

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