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Article
Publication date: 3 November 2014

Martin Reynolds

Three levels of learning developed by Gregory Bateson in the tradition of second-order cybernetics have in-part been translated in terms of double-loop and triple-loop…

Abstract

Purpose

Three levels of learning developed by Gregory Bateson in the tradition of second-order cybernetics have in-part been translated in terms of double-loop and triple-loop learning (TLL), particularly in the tradition of systems thinking. Learning III and TLL have gained less popularity since they deal with less tangible issues regarding virtues of wisdom and justice, respectively. The purpose of this paper is to provide a learning device – the systems thinking in practice (STiP) heuristic – which helps to retrieve the cybernetic concern for wisdom in association with an often forgotten systems concern for real-world power relations.

Design/methodology/approach

Using “conversation” as a metaphor the heuristic is introduced based on three orders of conversation. Drawing on ideas of systemic triangulation, another heuristic device – the systemic triangulator – is used to surface issues of power in the three orders of conversation. Some manifestations in using the STiP heuristic for supporting postgraduate systems learning are demonstrated.

Findings

Some key complementarities between conventionally opaque cybernetic issues of wisdom and systems issues of power are revealed, and used proactively to explore more effective coaching of STiP.

Research limitations/implications

Cybernetics and systems thinking may benefit from being grounded more in understanding, engaging with, and transforming social realities. The heuristics provide practical experiential and meaningful learning through conversation, and more social premium for the study of cybernetics and systems thinking.

Originality/value

The heuristics – STiP, and the systemic triangulator – provides an innovative cyber-systemic space for learning and action.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 43 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 3 November 2014

Special Issue

Abstract

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 43 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Article
Publication date: 12 October 2015

Björn Link and Andrea Back

The technological innovation of Software as a Service-Enterprise Resource Planning (SaaS-ERP) opens several relative advantages, which may be realized by choosing the…

Abstract

Purpose

The technological innovation of Software as a Service-Enterprise Resource Planning (SaaS-ERP) opens several relative advantages, which may be realized by choosing the proper operation mode. Thus a company looking for a new ERP system faces the question: When and under what conditions does it make sense to choose a SaaS-ERP system? The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The relative advantage criterion of the diffusion of innovation theory, derived as operation mode differences, determine the conditions under which SaaS- or On-Premise-ERP is preferable: a classification of all main systemic operation mode differences between SaaS and On-Premise for the more complex ERP systems is presented. The systemic differences were identified by analytic generalization using triangulation between a literature review and a multiple case study with four ERP producers.

Findings

The most significant decision factors between ERP operation modes are flexibility, customization, cost, and operation and maintenance. General strategies have been derived by bringing the theoretical reasons together with the operation mode difference criteria. Typical criteria for selecting SaaS-ERP are a lack of IT-capacity or capabilities, as well as high need for flexibility, due to business development, seasonality, growth, collaboration and/or expansion. On-Premise-ERPs should be selected if specific or strategic resources would be outsourced or when major customization is a need.

Research limitations/implications

Case research is limited in that it reveals only ERP producers’ view and omits outlying cases.

Practical implications

The findings implicate that ERP selecting customers should consider and expand their criteria for ERP selection by operation mode criteria.

Originality/value

The classification of the most essential operation mode differences allows, for the first time, ERP selecting customers to design selection strategies. ERP selecting companies should strategically favor the operation mode that best suits their respective organizational characteristics so as to obtain the best possible support from the ERP operation modes.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 28 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

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Article
Publication date: 15 March 2013

Imelda McDermott, Kath Checkland, Stephen Harrison, Stephanie Snow and Anna Coleman

The language used by National Health Service (NHS) “commissioning” managers when discussing their roles and responsibilities can be seen as a manifestation of “identity…

Abstract

Purpose

The language used by National Health Service (NHS) “commissioning” managers when discussing their roles and responsibilities can be seen as a manifestation of “identity work”, defined as a process of identifying. This paper aims to offer a novel approach to analysing “identity work” by triangulation of multiple analytical methods, combining analysis of the content of text with analysis of its form.

Design/methodology/approach

Fairclough's discourse analytic methodology is used as a framework. Following Fairclough, the authors use analytical methods associated with Halliday's systemic functional linguistics.

Findings

While analysis of the content of interviews provides some information about NHS Commissioners' perceptions of their roles and responsibilities, analysis of the form of discourse that they use provides a more detailed and nuanced view. Overall, the authors found that commissioning managers have a higher level of certainty about what commissioning is not rather than what commissioning is; GP managers have a high level of certainty of their identity as a GP rather than as a manager; and both GP managers and non‐GP managers oscillate between multiple identities depending on the different situations they are in.

Originality/value

This paper offers a novel approach to triangulation, based not on the usual comparison of multiple data sources, but rather based on the application of multiple analytical methods to a single source of data. This paper also shows the latent uncertainty about the nature of commissioning enterprise in the English NHS.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2020

Santana Pathak and Sujata Mukherjee

This study aims to explore social entrepreneurial ecosystems (EEs) in the craft sector in the state of Gujarat, India. With liberalization, India witnessed the growth of…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore social entrepreneurial ecosystems (EEs) in the craft sector in the state of Gujarat, India. With liberalization, India witnessed the growth of social entrepreneurship and is considered one of the pioneering countries in social innovation. The objective of the research was to answer the research question: what role do various stakeholder groups play in creating and promoting craft sector social EEs.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on a qualitative case study approach of methodological triangulation combining analysing documents, a participant observation and semi-structured interviews. Two case studies – one of the Ajrakh craft cluster from Ajrakhpur and the other of Kala Cotton from Aadeshar, Bhuj are studied to explore the symbiotic linkages of social entrepreneurship ecosystem in Kutch district of Gujarat, India. A total of 24 in-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with stakeholders of the EE.

Findings

The study concludes that the role of like-minded individuals/social entrepreneurs, social enterprises, design networks and educational institutions is vital towards revival and sustainability of craft as economic commodities geared for scalability. Furthermore, the engagement of the systemic condition agents such as various local and national level institutions, the communities play an important role to revitalize, redeem and commercialize craft infrastructure based on active engagement, innovation and services.

Originality/value

This paper fulfils an identified need to study how traditional craft-based enterprises can be enabled, revived, grown and sustained.

Details

Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6204

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Article
Publication date: 4 January 2013

David T. Robinson

The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a short research study that introduced a group of busy managers, in an organisation in turmoil, to Stafford Beer's…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a short research study that introduced a group of busy managers, in an organisation in turmoil, to Stafford Beer's Viable System Model (VSM) through the use of a personal construct, developed by Allenna Leonard.

Design/methodology/approach

This study, designed as systemic action research, was a final project towards an Open University Masters in Systems Thinking in Practice. Initially managers were introduced to the personal VSM and invited to design their own VSM as systemic action learning. This was followed by an introductory collaborative inquiry to enable the managers to use their VSM learning to interrogate their organisational domain through the VSM lens.

Findings

The managers engaged well with the personal VSM (PVSM). All the managers reported that the PVSM was a useful learning tool and provided beneficial professional development to help clarify activities, priorities and their roles. They reported that the collaborative meeting was a very useful means to help them see others' perspectives and work towards gaining a shared understanding of the issues and challenges within the organisation through the VSM lens.

Practical implications

The VSM is not well understood or routinely used in current management thinking. This method of introducing the VSM to managers has wide implications for providing managers with an introduction to systems thinking and an opportunity to engage openly with a valuable tool that will help their understanding of modern organisational complexity.

Originality/value

Using the personal VSM with managers has not been reported before and this study provides new opportunities to develop a means to introduce complex conceptual systems models to busy managers.

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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2015

Eelis Rytkönen, Suvi Nenonen, Erica Österlund and Inka Kojo

– The purpose of this paper is to characterize development processes of eight novel learning environment projects in one university campus in Finland.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to characterize development processes of eight novel learning environment projects in one university campus in Finland.

Design/methodology/approach

This study builds propositions on case study data in an attempt to characterize the distinguished cases. In total, 22 semi-structured interviews were conducted as the primary data collection method. Supporting data includes archives, seminars and workshops. The data were analyzed in ATLAS.ti.

Findings

The cases are unique in their processes constituting socio-technical change. They represent two main process types: agile, iterative bottom-up processes and slow, linear, top-down processes. The essence of each project is in balancing in five dimensions of approach, motivation, budget, type of outcome and added value (AMB to AV) process management model: approach scaling from strategic to operational, motivation scaling from space to activity, budget scaling from fixed to seed money, type of outcome scaling from slow and standardized to quick and dirty and added value scaling from research to societal impact.

Research limitations/implications

The cases are highly context-dependent and only provide a narrow understanding of a previously little studied area. The main contribution is in highlighting the complexity of the studied phenomenon. Future research could further the subject by, i.e. testing the created model in another context.

Practical implications

Transformation from institutionalized learning environments toward campuses facilitating learning flows requires multiple supporting processes. The roles of the campus managers are expanded from measuring, controlling and maintaining the campuses toward identifying, empowering, supporting and enabling user communities to affect their working and learning environments.

Originality/value

Managing campuses top-down based on large amounts of data can be supported by bottom-up approaches. This study outlines a systemic framework for supporting both types of processes.

Details

Facilities, vol. 33 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2006

Melissa A. Kelly and Daniel J. Kaczynski

This paper explores graduate students’ misconceptions about qualitative research and demonstrates how a learner‐centered approach can support formative adjustments in…

Abstract

This paper explores graduate students’ misconceptions about qualitative research and demonstrates how a learner‐centered approach can support formative adjustments in instructional design and delivery of a qualitative research course. Among the qualitative data sources used in the study was students’ work in the course, as well as observations made by the instructor. A two‐stage analysis process, using NVivo software, generated two broad categories of students’ misconceptions: technical skills and design considerations. An examination of the depth of students’ work provided insight into how they approached and corrected misconceptions. Among the implications of these findings is the need for qualitative research instructors to continually anticipate, monitor, and actively respond to students’ misconceptions to counter negative effects of students’ faulty thinking. An instructor who gives little forethought to the issue of systematically and formatively adjusting course content to resolve learning dissonance may be hindering student learning and encumbering the development of future qualitative researchers. On one level, students’ misconceptions become a diagnostic tool to help the instructor correct students’ flawed thinking; on a higher level, an in‐depth exploration of the origins of the misconceptions can engage educators in curriculum reform efforts to promote cross‐curricular building of research competencies. Rather than supporting the divisions between qualitative and quantitative research, graduate reform should promote a learner‐centered systemic approach to formative improvements, thus strengthening cohesion among all forms of research methodology.

Details

Qualitative Research Journal, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1443-9883

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 29 March 2021

Rita Lavikka, Krishna Chauhan, Antti Peltokorpi and Olli Seppänen

Systemic innovations emerge and create value in an inter-organisational context. However, innovation studies rarely investigate the role of value creation and value…

Abstract

Purpose

Systemic innovations emerge and create value in an inter-organisational context. However, innovation studies rarely investigate the role of value creation and value capture among multiple organisations in successful innovation implementation. This paper aims to understand the role of value creation and value capture in the implementation of systemic innovations in construction which is by nature, an inter-organisational context.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical research focused on the barriers, enablers and opportunities for value creation and value capture of the Finnish construction project parties when trying to implement mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) prefabrication, which is a systemic innovation. Data were collected through interviews, observations and action workshops.

Findings

The empirical study identified interaction patterns on how social, political, technical and economic barriers lead to uneven value capturing, lack of value-based procurement and unclear value creation between MEP design and installation. They hinder the implementation of MEP prefabrication. The results point to enablers leading to fairly shared value to all parties, procurement of value and collaborative value creation, thus increasing the usage of MEP prefabrication, a systemic innovation.

Originality/value

The study adds new knowledge by demonstrating that the identification of barriers and their interaction with enablers and opportunities for value creation and capture lay a baseline for suggestions on how to implement a systemic innovation. This study stresses the importance of enabling value creation and capture for all construction project parties when implementing a systemic innovation.

Details

Construction Innovation , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 March 2010

Oliver Barima and S.M. Rowlinson

This paper aims to examine the use of the increasingly important virtual concept to deliver value in projects, focusing on the manifest, critical issues which can enhance…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the use of the increasingly important virtual concept to deliver value in projects, focusing on the manifest, critical issues which can enhance value delivery in virtual construction projects.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses both quantitative and qualitative triangulated methods to examine the concepts in the study. Triangulated data analysis is also used to give insight.

Findings

The study disentangles 16 manifest, independent variables as being crucial in enhancing value delivery in virtual construction projects. Also the research gives a fresh view, by differentiating between influential and necessary crucial variables in virtual construction project value delivery.

Research limitations/implications

The study demonstrates the use of triangulation in critical variables research. It also gives integrated insight on rigorous, triangulated, data analysis to enhance understanding in the critical variables research domain.

Practical implications

The research gives insight to managers on the issues which need attention in the design and implementation of virtual construction projects to deliver value.

Originality/value

The research adds value to the literature on the virtual construction project delivery concept, where little knowledge exists. Based on empirical evidence, the study also gives a fresh insightful lens, for the examination of critical variables from the perspective of influential and necessary items.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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