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 International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS2007)

The Effects of Complexity on the ‘Product-Service Shift’

Ella-Mae Molloy
Department of Human Sciences, Loughborough University

Murray Sinclair
Department of Human Sciences, Loughborough University

Carys Siemieniuch
Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Loughborough University

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     Last modified: September 21, 2007

There are many challenges facing businesses in the modern commercial climate. One such challenge is the so-called ‘product-service shift’, whereby organisations have moved from delivering a product to the provision of through-life service support. Such a change will have many implications for any organisation in the processes and procedures they employ, but particularly in the area of knowledge and information management. Whilst it is true that there is a large technical content within the area of knowledge and information management, it is still, essentially, a human and organisational issue. This is the focus of the KIM (Knowledge and Information Management – through life) Grand Challenge.
This paper will introduce the KIM project and its overall aims. Focus will be on a particular area of research within the overall project, which is concerned specifically with decision-making, decision support and the human aspects of such systems. Ongoing studies within this research will be discussed, looking at the bid stage for major aerospace projects and decision networks within flagship construction projects.
Consideration will be made of the implications of complexity, in its organisational guises of intrinsic and induced complexity.
There will be a discussion on how the limited information horizon, contributes to (often unwanted) emergent behaviour as projects progress, and how decision support may be configured to help cope with complexity and the surprises such emergent behaviour can bring.

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