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Title: Development of second order understanding as a basis for organisational improvement
Author: Brown, James Robert
ISNI:       0000 0004 2705 7613
Awarding Body: Northumbria University
Current Institution: Northumbria University
Date of Award: 2009
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Most if not all organisations claim to pursue a continued improvement philosophy. The processes often adopted are predominantly concerned with the collection and analysis of data. Such approaches take little account of the opinions or varying points of view of the affected groups or individuals. Within this research, these processes are referred to as first order processes. The thesis explores what is termed the second order of organisational improvement, placing the emphasis of the inquiry on the worldviews of those involved. The research includes a study of peoples' attitudes towards organisational improvement and an in depth review of the relevant literature. Initial research consisting of questionnaires and interviews, gave an indication of the willingness within the workforce to engage in improvement activities. This led to the development of a model looking to understand and incorporate the differing worldviews of individuals, into action plans to improve the situations of concern, and an improvement process embedding understanding of others' perspectives and worldviews, dialogical communication and systems thinking. Incorporation of the differentiation of opinions and views of the people affected is central to the second order process. Implementation is possible in any organisation that enjoys an open trusting environment, irrespective of the operational sector. The major contribution of the process is in the change of emphasis from establishment of a commonly held shared view of a situation, to understanding the differences between worldviews of those involved. In effect, the second order process explores the differences in opinions and beliefs that underlie how individuals view a situation. The aim is to understand peoples' different views and incorporate those views in any agreed action.
Supervisor: Sice, Petia Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: G400 Computer Science ; G500 Information Systems