All entries for May 2011

May 31, 2011

Much Information to Make Decisions

There is always an emphasis on the importance of collecting as much information as possible to make a robust decision. however, what happens if there are too much information that make it confusing to make a decision?

many would argue that among this information there is useful and relevant information and irrelevant information that must be excluded from the decision making. this argument leads to another decision to be made, that is decide which is the useful information. the complexity here is obvious especially for complex situation.

other argue that the best solution to avoid such dilemma is to ask very focused questions that require limited information to answer them. this would help in avoiding the huge amount of information and in categorise them to relevant and irrelevant.

The above is ideal and is relative depending on the uniqueness of every situation. however, it worth thinking of especially in the reality of the increasing information that is result of the technology development and establishing knowledge management systems.


SSM and Bias

this blog might be a repetition of another one. well, it might be something that deserves to be thought of.

Robust decision are described as the ones that involve the minimum bias possible. one of the decision making 'tools' that were introduced in the literature is Soft System Methodology (SSM). for me those might involve some contradiction.

people interpret things differently depending on their experience, knowledge, and other factors. the SSM methodology emphasises the importance of capturing all interpretations because human knowledge and experience is valuable and cannot be ignored. the solution that will come at the end represents all participant thoughts about the problem.

in bias people tend to interpret, prefer, prioritise ideas and things depending on their knowledge, experience, and the way the see the world. in decision making tools are created to decrease these trend rather than gathering them and try to form a holistic picture.

there might be some weaknesses in my argument because it can be relative. however, in a size of a blog the idea is to stimulate some ideas that help thinking out of the box regarding some decision making situations.


Ethical Decisions in Business

The decisions that we had to make in RDM so far is related to choosing among financial, marketing, or other alternatives. A manager in an organisation can be put in a situation where they have to make ethical decisions. Here there is a problem-how much ethics weigh? I will give an example and then question it.

If you are a sales manager and you have a sales man who is very bright to a degree that his sales figures is significantly high. This guy plays the main role of your organisation profitability. However, he is a "ladies guy" who brings his behaviours into the organisation. You can see him flirting with women in the office and might come to touch them. Many women complained about it. His behaviour continues although you have warned hem many times. If continues like that you are afraid of harassment lawsuit but firing him has a big impact on your business. How to decide?

Some might say that some tools like OMI can serve in such cases. I think that ethicality evaluation is much complicated than putting it into a tool. What about the bias involved too?

Some researchers, however, suggest other tools that can be used in ethical decision making in business. Never have the chance to read them in detail.


May 28, 2011

Maintenance Classifications

literature classifies maintenance approaches to Preventive (PM), predictive (PDM), total productive (TPM), reliability-Centred (RCM), and others. however, careful reading leads to a conclusion that many of them are integrated. researchers say that PM is part of PDM. they also say that to have a good TPM you should be applying PM and PDM in the first place. this can sometimes create confusion for managers that are not interested in academic research.

my personal conclusion of this is that there is one maintenance approach which is the latest that approves success. other maintenance approaches should become practices that are included in the latest approach. what is the value of having all these classification if the aim is to practice? for example if I am fully applying PM, someone can just suggest that I am 50% applying TPM. and this can be true for other approaches too.

I think that the most important thing in maintenance is practice rather than having theories. one approach is enough if it is annually updated to include all the practices that prove beneficial. 


Intangible and Tangible Assets

the main areas in intangible assets are people and the knowledge they produce. while some writings study both separately, others refer that both are becoming interdependent or even integrated.

while EFQM does not refer to this relation in its model, I think that this integration is the significant issue of assets management. all assets now are connected to technology and depend on information and data that is entered in. accordingly, the separation of the two assets management will not be valid in the near future.



EFQM and Competitive Advantage

it is intersting that EFQM does not refer/ recognise clearly knowledge as an asset. while manageing knowledge and informatin is mentioned under resources in section 4, this managemnt was focused on sharing information and gave a big focus on innovation. 

recent writings about knowledge consider it as an asset that must not only be managed but effecintly collected. implicit knowledge is the most source of information which cannot be formally collected. implicit lnowledge is also what really builds the competitve advantage of a company. I think that collecting implicit knowledge is the key for knwledge management taking into consideratin that implicit knowldge becomes explicit after it is collected and documented.

arguably, all new organisations are knowledge based and their competitive advantage is knowledge. while many recognise knowledge and try to manage it, the majority cannot collect and manage implicit knowledge which creates the competitve advantage.


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  • The sale man is indeed important for the organization in a short time. But he will impact on organiz… by on this entry
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