Thursday, June 19, 2008

Managers as designers (part 2/3)

Next to the focus on designing better, more innovative alternatives (Managers as designers: part 1/3), design also has a more formal and systematic side. With this side of design managers are more familiar as organizational design and business process design are traditional management issues.

For example, redesigning organizations with a functional structure into business units per product type or customer segment. The design of organizations covers higher-level issues related to the design of organizational units as well as lower-level issues related to the design of subunits and individual jobs (e.g. Nadler & Tushman, 1997).

Mangers have also been designing and redesigning business processes to improve the customer focus of their organization and to increase the operational efficiency. Davenport and Short (1990) define business process design as the analysis and design of workflows and processes within and between organizations. They differentiate between business processes on the basis of the entities (inter-organisational, inter-functional or inter-personal), objects (physical or informational) and activities (operational or managerial).

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