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2017 | Book

Advances in Management Engineering


About this book

This book deals with research in open challenges in Management Engineering in the 21st century, as well as selected opportunities and solutions to remedy them. Management Engineering is an emerging field that extends the analytical methods used in traditional Industrial Engineering and Industrial Organization to address the economic, behavioral and social dimensions of companies and their environments.
Management Engineering extends its domain beyond the firm and the market to encompass the modeling and policy design of physical landscapes populated by social agents. The developments of the 21st century have made it necessary to adopt an integrative and global view of the different methodologies and tools that facilitate managers’ decision-making processes, ranging from the strategic to the operational level. This book equips readers with precisely these urgently needed resources.

Table of Contents


Management Engineering and Organizational Sciences

Chapter 1. The Evolution and Classification of Management and Organizational Sciences. A Personal Interpretation
Management sciences are comprised of a set of disciplines that can be applied to different fields, whose contents may vary due to the particular characteristics of the organizations under study. For example, differences occur when management sciences are applied to public management. In each field, some of the theoretical approaches used in the disciplines change, and new models and technical vocabulary have been introduce into the literature. However, beyond the addition of some very specific subjects, the set of main disciplines remains practically unalterable, as well as their position on the functional map. Nevertheless, the contents and relative importance of the management sciences may vary over time. The appearance of innovative waves in the management sciences can be observed clearly in changes in the contents of management manuals and journals on the subject. Often these changes are substantial and we should reflect on this.
F. Solé Parellada
Chapter 2. An Approach to the Industrial Organization Engineering Background in Spain
In this article we review the historic background of Spanish Industrial Engineering and briefly compare it with its equivalents in the USA and other countries, indicating similarities and differences. We present the actions taken in Spain that have consolidated Organizational Engineering. First, we describe the early history in the older Schools of Industrial Engineering. We follow reporting the new Industrial Organization speciality in the Degree in Industrial Engineering and the Second Cycle of Industrial Organization Engineering that extends until the end of the last century. We present the actual academic organization to adapt to the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) along with the impact that its adaptation has had on the new Degrees, Master Degrees and Postgraduate Courses. Finally, a short section deals with the Organizational Engineering Development Association (ADINGOR), given its importance for the visibility and consolidation of Spanish Organizational Engineering in Spain and elsewhere.
Ramón Companys, Fco-Cruz Lario, Eduardo Vicens-Salort, Raúl Poler, Angel Ortiz
Chapter 3. Sixty Years of Economics: Some Lessons for the Future
Economics is contextual and evolves. For this reason, in this chapter, I have selected some relevant milestones of a long period of 60 years. The choice, the questions and the conclusions are personal and probably controversial. The chapter begins with the great failure of the Economy: the gap in the distribution of wealth even in developed countries. It continues asking the following questions: What have we learned from the seventies crisis? What are we learning from the current crisis? What is wrong with Economics as a social science? Can Experimental Economics allow us to understand and accommodate the social complexity of the Economy? What is the scope of Artificial Economics? Finally, since Artificial Economics provides solutions to complex problems, can we export socially inspired methods to other areas of Management Engineering? I conclude that there are tools to improve Economics and to help us in designing proper institutional frameworks. However, solving the actual economic challenges will require changes in methods and institutions far beyond Economic Policy. The changes must be institutional and can not be delayed. Not so much improvements in Economic Policy as changes in Political Economy.
Cesáreo Hernández
Chapter 4. The New Industrial Organization
Economic Activity takes two alternative forms: the Market and the Firm. Economics is a social science that tries to explain how to generate wealth and how it is distributed. The firm is a social organization whose members decide to cooperate to generate wealth and its distribution among the stakeholders. They certainly share a common goal. However, to translate economic principles to management is an open challenge. Traditional IO as understood among the economists deals with the generation of wealth through the market, which if it is well designed will achieve a fair distribution through endogenous dynamics towards equilibrium. On the other hand, a proper theory of the firm needs explicit rules of governance and operations. This fact requires a New I.O dealing with uncertainty far beyond probability; individual and collective bounded rational agents; specialization and heterogeneity; imperfect information and variety; incentives and penalties to avoid free riding, and how to develop core competences such as entrepreneurship, innovation and knowledge management. The paper revised I.O and ends up with a map of Management Sciences to help designing the Management Engineering curricula and the range of specific skills and competences demanded by different institutions.
Ricardo del Olmo Martínez, Adolfo López-Paredes

The Governance System of the Firm

Chapter 5. The Application of the Viable System Model to Enhance Organizational Resilience
The interest in how to build resilient organizations is increasing in the last two decades. However , there is no formal and accepted framework yet. In this paper, we argue that the application of the principles of the Viable System Model (VSM) improves organizational resilience. We also argue that the VSM constitutes a valid framework to design resilient organizations.
Cristina Ruiz-Martin, José Manuel Pérez Rios, Gabiel Wainer, Javier Pajares, Cesáreo Hernández, Adolfo López-Paredes
Chapter 6. Supply Chain Management: The Systemic Challenge
Practitioners extensively recognize the supply chain as an overall system with growingly complex interdependences. Nevertheless, several studies have pointed out that managers fail to see the whole system, and hence they do not operate consistently to such recognition, but they usually approach the issue from a local optimization perspective. This kind of reductionist solutions create large inefficiencies, which damage the profitability of the various supply chain members. Under these circumstances, we highlight the deployment of the systemic approach as the great challenge of the 21st-century supply chains. This paper develops this idea. Firstly, we explore the concepts of efficiency, flexibility and resilience as core operational goals for supply chains operating under the current global scene. Secondly, we underscore the systemic approach by defining the basic supply chain archetypes underlain by contrary philosophical approaches. Thirdly, we devise a framework based on three strategic axes—education, orchestration, and methodology—from which the systemic challenge must be tackled.
Borja Ponte, Isabel Fernández, Nazario García, Raúl Pino, David de la Fuente
Chapter 7. Project Management Methodologies in the Fourth Technological Revolution
We are at the beginning of a new technological revolution, propelled by the development of cyber-physical systems and technologies like Internet of Things, Bid Data, Cloud Computing, 3D Printing, etc. Therefore, we will see an avalanche of projects to implement new business models, products, services and companies. In this paper, we analyse the main characteristics of these projects and we wonder about the appropriate methodologies and managerial styles to lead them. We argue that these projects are complex in nature, according to the current literature on project complexity and thus, classical project management approaches might be unsuitable for managing them. We suggest some clues to seek for new managerial styles, mainly in the literature concerning innovation and new product development and within the “Agile” approach.
Javier Pajares, David Poza, Felix Villafañez, Adolfo López-Paredes
Chapter 8. Knowledge and Innovation in the New Industrial Organization
The objective of this work is to study “The New Industrial Organization” (Hernández 1997) and its implications for knowledge, cooperative relations and business innovation. This objective implies understanding the close and meaningful connection between Economics, Business Organization and Strategic Management. In doing so, we point out that two intangible factors, knowledge and cooperative relations between the agents of the firm are the basis of business profitability, through their impact on innovation. Innovation exists to convert knowledge into products and services that will attract the customers. Competitiveness emerges here, when those goods and services are unique and generate value for the customers, who are willing not only to acquire them, but also to pay the set price, and ultimate being an agent of the firm. The challenge consists in offering, today as ever, products and services that are yet to be found on the market, so that the firm will not be marginalized and abandoned by the customers, now a an agent of the firm´s network. Knowledge, together with the innovative capabilities of people, opens up an enormous space for the firm, which leads to continuous progress full of opportunities and future.
Lourdes Sáiz-Bárcena, Miguel Ángel Manzanedo del Campo, Ricardo del Olmo Martínez
Chapter 9. Institutional Endowment and Innovation Strategies
Firms understand that cooperation is key to sustainable innovation. Knowledge accumulated inside the firm requires external catharsis if the firm is to reinvent itself. Institutional endowment influences those cooperative processes, acting as a barrier or leverage. When building balanced cooperation strategies, the extent to which firms make their contributions counts in the innovation race by using “the wind behind” them, and it will determine how sustainable their performance is. Understanding the impact of institutional endowment on innovation strategies might reduce causal ambiguity and therefore help firms to contextualize their innovation strategies. The aim of this paper is to contribute with a type of cooperative innovation strategy dependent on two institutional factors: culture networking and the legal system.
Cesar Gamez-Alcalde, Carmen De Pablos-Heredero, Natalia Martin-Cruz

Heuristics, Intelligent Systems and Agent Based Modelling

Chapter 10. A Critical Sight to the NEH Heuristic
This paper analyses the behaviour of the insertion procedure of the NEH heuristics due to in some cases the procedure does not improve the solution quality. This fact is observed specially in the NEH-based heuristics that have been proposed in the literature of the blocking flow shop problem. As a result of this work, we recommend to evaluate the sequence before and after the insertion phase in order to retain the best of both.
Ramón Companys, Imma Ribas
Chapter 11. A Brief Introduction to the Use of Machine Learning Techniques in the Analysis of Agent-Based Models
In this paper, we give a succinct introduction to some basic concepts imported from the fields of Machine and Statistical Learning that can be useful in the analysis of complex agent-based models (ABM). The paper presents some guidelines in the design of experiments. It then focuses on considering an ABM simulation as a computational experiment relating parameters with a response variable of interest, i.e. a statistic obtained from the simulation. This perspective gives the opportunity of using a supervised learning algorithm to fit the response with the parameters. The fitted model can be used to better interpret and understand the relation between the parameters of the ABM and the results in the simulation.
María Pereda, José Ignacio Santos, José Manuel Galán
Chapter 12. Emergence, Culture and Organizational Structure
In this paper, the relationship between structure and culture within an organization is explored using an agent-based approach. In order to analyze how the organizational structure influences the emergence of organizational culture, an agent-based model of bounded-rational agents (who dynamically interact adapting their effort) is proposed. We have found that formal organizational configurations are more likely to favor the emergence of culture than informal interactions.
Marta Posada, Inés Magdaleno
Chapter 13. A Study of the Innovative Applications of Intelligent Transport Systems Works to Logistics and Freight Transport: Public-Private Collaboration Projects
Intelligent Transport Systems are fundamental to enterprise competitiveness, especially in terms of the efficiency improvement of Logistics and Freight Transport. Although these areas are commonly associated with the private sector, the public sector has a significant role regarding regulation, and the planning and maintenance of public transport infrastructures. In this paper, two innovative areas in which public and private sectors collaborate are described: namely, gateway facilitation technologies, and some projects focused on an innovative management of freight transport.
Moisés Javato-Martín, Pedro Sanz-Angulo, Juan José de Benito-Martín, Jesús Galindo-Melero

Innovative Teaching Activities in Management Engineering

Chapter 14. Lean School: A Practical Space of Cooperative Learning from the Factory to the University
In recent years, developing experiential learning has fulfilled the requirement that engineering students fully understand the concept of Lean Manufacturing, or Lean Production, by demonstrating the advantages and disadvantages of some of their key principles. Learning Factories have been developed to provide students and industrial participants with hands on instruction to learn a manufacturing system that produces small-scale models. In our paper, we describe the Lean School developed in conjunction with an industry partner (Renault) to improve the capabilities of our College of Engineering students and of workers in companies located in the Castile-León region.
Ángel Manuel Gento, Juan José de Benito-Martín, Pedro Sanz-Angulo, José Antonio Pascual-Ruano
Chapter 15. A Review of the Innovative Teaching Activities Carried Out by the School of Industrial Engineering of the University of Valladolid in the Field of Business Organization
In the last few years, a group of teachers of the School of Engineering of the University of Valladolid, have been involved in an innovation and continuous improvement process in order to update our teaching activities. On the one hand, we aim to promote the learning process of the existing paradigms in the business organization field. On the other hand, our goal is also that our students can acquire and develop the specific and generic skills that they will need in their future in their professional activity. This endeavour has led us to the implementation of a portfolio of innovation projects e.g. the creation and use of different learning methodologies, the development of tools for supporting teaching activities. This paper is intended to concisely describe the key elements of this innovation effort.
Pedro Sanz-Angulo, Juan José de Benito-Martín, Ángel Manuel Gento-Municio, Alfonso Redondo-Castán, José Antonio Pascual-Ruano, Jesús Galindo-Melero, Moisés Javato-Martín
Advances in Management Engineering
Cesáreo Hernández
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