It was a pleasure meeting a number of you at the Small and Medium Enterprise Forum, sponsored by the US-Saudi Business Council.

I will be looking forward to seeing some of you on my upcoming trip to Saudi Arabia and Germany.

I will be in Riyadh from October 20 to October 27, and in Jeddah from October 27 to October 30. I will presenting to number of executives on "Managing Change in Uncertain Times."

If we may help you during that time, please contact us with the methods below.

For some of you, this is the first Journal you are receiving. It is free of charge, and it summarizes articles on strategic planning, training, employee surveys, teams, the balanced scorecard, 360 feedback and Six Sigma. It comes to you monthly. You may of course unsubscribe at any time.

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David Chaudron, PhD
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Organized Change
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Strategic Planning

Karen E Papke-Shields , Kathleen M. Boyer-Wright (2017). Strategic planning characteristics applied to project management.

International Journal of Project Management, 35 (2017), 169- 179

Additional articles on strategic planning by Dr. Chaudron are available here.

Organizations have been increasing the use of projects steadily over the last decades. Projects have been becoming more successful but there is still evidence that a significant number of projects do not meet their goals or expectations. This study examines the application of strategic planning characteristics to project management within organizations.

The authors have used the literature in the domain of strategic planning, strategic information systems planning and strategic manufacturing planning to combine strategic planning characteristics derived from a 'rational' approach and 'adaptive' characteristics to create a comprehensive model. This resulting "rational adaptive" approach is evaluated empirically for its relevance to project management and whether it can increase with project success. Furthermore, the approach is mapped to established project management tools/techniques.

The study's findings indicate that project management is captured by varying degree of this rational adaptive approach, which is also positively correlated with project success and use of the project management tools/techniques. This study demonstrates the presence of a rational adaptive approach to Project management that combines formality and comprehensiveness associated with rational planning with participation and intensity associated with adaptive planning. This study contributes to research by identifying a project management approach and relating this approach to enhanced project success.


Balanced Scorecard

Kopia, J., Kompalla, A., Buchmüller, M. and Heinemann, B., 2017. Performance Measurement of Management System Standards Using the Balanced Scorecard.

Amfiteatru Economic, 19(Special no. 11), pp. 981-1002.

Additional articles by Dr. Chaudron on the Balanced Scorecard are available here.

Management system standards (MSS), such as those offered by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), offer organizations worldwide the possibility to reach certain goals based on a standardized way. These standards are widely-used and are adopted by millions of organizations worldwide. Whether these standards are beneficial for an organization is still unclear.

The question, whether MSS increase the efficiency, the output, or the performance of an organization is still discussed in scientific research. The balanced scorecard (BSC) is one possible solution for measuring performance on a strategic as well as operational level and therefore useful for the measurement of the influence of MSS within organizations. This study summarized current research in the field of performance measurement in the context of MSS and integrated management system (IMS) and the use of BSC and quantitatively and qualitatively tests the usefulness of BSC in measuring the effect of MSSs.

The results indicate that BSCs are often used in organizations, and that an average number of companies integrate their measurement initiatives of their MSSs into the BSC-process, and that a high integration of MSS into the BSC improves the organizational performance. This research is useful for researchers and practitioners in order to understand the benefits of the usage of the BSC in the context of MSS or Integrated Management Systems.


360 Feedback

Mihalcea Alexandru, Mihalcea Diana, Management Skills Assessment Using 360° Feedback - Msf 360, (2015)

Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, Volume 187,Pages 318-323

Additional articles by Dr. Chaudron on the Balanced Scorecard are available here.

360° feedback or the multiple sources evaluation is a type of assessment which is more and more used within the organizational practice when we refer to performance management. Multiple sources assessment uses data offered by superiors, colleges, subordinates and, in some cases, even by clients or contractors of an employee. Multiple sources offer a high validity of information collected by an employee. This helps as deformed perceptions or biases by one person can be balanced by the opinion of others. The present study was based on the elaboration of a short 360 feedback questionnaire (MSF 360) which can be rapidly utilized in order to assess the management skills of retail companies.

The current study collected data from 100 employees from all hierarchic levels upon managerial performance within the company aged between 24 and 51 years old, mean age of 33 years old (SD = 6.5). The reliability analysis has indicated an acceptable internal consistency and a confirmatory factorial analysis (CFA) was also conducted. The MSF 360 considerable increased the predictive ability of same performance indicators, beyond that provided by scales of CPI 260 and MLQ.

The present study brings to discussion a short instrument which can be rapidly utilized in order to assess the soft component of retail companies' management. It is based on the employees' perceptions from all hierarchic levels upon managerial performance within this type of company. We have studied the psychometric characteristics of the instruments: structural, convergent, divergent and incremental validity. The results have confirmed that the MSF 360 scales are different from a series of personality traits, obtaining mean or small correlations. From a conceptual point of view, the MSF 360 scales are closer to the leaders' characteristics, characteristics which represented the basis of the initial focus group discussions.


Training

Michael B. Armstrong and Richard N. Landers (2018), Gamification of employee training and development.

International Journal of Training and Development 22:2

Additional articles by Dr. Chaudron on the Balance Scorecard are available here.

Gamification is often used as a corporate buzzword to refer to anything even tangentially game related in the workplace. Research on this concept has defined it more narrowly, as the implementation of game design elements in non-game contexts. Games have been in organizational training for decades, Beyond training, the number of non-game contexts where gamification may be applied is numerous, but it is particularly common in business and education. Gamification has become increasingly common in employee training. Simultaneously, our scientific understanding of gamified learning has grown.

This paper aims to describe our current scientific understanding of gamification as it can be used to realistically improve web-based employee training. First, because gamification is commonly misunderstood, we explain what gamification is in the context of training. Second, because gamification is commonly misapplied, research on the effectiveness of gamified learning as related to training design is reviewed. Finally, to provide a clear roadmap for training design, we describe a formal process for gamifying web-based training in a scientifically supported way. In this paper, the concept of gamification in the context of training has been explained, the rationale behind gamification of training has been described, the research on gamification's effectiveness has been reviewed and a step-by-step process for gamifying training has been provided. Using traditional instructional design principles, instructional designers can identify when gamification is appropriate and use science-based techniques to better meet their organization's training needs.

This paper can help in both research and practice for understanding of gamification by training designers and sparks interest in the use of game elements in a science-driven way.


Employee Surveys

Van De Voorde, K., Paauwe, J., & Van Veldhoven, M. (2010). Predicting business unit performance using employee surveys: monitoring HRM-related changes.

Human Resource Management Journal, 20(1), 44-63.

For additional articles on employee surveys by Dr. Chaudron, click here.

As many organizations face a volatile market situation. In order to create and sustain competitive advantage in this type of environment, organizations must continually improve their business performance. Increasingly, organizations are recognizing the potential of their human resources as a source of sustained competitive advantage. Strategy tools such as workforce scorecards are being used increasingly to keep track of human resource management (HRM) related change processes that have been implemented and the effects of these on business unit performance.

The authors first goal in this study is to find the indicators of HRM, Employee survey data from 171 branches of a large financial organization was used as an indicator of factors driven by HRM-related interventions. Employees' perceptions, attitudes and behaviors are conceptualized as linking mechanisms in the relationship between HRM activities and outcomes. The study aims to explain performance differences between branches within a large company on the basis of employee survey data in the light of workforce scorecards.

The results indicate that a significant part of branch profits could be predicted using employee surveys after correcting for prior profits. Based on extrapolation to all branches of this organization, the changes in employee survey scores predict higher yearly profits (17.9 per cent of the total yearly profits) across the entire company. The authors suggest that the branches that did not have a high employee survey score have room to improve the profitability for the organization.


Teams/Facilitation

Lessard, S., Bareil, C., Lalonde, L., Duhamel, F., Hudon, E., Goudreau, J., & Lévesque, L. (2015). External facilitators and inter-professional facilitation teams: a qualitative study of their roles in supporting practice change.

Implementation Science, 11(1), 97.

Additional articles on teams by Dr. Chaudron are here.

Organizations can use team facilitation to manage and support change as it is a powerful approach. This paper aims at understanding the facilitation roles exercised by both external facilitators and interprofessional facilitation teams to foster the implementation of change. The authors describes facilitation as an approach used by appointed individuals, which teams can also foster, to build capacity and support practice change.It also helps decision makers become aware of the multiple roles and dynamics involved and the key competencies needed to recruit facilitators and members of interprofessional facilitation teams.


Six Sigma

Brian W. Jacobs, Morgan Swink & Kevin Linderman (2015). Performance effects of early and late Six Sigma adoptions

Journal of Operations Management 36 (2015) 244-257

Additional articles by Dr. Chaudron on Six Sigma are here.

Managers are always on the lookout for administrative innovations that can potentially improve their business processes and enhance operating performance. While managers search for new innovations like Six Sigma to improve performance, they face advertisements and proposals from vendors, business consultants, and other purveyors of such improvement methodologies. This study focuses on Six sigma as an administrative innovation.

Operations managers confront the challenge of deciding when to implement various administrative innovations such as Six Sigma, ISO 9000, and Lean. This study examines the benefits of early versus late adoption of six sigma on operating performance improvement. The authors develop a hypotheses using theories of organizational learning and knowledge transfer, describing the advantages of late adoption and factors that affect a firm's ability to benefit from Six Sigma either as an early or late adopter. The authors test the hypotheses using an event study methodology.

The results show that on average, late adopters in the study sample have significantly higher performance gains than early adopters. The analysis also reveals that the advantages of late adopters tend to be moderated by certain environmental and structural characteristics of a firm.

The authors have shown that when firms operate in low-velocity industries, when they sell primarily in business-to-business markets, when they have good financial performance prior to adoption and when they are large, late adoption is much more favorable. When firms operate in conditions which are opposite to above characteristics then early adoption appears to produce better results. The effects described above can help the managers determine when to adopt six sigma to increase performance.