The Role of Culture in Systems Engineering — A Preliminary Approach & Tools for Handling It

9 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2013

See all articles by Richard Greene

Richard Greene

Beijing DeTao Masters Academy; Keio University - Graduate School of System Design and Management

Date Written: April 2, 2013

Abstract

This paper makes a case for culture as a primary dimension of system engineering, design, and management. It suggests a very particular approach to culture modeling and measurement as an initial starting point, to bypass well published but ineffective past treatments of culture. It goes to actual practicing systems engineers for their views of how important culture is and how it affects their work, rather than depending only on theory.

Powers of culture that force us to pay attention to it (final reports from systems disasters — Challenger, Concorde, Euro-Disney — often cite culture conflicts as root causes) lead us to consider the origin of those powers in the nature of culture and human development, where the unity of self-cultures-high-performance in that they all come from repeated professional practice of routines appears. Current research in systems engineering on culture effects, corrections for past Hofstede measures of culture dimensions, a new model of culture as ten components one of which is 64 dimensions from four areas (replacing Hofstede's 8), constitute a new approach to culture models presented here.

Then results of a survey of systems engineers showing the following are presented: one, ten roles of culture in systems projects; two, twenty one needed research investigations about culture's role in systems engineering, three, ten stages in the evolution of the culture of tool use; four, six new tools for handling culture forces in systems projects; five, eight cases of actual application of such tools to improve systems project outcomes. Finally, four rather bold implications for the future of systems engineering are provocatively proposed.

Keywords: system disasters, culture causes of disaster, male avoidance of culture issues, gender blindspots, rationality as hiding place, graduate education to fail

Suggested Citation

Greene, Richard, The Role of Culture in Systems Engineering — A Preliminary Approach & Tools for Handling It (April 2, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2243339 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2243339

Richard Greene (Contact Author)

Beijing DeTao Masters Academy ( email )

1 Nanjin Road ShaheZhen
Changping District
Beijing, 102206
China

HOME PAGE: http://www.detaoma.com/Master_Forum/Richard_Tabor_Greene

Keio University - Graduate School of System Design and Management ( email )

1-1 KyoSeiKan Building 6 floor C6N16
Hiyoshi, Honcho, Kohoku-Ku
Yokohama, Kanagawa 223-0001
Japan

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