Special Issue "Enhancing Sustainable Performance in Organizational and Inter-Institutional Systems"

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A special issue of Systems (ISSN 2079-8954).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2014)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Graham Winch

24 Church Street, Modbury, Devon PL21 0QR, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: strategic visioning and process visualisation across a number of strategic issue areas using system dynamics diagramming and simulation approaches
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Carmine Bianchi

CED4-System Dynamics Group, University of Palermo, Via Mazzini, 59 - 90100 Palermo, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: wide scope of applications of system dynamics modeling to performance management in the public sector and in SMEs; sustainability management; planning; organization studies

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sustainability is not just for Christmas… it’s for life. Sustainable solutions, whether sought in terms of business strategies, social policies, or the exploitation of natural resources have to serve organizations and communities in the long term, sometimes very long term, as well as the short term. Static analysis is unlikely to be able to evaluate candidate solutions fully, and is more likely to focus on the short-term future to the detriment of the longer-term. Sustainable solutions are more likely to be developed from studies based on deep analysis using systems approaches, and from system dynamics (SD) approaches in particular.
Further, isolated approaches for enhancing sustainability management in real organizational and inter-organizational contexts run the risk of leading to ‘unsustainable’ implementations if such models do not properly fit with the currently used performance management systems. So, what kind of support can dynamic modeling give to wider (strategic) performance management systems? What ‘missing links’ (or information gaps) in how traditional performance management approaches support decision makers to frame sustainability issues can be filled by dynamics system modeling?
This special issue plans to publish new and imaginative insights into sustainability and the processes in seeking and evaluating strategies for sustainability using systems approaches. The issue welcomes, but is not limited to, articles using system dynamics either as the prime approach or in conjunction with other systems and management approaches.

Prof. Dr. Graham Winch
Prof. Dr. Carmine Bianchi
Guest Editors

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Systems is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. For the first couple of issues the Article Processing Charge (APC) will be waived for well-prepared manuscripts. English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.


Keywords

  • sustainability
  • policy and strategy design
  • dynamic modeling
  • long- vs. short-term
  • performance management & evaluation
  • public management
  • SME growth and sustainability
  • value generation in public/private sector collaboration

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Dealing with Multi-Level Governance and Wicked Problems in Urban Transportation Systems: The Case of Palermo Municipality
Systems 2015, 3(3), 62-80; doi:10.3390/systems3030062
Received: 11 February 2015 / Revised: 2 May 2015 / Accepted: 23 June 2015 / Published: 30 June 2015
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Abstract
Italian New Public Management (NPM) has been mainly characterized by a political orientation toward power decentralization to local governments and privatization of public companies. Nowadays, local utilities in Italy are often run by joint stock companies controlled by public agencies such as Regional
[...] Read more.
Italian New Public Management (NPM) has been mainly characterized by a political orientation toward power decentralization to local governments and privatization of public companies. Nowadays, local utilities in Italy are often run by joint stock companies controlled by public agencies such as Regional and Municipal Administrations. Due to this transformation, these companies must comply with a set of diverse expectations coming from a wide range of stakeholders, related to their financial, competitive and social performance. Such fragmented governance increases the presence of “wicked” problems in the decision-making sphere of these entities. Given this multi-level governance structure, how do these agents influence public services performance? In recent years, coordination and inter-institutional joint action have been identified as possible approaches for dealing with governance fragmentation and wicked problems deriving from it. How can we adapt a performance management perspective in order to help us reform the system and so have a better collaboration between the stakeholders involved? In order to address and discuss these research questions, a case study will be developed. The case concerns AMAT, the local utility providing the public transportation service in the Municipality of Palermo (Italy). The result of this study is a dynamic model including a set of performance indicators that help us in understanding the impact of the governing structure on the system’s performance. Full article
Open AccessArticle Integration of Standardized Management Systems: A Dilemma?
Systems 2015, 3(2), 45-59; doi:10.3390/systems3020045
Received: 9 March 2015 / Accepted: 18 May 2015 / Published: 2 June 2015
PDF Full-text (682 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The growing proliferation of management systems standards (MSSs), and their individualized implementation, is a real problem faced by organizations. On the other hand, MSSs are aimed at improving efficiency and effectiveness of organizational responses in order to satisfy the requirements, needs and expectations
[...] Read more.
The growing proliferation of management systems standards (MSSs), and their individualized implementation, is a real problem faced by organizations. On the other hand, MSSs are aimed at improving efficiency and effectiveness of organizational responses in order to satisfy the requirements, needs and expectations of the stakeholders. Each organization has its own identity and this is an issue that cannot be neglected; hence, two possible approaches can be attended. First, continue with the implementation of individualized management systems (MSs); or, integrate the several MSSs versus related MSs into an integrated management system (IMS). Therefore, in this context, organizations are faced with a dilemma, as a result of the increasing proliferation and diversity of MSSs. This paper takes into account the knowledge gained through a case study conducted in the context of a Portuguese company and unveils some of the advantages and disadvantages of integration. A methodology is also proposed and presented to support organizations in developing and structuring the integration process of their individualized MSs, and consequently minimize problems that are generators of inefficiencies, value destruction and loss of competitiveness. The obtained results provide relevant information that can support Top Management decision in solving that dilemma and consequently promote a successful integration, including a better control of business risks associated to MSSs requirements and enhancing sustainable performance, considering the context in which organizations operate. Full article
Open AccessArticle An Integrated Architecture, Methods and Some Tools for Enhancing Sustainable Enterprises and Systems
Systems 2015, 3(2), 27-44; doi:10.3390/systems3020027
Received: 9 February 2015 / Revised: 14 April 2015 / Accepted: 24 April 2015 / Published: 4 May 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1580 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainability and, in particular, green sustainability are very complex subjects, because they typically include several integrated sub-systems. Many of these contain dynamically changing objects and variables, which are often difficult to measure and calibrate. Green sustainability means waste reduction and optimization with a
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Sustainability and, in particular, green sustainability are very complex subjects, because they typically include several integrated sub-systems. Many of these contain dynamically changing objects and variables, which are often difficult to measure and calibrate. Green sustainability means waste reduction and optimization with a non-toxic process focus that can be maintained over time, for a very long time. Furthermore, it means the ability of an ecosystem to maintain ecological processes and functions, biological diversity and productivity over time. Sustainable, green engineering design, manufacturing, demanufacturing and re-engineering are changing every aspect of our lives. In this paper, we offer an overview, a systems engineering framework, as well as some methodology and concrete results. Full article
Open AccessArticle How Corporations Deal with Reporting Sustainability: Assessment Using the Multicriteria Logistic Biplot Approach
Systems 2015, 3(1), 6-26; doi:10.3390/systems3010006
Received: 4 November 2014 / Accepted: 21 January 2015 / Published: 27 January 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (793 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper suggests a new methodology capable of accessing in detail the contribution of companies to countries’ sustainability related to economic performance. The concept of sustainability has been brought up in several debates, leading to a clearer understanding of its progress in recent
[...] Read more.
This paper suggests a new methodology capable of accessing in detail the contribution of companies to countries’ sustainability related to economic performance. The concept of sustainability has been brought up in several debates, leading to a clearer understanding of its progress in recent decades. The most adequate indicators to achieve a unique value to define sustainability have been identified. However, specific behaviors of economic agents such as exist in particularly large organizations, have rarely been exposed and evaluated regarding their positive or negative contribution to the increase of sustainability throughout the world. This paper proposes an integrated approach incorporating an evaluation of the positive and negative contributions to sustainability by means of a logistic biplot application. This allows the creation of a summarized index that combines all single sustainability indicators. These synthetic indices allow the positioning of each of the companies in a geometric representation for an original exploration of the sustainability paradigm. The supplied method permits accessing and evaluating information concerning specific behaviors of economic agents such as big companies. In our paper, we have followed the engagements towards sustainability of big corporations, individually or as groups, across the different activity sectors in Portugal and Spain. Full article

Other

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Open AccessAnnouncement Special Issue: Enhancing Sustainable Performance in Organizational and Inter-Institutional Systems
Systems 2013, 1(2), 29; doi:10.3390/systems1020029
Received: 6 May 2013 / Accepted: 6 May 2013 / Published: 13 May 2013
PDF Full-text (52 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainability is not just for Christmas… it’s for life. Sustainable solutions, whether sought in terms of business strategies, social policies, or the exploitation of natural resources have to serve organizations and communities in the long term, sometimes very long term, as well as
[...] Read more.
Sustainability is not just for Christmas… it’s for life. Sustainable solutions, whether sought in terms of business strategies, social policies, or the exploitation of natural resources have to serve organizations and communities in the long term, sometimes very long term, as well as the short term. Static analysis is unlikely to be able to evaluate candidate solutions fully, and is more likely to focus on the short-term future to the detriment of the longer-term. Sustainable solutions are more likely to be developed from studies based on deep analysis using systems approaches, and from system dynamics (SD) approaches in particular. Full article

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