Designing for an Uncertain Future

Designing for an Uncertain Future

Enid Mumford (Manchester University, UK)
Copyright: © 2003 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-118-6.ch014
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Abstract

The philosophy of this book is that problem solving and the management of change will be facilitated by participation. By participation is meant that all those affected by change, or their representatives, will be able to play some part in its definition, in agreeing strategies for its implementation and in evaluating its success. Most of the case studies discussed have been concerned with the positive aspects of change involving systems redesign. The stimulus here was usually the introduction of a new technical system. Early projects used participation as a means for assisting the introduction of a specific new system into a single or small number of departments. Later ones were larger and had more dramatic effects. All employees would now be involved, either from a particular function or from the company as a whole and, on occasion, from its environment. My objective has been to try and assist the creation of work systems which are both efficient and meet human needs for acceptable, stimulating and satisfying work environments. As well as user involvement, these systems will aim to have certain other desirable characteristics, namely, suitability, flexibility, complementarity and sustainability. Suitability requires them to provide a good fit with the technical and social needs of the work situation. In other words they do a good job in production and human terms. They are also flexible and able to cope easily with subsequent technical and organizational change. They complement existing systems and connect easily with these, and because they have these characteristics, they are sustainable and endure into the future. Their complementarity feature will also extend into the external environment so that industrial and clerical systems will mesh easily with environmental systems and create harmonious work, community and physical environments. But, most important, they are also democratic. All except the first enabled the people who would work with or be affected by them to have a role in their design, development and implementation.

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Table of Contents
Chapter 1
Enid Mumford
Managing change of any kind requires effective problem solving. This is especially the case when the change involves designing and implementing new... Sample PDF
The Problems of Managing Change
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Chapter 2
Enid Mumford
In order to understand the present and predict the future we need to learn from the past. A major part of this book will examine how ideas derived... Sample PDF
Socio-technical Design: Its Early History
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Chapter 3
Enid Mumford
As the case studies in the chapters that follow are all examples of participative organizational and systems design, I will now describe the... Sample PDF
Participation in Practice
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Chapter 4
Enid Mumford
The book now introduces some case studies on organizational design and asks you to think what you would do if you were a manager, researcher or... Sample PDF
Analysing Problem Situations: The Dock Workers of Liverpool
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Chapter 5
Enid Mumford
Once you have obtained a reasonably good understanding of the problem to be tackled, the next step is to decide what to do and how to do it. This... Sample PDF
Work Design in the Coal Industry
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Chapter 6
Enid Mumford
The last two case studies showed the importance of understanding a problem before embarking on its solution and the need to develop an appropriate... Sample PDF
Considering Structure: Different Organizational Solutions in Automobiles
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Chapter 7
New Problems in Banking  (pages 109-129)
Enid Mumford
In the last three case studies there has been a logical progression through the management of change, considering first the definition of the... Sample PDF
New Problems in Banking
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Chapter 8
Enid Mumford
This chapter moves away from a concentration on the “what” to do and focuses on the “how” to do it. An important strategic decision at the start of... Sample PDF
Involving Employees in Design: Rolls Royce
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Chapter 9
Enid Mumford
This chapter and case study address two important design problems. The first is the challenge presented by the task of developing systems that... Sample PDF
Designing an Expert System
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Chapter 10
Enid Mumford
One very important group we have not discussed in detail before is senior management. It is they who take the important company decisions on what to... Sample PDF
Senior Management, Decision-Making and Design
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Chapter 11
Enid Mumford
Most socio-technical system design has been used to create participative, high quality, people-friendly systems for specific projects or parts of... Sample PDF
Company-Wide Participation in Air Products
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Chapter 12
Enid Mumford
Shell provides an excellent example of an international group that for many years has used socio-technical values and approaches to help the... Sample PDF
Quality and Environmental Issues in Shell International
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Chapter 13
Enid Mumford
Participative systems design has, in the past, been seen as a positive group process of thinking through needs and problems and arriving at... Sample PDF
Designing for Problem Prevention
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Chapter 14
Enid Mumford
The philosophy of this book is that problem solving and the management of change will be facilitated by participation. By participation is meant... Sample PDF
Designing for an Uncertain Future
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Methods and Tools
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