PhD ceremony: Mr. C. de Snoo, 14.45 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen
Title: Coordination in planning and scheduling. An organizational and behavioral perspective
Promotor(s): prof. J.C. Wortmann, prof. G.J.C. Gaalman
Faculty: Economics and Business
Planners and schedulers are responsible for developing and adapting plans within a dynamic, uncertain environment. Whereas past planning research has mainly been focused on developing solution techniques for specific planning problems, in this thesis an alternative, organizational, approach to operational planning is adopted. The thesis includes five empirical studies discussing the results from surveys, case studies, and laboratory experiments.
Study 1 shows that to manage planning performance, firms do not only use measures related to the quality of the plan (the planning product), but also use measures related to the performance of the planning process. Process performance measures are dominant in planning situations characterized by a high level of uncertainty.
Study 2 shows how planners are confronted with a variety of plan-disturbing events and a high time pressure. Many reciprocal interdependencies between planning decisions have to be managed by these planners. Consequently, communication and coordination are important tasks for them, requiring appropriate organizational design. Therefore, a new procedure to structure the event-handling process is provided.
Studies 3, 4, and 5 demonstrate how several organizational and behavioral variables, including physical vicinity between planners and operators, coordination mode, perceived task interdependence, information transparency, and goal sharing, influence planning performance in quite different ways.
In sum, the thesis shows that well-coordinated plans require a well-designed and well-performing process of coordination. In this way, the thesis contributes to a better understanding of organizational and behavioral variables influencing plan quality and planning process quality.
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