efficiency & effectiveness (image via weareint.io)

How effective is being efficient? – Of Value, Creativity and Innovation

As you can see below MindNode is a tool that makes mind mapping easy. The guys from IdeasOnCanvas write that “Mind Maps are a visual representation of your ideas, starting with a central thought and growing from there.” And our thoughts did indeed grow. When we started we wanted to deconstruct efficiency and soon enough found two promising clues which we would investigate further. This was the aspect of value in the first place and secondly a link to creativity.

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Harrington Emerson The Twelve Principles of Efficiency (image via en.wikipedia.org)

Harrington Emerson – The Twelve Principles of Efficiency

Harrington Emerson’s earlier book “Efficiency as a Basis for Operation and Wages” appeared originally in 1908, and a third edition, revised and enlarged, is being reissued almost in parallel with this second and later work on “The Twelve Principles of Efficiency.” The relations between the first and second presentations of the subject thus become clear. The former sets forth a new view of the whole industrial problem and of the relations and proportions of the factors entering into it. It is the declaration of a philosophy. This latter work, stronger even than its predecessor, and more specific in statement, reduces the doctrine of efficiency to a code upon which to base rules of practice.

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Technological Discontinuities and Organizational Environments Michael L. Tushman; Philip Anderson (image via http://www.exed.hbs.edu/)

Michael Tushman & Philip Anderson – Technological Discontinuities and Organizational Environments

“Technology can be defined as those tools, devices, and knowledge that mediate between inputs and outputs (process technology) and/or that create new products or services (product technology) (Rosenberg, 1972). Technological change has an unequivocal impact on economic growth (Solow, 1957; Klein, 1984)and on the development of industries (Lawrence and Dyer, 1983).The impact of technology and technological change on environmental conditions is, however, less clear.

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genesis of innovation

Laperche, Uzunidis & Tunzelmann – The Genesis of Innovation

“Knowledge and innovation are the two main resources of contemporary capitalism. To study and understand these roles, it is first helpful to draw on the theory of systems. Technological innovation cannot be understood when isolated from its context. Putting innovation in perspective requires a holistic and systemic approach: new technologies, new products, but also new markets, new organization and new management practices.

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Taylor scientific management (image via en.wikipedia.org)

Frederick W. Taylor – The Principles of Scientific Management

“President Roosevelt, in his address to the Governors at the White House, prophetically remarked that “The conservation of our national resources is only preliminary to the larger question of national efficiency.” The whole country at once recognized the importance of conserving our material resources and a large movement has been started which will be effective in accomplishing this object.

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complex adaptive systems (image via blogs.discovermagazine.com)

John H. Miller & Scott E. Page – Complex Adaptive Systems

An Introduction to Computational Models of Social Life

“Adaptive social systems are composed of interacting, thoughtful (but perhaps not brilliant) agents. It would be difficult to date the exact moment that such systems first arose on our planet—perhaps it was when early single-celled organisms began to compete with one another for resources or, more likely, much earlier when chemical interactions in the primordial soup began to self-replicate. Once these adaptive social systems emerged, the planet underwent a dramatic change where, as Charles Darwin noted, “from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.” Indeed, we find ourselves at the beginning of a new millennium being not only continually surprised, delighted, and confounded by the unfolding of social systems with which we are well acquainted, but also in the enviable position of creating and crafting novel adaptive social systems such as those arising in computer networks.

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amitai etzioni productivity research

Amitai Etzioni – Dimensions of Productivity Research

“Research on the effect of human factors on productivity is a much neglected field. While productivity is the new buzzword, making a rapid journey from the backwaters of economic jargon into the mainstream political rhetoric, there are very few hard, established facts on its causes. Jerome M. Rosow, of the Work in America Institute, refers to it as “the productivity puzzle”. Science reports that “everybody talks about the lag in the growth of productivity, but nobody seems to know enough to do enough about it.” Hence, this presentation focuses on working hypotheses, not on a synthesis of findings. The following hypotheses seem fruitful:

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Morgen Witzel A short history of efficiency

Morgen Witzel – A Short History of Efficiency

“Efficiency is generally considered to be one of the great management virtues. From scientific management to business process re-engineering, there has been a sustained concentration on efficiency as a core business value, with a strongly assumed link between efficiency on the one hand and productivity and profitability on the other. The theory is a simple one: efficient businesses survive while inefficient ones go to the wall.

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