Design management in organization

Design management in organization

Design management in organization involves creating the means to accomplish the stated mission or objective. "To design" means to function according to a plan. The design establishes the relationships among the various parts of the organization (or the system), linking them together and outlining the composite whole. The design includes arranging physical facilities and technological processes to carry out production and auxiliary activities. It also determines the nature of the task, the job, or the work to be performed by the people in the organization. Therefore, the design must consider the network of communication that will unite technology, structure, and people into a coordinated effort, a total system.

The design of a new organization is only the first phase of the design function. The scope of system design also covers the function of "redesign", which implies assessing the existing system to improve its effectiveness and efficiency.

The creative process

Most of man's behaviour can be attributed to learning, whereas other forms of animal life are more apt to behave according to instinct. Learning, or the experiences gained from the cycle of stimulus-response-reward, becomes a reservoir of knowledge that tends to pattern future behaviour. The accumulation of knowledge and understanding is associated with mental capacity, or intelligence. "Creativity, on the other hand, refers to the ability of a person to develop unique and effective solutions to problems, and to create new knowledge from that which is known". Richard A. Johnson, William T. Newell, and Roger C. Vergin, Production and Operations Management - A Systems Concept (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1974), p.111.]

There are many kinds of creativity. Albert Einstein's innovative work in physics represents a different kind of creativity from a prisoner's achievement in escaping from a maximum security prison, having few, if any, tools at his disposal. However, the creative process may be the same in both instances. Although most people have a potential to be creative, unfortunately only a few make use of their talent. Relatively little is known about the brain and how it works. To generate new ideas or to solve problems, individuals call into their conscious mind from their memory, information that is relevant to the situation at hand. For example, we will assume that in the diagram "The Information Search Process", many units of information have been recalled, all of which relate to a specific problem (A). The second stage in the information search process concerns systematically testing this information, first each unit individually and then in various combinations. Perhaps the use of information units (1), (5), and (8) will suggest a new alternative or even solve the problem, thereby creating something new.КP.R. Lawrence and J.W. Lorsch, Organization and Environment: Managing Differentiation and Integration (Boston: Division of Research, Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, 1967), pp. 213-14.] This example is oversimplified to illustrate the process.

Some people are more creative than others. It is possible that the creative person has a greater capability or perhaps simply makes more effective use of his or her creative potential. The model of the creative process shown in diagram would suggest that it may be a combination of both — that is, greater capability linked with more effective use of potential. Everyone possesses a certain amount of native intelligence, which can be assessed according to:

(1) the amount of information accumulated from past experiences,

(2) the ability to understand and organize this information,

(3) the ability to recall pertinent information as needed, and

(4) the capacity to create a mental picture of actual or hypothetical situations (that is, to visualize).1]

People who make excellent use of their intelligence may be motivated by the hope to gain social recognition from their superiors, peers, or subordinates. Monetary gain is both a motivation for, and an indication of, such recognition. Others may gain incentive from fear of losing their job, a need to compete, curiosity about things they don't understand, or from simply a stubborn refusal to admit that they can't do something. The greater the motivation, the more attention — concentration — is directed toward solving the problem. During this concentration stage of the process, the imaginative person tends to experiment with new and untried combinations of knowledge, but it is always vital to use a logical, or systematic, approach to test the various combinations in the most direct and efficient way.When a new solution has been created, it is important to present such ideas in a way that will verify their validity. It is extremely unfortunate when innovative ideas are not recognized for their value, possibly because they were not presented effectively or convincingly.

timulating creativity

An organization can stimulate latent creativity among its employees by encouraging them to try new things (expecting occasional failures) through a program of rewards and recognition, and by increasing each person's potential by providing additional education and special training. Many techniques have been developed to stimulate the process of idea generation; three examples are brainstorming, the checklist, and value analysis.

The technique of brainstorming is a group approach to problem solving. Members are given a problem to solve and then encouraged to suggest any idea that occurs to them — no matter how far - fetched it may seem — and also to build on the ideas suggested by other members of the group. The suggestions are reviewed and evaluated later.The checklist is a method for developing idea clues by comparing items from a prepared list against the problem. This technique tends to stimulate ideas by association and also logically explores all facets of a problem.Value analysis is a technique for testing the true value that each part contributes to a product. The objective is to increase the total value of the product or system. Each part is carefully reviewed according to (1) what it is, (2) what it does, (3) what it costs, (4) possible substitutes, and (5) the cost of substitutes.

The design process

An organization develops its broad objectives first and then creates the organizational and technological systems and subsystems necessary to achieve its general objectives and more specific goals. This often involves designing complex networks of systems in precise hierarchies. One basic goal of systems management is to optimize the total system. If a change in the performance of a subsystem reduces the effectiveness or efficiency of the total system, even though it may improve the operation of the subsystem, it should not be introduced. Thus, the design of subsystems is limited by the nature of the output that the next level in the system's hierarchy requires.Richard A. Johnson, Fremont E. Kast, and James E. Rosenzweig, The Theory and Management of Systems, 3rd ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1973), pp. 144.]

Each subsystem's objectives serve those of the next higher system in the hierarchy. Therefore, in view of such major subsystem relationships, the total mission must be subdivided into segments having distinct and measurable units of input and output developed on a scale where operations are economical. Determining the total combination and nature of subsystems necessary to complete the task, although possibly not as glamorous as outlining total systems objectives, is the key to achieving effective and efficient operations or organizational goals.

Constraints on the design

Constraints place limits on the design and operation of systems. The external environment tends to influence any open, or flexible, system. And this external influence places constraints on the design of many of the organization's subsystems. For example, ecologists can influence management's plans in the location of a new production plant and also affect the design of the manufacturing process as it relates to the disposal of wastes. Federal and state regulations may dictate the nature of cost reporting, which could determine the nature of the internal management information system. In effect, each system is a subset of a higher-level system, which may dictate or influence design and operating decisions.

The organization's general design and operating policies will also determine the limits within which each subsystem must function. Examples of such policies may include top management's standards of social and ethical conduct, the amount of capital and/or resources available for each subsystem, the kind of input furnished by external systems in addition to other subsystems of the organization, and the nature of output outlined for each subsystem as its contribution to organizational goals.

The production process also may restrict details of the design — that is, the technology available to process the input or the layout prescribed by the use of a particular process. For example, the transformation or decomposition of nitrogen pentoxide (N2O5) in a carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) solution requires a specific temperature in order to maintain a predictable reaction. Such processing may require computer control, which in turn will determine the character of plant layout, and air conditioning facilities.

The constraints mentioned above are only a few illustrations of potential limitations on design. It is important to recognize such constraints early in the design process and either work around them or attempt to eliminate them.


External links


* [ Design Management Institute]
* [ Design Council (UK)]


* [ Vol. 2:] (The first and regularly updated Blog dedicated exclusively to the topic since 2003; Written in English)


* [ 4th German Conference of Design Management] , 2007 November 09.-10., Cologne (DE): "Are there limits of Design" organized by [ Köln International School of Design] , [ Bergische Universität Wuppertal] , [ Hogeschool Inholland] , [ Westdeutscher Rundfunk] and [ PARK advanced design management]

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