Systemic Management for Intelligent Organizations: Concepts, Models-Based Approaches and Applications

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Based on the new generation of the St. This logic supposes a shift from the traditional view of coping with resistance to a more positive view of innovations as an imminent psychological resource for personal development and success. Based on an exploratory research study, we are able to present initial empirical findings supporting our conceptual model and to define lines for further research. This paper starts with an inquiry into the ontology of Organizational Intelligence OI , addressing the critical issue of reification and analyzing different conceptions of OI.

The scientific contribution by Markus Schwaninger is presented in its main features and analyzed using the categories derived from a broad literature review on OI. Some methodological suggestions are formulated on how further to study the emerging process of OI. Organizational growth and performance management provide two important research topics for both enterprises and public sector organizations. Improving performance levels, or at least keeping them stable over time, is a hot topic not only for business executives and entrepreneurs, but also for managers and policy makers in public and non-profit institutions.

The need for this conceptual framework is discussed in the paper. This paper describes the fundamental dynamics through which technological innovations create economic and social value. These dynamics exist at three interrelated levels: The organization, the market, and the institutional context. Selected works in the management of technology, system dynamics, entrepreneurship, and social factors literature are reviewed.

The principal dynamics are identified and expressed through a conceptual model. By design, the conceptual model is simple and generic. It is intended to apply to a broad range of products and services — assembled and process-based, complex and simple, physical and digital, business and consumer, early-stage and mature, nineteenth-century and twenty-first-century. That range expresses what is meant by the fundamental dynamics of value creation.

In many variations and combinations these dynamics can explain the evolution of most innovations. The availability of role models and mentors, the consequences of failure, the status and quality of venture leaders, and reinforcing network effects are all critical success factors for organizations attempting to turn innovation into value. It is significant that the literature review has highlighted human and intellectual capital as a top priority.

Financing, while important particularly for start-ups, appears to be secondary to human and intellectual resources. Obstacles to obtaining critical resources, the development of new capabilities, market entry or exit, the start-up of new companies, the formation of alliances, mergers and acquisitions, the establishment of standards, or the adoption of new technology weaken virtuous dynamics and reduce the likelihood of success. Distressed investments form a special investment class.

Investors source the investment cases from the credit portfolios of banks and private equity firms. They usually form task forces for the assessment, emergency management, investment decision, and turnaround phases of these investments. This article focuses on distressed companies, particularly on the interactions among existing and new actors during the lifecycle of an investment decision. It explores the dynamics during the initialization of the project to bring the company back to growth and profitability. The first part describes how existing actors, in the initial situation, struggle to make the organization survive.

In the second part, potential new investors introduce a project manager PM to assess the situation, to regain control, and to build the basis for the renewal process. During its struggle to survive, the organization, i. The power shifts and changes in the positive loops can either push the system into an out-of-control state or, alternatively, propel it onto new levels of innovation, customer service, and profitability.

Business issues have become increasingly complex, but new methodologies have been developed to cope with high levels of complexity. For top-management consultancies, which typically are asked to solve the most pressing problems of their clients, the question arises whether these methodologies are useful in their daily work. To that end, this paper compares the ideal-typical consulting and systems-thinking approaches. The strengths and weaknesses of the systems-thinking approach with respect to consulting practice are identified.

This specification supplies a basis for suggesting how to concretely integrate elements of the systems-thinking approach into the ideal-typical four steps in consulting projects — especially into the first steps on how to establish understanding and frame the assignment. It is shown that the systems-thinking methodology can enhance the typical course of action followed by consultants during their projects.

The challenge to managers in the current turbulent environment is a formidable one. In addition, the chapter intends to fill the gap between the conceptual depth of organizational cybernetics theoretical studies and the need of managers for a structured facilitating process. The case that we present shows how the need to redesign the university campuses can be used as an exceptional opportunity to produce a major impact, not only within the university spaces, but also in the wider environment. This article puts forward the idea that a moderate level of variety can keep a system more viable and healthy, thereby enabling it to develop further, irrespective of the scope of its external variety.

The concept of reasonable dosage dates back to the sixteenth century, when Paracelsus — first offered his insights into the notion of adequate dosage. He suggested that the consumption of anything in quantities that were either too much or too little was poisonous. This lesson from early modern medicine will be applied to the use of systems thinking.

The general idea of adequate system variety will be further examined from a business perspective. Examples will show how successful organizations often tacitly embrace the idea of adequate variety. In a time of rapid change, the capability of social systems to integrate, build, and reconfigure internal and external competences along with resources increasingly becomes a criterion for competitive survival. For organizations of all kinds, continuous renewal through the reconciliation of future challenges and opportunities, the evaluation of alternative scenarios, and decision-making and implementation, has become a necessity in allowing for their sustainable development over time.

But what conditions must be created for a social system to sustain its ability to implement its purpose? This chapter investigates the concept of sustainability in order to address this question. What is sustainability, and how is the concept being applied? The context is an integral part of all the determinant frameworks. Still, context is generally understood as the conditions or surroundings in which something exists or occurs, typically referring to an analytical unit that is higher than the phenomena directly under investigation.

The role afforded the context varies, from studies e. Hence, although implementation science researchers agree that the context is a critically important concept for understanding and explaining implementation, there is a lack of consensus regarding how this concept should be interpreted, in what ways the context is manifested and the means by which contextual influences might be captured in research.

The different types of determinants specified in determinant frameworks can be linked to classic theories. Implementation researchers are also wont to apply theories from other fields such as psychology, sociology and organizational theory. These theories have been referred to as classic or classic change theories to distinguish them from research-to-practice models [ 45 ].

They might be considered passive in relation to action models because they describe change mechanisms and explain how change occurs without ambitions to actually bring about change. Theories regarding the collective such as health care teams or other aggregate levels are relevant in implementation science, e. However, their use is not as prevalent as the individual-level theories.

There is increasing interest among implementation researchers in using theories concerning the organizational level because the context of implementation is becoming more widely acknowledged as an important influence on implementation outcomes. Theories concerning organizational culture, organizational climate, leadership and organizational learning are relevant for understanding and explaining organizational influences on implementation processes [ 21 , 53 , 57 , 94 - ].

Several organization-level theories might have relevance for implementation science. For instance, Estabrooks et al. Meanwhile, Grol et al. However, despite increased interest in organizational theories, their actual use in empirical implementation studies thus far is relatively limited. Furthermore, the Theory of Diffusion highlights the importance of intermediary actors opinion leaders, change agents and gate-keepers for successful adoption and implementation [ ], which is reflected in roles described in numerous implementation determinant frameworks e. The Theory of Diffusion is considered the single most influential theory in the broader field of knowledge utilization of which implementation science is a part [ ].

There are also numerous theories that have been developed or adapted by researchers for potential use in implementation science to achieve enhanced understanding and explanation of certain aspects of implementation. Some of these have been developed by modifying certain features of existing theories or concepts, e.

Examples include theories such as Implementation Climate [ ], Absorptive Capacity [ ] and Organizational Readiness [ ]. The adaptation allows researchers to prioritize aspects considered to be most critical to analyse issues related to the how and why of implementation, thus improving the relevance and appropriateness to the particular circumstances at hand. COM-B Capability, Opportunity, Motivation and Behaviour represents another approach to developing theories that might be applicable in implementation science.

This theory began by identifying motivation as a process that energizes and directs behaviour. Capability and opportunity were added as necessary conditions for a volitional behaviour to occur, given sufficient motivation, on the basis of a US consensus meeting of behavioural theorists and a principle of US criminal law which considers prerequisites for performance of specified volitional behaviours [ ]. COM-B posits that capability, opportunity and motivation generate behaviour, which in turn influences the three components.

Opportunity and capability can influence motivation, while enacting a behaviour can alter capability, motivation and opportunity [ 66 ]. Another theory used in implementation science, the Normalization Process Theory [ ], began life as a model, constructed on the basis of empirical studies of the implementation of new technologies [ ].

The model was subsequently expanded upon and developed into a theory as change mechanisms and interrelations between various constructs were delineated [ ]. The theory identifies four determinants of embedding i. There is a category of frameworks that provide a structure for evaluating implementation endeavours. Both frameworks specify implementation aspects that should be evaluated as part of intervention studies. Proctor et al. On the basis of a narrative literature review, they propose eight conceptually distinct outcomes for potential evaluation: acceptability, adoption also referred to as uptake , appropriateness, costs, feasibility, fidelity, penetration integration of a practice within a specific setting and sustainability also referred to as maintenance or institutionalization.

Making sense of implementation theories, models and frameworks

Although evaluation frameworks may be considered in a category of their own, theories, models and frameworks from the other four categories can also be applied for evaluation purposes because they specify concepts and constructs that may be operationalized and measured. For instance, Theoretical Domains Framework e. Furthermore, many theories, models and frameworks have spawned instruments that serve evaluation purposes, e.

Implementation science has progressed towards increased use of theoretical approaches to address various implementation challenges. While this article is not intended as a complete catalogue of all individual approaches available in implementation science, it is obvious that the menu of potentially useable theories, models and frameworks is extensive.

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Researchers in the field have pragmatically looked into other fields and disciplines to find relevant approaches, thus emphasizing the interdisciplinary and multiprofessional nature of the field. This article proposes a taxonomy of five categories of theories, models and frameworks used in implementation science.

For instance, systematic reviews and overviews by Graham and Tetroe [ 25 ], Mitchell et al. However, what matters most is not how an individual approach is labelled; it is important to recognize that these theories, models and frameworks differ in terms of their assumptions, aims and other characteristics, which have implications for their use. There is considerable overlap between some of the categories. Thus, determinant frameworks, classic theories and implementation theories can also help to guide implementation practice i.

They can also be used for evaluation because they describe aspects that might be important to evaluate. A framework such as the Active Implementation Frameworks [ 68 ] appears to have a dual aim of providing hands-on support to implement something and identifying determinants of this implementation that should be analysed.

Despite the overlap between different theories, models and frameworks used in implementation science, knowledge about the three overarching aims and five categories of theoretical approaches is important to identify and select relevant approaches in various situations. While the relevance of addressing barriers and enablers to translating research into practice is mentioned in many process models, these models do not identify or systematically structure specific determinants associated with implementation success. Another key difference is that process models recognize a temporal sequence of implementation endeavours, whereas determinant frameworks do not explicitly take a process perspective of implementation since the determinants typically relate to implementation as a whole.

Theories applied in implementation science can be characterized as middle level. Higher level theories can be built from theories at lower abstraction levels, so-called theory ladder climbing [ ]. Still, it seems unlikely that there will ever be a grand implementation theory since implementation is too multifaceted and complex a phenomenon to allow for universal explanations.

There has been debate in the policy implementation research field for many years whether researchers should strive to produce a theory applicable to public policy as a whole [ 38 ]. Determinant frameworks in implementation science clearly suggest that many different theories are relevant for understanding and explaining the many influences on implementation.

The use of a single theory that focuses only on a particular aspect of implementation will not tell the whole story. Choosing one approach often means placing weight on some aspects e. Combining the merits of multiple theoretical approaches may offer more complete understanding and explanation, yet such combinations may mask contrasting assumptions regarding key issues.

For instance, are people driven primarily by their individual beliefs and motivation or does a pervasive organizational culture impose norms and values that regulate how people behave and make individual characteristics relatively unimportant? Is a particular behaviour primarily influenced by reflective thought processes or is it an automatically enacted habit?

Furthermore, different approaches may require different methods, based on different epistemological and ontological assumptions. There is a current wave of optimism in implementation science that using theoretical approaches will contribute to reducing the research-practice gap [ 4 , 10 , 11 , 63 , ]. Although the use of theories, models and frameworks has many advocates in implementation science, there have also been critics [ , ], who have argued that theory is not necessarily better than common sense for guiding implementation.

One could argue that common sense about how or why something works or does not also constitutes a theory, albeit an informal and non-codified one. In either case, empirical research is needed to study how and the extent to which the use of implementation theories, models and frameworks contributes to more effective implementation and under what contextual conditions or circumstances they apply and do not apply. It is also important to explore how the current theoretical approaches can be further developed to better address implementation challenges.

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Hence, both inductive construction of theory and deductive application of theory are needed. While the use of theory does not necessarily yield more effective implementation than using common sense, there are certain advantages to applying formal theory over common sense i. Theories are explicit and open to question and examination; common sense usually consists of implicit assumptions, beliefs and ways of thinking and is therefore more difficult to challenge. If deductions from a theory are incorrect, the theory can be adapted, extended or abandoned.

Theories are more consistent with existing facts than common sense, which typically means that a hypothesis based on an established theory is a more educated guess than one based on common sense. Furthermore, theories give individual facts a meaningful context and contribute towards building an integrated body of knowledge, whereas common sense is more likely to produce isolated facts [ , ].

On the other hand, theory may serve as blinders, as suggested by Kuhn [ ] and Greenwald et al. Theorizing about implementation should therefore not be an abstract academic exercise unconnected with the real world of implementation practice. Competing interests. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List Implement Sci v. Implement Sci. Published online Apr Per Nilsen.

Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Per Nilsen, Email: es. Corresponding author. Received Nov 2; Accepted Apr 7. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Background Implementation science has progressed towards increased use of theoretical approaches to provide better understanding and explanation of how and why implementation succeeds or fails.

Summary This article proposes five categories of theoretical approaches to achieve three overarching aims. Background Implementation science was borne out of a desire to address challenges associated with the use of research to achieve more evidence-based practice EBP in health care and other areas of professional practice.

Discussion Theories, models and frameworks in the general literature Generally, a theory may be defined as a set of analytical principles or statements designed to structure our observation, understanding and explanation of the world [ 29 - 31 ]. Category Description Examples Process models Specify steps stages, phases in the process of translating research into practice, including the implementation and use of research.

Some frameworks also specify relationships between some types of determinants. Open in a separate window. Figure 1. Understanding and explaining what influences implementation outcomes Determinant frameworks Determinant frameworks describe general types also referred to as classes or domains of determinants that are hypothesized or have been found to influence implementation outcomes, e. Table 2 Implementation determinants and outcomes in eight determinant frameworks.

Classic theories Implementation researchers are also wont to apply theories from other fields such as psychology, sociology and organizational theory. Implementation theories There are also numerous theories that have been developed or adapted by researchers for potential use in implementation science to achieve enhanced understanding and explanation of certain aspects of implementation. Evaluating implementation Evaluation frameworks There is a category of frameworks that provide a structure for evaluating implementation endeavours.

Summary Implementation science has progressed towards increased use of theoretical approaches to address various implementation challenges. Footnotes Competing interests The author declares that he has no competing interests. References 1. Changing the behavior of healthcare professionals: the use of theory in promoting the uptake of research findings. J Clin Epidemiol. Theories of behavior change in studies of guideline implementation.

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A review of knowledge management about theoretical conception and designing approaches

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Best 5 Organizational Behavior Model

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Oxford: Oxford University Press; A quasi-experimental test of an intervention to increase the use of thiazide-based treatment regimens for people with hypertension. Zardo P, Collie A.


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