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Browse Articles by "Strategic Management and Leadership"
Title: Complexity in Manufacturing: Some Lessons to Learn in Planning and Implementation
Authors: G Sunderraman
Issue/Year: Jul-1998
Section: Research
Abstract: This paper by Sunderraman explains the need to complement the reductionism of ‘planning’ with the holism of ‘learning’ from the perspective of the new science of complexity. The interconnectedness, non-linearity, discontinuity, feed back loops and human interventions make manufacturing a complex adaptive system. Inherent complexity and random perturbations cause unpredictable fluctuations in manufacturing at all levels. The learning heuristics of adaptive system can effectively tackle situations in manufacturing where the underlying cause structure is unknowable or difficult to isolate. The basic understanding of the tenets of chaos and complexity helps respond to manufacturing reality. The appreciation of real-time learning as a useful complement to planning will bridge the growing divide between implementers and planners in manufacturing.
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