A sociotechnical system approach for enhancing the dynamic capabilities of an organisation : a participatory action research in the manufacturing industry in mainland China

以社會技術系統提高組織動態能力 : 在中國製造業界的參與性行動研究

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

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  • Yiu Man LEE


Awarding Institution
Award date2 Oct 2009


The EngD research is a holistic study in manufacturing business management system. The study examines sociotechnical system approach to improve the organisation dynamic capability by applying Participatory Action Research (PAR). The initiative of the study is from the inquiry on the most basic issues and problems in factory operations; high labour turnover and frequent changeover products cause production throughput reduction especially in manual assembly operation. The research findings illustrate that the sociotechnical system “SMART” is an effective knowledge transfer mechanism for enhancing the repetitive assembly operation from deliberated learning process and evolve the dynamic capabilities in one manufacturing company in Southern China. Nowadays, organisational learning is one of the key strategies for gaining competitive advantage through knowledge management to develop a culture for learning organisation. A learning organisation can create, acquire, and transfer knowledge that emerged from behavioural change among employees in order to improve organisational performance. The critical issue on learning organisation theory is how it can be activated and easy to apply; it needs clear guidelines for practice and it should be measuring the performance improvement. Through the application of SMART system in the case studies, it demonstrates that organisational knowledge is integrating practice in routines operation and developing new concepts through systematic experimentation process. Research findings reveal that the positive impacts on applying PAR into cross discipline improvement activities. In addition, the study argues that a credible manager who can facilitate applying workplace PAR is one of the key success factors in Chinese culture and points out the importance of a manager to being equipped with the research ability in this new era of knowledge economics.

    Research areas

  • Organizational learning, Manufacturing industries, China