Knowledge Management Associate, The National Skills Academy for Power
Working in partnership with Power Engineering & Power Electronics Group (School of Engineering & Applied Science) and Operations & Information Management Group (Aston Business School)
Managing a project defining and proving initiatives to assist the UK Power Sector with knowledge retention within the industry. A co-ordinated response is required to combat the challenges of an ageing workforce by encouraging the transfer and retention of knowledge. This work involves engaging multiple industry partners in the scoping, definition, development and piloting of a initiatives for improving knowledge retention.
In a previous role as Strategic Development Associate working with Powerful Organisations, I was Project Manager investigating and developing a novel consulting methodology for approaching complex organisational problems using informal network analysis techniques. That work formed part of the background of my research study, detailed below.
- 1st Prize, KTP Poster Competition, Aston University, 20th Mar 2013 (one of the judges was Debbie Buckley-Golder, Head of KTPs from the Technology Strategy Board)
BEng (Hons) 1st Class, Communications & Electronic Engineering, University of Leicester, UK.
Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management, Chartered Management Institute, UK.
CMgr MCMI (Chartered Manager, Chartered Management Institute) I currently serve as an Honorary Member on the Marketing & Policy Development Committee, advisory to the CMI Board.
MIET (Member, Institution of Engineering & Technology)
Project Supervisors Dr Malcolm Booth
(School of Engineering & Applied Science) Dr Matthew Hall
(Aston Business School)
Using Network Analysis to Alleviate ‘Wicked Problems’ in Employee Engagement (thesis successfully defended in December 2012; MSc by Research approved January 2013)
Dr Ben Clegg (Aston Business School)
The aim of this research is to explore how the analysis of informal organizational networks can be used as a novel technique to alleviate complex organisational problems ('wicked problems'). A major area explored in this research has been problems related to employee engagement.
'Wicked problems' (WPs) are complex, systemic issues with multiple causes and contradictory interdependencies that span organisational, operational and professional boundaries. They are not well-understood and solutions are often elusive and unpredictable. Emerging literature and contemporary thinking point to utilising collaborative approaches and the internal synergies of an organisation to resolve wicked problems. Traditionally, formal structures and processes have been examined to aid problem-solving, but there is little published academic evidence of the analysis of informal networks being applied to WPs in areas like manufacturing, healthcare or the public sector.
The academic challenge lies in demonstrating the practical relevance of social network analysis (SNA) for problem solving, as well as the possible embedding of problem solving skills into organisations. A healthcare organisation has been used as a descriptive case study to discuss the conceptual application of SNA. Primary data has been collected in a substantial case study of a manufacturing business to investigate how employee characteristics
and the current informal network
link with employee perceptions of their engagement
by the company in its change programme. To conclude, I offered 7 propositions pertaining to the value of using SNA in approaching and alleviating WPs.
- Presenter, Research Seminar. "Can 'wicked problems' come good?", Operations & Information Management Group, Aston Business School, 4th Dec 2012
- Presenter, Real World Organisation Design Conference, European Organisational Design Forum, Birmingham, 9th Nov 2012
- Best Poster award, KTP Associates Conference, Brighton, 11th May 2011 (see report at conference page as well as on Aston Aspects news bulletin)
- Koh, C. S., Clegg B. and Deighan, D. (2011). Tackling wicked NHS problems - developing a novel methodology. In: KTP Associates Conference, Brighton, 11th May 2011, pp. 32-43 (ISBN 978-1-905593-77-4)
Change management, problem solving, social network analysis, organizational behaviour, operations management