Organization design is a creative process informed by theory and empirical evidence. Evidence-based management has received a lot of attention lately. However, as Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert Sutton point out in their book Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense: Profiting from Evidence-Based Management, practitioners’ actions and practices are often not based on the latest scientific theory. It is hard to imagine an engineer or architect designing a new bridge without understanding the scientific knowledge of metallurgy (Latham, 2012). Yet, managers design organizations, policies, processes, and so forth based on little empirical evidence and often on myths passed down from generation to generation. The notion here is that leadership and design practice are enhanced when they are informed by and consistent with the latest empirical evidence for that practice.
Methods and considerations used to design management methods, processes, and systems are key components of my research agenda. I am constantly developing better design methodologies and practices and exploring design considerations. My research on management design integrates ideas and concepts from product and service designers, appreciative inquiry, systems thinking, and social construction into the process and framework for designing organizational systems. This research and practice stream produced the Organization Design Framework described in Latham (2012). The goal is to better understand how to design organizational systems to create ever-improving value for multiple stakeholders or sustainable excellence.
- Latham, J. R. (2013). How much does your organization weigh? INNOVATION, 32(2), 4.
- Latham, J. R. (2012). Management system design for sustainable excellence: Framework, practices, and considerations. Quality Management Journal, 19(2), 15.
- Latham, J. R. (2012). Latham’s response to commentaries. Quality Management Journal, 19(2), 3.
- Latham, J. R. (2009). Complex system design: Creating sustainable change in the mortgage-finance system. Quality Management Journal, 16(3), 7.
- Management System Design for Sustainable Excellence: Framework and Methodology | Paper Presentation | 5th International Conference Design Principles & Practices | Sapienza University of Rome | Facoltà di Architettura | February 2, 2011
- Elevating and Integrating the Dimensions of Triple Bottom Line into the Strategic Management System | with Dr. John Grant | Baldrige Award Recipients (BAR) Consortium Fall Forum | New Orleans | October 2, 2008
- Process Design Studio: A Baldrige-based Approach | Rocky Mountain Product Development and Management Association | Denver | March 15, 2007
- The Mind of the Organization Architect | Keynote | California Council for Excellence Fall Best Practices Conference | Napa | September 21, 2007
- Designing a Custom Leadership System: Process Design Studio | California Council for Excellence | Fall Excellence: A Full Harvest of Best Practices | Napa | September 20, 2007
While my management design framework research focuses on the design process methods, the research on sustainable excellence models focuses on the specifics of the designs for various frameworks, such as the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the many derivatives.
- Schulingkamp, R. & Latham, J. R. (2015). Healthcare performance excellence: A comparison of Baldrige award recipients and competitors. Quality Management Journal, 22(3), 17.
- Alexander, J. F., Jares, T. E., & Latham, J. R. (2007). Performance excellence in higher education: One business school’s journey. Palmetto Review, 10, 12.
- Mirabella, J., & Latham, J. R. (2012). Exploring indicators of one’s ability to identify opportunities for corporate improvement. Journal of Global Business Management, 8(1), 10.
- Building a Solid Foundation: Four Not So “Easy” Pieces | Presentation | The Quest for Excellence XXII – Annual Conference | NIST Getting Acquainted Workshop | Washington D. C. | April 11, 2010
- Elevating and Integrating Sustainability into Strategic Decision Making throughout Your Organization | Conference
- Elevating and Integrating the Dimensions of Triple Bottom Line into the Strategic Management System | Baldrige Award Recipients Consortium Forum
- Performance Excellence in Higher Education: A Business School’s Journey | Invited Lecture | University of South Carolina Upstate | William S. Moore Memorial Lecturer in Business |School of Administration & Economics |Spartanburg SC | May 17, 2007
Organization Diagnosis, Design, and Transformation Book
This guide is a resource book for leaders, organization architects, change agents, and award examiners. Whether diagnosing the existing organization, redesigning the management systems and processes, or leading the transformation, this practical guide has the tools and advice you need to build a high-performing organization. The Baldrige User’s Guide is not an academic book, nor is it one that you would sit down and read cover to cover. Instead, it is a resource book of tools, techniques, examples, and so forth on the systems and measures addressed by the Criteria for Performance Excellence. Free Download!