All posts by John Psarouthakis

drjohn11aDr. John Psarouthakis, Executive Editor of www.BusinessThinker.com, Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, publisher of www.GavdosPress.com and Founder and former CEO, JP Industries, Inc., a Fortune 500 industrial corporation

Chinese Cultural Values

Dr. John Psarouthakis

Executive Editor

 

On the Power Distance dimension-Confucian Ethics

This is a short summary of a  report of research conducted by
JP Management Center, LLC.

Chinese society is seen by the Chinese as composed of people who are inherently unequal in rank and standing, and differences in rank are signaled and reinforced by the style of the interaction between the parties involved. As a visiting foreign business professional, you will be respected and shown deference, and in turn you will be expected to show deference and formality, especially in your relationships with Chinese who are superior in rank to you within their own organizations.

Continue reading Chinese Cultural Values

Human Resources for Manufacturing of the Future

Dr. John Psarouthakis

Executive Editor

There is tendency on the part of too many manufacturing professionals, as well as manufacturing scholars, to look at the enterprise as a simple combination of capital, management, and labor, while usually looking at labor as some commodity that can be bought and sold, easily obtained, and of little concern for our immediate or long-term future. Such an assumption is a grave error given the current and foreseeable human resources of U.S. manufacturing. There are several aspects to this general problem. One is the training and skills level of the existing workforce.

Conducting a survey of manufacturing employees as to what they need to do a better job the response invariably is: training of technical staff, operators, and supervisors.

Continue reading Human Resources for Manufacturing of the Future

The Development and Deployment of Technology


Dr. John Psarouthakis

Executive Editor

Technology development and deployment are important because manufacturing has become a technologically-driven endeavor. Our ability to compete in manufacturing is dependent upon the quality and the sophistication of our human resources, manufacturing facilities and equipment. In the recent past, we allowed our manufacturing equipment and facilities to deteriorate relative to our foreign competitors.

It is indeed a bitter pill to swallow that the U.S. was failing in the development and commercialization of new manufacturing technologies. As the recent Nobel Prize awards attest, our scientific base is still unparalleled in the world. We have the support of the Federal government and the strength and vitality of universities to thank for this state of affairs. We also have a strong and vital network of federal labs and a distinguished groups of not-for-profit R&D facilities contributing to the nations store of knowledge. Even with this scientific base, however, we have not learned to master yet the” art of knowledge utilization and technology transfer. In effect, the scientific knowledge produced by our universities and labs has benefited other nations, at least as much, and arguably more, than it has helped us in the recent past but it seems to be correcting.

Continue reading The Development and Deployment of Technology

Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

Dr. John Psarouthakis

Executive Editor

The role of the humanities, arts, and social sciences has expanded in recognition that these are essential intellectual and cultural components of the creative spirit and ethos of education and scholarship at universities and particularly at technological institutes such as MIT. The humanities and social science faculty have played leadership roles in extending the global reach of many of the programs and in broadening the perspectives and expertise needed to engineer, manage, and set policy. MIT’s world-renowned strengths in economics and linguistics continues to build and evolve. Writing and the performing arts have continually expanded their importance and, in addition, have played a notable role in developing an appreciation of the role of diversity in living and learning. The visual arts have evolved in new directions and have expanded their strength and centrality in our institutions.

Continue reading Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

Real Participative Management


Dr. John Psarouthakis

Executive Editor.

Well, we have applied the “Better Makes Us Best” philosophy in JP Industries and the rewards were substantial. I would like to describe a few of our success stories.

I will begin by telling you what happened, as an example,  at one of the plants.

The plant manager decided there was a need for change – to meet the demands of the marketplace and remain competitive. We provided him with opportunities to review alternatives and he eventually selected a program the plant now called “Real Participative Management” – or RPM, which is rather apt in the Transportation Products industry.

Continue reading Real Participative Management

Apply new technology to old manufacturing


Dr. John Psarouthakis

Executive Editor

My goal IN BETTER MAKES US BEST (see previous article) was to apply new technology to old manufacturing processes, to transform underperforming companies into profitable ventures. Some of the underperforming companies we acquired were in danger of losing supplier status with their customers.

You can provide machinery and technology but if you lack employee commitment the formula won’t work. The buildings, the machines, don’t really do much unless people have the motivation, the desire and the know-how to do a good job. They turn it around. We provide leadership and creative management.

I wrote and published a book, describing the “Better Makes Us Best” philosophy, which was distributed free of cost to all of our employees – over 7,000 people at the time.

Continue reading Apply new technology to old manufacturing

How do we achieve a skilled workforce that is dedicated and committed?


Dr. John Psarouthakis

Executive Editor

How do we achieve a skilled workforce that is dedicated and committed?

That will seek to eliminate inefficiencies.

That will be flexible in the face of rapid product changeovers?

That will be open to new ways of doing things.

That will renew America’s reputation for quality.

I cannot generalize about what everyone should do. But I can tell you about what has worked for me – and showed great promise for the future.

Continue reading How do we achieve a skilled workforce that is dedicated and committed?

Key dominant technologies in the 21st century era.


Dr. John Psarouthakis

Executive Editor

Here is a list of Key technologies to become dominant as we look ahead.

•wireless networks

•all-optical networks

•intelligent software

•high-speed rail

•new spacecraft concepts

•gene therapy

•artificial organs

•self-assembling materials

•microscopic machinery

•high-temperature superconductivity

•industrial ecology

•sustainable agriculture

•the information economy.

will shape the longevity and the quality of life we will have.

Managing the Manufacturing Enterprise


Dr. John Psarouthakis

Executive Editor.

We must recognize that the development and deployment of new technology is only one part of our competitiveness problem. Technology may, in fact, not be the primary or most important factor in regaining manufacturing competitiveness. Perhaps foremost among these other factors is a lack of ability in managing the manufacturing enterprise.

There are a number of ways in which our managerial shortcomings manifest themselves.

One is that many accepted management structures and practices do not interface well with advanced manufacturing technology. The product and process flexibility of new technologies, the linking together of different operational nodes on an electronic network, and the “knowledge-embededness” of the new technologies tends to make a traditional “bureaucratic” command structure obsolete. There is a much greater emphasis on inter-functional and interdepartmental integration in the organization of the future,as well as less of a need for hierarchy and accompanying rigid status structure. There is a requirement for multi-skilled employees, and greater responsibilities must be given to each of them than is required by task specialization.

Continue reading Managing the Manufacturing Enterprise

The Future Workforce

Dr. John Psarouthakis

Executive Editor

 

Let us turn once again to general workforce issues. In this case, however, I would like to concentrate my observations on the workforce of the year 2025 and beyond,.

The entry-level workforce for the challenges ahead is now in the early grades. To understand what the implications of that statement are for the future of manufacturing, one needs to examine, a few demographics of that seven to twelve year old group which is now struggling with the basic skills of grammar and math school.

For one thing, that age cohort is  smaller than previous groups of the past twenty years. There has been a decline in fertility among most groups in this country, and unless reversed will result in a much smaller group of youths ready to start work as we look at the next couple decades. Again, manufacturing will be competing against all the other employment possibilities, but this time for a shrinking supply of person power.

Continue reading The Future Workforce