September 05, 2006

Building an interactive supply chain community

Conference 2006, San DiegoWell, despite my constant pleading that I’m not a techy guy – anything I do is trial and error an a LOT of help from HT2 I’m now working on building a ‘community’ around all things supply chain. This will include wikis, FAQs, discussion threads, video, online tutorials, Macromedia Captivate guides to various aspects of project management, podcasts and videocasts … plus venturing into webinars (synchronous) possibly using WebEx.

Obviously the ‘build it and they will come’ approach is driving us on this but not only do we want content producers (in other words people to write or say things about supply chain subject matter) but we also want volunteers to be technical editors to help support some of the tougher stuff we’re plannign to experiment with. As I said, its voluntary as we’re doing it for academic purposes but what’s wrong with sacrificing many hours of your life for the greater good of the world??!!

The intention is to try to bridge the divides between four broad (and overlapping) constituencies – academia, practice, expert and novice. For example, so many times we see organizations trying to implement ‘lean’ practices and wondering why they screw up. We then see researchers repeatedly saying – ‘lean principles are great, but they are NOT a panacea’...just see my Warwick Business School colleagues Radnor and Walley on this for example. So my concern is—if academia has both questions and answers, why are the practitioners not heeding their words of wisdom. Jeez, you wouldn’t expect to go to a physician and find that she prescribes an analgesic no matter what your symptoms: yet that is precisely what industry and public sector are doing.

Well, that’s the ideology anyway!

So, all comments welcome.

June 02, 2006

Looking Back and Looking Forward

CoronadoNearly at the end of the first full academic year in San Diego – very much been an intensive year what with chairing and organizing the Worldwide Symposium and IPSERA conference, developing new supply chain on line modules and writing the book. But what a contrast with Warwick!

Two things:
1. I do feel that academically the standards demanded from UK students are generally greater than in the US, plus grade inflation in the US is a real problem.
2. Faculty in the US have far greater say and influence in the running of departments, which is, in my view, a great advance over here.

What next?
Well, working on an exciting project for a new program and hope to see that through to launch in my next year. We are also pushing the bounds of e-learning further so that will start to be a tangible facet of the time I’m spending.
Oh – and of course enjoying San Diego with my family during their visits here…..Amy Mae Aug 06

June 18, 2005

Revisiting E–learning 12 months on

Follow-up to Experience with E–Learning from Simon's blog

Reflecting back on a busy 12 months in which we've been ever more diligent in using our research into student's learning to explore 'better' online learning materials, it struck me how much more effort I now put into tutoring, seeding discussions, giving feedback and embracing other communication formats like IM, VOIP and one day soon video conferencing. And to think one of the motivations at the outset was economy of scale!

Now, quality of learning has taken over as my primary motivation for still pursuing online learning/e-learning. Looking ahead a year I'm very excited about using PDAs for student course management and delivery of (in essence) focused 'calculators' on which we pre load various statistical calculations (mainly for industrial engineering type applications -capability, throughput, utilization, et) and provide mini Flash lectures (damn Palm OS doesn't work with Flash tho')

November 06, 2004

Next steps – a research program

Follow-up to Experience with E–Learning from Simon's blog


I'm about to embark on some research into e-learning since I now have over 60 graduates on my MSc program at the Supply Chain Management Institute in San Diego – so far we have conducted exit interviews with all grads and are studying current students: – this will involve us setting up a learning laboratory for current students in January and using them in the content and platform design process.

I'd welcome any comments and collaboration as we really can get some solid research data to help our ongoing web and media developments.

Feel free to post your response here

June 17, 2004

Things Zeppelin

Writing about web page

The revival of interest in Zeppelin following last years DVD and live 3 CD set has been great for an old head banger like me! If you wanna know what 4 guys – guitar, bass, drums and vocals – can really do, there ain't nuttin better than their Royal Albert Hall gig in 1970

Experience with E–Learning

Well, I guess I've been 'messing' with using the web for learning and teaching for 7 or more years. I'm not a 'techie' and tend to have to plead with those who are for their help time after time!
The opportunites to use multi media and on-demand learning are the two areas I feel are most valuable, yet paradoxically are becoming the most difficult to operationalise.
Producing good content has to be the core activity in this area I believe, but trying to get around the problems that IT bods keep saying 'we need a decent platform first'. Sorry pal, there are plenty of 'platforms' (nowt wrong with web ct) what we really need is content!

Understanding Trust in Supply relations

TRUST is an important issue in supply chain management – but an ellusive one too. Some definitions:

“a willingness to rely on an exchange partner in whom one has confidence” . (Moorman et al. 1992:315)
“the firm's belief that another company will perform actions that will result in positive outcomes for the firm, as well as not take unexpected actions that would result in negative outcomes for the firm”, (Anderson & Narus 1990:45)
“the confidence in the reliability of a person or a system regarding a given set of outcomes or events, where that confidences expresses a faith in the probity or love for another, or in the correctness of abstract principles”. (Giddens 1990:34)

The literature emphasises the importance of trust in building relationships – but does not seem to explore if this makes transactions more 'efficient'. There is a fair bit of research on the importance of trust in the context of knowledge and learning – particularly supplier involvement in new product development and process innovation.
An interesting research question that would be a valuable area to explore is: 'Does trust help to access economic or strategic benefits?'

June 16, 2004

Where would I use a Blog?

Follow-up to Why me, why here? from Simon's blog

We teach students at Undergrad, MBA and on exec course,. I'm also doing stuff with the University of San Diego using Web CT - no blogging facility but we're looking at getting their (mature) students to compile theior portfolio this way.

Why me, why here?

Well, here’s my first experiment with blogs. I’m keen to see how we can use these for students to build learning portfolios. My main worry is the variation in IT skills and attitudes amongst a body of 200 students – I found that around 5% of my students hated anything that had a taint of ‘e-learning’ – and mebbe that’s also about managing expectations.
Any road up, thought I’d bung my photo up too just to frighten off evil spirits….

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