Decoding the Socio‐Economic Approach to Management

Results of the Second SEAM Conference in the United States

Edited by:
John Conbere, University of St. Thomas
Henri Savall, University Jean Moulin Lyon 3 and ISEOR
Alla Heorhiadi, University of St. Thomas

A volume in the series: Research in Management Consulting. Editor(s): Anthony F. Buono, Bentley University.

Published 2015

In May 2014, the French research laboratory ISEOR (Socio‐Economic Institute for Firms and Organizations) and the University of St. Thomas co‐sponsored a second conference on the application of the Socio‐Economic Approach to Management (SEAM) paradigm and methodology in the United States. SEAM is a scientific approach to consultancy that focuses on uncovering the dysfunctions and hidden costs that exist in organizations, “hidden” in the sense that they are not captured by traditional accounting methods and financial analyses. Through intervention that encompasses the entire organization – what the ISEOR team refers to as the HORIVERT approach (combining horizontal and vertical intervention) – the underlying goal is to enhance organizational performance by attacking the “TFW virus,” a vestige of the early work by Frederick Taylor, Henri Fayol, and Max Weber that has sufficiently infiltrated our thinking about management and organization to the point where are falling well short of our own potential. The resultant dysfunctions this virus unleashes creates hidden costs that readily destroy a firm’s value‐added possibilities. The volume captures the ideas, applications, and exchanges of that meeting, attempting to bring the reader into the conference itself. Chapters include the contributors’ presentations (“Chapter Prologue: Conference Remarks”), revised conference papers, and the question and answer dialogue for the session.

Preface, Anthony F. Buono. Introduction, John Conbere and Alla Heorhiadi. TFW Virus Concept History, Henri Savall. Part I: The Socio‐Economic Approach to Management: Theoretical Perspectives. Human Potential at the Core of Socio‐Economic Theory (SEAM), Henri Savall, Michel Péron and Véronique Zardet. Values, Beliefs, and Conceptualization of Costs, Susan Quint. Socio‐Economic Management Consulting in America: A Diffusion of Innovation Study, Mark E. Hillon, Yue Cai Hillon and Collin Bunch. Can Seam Work In Ukraine? Sergiy Ivakhnenkov, John Conbere and Alla Heorhiadi. An Example of a Laboratory in the Field of Management Intervention‐Research: The ISEOR Research Lab, Marc Bonnet and Michel Péron. Rethinking Lean: Combining Lean and SEAM for Improved Profitability and Support of Cultures of Continuous Improvement in Organizations, Alanna G. Kennedy. The Convergence of Lean Six Sigma and SEAM to Maximize Performance in Organizations, Leslie L. McKnight. The TFW Virus: Why So Many Organizations Act in Ways That Hurt Their Interests, John Conbere, Alla Heorhiadi and Vincent Cristallini. Looking for Evidence of the TFW Virus: A Case Study, Chato Hazelbaker. Enhancing Organizational Agility Through Socio‐Economic Management Consulting: A Case Study, Marc Bonnet and Véronique Zardet. Part II: Organizational Experiences Using SEAM. Applying Socio‐Economic Approach to Management in Lebanon: Challenges, Design, and Results, Patrick Tabchoury. Seeking Economic Resources: SEAM Intervention‐Research Case in a Belgian Subsidiary of a NYSE Listed American Group, Frantz Datry, Amandine Savall and Philippe Lacroix. Bloomington Transportation Center: Follow‐Up Case Study, Tom Oestreich, John Conbere and Alla Heorhiadi. Improvements From Intraorganizational Synchronization to Interorganizational Monitoring Of Stakeholders: Intervention‐Research in a Space Layout Consulting and Engineering Company, Thibault Ruat. Management Control Practices in Foreign Subsidiaries of a Family Multinational Corporation: Seam Intervention‐Research Findings, Laurent Cappelletti and Amandine Savall. Part III: Further Reflections on SEAM. Is Intervention‐Research a Research Methodology or Scientific‐Based Consulting? Henri Savall and Véronique Zardet. Sustainability of Management Methods in Organizations: A Case of Socio‐Economic Projects, Gérard Desmaison. Strengthening the SEAM Community in North America, Part Deux: A Longitudinal Case Study in Group Dynamics, Eric Sanders and Lachlan Whatley. The Third Industrial Revolution and SEAM, Alanna G. Kennedy. About the Contributors.