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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2003

Jeremy M. Wilson

Aside from a few groundbreaking studies, there has been little empirical exploration into the structure of American police organizations. Traditional organizational…

Abstract

Aside from a few groundbreaking studies, there has been little empirical exploration into the structure of American police organizations. Traditional organizational inquiries have suggested that structural characteristics can be differentiated between those that represent complexity or differentiation within the organization and those that represent control mechanisms to coordinate and manage the complexity. This research investigates whether these various structural elements are indicative of two latent constructs by developing and testing measurement models representing structural complexity and control. Organizational scholars have also argued that structural complexity increases the demand for structural control. Maguire investigated this issue in the context of police organizations and found little support for the hypothesis. The paper reexamines this relationship by extending and replicating Maguire’s analysis to ascertain if a different specification and sample sustain his conclusion. Utilizing data from the 1997 Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics survey and a survey conducted by Edward Maguire, the paper explores these issues using a sample of 401 large, municipal police organizations in the USA. The results indicate that structural control is unidimensional, while structural complexity is not. This study also provides modest evidence supporting an association between structural complexity and control.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 26 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Book part
Publication date: 16 September 2017

Maya Cara, Julian Birkinshaw and Suzanne Heywood

In this chapter, we explore the relationship between organizational complexity and firm-level innovation. We define and operationalize a new construct, experienced…

Abstract

In this chapter, we explore the relationship between organizational complexity and firm-level innovation. We define and operationalize a new construct, experienced complexity, which is the extent to which the organizational environment makes it challenging for decision makers to do their jobs effectively. We distinguish experienced complexity from structural complexity, which is the elements of the organization, such as the number of reporting lines or integrating mechanisms, that are deliberately put in place to help the organization deliver on its objectives, and we argue that structural complexity correlates positively with firm-level innovation, while experienced complexity correlates negatively with innovation. Using a novel dataset combining survey and objective data on 209 large firms, we find support for our arguments.

Details

Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Platforms
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-080-8

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Article
Publication date: 4 January 2018

Varinder Singh and Pravin M. Singru

The purpose of this paper is to propose the use of graph theoretic structural modeling for assessing the possible reduction in complexity of the work flow procedures in an…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose the use of graph theoretic structural modeling for assessing the possible reduction in complexity of the work flow procedures in an organization due to lean initiatives. A tool to assess the impact of lean initiative on complexity of the system at an early stage of decision making is proposed.

Design/methodology/approach

First, the permanent function-based graph theoretic structural model has been applied to understand the complex structure of a manufacturing system under consideration. The model helps by systematically breaking it into different sub-graphs that identify all the cycles of interactions among the subsystems in the organization in a systematic manner. The physical interpretation of the existing quantitative methods linked to graph theoretic methodology, namely two types of coefficients of dissimilarity, has been used to evolve the new measures of organizational complexity. The new methods have been deployed for studying the impact of different lean initiatives on complexity reduction in a case industrial organization.

Findings

The usefulness and the application of new proposed measures of complexity have been demonstrated with the help of three cases of lean initiatives in an industrial organization. The new measures of complexity have been proposed as a credible tool for studying the lean initiatives and their implications.

Research limitations/implications

The paper may lead many researchers to use the proposed tool to model different cases of lean manufacturing and pave a new direction for future research in lean manufacturing.

Practical implications

The paper demonstrates the application of new tools through cases and the tool may be used by practitioners of lean philosophy or total quality management to model and investigate their decisions.

Originality/value

The proposed measures of complexity are absolutely new addition to the tool box of graph theoretic structural modeling and have a potential to be adopted by practical decision makers to steer their organizations though such decisions before the costly interruptions in manufacturing systems are tried on ground.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

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Article
Publication date: 23 August 2011

Joana Geraldi, Harvey Maylor and Terry Williams

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to operations management (OM) practice contingency research by describing the complexity of projects. Complexity is recognised…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to operations management (OM) practice contingency research by describing the complexity of projects. Complexity is recognised as a key independent (contingent) variable that impacts on many subsequent decisions in the practice of managing projects.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents a systematic review of relevant literature and synthesises an integrated framework for assessing the complexities of managing projects.

Findings

This framework comprises five dimensions of complexitystructural, uncertainty, dynamics, pace and socio‐political complexity. These five dimensions present individuals and organisations with choices about how they respond to each type of complexity, in terms of business case, strategic choice, process choice, managerial capacity and competencies.

Originality/value

The contribution of this paper is to provide a clarification to the epistemology of complexity, to demonstrate complexity as a lived experience for project managers, and offer a common language for both practitioners and future empirical studies considering the individual or organisational response to project complexities. The work also demonstrates an application of systematic review in OM research.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 31 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2018

Neil Turner, James Aitken and Cecil Bozarth

The purpose of this paper is to examine the nature of supply chain complexity and extend this with literature developed within the project domain. The authors use the lens…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the nature of supply chain complexity and extend this with literature developed within the project domain. The authors use the lens of ambidexterity (the ability both to exploit and explore) to analyse responses to complexity, since this enables the authors to understand the application of known solutions in conjunction with innovative ones to resolve difficulties. This research also seeks to investigate how managers respond to supply chain complexities that can either be operationally deleterious or strategically beneficial.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors develop a descriptive framework based on the project management (PM) literature to understand response options to complexity, and then use interviews with supply chain managers in six organisations to examine the utility of this framework in practice. The authors ask the research question “How do managers in supply chains respond to complexities”?

Findings

The case study data show first that managers faced with structural, socio-political, or emergent supply chain complexities use a wide range of responses. Second, over a third of the instances of complexity coded were actually accommodated, rather than reduced, by the study firms, suggesting that adapting to supply chain complexity in certain instances may be strategically appropriate. Third, the lens of ambidexterity allows a more explicit assessment of whether existing PM solutions can be considered or if novel methods are required to address supply chain complexities.

Practical implications

The descriptive framework can aid managers in conceptualising and addressing supply chain complexity. Through exploiting current knowledge, managers can lessen the impact of complexity while exploring other innovative approaches to solve new problems and challenges that evolve from complexity growth driven by business strategy.

Originality/value

This study addresses a gap in the literature through the development of a framework which provides a structure on ways to address supply chain complexity. The authors evaluate an existing project complexity concept and demonstrate that it is both applicable and valuable in non-project, ongoing operations. The authors then extend it using the lens of ambidexterity, and develop a framework that can support practitioners in analysing and addressing both strategically necessary supply complexities, together with unwanted, negative complexities within the organisation and across the supply chain.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 38 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 7 June 2021

Melek Akın Ateş and Huriye Memiş

This paper aims to empirically examine the moderating role of strategic purchasing on the relationship between supply base complexity (SBC) and purchasing performance.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to empirically examine the moderating role of strategic purchasing on the relationship between supply base complexity (SBC) and purchasing performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey data were collected from 209 firms listed in the Capital Top 500 Firms of Turkey. Measurement properties were assessed via confirmatory factor analysis, and the conceptual model was tested via hierarchical regression analysis. A supplementary analysis based on 14 semi-structured interviews was conducted to provide further insights on the survey findings.

Findings

Regarding structural SBC, the results suggest that horizontal complexity and supplier interaction improve purchasing performance, but only in firms with high strategic purchasing. By contrast, spatial complexity reduces purchasing performance in firms with high strategic purchasing, while supplier differentiation does not have any effect. Regarding dynamic SBC, the results show that both delivery complexity and supplier instability reduce purchasing performance when firms have low strategic purchasing. Interviews further suggest that firms with high strategic purchasing leverage the positive effects and mitigate the negative effects of SBC by having a long-term focus, considering multiple performance criteria and adopting advanced purchasing practices.

Practical implications

In contrast to what is widely posited in the existing literature, the nuanced findings of this study reveal that complexity is not always detrimental. The results suggest that practitioners should aim for high levels of strategic purchasing to suppress the negative effects of SBC while leveraging its benefits.

Originality/value

By investigating the contingency role of strategic purchasing, this study provides novel insights into the under-investigated issue of how to best “manage” SBC.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 27 October 2017

Seyoum Eshetu Birkie, Paolo Trucco and Pablo Fernandez Campos

This study aims to investigate the influence of supply chain (SC) complexity on the effectiveness of resilience capabilities in mitigating SC disruptions. Hypotheses about…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the influence of supply chain (SC) complexity on the effectiveness of resilience capabilities in mitigating SC disruptions. Hypotheses about direct and moderating influences of complexity on resilience capabilities and performance change after disruption are built and quantitatively tested.

Design/methodology/approach

Partial least square-based structural equation modelling with formative constructs was used as an overall approach. Secondary data on SC disruptions, related performance change and resilience practices were collected from multiple sources through a predefined procedure. The collected data were systematically encoded prior to performing statistical analysis.

Findings

SC structural complexity is found to have a significant positive relation with performance improvement after disruption, along with resilience capability; it also positively moderates the resilience–performance link.

Research limitations/implications

The SC complexity factors the authors considered in this study do not include dynamic forms because of the nature of data collected. Future research may attempt to include and test whether the results of this study also hold when additional complexity parameters are taken into account.

Practical implications

Managers are often trying to reduce SC complexity. This study implies that some level of complexity is beneficial also for a better recovery of operational performance affected because of disruption. Resilience capabilities become more effective when leveraged on complexity in the SC.

Originality/value

This is the first study to empirically investigate the influence of SC complexity on the resilience–performance link.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 22 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2018

Nasser Javid, Kaveh Khalili-Damghani, Ahmad Makui and Farshid Abdi

This paper aims to propose a multi-dimensional model on the basis of the key factors of the flexibility and the complexity through structural equation modeling (SEM)…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to propose a multi-dimensional model on the basis of the key factors of the flexibility and the complexity through structural equation modeling (SEM). Dimensions of the flexibilities and complexity, including 16 main factors and 34 sub-factors, are investigated. The sampling of the research is accomplished using both academic and industrial experts.

Design/methodology/approach

A huge electronic questionnaire analysis, including 1,250 samples from which 1,036 were returned, was accomplished in various universities and manufacturing companies throughout the USA, Europe and Asia. Partial least square-SEM (PLS-SEM) is used to test the hypotheses through confirmatory factor analysis.

Findings

The results reveal insightful information about the impacts of different dimensions of flexibility on each other and also the effect of the flexibility on the complexity. Finally, system of linear mathematical equations for flexibility-complexity trade-off is proposed. This can be applied to realize the trade-off among dimensions of flexibility and complexity.

Originality/value

Flexible manufacturing systems are formed to meet the needs of the customers. Such systems try to produce products in appropriate quality at the right time and at the specified quantity. These, in turn, require flexibility and will cause complexity. Although flexibility and complexity are both important, there is no comprehensive framework in which the multi-dimensional relationships of the manufacturing flexibility and complexity, as well as their dimensions, are demonstrated.

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1992

Philip D. Olson and David E. Terpstra

The focus of this study was on successful, small, rapidly growingfirms and on people who manage (entrepreneurs/ CEOs) or help manage(interventionists/consultants) these…

Abstract

The focus of this study was on successful, small, rapidly growing firms and on people who manage (entrepreneurs/ CEOs) or help manage (interventionists/consultants) these firms. Investigates the structural (complexity, formalization and centralization) changes that occur in firms as they move from the start‐up stage to the growth stage of development. One reason these structural changes were examined was that rapid growth often strains organizations′ existing structures and, in turn, threatens their very existence. Further, little empirical information exists about structural changes in small, growing firms. Using a sample of Inc. 500 firms, finds support for the hypotheses that organizations in their growth stage will exhibit greater complexity, greater formalization, and less centralization than in their start‐up stage.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1994

Simon Rogerson and Christine Fidler

Advances in information provision have led organizations to attempt todevelop IS/IT strategies which interrelate with their businessstrategies and which together support…

Abstract

Advances in information provision have led organizations to attempt to develop IS/IT strategies which interrelate with their business strategies and which together support corporate missions. Strategic information systems planning (SISP) has become an accepted part of the overall corporate strategic planning process. The proliferation of methods and the variations in satisfaction indicate a need to provide a framework for classifying and comparing SISP approaches which will provide guidance on use and to explain why certain approaches are more commonly used than others. Develops a classification framework based on complexity and describes tools for using the framework. Provides indication as to the nature of a complete classification and comparison method for SISP based on complexity, scope and fit.

Details

Information Management & Computer Security, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-5227

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