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A soft systems methodology for transforming organisations to product-service systems (application in defence and construction industry)

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conference contribution
posted on 02.10.2009, 10:29 by Maged Morcos, Michael HenshawMichael Henshaw
Nowadays organisations from different business sectors and with contrasting management approaches are increasingly prioritising the satisfaction of clients’ needs through service provision. The transformation of a company from predominantly product only to a product and service mix is studied. The transformation will generally involve the transfer of some activities from one part of the supply chain to another and, in some cases, this involves the transfer of activities previously carried out by the client to the product-service company. This paper describes the application of SSM (Soft Systems Methodology) to this transformation such that the views of those stakeholders across the supply chain can be captured and conflicting expectations and views can be highlighted. We provide an initial model for developing a SSM in defence construction organisations to show that the general approach is relevant to this particular feature of transformation. The SSM approach will lead to identification of barriers to transformation, the understanding of implications on overall performance and – importantly – the joint consideration of these matters and solution generation by customer and supplier in a non-confrontational fashion. The overall objective is to make recommendations that alleviate identified concerns, barriers and obstacles to this transformation. The outcomes of the research will show how the SSM conceptual models can help managers in either sector to realise the necessary activities needed to perform the transformation in a successful manner.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


MORCOS, M. and HENSHAW, M., 2009. A soft systems methodology for transforming organisations to Product-Service Systems (application in defence and construction industry). IN: Proceedings of the 7th Annual Conference on Systems Engineering Research, 20th-23rd April 2009, Loughborough University, UK.


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This conference paper was presented at CSER 2009 and is also available at: http://cser.lboro.ac.uk/