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About this book

This book provides a conceptual ‘Flexibility in Resource Management’ framework supported by research/case applications in various related areas. It links and integrates the flexibility aspect with resource management to offer a fresh perspective, since flexibility in different levels of resource management is emerging as a key concern -- a business enterprise needs to have reactive flexibility (as adaptiveness and responsiveness) to cope with the changing and uncertain business environment. It may also endeavor to intentionally create flexibility by way of leadership change, re-engineering, innovation in products and processes, use of information and communication technology, and so on.

The selected papers discussing a variety of issues concerning flexibility in resource management, are organized into following four parts: flexibility and innovation; flexibility in organizational management; operations and technology management; and financial and risk management. In addition to addressing the organizational needs of corporate bodies spread across the globe, the book serves as a useful reference resource for a variety of audiences including management students, researchers, business managers, consultants and professional institutes.

Table of Contents


Flexibility and Innovation


Chapter 1. Valuation of Flexibility Initiatives: A Conceptual Framework

The need for flexibility in organizations has been espoused by many researchers and professionals. Despite the felt need and real-life practice of diverse shades of flexibility, its valuation has not been adequately addressed. Though the flexibility initiatives help in fulfillment of strategic goals, these require capability development and thereby cost inputs for their realization. The benefits of flexibility define its worth, which in relation to the associated cost gives its value or affordability. Initially, the chapter gives an overview of different types of flexibility initiatives with real-life case examples. This chapter provides a conceptual framework for valuation of flexibility initiatives in terms of fulfillment of needs leading to benefits and the requirements of capability building for implementing these initiatives requiring cost inputs. The framework is illustrated by few examples such as variable capacity, multiskilling, and flexi-time/flexi-place. It compares the flexibility initiatives using interpretive ranking process (IRP) and Total Interpretive Structural Modelling (TISM).


Chapter 2. The Flexibility in Product Family Engineering Process

The product family engineering (PFE) leverages on common architecture of exiting product offering for development of new products. The organizational intent, resources, and flexibility are important enablers in this process. There seems to be positive relationship between organizational flexibility to develop new products and resources, however organizations with ample resources also face problems to exhibit this flexibility. The strategic intent to offer various products through PFE is outcome of profit motives by fulfilling customer’s allied and main demands. The relationship with PFE flexibility with factors such as deployable resources, assets, and strategic intent is analyzed in this chapter. Total Interpretive Structural Modeling (TISM) is used to identify leading factors necessary for enhancing the PFE flexibility in organizations in information technology (IT) sector. The findings suggest that retained earnings to be invested in human resource development to support PFE.

Sanjai Kumar Shukla

Chapter 3. Total Interpretive Structural Modelling of Innovation Measurement for Indian Universities and Higher Academic Technical Institutions

This chapter develops a conceptual framework and structural model for the measurement of innovation by universities. Theoretical framework has been built by adopting the linear model of innovation and “non-linear” elements are added to depict the interactive learning theory of systems approach of innovation. Interpretive structural modelling (ISM) technique has been used to build the structural model depicting the relationship among indicators identified from literature. The model thus build is then subjected to indicators’ classification which is then upgraded to interpret the nodes and links through a technique called Total Interpretive Structural Modelling (TISM). Structural model reveals that innovation process in a higher academic technical institution takes place in four different stages or levels. Some indicators like patents, publications, collaboration and networking, etc. act as strong linkage factors that connect final outcomes with the basic research inputs like funds. The model also helps in addressing the ambiguity in the literature regarding the use of indicators as input, output and outcome factors.

Akriti Jain, Ruchi Sharma, P. Vigneswara Ilavarasan

Flexibility in Organizational Management


Chapter 4. Network Science in Logistics: A New Way to Flexible Adaptation

In this chapter, we determine the cause and effect relationship between the networked structure of an organization (the network element of the supply chain network) and its behaviours. The strong analogies, we have earlier established, between the supply chain network and the three-billion-year-old biochemical networks (metabolic networks and protein–protein interaction networks) can explain a number of behaviours that are well known, also in supply chain networks. The determined network structures, patterns and the clarification in synchronicity and asynchrony in the network of an organization enable us to: create adaptive flexibility in our organization, better define the right solutions against external perturbations avoiding the cascading failures in our organization and beyond, and increase its resilience against network perturbations (supply chain disruptions).

Fekete István, Hartványi Tamás

Chapter 5. Knowledge Management for Flexible and Entrepreneurial Organization

The major challenge for organization in current knowledge era is about managing the speedy changes. Rapid changes in technology, customer demands, etc. have raised the importance of flexible approach. Flexibility and entrepreneurship are the two critical processes that help to achieve organizational goals under such kind of uncertain environment. The importance of knowledge as strategic resource for the organizational success is well acknowledged. In this study, importance of strategic knowledge management for developing flexibility and entrepreneurship in the organization has been discussed. The study has been done using empirical survey. Factor analysis, univariate and regression analysis have been used to develop the final framework that reflects the interrelationships between knowledge management, flexibility and entrepreneurship.

Sumant Kumar Bishwas

Chapter 6. Managing Workplace Diversity Through Organizational Climate

Organizational Climate (OC) is defined as shared value, beliefs and work environment that could intervene or interact with and could have impact on the employee behaviours (Long 2000). In a meta-analytic review of diversity related reports Jackson et al. (2003) argued that the consequences of workforce diversity cannot be contained to minimal. Though they agreed that in presence of certain organizational constructs, moderation in diversity consequences could be attainable. However, little is known about the mechanism of organizational climate on managing demographic diversity. Therefore, in present study we sought to answer this question and a mix of individual (age and gender) and relational (education, managerial level occupied) attributes have been considered as component of demographic diversity. Data for the 271 participants was collected through survey questionnaire. Findings of the present study offer a list of theoretical as well as practical implications.

Umesh K. Bamel, Happy Paul, Nisha Bamel

Chapter 7. Impact of Workplace Spirituality on Learning Commitment

Increasing competition and organization’s concern for cost effectiveness calls for self-directed learning in organizations. It has been argued that organizational learning, which enhances the competitive advantage of an organization is affected by individual learning in addition to contextual factors. Keeping in view the importance of individual learning, this chapter presents a conceptual framework to elucidate how an employee’s experience of spirituality at workplace influences their learning attitude which in turn affects their learning commitment. We use the theory of reasoned action to elucidate this framework. This chapter concludes with the discussion of key points, implications for employee development, organizational development and organizational learning.

Chitra Khari, Shuchi Sinha

Operations and Technology Management


Chapter 8. Green Supply Chain Management Drivers Analysis Using TISM

Power Industry is one of the leading global polluters, given the huge amounts of flue gasses and ash produced, while generating power from fossils fuels. The rising demand of power in developing countries, in other words, means rapid increase in global pollution on account of more generation in countries marked as emerging economies. Certainly, concepts such as Green Supply Chain Management (GSCM) offer a hope in containing the damage to environment on account of power industry. But, it has been observed that developing countries, which will witness extraordinary expansions in their generating capacities, are slow at imbibing GSCM practices to the maximum of their potential. India is fast emerging as a prime energy producer, as well as consumer of energy. The Indian Power industry is witnessing a phase of transition, wherein switchover from traditional operations to modern practices is precipitating; but still there is a long way to go. The research aims to study the various drivers affecting the Indian power Industry using Total Interpretive Structural Modeling (TISM) technique, which is a reasonably advanced version of Interpretive Structural Modeling Technique (ISM). TISM differs from ISM in the sense that it does not limit itself in furnishing the causal inter-element relationship, but also cites the logical reasons forming its basis. Its superiority over ISM lies in its Interpretive Matrix, featuring explicitly the causal basis of expert opinions. As a representational sample, the power companies operating in Punjab have been considered; as they aptly symbolize the changing face of Indian power sector–wherein modern changes are brewing up–still there is a plenty of old baggage to pull along. The drivers of GSCM have been studied, which hold promise for more and better-quality energy coupled with eco-financial gains. The drivers were finalized on the basis of opinions extended by Industry experts, as well as having review of extensive volume of literature on the subject. A model based on hierarchy of factors was proposed after applying TISM Technique to identify contextual relationships among the identified enablers which were to be gradually elicited on priority basis for construction of more eco-friendly supply chain of Power Industry. There is greater potency of “Top Management Commitment” (toward greening of Power Sector) in ensuring successful implementation of GSCM, whereas “Environment/Social Responsibility” was identified with weak motivation for power industry to go green.

Sheetal Soda, Anish Sachdeva, R. K. Garg

Chapter 9. Computer-Aided Process Planning Using Multi-criteria Decision-Making Technique

Here we are developing a knowledge base for computer-aided process planning (CAPP). Machining features will be taken as input and process plan will be generated automatically using knowledge base. Knowledge base basically contains a set of defining rules that system uses for decision-making. We will be using multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) technique to develop our knowledge-based rules for a given part family. We are considering masterpiece of that family which includes all operations used by family members. This masterpiece will give us useful criteria for decision-making. Hence, we will be linking CAD and CAM in an automated manner.

Prathmesh Todakar, Uday Kumar, Sunil Agrawal

Chapter 10. Analyzing the Role of Management of Technology in the Growth of Technology Ventures

The purpose of this chapter is to analyze the role played by management of technology (MoT) in venture scale-ups and to compare two cases of polar IIT Bombay high-tech ventures. The chapter is mainly concerned with identifying the factors related to the effect of MoT on the growth of ventures. An exploratory study via primary research was conducted to understand the characteristics and the relationships among different factors which influence a venture’s growth. Secondary research was conducted to gather data about ventures emerging from IIT Bombay. Primary research helped us understand the orientation and depth of the management of the organizations toward MoT. A comparative analysis of the companies included a study of performance considering select criteria of international competitiveness. We aim to identify factors and criteria‚ and develop indices‚ based on which multiple ventures can be compared and analyzed. This analysis will enable new ventures gain clarity in understanding the factors which differentiate venture scale-up.

Sachin Salian, Anup Bali, V. Yugandhar, Kirankumar S. Momaya

Financial and Risk Management


Chapter 11. Financial Flexibility Through Share Repurchases: Evidence from India

Corporate restructuring has become a necessity for the survival and growth of the companies. Sound and functional strategies are needed for the companies in order to maintain competitive edge and to avoid financial distress. Financial flexibility has become a central concern for managers for effective capital management. Such flexibility through share repurchases facilitates firms to respond to fluctuations in stock prices and investment opportunities. This study examines the impact of financial flexibility through share repurchase announcements of BSE 500 index firms listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange for the period of ten years 2003–2013. Using event study methodology, the chapter intends to provide insights into how share repurchase announcements impact stock price through abnormal returns in India. The results document that the share repurchase announcements have information content leading to positive average abnormal returns through change in prices. The findings provide support to the undervaluation and signaling hypotheses. The empirical evidence lends credence to other motives like reducing agency costs, better capital market allocations through excess cash flows, wealth transfer, smoothening price discovery and capital structure adjustment behind share repurchase announcements. The results provide insight as to whether share repurchases can be used as a payout mechanism by the sample companies. They also provide explanation for the behaviour of stock prices subsequent to share repurchase announcements. The findings would also be useful to the academia as well as the industry in understanding the payout practice and the extent to which decisions related to share repurchases.

Sadaf Anwar, Shveta Singh, P. K. Jain

Chapter 12. Portfolio Selection in Indian Stock Market Using Relative Performance Indicator Approach

This chapter proposes a measure called Relative Financial Performance Indicator (RFPI) to identify and select stocks that are investment worthy. RFPI is obtained using Principal Component Analysis-Data Envelopment Analysis (PCA-DEA). The sample data consists of firms listed on National Stock Exchange, classified under 15 sectors for a period of 8 years (2006–13). The financial ratios are considered as the input and output parameters for the study. Firms that have a RFPI score of one throughout the study period are considered to be the potential candidates for portfolio construction. This criterion considerably reduces the number of firms for portfolio optimization.

Dhanya Jothimani, Ravi Shankar, Surendra S. Yadav

Chapter 13. A Flexible Approach to Mitigation of Supply Risk Through Scenario Modelling

Supply risk is a common problem on the shop floor. Many a times, it is mitigated by rigorous follow up with vendors, deputation of representative at suppliers’ locations, rewarding or penalizing suppliers as a knee jerk reaction like holding the payments, scouting new vendors at the last moment or broad-brushed approaches like maintaining inventory, multiple sourcing, etc. Intuitive scenario modelling as a flexible proactive approach is proposed which encourages the people in the organization to think about the worst possibilities in future, and be ready with mitigation plan options and thus be more productive. It is illustrated with an example of a pharmaceutical company having manufacturing plant in India.

Manisha Ketkar, Omkarprasad S. Vaidya


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