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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2005

Patrizia Garengo, Stefano Biazzo, Alessio Simonetti and Giovanni Bernardi

Literature and practice highlight the need to stimulate processes of qualitative growth in SMEs. The aim of the research presented in this paper is to identify a type of…

Abstract

Purpose

Literature and practice highlight the need to stimulate processes of qualitative growth in SMEs. The aim of the research presented in this paper is to identify a type of benchmarking and a benchmarking tool which can support the qualitative growth of these companies.

Design/methodology/approach

During the study, literature review and empirical research had been carried out and further information was gathered by means of workshops and interviews to experts. Finally, the achieved results were tested on a sample of eight Italian SMEs.

Findings

Approaches to benchmarking were reviewed and classified; synthetic benchmarking based on managerial practices was chosen as the most appropriate approach to stimulate improvement and qualitative growth in SMEs; moreover a tool for synthetic benchmarking on managerial practices tool was developed.

Practical implications

The research has practical implication; it provides SMEs with adequate tool and methodology able to support the development of management system. The tool is able to allow SMEs to learn best managerial practices, assess itself with respect to these practices and at the same time understand what must be done to carry out improvement.

Originality/value

The developed tool has a general validity, it does not consider particular situation, but if some codified practices are not applicable to a specific company, it is possible to rule out these practices without compromising the effectives of the tool.

Details

The TQM Magazine, vol. 17 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0954-478X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2002

Stefano Biazzo

Examines the problems, and the limitations, of the use of process mapping techniques in the light of sociotechnical experience in systems analysis. To do this, first, the…

Abstract

Examines the problems, and the limitations, of the use of process mapping techniques in the light of sociotechnical experience in systems analysis. To do this, first, the fundamental characteristics of the various process mapping techniques are illustrated, highlighting how these can be characterised by a conception of business processes based on the notion of “technology” which has been developed within modernist organisation theory. Then, the contribution of sociotechnical theory to office work analysis and design is presented, with particular reference to the work of Calvin Pava on the relationship between the method of analysis and the nature of work. Concludes with some reflections on the residual role attributed to social aspects within process mapping and on the problem of artificial rationality and linearity linked to an acritical use of modelling languages.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2010

Roberto Panizzolo, Stefano Biazzo and Patrizia Garengo

A large amount of research deals with the identification of management practices related to new product development (NPD) success. To this purpose, assessment tools…

Abstract

Purpose

A large amount of research deals with the identification of management practices related to new product development (NPD) success. To this purpose, assessment tools capable of helping enterprises to set up improvement processes are of extreme importance. The aim of this paper is to build a product development assessment model based upon a normative‐contingent approach.

Design/methodology/approach

First, a literature review of the main approaches and models used in NPD assessment was carried out. Second, the tool was tested in five firms. The case studies allowed the authors to test the tool in its prototypal phase in order to assess both its limits and potential and also to highlight possible improvements.

Findings

The assessment tool developed yields a clear understanding of the current state of product development process in an organization in order to facilitate a shared understanding of the weakness and deficiencies, to enable effective process management, to develop implementation plan to support change initiatives and to support process improvement using metrics.

Originality/value

The product development assessment model is based upon a normative‐contingent approach meaning that the prescriptive requirements are defined according to the logic of coherence: requirements vary in relation to contextual conditions. In particular, there are two important context factors which are considered to have a significant influence on NPD process: the complexity of the product‐market interface and the enterprise's NPD strategic orientations.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2000

Stefano Biazzo

Managing processes with the aim of improving them necessarily requires both analysis and critical evaluation of organizational practice. This article takes up the theme of…

Abstract

Managing processes with the aim of improving them necessarily requires both analysis and critical evaluation of organizational practice. This article takes up the theme of business process analysis with the aim of highlighting and comparing alternative techniques and approaches. Four approaches have been identified: action analysis, process mapping, co‐ordination analysis and social grammar analysis. An interpretative model of the fundamental differences between these approaches is proposed. This paper discusses both the limits and the possibilities offered by each approach and concludes with a reflection on the problem of integrating diverse analytical perspectives.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2003

Stefano Biazzo and Giovanni Bernardi

The growing importance and considerable prestige that quality awards hold have encouraged firms to adopt “excellence models” as evaluation frameworks for organisational…

Abstract

The growing importance and considerable prestige that quality awards hold have encouraged firms to adopt “excellence models” as evaluation frameworks for organisational self‐assessment. This has contributed to the spread of a specific form of self‐assessment logic: primarily, the search for conformity to a set of non‐prescriptive requirements that reflect validated, leading‐edge management practices; secondarily, the search of alignment of practices with organisational needs and business factors. But the adoption of this kind of self‐assessment is not necessarily the proper “choice”, particularly for small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs). This paper examines the nature of the diagnostic processes incorporated in award‐based self‐assessment and in other diagnostic models developed in the organisational literature. This analysis provides the foundation for the development of a classification matrix that enables us to differentiate five self‐assessment approaches (paradigmatic, normative, situational, normative‐situational, and open), which can be implemented either with a process‐based or a non‐process‐based analytical frame. On the basis of this matrix we outline a “conceptual map” that could help SMEs in questioning the meaning and substance of “organisational self‐assessment” so as to choose knowingly and rationally frameworks and diagnostics instruments.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 20 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2000

Stefano Biazzo and Roberto Panizzolo

Argues that the way work organization in lean production environments is assessed depends heavily on the choice of the variables that are adopted to ascertain the degree…

Abstract

Argues that the way work organization in lean production environments is assessed depends heavily on the choice of the variables that are adopted to ascertain the degree of innovation in the workplace. Many studies evaluate the change in work organization observing only those elements which are functional for the just‐in‐time production principles while excluding crucial dimensions that characterize the working situation from the worker’s perspective. Moreover, besides the choice of the variables employed to ascertain the degree of innovation in work organization, the method adopted for measuring these variables would seem to be critical if one wishes to bring to light what is hidden behind the popular terms like team, empowerment, problem‐solving groups, quality circles, etc. Suggests that only a research approach which is able to give “thick descriptions” of workplaces can reveal the “reality of working” within lean production systems.

Details

Integrated Manufacturing Systems, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-6061

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1998

Stefano Biazzo

Few other managerial innovations have become popular as quickly as has business process reengineering (BPR); however, probably no other innovation has been interpreted in…

Abstract

Few other managerial innovations have become popular as quickly as has business process reengineering (BPR); however, probably no other innovation has been interpreted in so many different ways either. This paper seeks to discover whether there is a conceptual core which both identifies and differentiates BPR from other practices adopted for organizational change and, also, what value it may really have. After illustrating how the concept of BPR, which was initially elaborated in the context of strategic management of information technology, has been ably reconstructed and transformed into the managerial revolution of the 1990s, this paper goes on to show how this reconstructed BPR cannot be considered to be an innovative and distinct approach to organizational change. Furthermore, it will be highlighted how BPR has served to spread a simplistic and Utopian vision of organizations and of organizational change, and how this requires careful reflection and re‐assessment of management fads.

Details

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 April 2003

Stefano Biazzo and Giovanni Bernardi

The attention focused on the complex set of human activities through which a company attempts to create value for its stakeholders is one of the most characteristic…

Abstract

The attention focused on the complex set of human activities through which a company attempts to create value for its stakeholders is one of the most characteristic features of the total quality management (TQM) concept. This focalisation on the concept of process in the field of competitive quality is today mirrored in the prerequisites of normative quality, as the new ISO 9001: 2000 standard encourages a process approach to quality management. This article aims to investigate the relationship between the crucial aspects of process management and the normative indications of ISO 9001: 2000. To this aim, a conceptual framework is proposed which integrates the core components of process management methodologies described in the literature. The framework is used to analyse the requirements of the new quality system standard and to evaluate the conceptual advancement of ISO 9001: 2000 toward TQM principles and practices. The paper discusses how the harmonisation of normative requirements with TQM could entail several important risks as it increases the problem of ritualistic implementation – i.e. the adoption of external norms exclusively targeted at social legitimation – and concludes with a reflection on the “implementation challenge” that both companies and consultants have to face in order to seek ISO 9001 registration and develop an effective process management system.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 26 October 2010

Abstract

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 21 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Content available
Article
Publication date: 28 January 2014

Abstract

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

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