Running Forward: A qualitative study on diagnosing and redesigning the Zevenheuvelenloop
Given external pressure and an urge for innovation, Stichting Zevenheuvelenloop has expressed its concerns whether the current organisational structure is adequate to allow for optimal innovation to occur. To this end, a qualitative study was conducted in two stages. Firstly, a diagnosis on the current organisational structure from a sociotechnical perspective and its influence on innovative behaviour was made, based on semi-structured interviews. This diagnosis indicated high values on the two structural parameters of functional concentration and differentiation of operational activities. These high values partly limit the extent to which opportunity exploration and idea realisation by voluntary members outside of their own coordination area occur. Secondly, these structural aspects cause issues with the implementation and realisation of innovations to some extent. Lastly, the limited involvement of voluntary layers in early preparatory activities results in low amounts of radical innovation initiated by these voluntary members. To decrease these structure-related problems, a redesign is proposed based on input from a focus group, during which the sociotechnical theory on redesigning organisations served as a compass. The proposed redesign includes the recommendation to segment certain supportive coordination areas into output-based areas, to involve sub-coordinators and coordinators earlier on in the organisational process and to improve the evaluation process.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen