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Collaboration centres for decision quality improvement in Shell International Exploration and Production

Westerhuis, E.A.R. (2005) Collaboration centres for decision quality improvement in Shell International Exploration and Production. Master's Thesis / Essay, Industrial Engineering and Management.

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Abstract

This research was conducted for the Smart Fields team of Shell International Exploration and Production. The team has a consulting function in, among others, projects establishing collaboration centres focussed on production management. Collaboration centres are organizational units with centralized decision-making power, designed for collaboration. The benefits of collaboration centres are difficult to capture and explain. But case examples report benefits exceeding the costs by millions of US$ per centre. These benefits excess any effect of cost reduction. The cause must be sought in improvement of organizational coordination and decision-making. In the problem analysis, these appeared to be issues in the Shell operating units. This research has investigated the effect of collaboration centres on decision quality and how this can be used for designing and implementing them. Decision quality has four components: effectiveness, efficiency, transparency and motivation. Mutual adjustment, the coordination mechanism of informal communication, is used as a variable to represent the degree of collaboration. Collaboration centres allow for high mutual adjustment. Repetition of decisions is argued to reduce the need for mutual adjustment to sustain good decision quality. Between complexity of decision problems and the need for mutual adjustment, a fit is argued for an optimal level of decision quality. To come to this fit, a non-linear relation between mutual adjustment and complexity on decision quality is hypothesised. At the points where complexity and mutual adjustment fit, an optimal level of decision quality is argued. The argumentation is based on an information processing approach, empirical validation is recommended for further research. The research advises Shell International Exploration and Production to use the decision quality concept in the projects establishing collaboration centres, to get a better grasp on the effects that cause the improvement of organizational functioning through these centres. With this knowledge, a better case can be made for future changes towards collaboration centres.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Degree programme: Industrial Engineering and Management
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:28
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 07:28
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/8353

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