1. Survey on Business Improvement Initiatives – Can you help?

    August 14, 2009 by

    Hello all,

    I’m Musli, a PhD student at the Centre for Organisational Excellence Research (COER), Massey University (BPIR.com’s founding organisation). I’m conducting a survey on business improvement initiatives. This survey is part of my doctoral study, which is supervised by Dr. Robin Mann and Dr. Nigel Grigg.

    As you know, there are numerous business improvement initiatives that can be used by organisations to improve quality, productivity and sustainability towards achieving excellence. The initiatives can be approaches, systems, tools and/or techniques, such as, Six Sigma, Lean, ISO9000, ISO14000, Business Process Reengineering, and Benchmarking. The right initiatives to be used may vary depending on several factors, for instance, the current maturity level of the organisation, organisation type and size, and the capabilities and responsibilities of the workforce.  Moreover, there is also a lack of clear understanding by people regarding when, where and how to implement the initiatives. In order to help organisations to select suitable initiatives according to the contexts, this survey attempts to identify where the main business improvement initiatives should be used according to the following areas: leadership and social responsibilities, strategy and policy, customers, processes, workforce, and, partnerships and resources.

    All practitioners, managers, executives, consultants and/or academicians who have a good understanding and experience on business improvement initiatives are invited to complete the on-line survey – click on link below:


    I hope you can participate. If you have completed the questionnaire and request form, you will be sent a copy of the survey findings through email, once it is ready.

    Please complete the survey by 28th of February 2010. For further details, please refer to the front page of survey instrument

    Your kind participation would be much appreciated. Thank you very much.

    Best regards,

    Musli Mohammad
    PhD Student
    Centre for Organisational Excellence Research (COER)

  2. Culture for Continuous Improvement

    August 13, 2009 by
    There is some exciting research going on at the COER (Centre of Organisational Excellence Research) at the moment.
    Past research shows that culture plays a key role in sustaining continuous improvement in organisations. Continuous improvement, in turn, is often viewed as critical for organisational efficiency and waste reduction. However, the effect of culture in the specific context is less well understood. Several levels of culture such as the national culture, corporate culture and organisational sub-cultures, are present simultaneously. Which ones are important, and under what conditions do they become important? What needs to happen to ensure that the existing cultural diversity results in continuous improvement? Which role does – and, in fact, can – management and organisational leadership play?
    This doctoral research is seeking answers to these questions using a multiple-case methodology. For participating organisations, this presents an opportunity to benefit from cutting-edge research and at the same time help advance the scientific understanding.
    Participation in the study is free of charge. If you are interested in having your organisation participate, please get in touch with me for further information – either by email (J.P.Wagner@massey.ac.nz ) or by leaving a comment.
    Jürgen 'Phil' Wagner

    PhD Student
    Centre for Organisational Excellence Research (COER)
    Massey University

  3. Organisational Social Networking

    We at BPIR are keeping an eye on the rapid growth of organisational social networking.
    Recent research has thrown up a variety of ways in which companies are using social networking such as in recruitment, buyer/vendor networking, wiki sites, communities of practice, etc. It is also of value in training delivery as discussed in a recent BBC business programme presented by Peter Day: GlobalBiz: Learning Curve: Tx: 04 Aug 09. "Companies are discovering that new communications methods are transforming the way they do their training." But, says Peter Day, they could also transform the way the company organises itself … as it moves along the "Learning Curve".

    Well worth a listen.
    Kevin McKenna

    Senior Researcher
    BPIR.com Limited

  4. Social Networking is now part of life, “long live Business Networking”!

    July 27, 2009 by

    Embrace or die!  That’s what the choice seems to be for businesses today in terms of online networking.  It’s become so much an accepted part of ‘normal’ life for a large and increasing portion of the workforce that they need access to it throughout the day (a 2009 study showed out of 1483 respondents almost 75% used social networking sites for personal use within an organisation).  And if it isn’t authorised via the employer’s corporate internet service, well then, there is always the mobile phone evolution that is fast making mobile wireless internet browsing an affordable reality.  So, for businesses, it makes sense to encourage participation in online networks that can benefit personal and organisational performance.

    What seems a long time ago now I joined Thomas Power’s network Ecademy.  This was prior to LinkedIn and Facebook even launched and was, I think, the first ‘social-business network’ to gain popularity.  I read up a lot on what could be gained from such an investment in time and browsed many guides on how to best ‘network’.  However my first effort to network online flopped; I didn’t invest the time necessary, even though I believed in it.  My workload was just too high, I thought.  Since then the world has moved on and now social networks play a critical part in the development of young people.  Wow!  Things change fast!  I am amazed every time when I hear researchers and psychologists comment on how online-communications are replacing the need for face-to-face meetings in the context of the development of children – or at least teenagers for now….  Whole friend- and support-networks are being developed online instead of by meeting others and socialising together personally.  It seems sad but it’s the way the world is going.  What’s even more surprising to me is that a huge proportion of online networkers are aged not in their twenties, but anything up to mid-fifties!  A recent study defined most Facebook users as college educated, white-collar workers, and more than 40% at over 35 years old.  Another study found half of all blog readers were between the ages of 31 and 50, and 18% were between 51 and 60.

    Anyway, I do clearly see the huge advantage that organisations can gain from encouraging participation by employees in online networks, and I know that time spent in such networks is well-spent.  But the vast majority of organisations are not capitalising on these networks.  Just understanding and acknowledging that employees who use networks are likely to benefit through interacting with many, hopefully, peers by way of ‘organic learning’ is not enough to make a difference.  All organisations will be benefiting thus before long and hence the ‘benefit’ will be effectively neutralised.  What will define a true learning organisation from others will be the proactive decision to provide access to networks designed to promote the type of learning and contact that affects organisational performance. Well, what a coincidence! For the last 18 months here at BPIR.com we have been feverishly designing and developing a network portal that will allow our members to leverage the growing BPIR membership community, and create ways that we, as administrators, can help encourage the learning potential that exists for all in the network to filter back and translate into increases in organisational performance, and hence, into bottom line profit.  Our network is being rolled out as you read this blog.  For now the network is available only to members of BPIR and its partners.

    Here are a handful of interesting survey snippets about social networks in the business environment.

    That’s all for now.  Hopefully see you in the network!


    General dog's body, grafter, and MD of BPIR.com Limited

  5. 4th International Benchmarking Conference, Manama – Bahrain

    May 12, 2009 by

    You probably have noticed a new banner starting to appear in the BPIR header regarding the upcoming annual conference of the Global Benchmarking Network (GBN). This year the conference will be held on 27th & 28th of October in a very special place; Bahrain, a small island in the Arabian Gulf almost the first in every achievement among gulf states; the first public school system, the first in oil discovery, the first F1 racing circuit.  Bahrain also boasts the largest modern aluminium smelter in the world, represents the financial hub of the region, and is centrally located between Europe and the far East making it an ideal location for stopovers.

    Back to the main topic; the conference; a number of international keynote speakers and speakers have already confirmed their participation in the conference. Several topics will be presented and many people will attend this unique event.

    Whether you are looking to find out how quality professionals have reacted to the economic slowdown to identify the latest trends in the profession, or you simply want to know more about quality and benchmarking then this is the right event for you.

    If you are interested in delivering a presentation or attending the conference please visit http://GBN.BahrainQuality.org for more details or contact the organising committee at GBN@bahrainquality.org

    C U in Bahrain


    Benchmarking Researcher, BPIR.com



    Manama skyline at nigh, thanks for DarkGrey for the photos


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