LE BRIS, S., et al. (2019). "Decision-making in complex environments under time pressure and risk of critical irreversibility: the role of meta rules." M@n@gement A paraître, printemps 2019.
In complex situations with risks of critical irreversibility, decision-makers must be able to take action quickly but also appropriately, especially in response to unexpected events. In these situations, “the first error in the trial-and-error-learning will also be the last trial” (Weick & Sutcliffe, 2011: 20). This paper assesses the contribution of the meta rule concept, defined as the conditions to respect to maintain the integrity of the organization in an unexpected situation. Our design tests the relevance of two conceptual approaches: high reliability organizations (HRO) and sensemaking approaches. The main proposal of this research is to highlight that, for a decision-maker, understanding a situation through meta rules at key times limits the risk of information overload by facilitating an overall understanding of the situation. It becomes possible to make decisions quickly, if necessary, using new robust and reliable strategies. Using a quantitative study of the behaviors of a warship bridge team composed of cadets in the French Naval Academy, the authors tested various situations that young officers have to manage. The results highlighted that meta rules play a positive mediating effect between rules and reliability and between interactions and reliability. With the use of meta rules, the overall reliability level is higher when employing an HRO approach than when using a sensemaking approach.
ALEXANDER, A., MARTIN D. Ph., MANOLCHEV, C., Miller, K. (2018). "University–industry collaboration: using meta-rules to overcome barriers to knowledge transfer." The Journal of Technology Transfer, on line in press
University–industry knowledge transfer is an important source wealth of creation for all partners; however, the practical management of this activity within universities is often hampered by procedural rigidity either through the absence of decision-making protocols to reconcile conflicting priorities or through the inconsistent implementation of existing policies. This is problematic, since it can impede operational effectiveness, prevent inter-organisational knowledge-creation and hamper organisational learning. This paper addresses this issue by adopting a cross-discipline approach and presenting meta-rules as a solution to aid organisational decision making. It is proposed that meta-rules can help resolve tensions arising from conflicting priorities between academics, knowledge transfer offices and industry and help facilitate strategic alignment of processes and policies within and between organisations. This research contributes to the growing debate on the strategic challenges of managing knowledge transfer and presents meta-rules as a practical solution to facilitate strategic alignment of internal and external stakeholder tensions. Meta-rules has previously only been applied in a computer intelligence context however, this research proves the efficacy of meta rules in a university–industry knowledge transfer context. This research also has practical implications for knowledge transfer office managers who can use meta-rules to help overcome resource limitations, conflicting priorities and goals of diverse internal and external stakeholders.
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