Several themes underpin the notion of enterprise transformation. The Tennenbaum Institute's faculty and graduate students address them in their research.
Enterprises face constant change in today’s global business environment. Institutional pressures, regulatory requirements, technological advancements, innovations, and economic conditions require enterprises to reassess and often change their mode of operation, business processes, product and service offerings, and interfirm relationships. Change is thus a core element in the study of enterprise transformations. We study drivers and enablers of change from strategic, technological, process, human, and organizational culture perspectives. Specific research questions include how enterprises adapt to change, what conditions facilitate or inhibit change, and how to successfully implement and manage change initiatives.
Enterprise architecture is the structure of organizations and relationships between them within the overall enterprise. Often, architectures are not designed; rather they emerge over time. A fundamental question is how to conceptualize, design and improve architectures to support enterprise objectives, exhibiting robustness as these objectives change over time.
Virtually all of today’s products and services are created and delivered through complex and large-scale inter- and intrafirm networks. This is particularly the case for healthcare and global manufacturing. We study how the structure and dynamics of complex networks enable and drive strategy, collaboration, operations, innovation, knowledge, and value creation. Specific research questions include how to effectively manage, lead, and design complex networks, how networks evolve over time, or what implications globalization, culture, incentive structures, and policies have on the performance of networks.
The enterprise of healthcare delivery in the U.S. and the global manufacturing networks of NCM are, without doubt, complex systems with many stakeholders, often with conflicting interests and degrees of independence seldom seen with traditional systems. Research in this area focuses on formal definitions and models of complexity, assessments of the complexity of markets and enterprises within the framework of these definitions and models, and development and evaluation of methods for designing and managing complexity.
Increasingly, collaboration involves complex interactions among participants who are separated by geography, time, organizations, and corporate identity. We study ways to enable collaboration in this new setting, using a broad spectrum of approaches, including interaction protocols for both physical and virtual meetings, technologies to support simultaneous and asynchronous meetings, technologies for identifying, capturing, and making explicit important common knowledge, technologies for rapidly formulating alternatives and carrying out what-if analyses, and technologies for creating and capturing new enterprise knowledge.
Innovation and Integration
Innovation is the process of creating change in the marketplace. In today’s global and dynamic market, innovation is not only considered a core business necessity, but also key to an overall competitiveness. It is common knowledge that companies that fail to innovate tend not to survive. We study how enterprises create and manage innovations in complex organizational systems. Specific research areas include the examination of the value and impact of innovations on enterprises, the management of innovation, the role of information and incentives on innovative behavior of enterprises, and the complexity of innovation networks.
The Tennenbaum Institute is creating new, cutting-edge methods and tools to enable the process of enterprise transformation. Both faculty and graduate students are involved with developing such methods and tools and using them to study problems of interest in their research.
Complex systems cannot be studied effectively if they cannot be explicitly described. New systems modeling tools, like SysML, provide the technology to enable formal modeling of complex systems. What is needed are the modeling practices, including modeling libraries, that allow large scale modeling to be fast, correct, and effective.
Organizational Simulation, Games and Visualization
Transformation involves considerable risk due to significant uncertainties and costs. Executives would like to be able to experience the transformed enterprise before making critical transformation decisions - to drive the future before writing the check. TI is developing new technologies to enable this capability, ranging from detailed constructive simulations of organizational behavior and performance, to online games where managers and policy-makers interact with the to-be enterprise to explore its characteristics. Visualization is a key technology to facilitate understanding of complex datasets presented by such simulations and games.
Economic and Financial Modeling
A primary consideration when entertaining changes of complex organizational systems is the economic value of such change. Beyond the costs of changes, those who invest in change want to know what these changes are worth. Hopefully, the worth far exceeds the cost. Research in this area focuses on characterizing and modeling the future cash flows created by current investments in change. This often involves consideration of the multi-stage nature of such investments, as well as the significant uncertainties associated with future returns.
Statistical Modeling and Data Mining
Today’s world is awash in data. But what senior executives really need is useful information. New methods are needed to extract such information from large, complex corporate and government datasets, to support long-term transformation decisions.
Organizational Culture Change
Fundamental change is often quite difficult because one has to manage the “as is” enterprises while also trying to create the “to be” enterprise. Research in this area often involves case studies of how major change evolved in, for example, the retail and automobile industries. Also of significant interest is how new inventions provide the basis for market innovations and how such changes can be anticipated or at least identified.