Enterprise imaging: Representing complex multi-organizational service enterprises
Mills, J., Purchase, V. and Parry, G. (2013) Enterprise imaging: Representing complex multi-organizational service enterprises. International Journal of Production and Operations Management, 33 (2). pp. 159-180. ISSN 0144-3577
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/01443571311295617
Purpose: This paper aims to develop a two-dimensional “Enterprise Image” of complex, multi-organizational service enterprises capable of assisting client and provider stakeholders to take a holistic perspective of the purpose and management of their enterprise in addition to the business purposes of their own organization. Design/methodology/approach: Development of the Enterprise Image relies on research within the service, organizational and individual cognition literatures. Data was obtained from an in-depth single Defence sector case study comprising 28 interviewees representing diverse interests within the client and provider communities. Preliminary testing of the validity and utility of the Image was conducted by presentations to single and mixed communities of clients and providers. Findings: The paper provides empirically based insight into the management processes of a complex, multi-organizational service enterprise, where little or no enterprise level management had been in evidence. The Enterprise Image, however, appeared to have the effect of raising questions and conversations about how the overall enterprise might be managed and how ongoing service improvement might be achieved. Research limitations: A single case study in Defence has serious issues of generalization. However, there is likely to be significant generalisability in public sector outsources where the out-source is not or cannot be complete, for example defence, healthcare and the justice system. In this research the Enterprise was drawn by researchers – further research should aim to design a method that helps clients and providers co-create their own Enterprise Image. What is original/value of the paper: The paper is believed to be the first to explore enterprise management in a complex multi-organizational service enterprise.