Selected Publications

Quote: Tom Peters did not only read about Zero Space! In his new book Re- Imagine (tompeters.com) he believes that:
My overall rant, in brief: People … in enterprise and government … are by large well intentioned. They’d like to get things done. To be of service to others. But they are thwarted … at every step of the way … by absurd organizational barriers … and by egos of petty tyrants (be they corporate middle managers, or army colonels, or school superintendents).

An eloquent expression of this message appears in Zero Space: Moving beyond Organizational Limits, by Frank Lekanne Deprez & René Tissen:
The organization we have created have become tyrants. They have taken control, holding us fettered, creating barriers that hinder rather than help our businesses. The lines that we drew on our neat organizational diagrams have turned into walls that no one can scale or penetrate or even peer over.”

Yes. Walls. Barriers. Tyrants.
Can we regain control…?

Source: Tom Peters, Re-Imagine. Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age, London, DK Ltd, 2003, page 7 – 8.
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Dissertation

Towards a spatial theory of organizations

My dissertation

Books


Inaugural lecture

Van elementaal belang: kennismanagement als waardeversneller (In Dutch)

  • Year: 4 june 2003
  • Professor Frank Lekanne Deprez
  • Inaugurale rede
  • Hogeschool Zuyd, Maastricht
  • ISBN 9090170499
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Articles, Chapters in Books & Conference papers

Evaluation of Knowledge Management Innovation in ETF Operations

  • Year: 2014
  • Bert – Jan Buiskool, Frank Lekanne Deprez & Daniel Lechner
  • In: ICON Institute
  • Köln, Germany
  • (co-author)
Summary:

We are pleased to present this final report for Evaluation of Knowledge Management Innovation in ETF Operations. This report has been prepared by Bert-Jan Buiskool (evaluation expert) and Frank Lekanne Deprez (KM expert) assigned by ICON (Daniel Lechner).
This study concludes that in the last four years European Training Foundation (ETF) has taken many important steps developing and implementing a Knowledge Management (KM) strategy and accomplishing yearly implementation plans. Most of the challenges identified in 2009 are embedded in the KM strategy. A KM team with a dedicated budget and staff has been established. Additionally, systems, tools and guidelines were produced and staff has been trained and advised on KM issues.
The KM infrastructure within ETF is promising (using IBM Connections including social interaction tools and future use of SharePoint for DMS and the potential of Yammer) and the online platform is tested in different thematic projects / CoPs and being extended to other projects. There are so to say different innovation “hotspots” were KM is taken up in ETF operations making use of third generation KM approaches and tools (online, virtual, platform, co-creation involving partners). Nevertheless, knowledge management is still not completely embedded in ETF operations (strategic, organizational, and project level) and thereby contributing to ETF expertise development.
The report is organized along the different levels in which KM takes place. While the background and methodology of the study is explained in Chapter 2, the report continues discussing KM on strategic level (including the vision, strategy and role of senior management) in Chapter 3. Subsequently, Chapter 4 debates how KM is embedded in the organization (structure, culture, HR policies, and KM infrastructure in place). Chapter 5 discusses how KM is embedded in ETF operations, while Chapter 6 focuses on the role of partner countries in KM, Chapter 7 portrays the challenges for ETF as presented in the end of each chapter and link these dilemma’s to two inspiring examples. Finally, Chapter 8 draws conclusions and recommendations for the future.

De overheid en Human Resources Management. Nieuwe kansen en mogelijkheden of einde oefening? (In Dutch)

  • Year: 2011
  • René Tissen, Frank Lekanne Deprez & R. Vinke
  • In: E. Karssing,H. Bossert & L. Meuleman, Management in Beweging,
  • Assen: Van Gorcum,pp.197 – 209.
  • (co-author)
Summary:

Zo bezien heeft HRM de afgelopen dertig jaar een belangrijke functie als bindmiddel en ontwikkelplatform van organisaties vervult en heeft HRM daadwerkelijk bijgedragen aan de verdere professionalisering van organisaties richting de toekomst. In ieder geval heeft HRM geleid tot een verdere professionalisering van de personeelsfunctie in organisaties. Weliswaar hebben afdelingen HRM hun administratieve imago nooit helemaal van zich af kunnen schudden, toch is overwegend sprake van een professionele gemeenschap die zowel bedrijfskundig, organisatorisch als menselijk gebalanceerd denkt en werkt. Het voorgaande neemt niet weg dat gedurende de looptijd van HRM met enige regelmaat vraagtekens zijn geplaatst bij de praktische toepasbaarheid ervan. Ook binnen de overheid neemt momenteel de kritiek op de praktische uitvoering van HRM toe. Misschien wel vanwege de beperkte ruimte die HRM aan overheidorganisaties biedt om mee te kunnen ‘ademen’ met de economische en maatschappelijke realiteit van het tijdsgewricht waarin we verkeren. Denk hierbij aan de grote afslankingsoperaties en het terugdraaien van al te grote marktwerking in bepaalde sectoren zoals de zorg. Dit kan bijvoorbeeld verklaren waarom de centrale overheid de afgelopen decennia wél concrete afslanking- en ombuigingoperaties in gang heeft gezet, maar die nooit écht heeft kunnen realiseren. In 2009 is het overheidsapparaat als geheel zelfs nog licht gegroeid, in weerwil van de economische crisis. Anno 2010 wordt door het Kabinet Rutte wederom een poging gedaan om het overheidsapparaat op diverse geledingen – samenvoegen van ministeries, stringente bezuinigingen bij gemeenten e.d. - af te slanken. HRM wordt hierbij door de eigen ambtenaren weliswaar nog steeds als een strategisch instrument beschouwd (PWC, 2010), maar nu vooral als ‘strategic partner in crime’ gericht op ‘rightsourcen’ van het overheidspersoneelsbestand.

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Hoofd in Eigen Hand (In Dutch)

  • Year: 2010
  • René Tissen, Frank Lekanne Deprez, S. van Rijn
  • HR Strategie, oktober
  • pp. 25 – 27
  • (co-author)
Summary:

Bij ‘echte’ professionals gaat het niet slechts om geld en groei, maar ook om inspirerende manieren van (samen)werken, van slim organiseren en van betekenisvol ‘zijn’. Hoe gedijen professionals op dit moment echter binnen organisaties en welke opties heeft HRM om deze groep te (ver)binden, boeien en benutten?

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Change or hold: reexamining HRM to meet new challenges and demands: the future of people at work: a reflection on diverging human resource management policies and practices in Dutch organizations

  • Year: 2010
  • René Tissen, Frank Lekanne Deprez, Burgers, R.G.B.M. & van Montfort, K
  • The International Journal of Human Resource Management, vol. 21 no.5
  • pp. 637 - 652
Summary:

As a consequence of continual change pressures on everyday organizations a gradual but noticeable shift is taking place in the way managers and employees view the employment relationship. Expectation patterns between both parties are starting to diverge into what seems to be new forms of managing people, based on different assumptions regarding their importance in the (knowledge based) economy. Traditional differences in employment expectations between superiors and their subordinates, between higher and lesser educated and between intrinsically and extrinsically motivated employees, are currently making place for differences between younger and older knowledge workers and for diversity and professionalism. In this article, HRM is contrasted against two emerging approaches towards the management of people, which are currently subsets of HRM, but gaining momentum as potential replacements for HRM. Firstly we identify ‘Transaction-based Management of People (TM)’ in which the employment relationship mirrors that of a financially driven exchange relationship, similar to transaction economics. We refer to the second approach as ‘Professional-based Management of People (PM)’ in which the nature of the employment relationship reflects the recognition of people in organizations as ‘true’ professionals who know best what constitutes superior business performance. These approaches have been empirically examined by means of a representative survey amongst Dutch directors and managers.

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Talentmanagement: Tijd voor een persoonlijker aanpak (In Dutch)

  • Year: 2009
  • René Tissen, R. Burgers, Frank Lekanne Deprez & L. van der Sluis
  • HR Strategie, juni
  • pp. 32 – 35
  • (co-author)
Summary:

Door de economische crisis houden organisaties het rendement van kostbaar talentmanagement strenger tegen het licht. Gevolg: talentmanagement door professionele selectie-instrumenten verliest terrein. Managers gaan weer zelf talentvolle medewerkers scouten en binden, waarbij de persoonlijke klik doorslaggevend is.

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Denkend over Mens en Werk (In Dutch)

  • Year: 2008
  • René Tissen, Frank Lekanne Deprez, Rosalie Burgers & Kees van Montfort
  • Tijdschrift voor HRM, vol.11, nr. 2
  • pp. 97 - 117
  • (co-author)
Summary:

Door de continue veranderingsdruk op organisaties en mensen van de afgelopen decennia, is het beeld dat managers en medewerkers van een arbeidsrelatie hebben en hun verwachtingspatronen daaromtrent sterk in beweging. Traditionele verschillen tussen boven- en ondergeschikten, hoger- en lager opgeleiden en intrinsiek en extrinsiek gemotiveerden, maken momenteel plaats voor verschillen tussen jongere en oudere (kennis)werkers en voor verschillen in professionaliteit en performance. Ook het begrip HRM 'beweegt mee' en krijgt hierdoor een andere inhoud. In dit artikel wordt HRM beschouwd in het licht van de veranderende arbeidsrelatie en worden twee opkomende benaderingen met betrekking tot het managen van mensen beschreven, die zijn afgestemd op de actuele organisatiepraktijk. De eerste benadering wordt door ons 'Transactiegericht Management van Mensen' (TM) genoemd, omdat de kern van de arbeidsrelatie die van een economische ruilverhouding weerspiegelt. De tweede noemen wij 'Professional Management van Mensen' (PM), omdat deze de vakkundigheid en beroepseer van medewerkers als vertrekpunt hanteert voor het beter functioneren van organisaties. Beide benaderingen zijn door ons in de praktijk getoetst door middel van een survey onderzoek onder directeuren en managers in Nederland.

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Productiviteitsverbetering van kenniswerkers: mission (im)possible? (In Dutch)

  • Year: 2004
  • Frank Lekanne Deprez
  • In: Christiaan Stam et al, Kennisproductiviteit. Het effect van investeren in mensen, kennis en leren
  • Amsterdam: Pearson Education
  • pp. 59 - 77
  • (lead author)
Summary:

Kenniswerkers leiden, macro- en micro- economisch gezien, een schemerig bestaan. De opvatting dat kennis aan mensen vanzelfsprekend een voorsprong biedt staat onder druk. Tegenwoordig kan een kenniswerker hoog opgeleid zijn, maar toch laagbetaald. De ‘onschatbare’ productiviteit van kenniswerkers moet transparant worden gemaakt en verzilverd. Gelukkig bieden tweede en derde generatie kennismanagement-toepassingen uitkomst. Daarnaast is een aantalmethoden en technieken beschikbaar om de productiviteit van kenniswerkers te verhogen. De aandacht voor de productiviteit van kenniswerkers heeft een sterke mondiale migratie van kenniswerk (outsourcing, offshoring en offsourcing) tot gevolg. De levensvatbaarheid van organisaties zal steeds meer afhankelijk worden van de mate waarin zij erin slagen de juiste kenniswerkers aan te trekken, te boeien en te binden, om vervolgens de vereiste productiviteitsstijgingen te realiseren. Immers het productiviteitsverloop binnen een organisatie geeft inzicht in het al dan niet succesvol presteren.

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Making Sense of Transforming and (Off) sourcing Corporate Libraries

  • Year: 2004, june 29
  • Frank Lekanne Deprez
  • Paper presented at International TICER School Seminar "Return on Investement for Libraries and Information Services"
  • University of Tilburg
  • (lead author)
Summary:

What’s the value of the contribution made by the products, processes and services delivered by the corporate library in an organization? Value is increasingly derived from non-financial, intangible assets. A major challenge for corporate libraries is to become visible and contribute to the key business processes of an organization. Knowing how to build value into a corporate library, expand and determine its value for internal and external stakeholders, and accomplished by developing an intricate network of relationships through Service Level Agreements will settle whether the corporate library is here to stay.

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Working Papers

Developing Spatial Organizations: A Design Based Research Approach (Part 1)

  • Year: 2011
  • Frank Lekanne Deprez & René Tissen
  • Nyenrode Research Paper, no. 11-01, January
  • Nyenrode Business University, The Netherlands
  • (lead author)
Abstract:

The paper addresses how Spatial Organizational Theory is applied to the actual practice of organizations. A new way of organizational design is presented and tested, using the design based research methodology. Three core organizational design steps (Dimensioning, Orientating and Formatting) are applied to Statistics Netherlands (CBS) and initial results are discussed.

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Spatial Organizations

  • Year: 2009
  • Frank Lekanne Deprez & René Tissen
  • NRI Research Paper Series, no. 09 – 09, June
  • Nyenrode Business University, The Netherlands
  • (lead author)
Abstract:

The purpose of this paper is to explore and develop the concept of space in organizational design theory. Traditional research in this field generally indicates the absence of space in design. Space is mostly taken for granted or, at best, treated implicitly as an organizational limitation instead of an opportunity. By making the ‘case for space’ we aim to indicate the emergence of a spatial theory of organizations, which markedly breaks with the resource-based (‘place bound’) view of the firm, common in today’s organizational theory and practice. Instead the knowledge-based (‘space bound’) view of organizations allows for the realistic introduction of new organizational forms. The emergence of such new forms is generally seen as important with a view on the systematic instead of opportunistic enhancement of the performance potential and capacities of companies, increasingly operating in a knowledge-based economic environment. We argue that spatial organizations predominantly take the form of ‘arrangements’ (modular, cellular, circular and constellar), shaped around the natural ability of people to work with some types of knowledge better then with others.

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Creating Spatial Organizations

  • Year: 2009
  • Frank Lekanne Deprez & René Tissen
  • NRI Research Paper Series, no. 09 – 07, April
  • Nyenrode Business University, The Netherlands
  • (lead author)
Abstract:

This paper addresses the spatial design of modern organizations in the context of a fundamental change which is currently taking place in the way companies view their organizations and the inherent performance expectations, requirements and results underlying these. This change involves a managerial shift in perspective from the commonly adopted resource-based view of the firm, towards the knowledge based view of the firm. This paper follows the notion that company performance from a knowledge-based perspective benefits more from new ways of organizing, than from new ways of managing. A different type of organizations is introduced - that of the spatial organization - in which traditional one size fits all organizational ‘structures’ are replaced by ‘spatial arrangements’ which aim to connect people, knowledge and technology in a mentally fitting –natural- way. A number of core spatial organizational forms are presented and discussed (modular, circular, cellular, constellar). This paper encompasses part two of a series of Nyenrode research papers on spatial organizations, of which part one describes the theoretical foundations underlying their emergence.

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Towards a Spatial Theory of Organizations. Creating New Organizational Forms to Improve Business Performance

  • Year: 2008
  • René Tissen & Frank Lekanne Deprez
  • NRG Working Paper, no. 08-04, February
  • Nyenrode Business University, The Netherlands
  • (co-author)
Abstract:

Research in the field of management and organizational theory generally indicates the absense of space in organizations. Space has largely been a neglected phenomenon, left implicit to practice as something ‘limiting’ without actually ‘existing’. The aim of this research paper is to explore and develop the meaning and concept of space in organizational design theory. By making ‘the case for space’ we postulate the emergence of a spatial theory of organizations, which markedly breaks with the resource-based (‘place - bound’) view on organizations, common in organizational theory and practice. In this first paper we investigate the metaphor of space, specifically with a view to its potential value for contemporary practice. Furthermore, we discuss ‘space and time’ in a managerial framework and develop an organizational spatial design perspective allowing managers to overcome existing constraints and boundaries, in order for their organizations to better succeed in a complex, volatile and turbulent world without being restricted by traditional limitations, which often require continuous adjusting and/or adapting through restructuring and change. In a further working paper planned for mid 2008 we intend to extend the notion of space in modern organizations to involve a distinct set of design criteria and parameters allowing space to be operationalised in organizational practice.

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Miscellaneous

“Een korte geschiedenis van de toekomst van zorg(financiering) in Nederland : 2013 – 2020” (In Dutch)

  • Year: 2012/2013
  • Siemen Jongedijk & Frank Lekanne Deprez
  • Rotterdam/Amstelveen: Catalyse & ZeroSpace Advies
  • (co-author)
Summary:

Het uiteindelijke gezamenlijke doel van Catalyse Business Consultants en ZeroSpaceAdvies is om in de zorg (Extramuraal, Intramuraal en Gehandicaptenzorg, Spoedposten) zichtbare verbeterde werksituaties te realiseren waarin gewoon wordt gedaan wat ook gedaan zou moeten worden: Excellente en goedkopere zorg voor klanten, betere leveringsbetrouwbaarheid, sterkere besluitvorming, ontwikkelen van bevlogen medewerkers en hogere winsten.

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