Engineers or Bricoleurs by prof Jan Devos


Published on

prof. dr. Jan Devos - professor UGent
Engineer or bricoleur

Published in: Business, Technology
1 Like
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Engineers or Bricoleurs by prof Jan Devos

  1. 1. Jan Devos, MBAELIT Lab, Howest, UGentGraaf Karel De Goedelaan 5BE-8500 KORTRIJK – BELGIUMT: +32 56 24 12 72F: +32 56 24 12 24e-mail: jgdvos.devos@ugent.beLinkedIn: @jangdevos Blog: twiiter: @jangdev
  2. 2. Emerge of the Engineering Model
  3. 3. Emerge of the Engineering Model Until 19th century only military‘ engineers. Archimedes, Leonardo da Vinci, Simon Stevin James Watt (1736-1819) first ‘civil engineer(K.U.Leuven,
  4. 4. Emerge of the Engineering Model
  5. 5. Successes of the Engineering Model Good logistics alone cant win a war. Bad logistics alone can lose it. —General Brehon B. Somervell Commanding General Army Services Forces, 1942
  6. 6. Successes of the Engineering Model
  7. 7. Ideal type of an Engineer… Businesses Governments … and Education
  8. 8. The illusion of modeling …Ever seen a pure geometric figure in nature?
  9. 9. The illusion of modeling …… is that we tend to forget that the real world has vague and murky contours… (Ciborra, 2002)E. Husserl (Phenomenology) and Galileo Galilei• Galileo introduces geometry as a sort of generalization• Everyday reality is real, outcomes of abstractions and models are ideal• Lack of ‘spiritual’ dimension in technological advancement• Problems are solved by reduction
  10. 10. Separation of Creation and Use
  11. 11. Ideal type of an Engineer…EngineerA priori hierarchical order: top down approachReduction/decomposition (analysis – synthesis – model)Openness, transcending boundariesLinear time – CartesiansDistant knowledge, representationKnowledge about structural characteristic entitiesSpecializationSearch for the adequate, project-oriented meansProjects and designsRespect of prior specifications: exact design requirementsEvaluation through expected level of performance and qualitySeparation of creation and useOutcomes respond to field norms
  12. 12. Foundations for the EngineerNatural Sciences (positivistic perspective)Control Theory (Coase, 1937, Eisenhardt, 1989) Alignment of interestsAgency Theory (Jensen & Meckling, 1976) Contracts (Incomplete Contract Theory) Moral Hazard / Adverse SelectionMistrust in human behavior (Ghoshal, 2005)Amoral theories ?
  13. 13. Collapse of an Engineering Model
  14. 14. Research on IS failures Resistance against change 1983 Power, Politics and MIS implementation (Markus) 20 years later: - 2003, "Computers can land people on Mars, why cant they get them to work in a hospital?" - Implementation of an Electronic Patient Record System in a UK Hospital (Jones) - 2004, Informating the Clan: Controlling Physicians Costs and Outcomes (Kohli & Kettinger)
  15. 15. Organizational ChangeNov. 2010
  16. 16. Organizational Change
  17. 17. Alternative approaches to PM • PM does not guaranteed success nor eliminates failures • Management of meaning iso management of control ? • Critical perspective on projects: focus on values (technology is not neutral), ethics and morality equally important than efficiency & effectiveness ? • Trust vs Control ? (Devos, 2009) • “Political” PLC 2003, The chimpanzees’ tea party: a new metaphor for project manager (Drummond & Hodgson) 2006, New Possibilities for Project Management Theory A Critical Engagement (Cicmil & Hodgson)
  18. 18. PLC and the ‘Political’ PLC Inception PLC Wild enthusiasm Design & Dev. “P”PLC Search for the guilty
  19. 19. Complexity “(Computer-based) Information Systems defeat their own purpose because they create complexity.” (Weick 1985)
  20. 20. BricolageConcept of ‘Bricolage’ (Lévi-Strauss) Trinidad Steel drums (pans) © Jan Devos - 20
  21. 21. Bricolage• Bricolage - French anthropologist Lévi-Strauss, ‘La pensée sauvage’ (1962)• “doing things with whatever is at hand”• Bricolage relates with (Duymedjian & Rüling, 2010)• organizational resilience• improvisation• sense making• entrepreneurship• utilization of technical systems and artefacts• the bricoleur versus the engineer © Jan Devos - 21
  22. 22. Bricolage and HROOrganizing for High Reliability:Processes of Collective Mindfulness (Weick, 1999) • Preoccupation with failure (“Failure is not an option”) • Reluctance to simplify interpretation (beware of ‘frameworks’, ‘models’, ‘mindsets’, …) • Sensitivity to operations (“situational awareness”) • Commitment to resilience (“continuous management of fluctuations”) © Jan Devos - 1
  23. 23. BricolageFrom the seminal work of Lévi-Strauss, three constructscan be inferred to characterize bricolage:1) 1) repertoire or the material and immaterial resources that are collected independently of any particular project or utilization,2) 2) dialogue or the activity of assembling objects and3) 3) outcome, which’s refers both to the process and its results (Duymedjian and Ruling 2010). © Jan Devos - 23
  24. 24. Bricoleur vs EngineerBricoleur EngineerEverything matters A priori hierarchical orderComplex, interconnected system Reduction/decompositionClosed universe Openness, transcending boundariesCyclical time Linear timeIntimate knowledge, familiarity Distant knowledge, representationKnowledge about relationships implying a low Knowledge about structural characteristic entitiesfunctional fixedness biasVersatility implying resilience SpecializationCollection through unplanned encounters Search for the adequate, project-oriented meansUnclear outcomes Projects and designsDialogue with elements in stock (resources) Respect of prior specificationsAssemblage, substitution, …’it’s working’ Evaluation through expected level of performance and qualityCreation and use cannot be dissociated Separation of creation and useOutcomes look unlike anything else Outcomes respond to field norms
  25. 25. Bricolage• Is Bricolage a theory?• Seven oxymoron’s as propositions (Ciborra, 2002)• Value bricolage strategically (VBS)• Design tinkering (DT)• Establish systematic serendipity (ESS)• Thrive on gradual breakthroughs (TGB)• Unskilled Learning (UL)• Strive for failure (SFF)• Achieve collaborative inimitability (ACI)(Devos et al. 2012) © Jan Devos - 25
  26. 26. Oxy-1 Value bricolage strategically IT Alignment + CEO Commitment © Jan Devos - 26
  27. 27. Oxy-2 Design tinkering Open Source Software - communities © Jan Devos - 27
  28. 28. Oxy-3 Establish systematic serendipity © Jan Devos - 28
  29. 29. Oxy-4 Thrive on gradual breakthroughs © Jan Devos - 29
  30. 30. Oxy-5 Unskilled Learning © Jan Devos - 30
  31. 31. Oxy-6 Strive for failure © Jan Devos - 31
  32. 32. Oxy-7 Achieve collaborative inimitability © Jan Devos - 32
  33. 33. Conclusion• Both models are valid and useful• A mixed form is even better• Bricolage is already there in SMEs…and maybe also in LO © Jan Devos - 33