Publications

Szendrey, Jaszmina (2016) Facilitated Expert System Modelling to Support Organisations in Making Strategic Decisions, TΛF, Glasgow, United Kingdom

Strategic decision making typically entails dealing with ill-structured, knowledge-rich, non-quantitative and ambiguous problems which require simultaneous handling of a large amount of knowledge from different areas of expertise. Such decision making usually involves widely disparate interest groups with multiple, possibly conflicting goals and priorities. In search for suitable tools and methods to address the challenges of knowledge-rich problem domains some operational researchers see potential in expert systems. However, generally, the process of expert system development can be characterized as ad hoc and fails to address the challenges of facilitation. This thesis addresses these shortcomings by developing the process of Facilitated Expert System MOdelling (FESMO) using a particular knowledge-based expert system shell, called Doctus. The development of the FESMO process was grounded in both the principles reported in the literature as well as the requirements of Doctus, and was gradually refined through the findings of the empirical investigation conducted in nine European companies from the ICT field and brainstorming sessions held with the experts of Doctus modelling. Three complementary strategic decisions were chosen from the family of sourcing decisions (shared services, outsourcing and buying decisions) for modelling. Additionally, the decision models developed for particular decision situations of the case companies were subsequently integrated into a generic Business Process Sourcing Decision Model (BPS DM). In order to gain a better understanding of the applicability of the developed FESMO process and to develop a generic BPS DM, I designed a collective-case study research process with elements of ethnography and action research. To improve the reliability of the research findings I designed this research process as a multi-method qualitative research with data triangulation.


Velencei, Jolán, Dörfler, Viktor, Baracskai, Zoltán & Szendrey, Jaszmina (2015) Prelude for Experience Mining (Re-) Using Relevant Experience for Smart Decision Support, 3rd International OFEL Conference on Governance, Management and Entrepreneurship, 1-2 April 2015, Dubrovnik, Croatia

After 10 years in teaching a variety of topics in decision making one of the authors decided to develop a tool that can help decision makers to consolidate their knowledge around a particular decision problem. The three remaining authors have joined the R&D team over the next two decades; the work resulted in the Doctus knowledge-based system which is currently 25 years in development. In the most recent incarnation of Doctus we are able to identify relevant patterns from previous decisions by other decision makers, learning from which can be helpful to the
decision makers with the decision situation at hand.

In this paper we introduce the latest incarnation of our Doctus KBS, featuring three distinct ways of reasoning; the newest ‘third way of reasoning’ supports reusing previous decision experience. As far as we know, Doctus is currently the only decision support tool capable of identifying relevant experience as well as learning from it. In this paper we provide a prelude for how the new solution should work in real-life decision support.


Baracskai, Zoltán, Dörfler, Viktor, Szendrey, Jaszmina & Velencei, Jolán (2014) What is the Difference? There was Always Lifelong Learning, International Scientific Journal of Management Information Systems, 9(2): 3-9

In this paper we start from examining the resource-based view (RBV), a widely accepted conceptual framework, and query its applicability in the very near future. Our initial point is that the notion of resources is automatically associated with the scarcity of resources; therefore RBV cannot serve as an appropriate framework in an era in which we have the abundance of the most important resource knowledge. This new era changes the conditions significantly, resulting in the loss of validity of the previously established framework. We cannot offer yet a comprehensive framework to replace RBV. What we try to achieve in this paper is to observe some prospective characteristics, some of which we can, at least partially, explain, others we cannot explain yet. In some instances we can only identify the problem, such as that we cannot possibly know what the ‘right knowledge’ will be in the near future. As it is all about learning, we bring together many different perspectives about learning in a transdisciplinary manner, in order to start identifying and clarifying reference points, which will characterize the new conceptual framework that we and many others will work on developing in the next few years.


Baracskai, Zoltán, Velencei, Jolán, Dörfler, Viktor & Szendrey, Jaszmina (2014) The Tunnel of Doctus KBS: The Deeper You Get the Darker It Is, 2nd International OFEL Conference on Corporate Governance, 4-5 April 2014, Dubrovnik, Croatia

When you are on your way inwards to a tunnel, it is getting darker and darker. You reach the darkest point when you are in the deepest. Then, as you start your way out, there is gradually more and more light. Over the last quarter century we were getting deeper and deeper in. It seems that it is starting to get lighter now.

As academics and consultants we have been working for, with and on top-level business decision takers involved in loosely structured decision problems. Gradually we have achieved better and better understanding of the models of thinking that can be useful for these decision takers. First we realized that the model of thinking needs to be simple; which is the philosophical commonplace of Occam’s razor. Somewhat later we realized that it is easy to cut our-selves if Occam’s razor is too sharp – the model of thinking must not be too simple as it will fail to provide a usable representation of reality. This is also known from philosophy as Einstein’s extension of Occam’s rule: as simple as possible but not simpler than that. Along these lines we have developed the Doctus knowledge-based system shell, for building our models. This way we started building the bridge of trans-disciplinarity between the knowledge do-mains of various experts. However, this bridge is narrow and difficult to use for crossing the disciplinary divides. Decision takers cannot walk the bridge alone; they need a bridge-guide called the knowledge engineer. The knowledge engineer is not a polymath (expert in multiple domains); the knowledge engineer’s expertise is about knowledge and knowers.

More recently we have realized that it is not sufficient if the model is useful, it also has to be usable. The bridge should be wide, stable and easy to walk.  Of course, it is still nice to have the knowledge engineer to guide the decision taker – it provides a fuller experience. What makes for such bridge? Today we think that we need to apply Occam’s razor tempered by Einstein on the user interface the same way as we have previously used it for representing knowledge. The new Doctus is beautiful and as simpler as it can be – but not simpler than that.


Baracskai, Zoltán, Velencei, Jolán, Dörfler, Viktor & Szendrey, Jaszmina (2013) What is the Difference? There was Always Lifelong Learning, 18th International Scientific Conference, 18 April 2013, Subotica, Serbia

The search term “sustainable development” gives you 276 million hits in Google and there are 1.5 million if you type “održivi razvoj”. We will here omit the other languages. We are always suspicious to find such salient popularity. In fact, what we suspect is that there may be no definition for the concept we were searching for. On the basis of having examined several definitions, this time we suspect that there is something wrong with the premises. The usual starting point is the notion of scarce resources. With regards to the majority of resources, no one knows how scarce they are. As we live in the ‘knowledge economy’ and in the ‘knowledge society’, we are primarily interested in knowledge. We are not sure whether knowledge is a resource, but we certainly know that it is not scarce.

What we are really interested in, is abundance. Under the condition of abundance, the models developed for the ‘era of scarcity’ will not work – they lose their validity. Undeniably, we live in the era of ‘knowledge abundance’. Our starting point is that we will learn the particular knowledge that we find ‘then and there’. If we knew exactly what we want to learn we would not mind the abundance of knowledge. But, of course, we cannot possibly know which knowledge will be ‘right’, what we will exactly need in the future. The influence of “post-filtering” will be of exceptional importance under the condition of knowledge abundance. It is exactly the effect ‘post-filtering’, i.e. the validation, that will affect the evolutionary development.


Dörfler, Viktor, Baracskai, Zoltán, Velencei, Jolán, Szendrey, Jaszmina & Stierand, Marc (2012) Dramatic Dilemmas: Drama-based Decision Support, 72nd Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, 3-7 August 2012, Boston, Massachusetts

For nearly two decades we have been trying to find appropriate ways to support executive decision takers and dedicated most of both our academic research and our consultancy to this issue. We developed a conceptual framework and some practices for coaching, a software tool for knowledge engineering, and three post-experiential, post-MBA courses for management education. Building on this prior experience, we have been focusing recently on development of executives in their organizational context – we offer this contextualized development as a next-generation decision support.

The scene of our workshop is the chaotic-turbulent world of organizations and our executive is a drama hero (as opposed to the action hero) in constant doubt about right and wrong. We started using dramas several years ago to depict decision situations as they over-emphasize the characters, making the conflict more obvious. In the catharsis the executives realized: “this happened to me” or “this could have happened to me” or “this can happen to me tomorrow”. We have found this approach to education of executives and executive coaches fruitful, and now we are taking the ‘dramatic dilemmas’ from the classroom into the organizational context of decision takers. The main problem that we are trying to address is changing how the executive views a particular situation. To achieve this, the executive has to change the conceptual framework and we have found that switching from the old concepts to the new ones requires a ‘trigger concept’. In this PDW we offer the participants a hands-on experience of this process.


Baracskai, Zoltán, Dörfler, Viktor, Velencei, Jolán & Szendrey, Jaszmina (2011) School for Business Pros: Conceptual Framework for Designing a Post-Experiential Post-MBA Business Education, Second International Scientific Conference: University Education in Transition, 2 December 2011, Belgrade, Serbia

It is the fourth time that we create a new management school. Every time it was different and every time we have learned a lot from the process of curriculum design in harmony with the voice of the times. In this paper we outline the process of curriculum design through our latest experience in creating the Strategic Partner School in Hungary. Although there are important characteristics of the Middle-East European market for post-experiential business education taken into consideration, the meta-level of the process, i.e. how to identify the relevant characteristics can be applicable well beyond the area in which this study originated. Naturally, our way is not the only right way of curriculum design but our aim with this study is to stimulate thinking and discussion rather than selling a recipe.


Baracskai, Zoltán, Velencei, Jolán, Dörfler, Viktor & Szendrey, Jaszmina (2011) Designing a ‘Strategic Partner’ School, IABE: Annual Conference of the International Academy of Business and Economics, 16-18 October 2011, Las Vegas, Nevada

It is the fourth time that we create a new management school. Every time it was different and every time we have learned a lot from the process of curriculum design in harmony with the voice of the times. In this paper we outline the process of curriculum design through our latest experience in creating the Strategic Partner School in Hungary. Although there are important characteristics of the Middle-East European market for post-experiential business education taken into consideration, the meta-level of the process, i.e. how to identify the relevant characteristics, can be applicable well beyond the area in which this study originated. Naturally, our way is not the only right way of curriculum design but our aim with this study is to stimulate thinking and discussion rather than selling a recipe.


Szendrey, Jaszmina (2011) Expert-Group: A New Research Method,  YoungOR 17: Biennial Conference of the Operational Research Society, 5–7 April 2011, Nottingham, United Kingdom

This paper is focused on developing a new methodological approach for a research in strategic decision support, including both theoretical and practical considerations. I am interested in rich and complex qualitative data provided by experts participating in the decision making process. This implies the use of qualitative research methods. In order to overcome some of the weaknesses typically associated with qualitative approaches, such as the high demands in terms of the time and resources that are involved in the data generation and analysis as well as the ambiguity of the interpretation and analysis of this data, I am using a knowledge-based expert system to generate and process qualitative data. As the available research methods and tools did not satisfy the requirements of my research, I developed a new research method, that I call the ‘Expert-Group’. After learning how to use the software, I interviewed the facilitators and observed them at work. Then I designed a unique multiple-case study research process incorporating the newly developed Expert-Group research method and implemented it in four case companies. The main advantage of the Expert-Group research method is that it enables a more systematic approach to qualitative research without compromising the data.


Szendrey, Jaszmina (2011) Strategic Decision Making Model for Shared Services, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom

Shared services can be conceptualized as a consolidation of support processes scattered and duplicated all around the organisation into a new semi-autonomous unit using collaborative strategy. The aim of the organisation is to reengineer its business processes whilst improving them, and to reorganize its structure according to the shared services concept whilst keeping control over processes and keeping competences in-house. In this research I developed a shared services decision model which provides a formal approach to the evaluation of shared services opportunities of an organisation.

The drive to be able to respond to the challenges of the chaotically changing business environment has forced organisations to re-draw their boundaries and to make decisions quickly. To be able to make profound shared services decisions quickly, organisations need appropriate decision support tools which can help them evaluate the process(es) under scrutiny. In the shared services literature, consensus is reached about the importance of the shared services decision; also some general factors are being outlined in this context. This suggests that the main gap in the literature is the lack of a structured and comprehensive framework which describes the decision making process and integrates the key factors of the shared services decision.

In order to gain a better understanding of the shared services concept and develop a comprehensive decision model I designed a unique research process incorporating multiple research methods and data triangulation. Because of the nature of the research question I chose a multiple case study research design with four European companies. For the same reason I was only interested in rich and complex qualitative data provided by expert participants of the decision making process, therefore I used qualitative research methods, such as the expert-group (own development) and semi-structured interviews. In order to overcome some of the weaknesses of the research, such as the high demands in terms of the time and resources of data generation and analysis and the ambiguity of the interpretation and analysis of this data, I used a knowledge-based expert system to process the collected data.

The deepened understanding of the shared services concept, the generic decision model, and the meta-level of the model has relevance both for academia and for business practice. Academics can use the results as starting point or framework for their own research, while practitioners can enhance their decision making about shared services. The new method and the unique research process are primarily relevant for researchers in the area of shared services and, more generally to those who study organisational structures.


Dörfler, Viktor & Szendrey, Jaszmina (2008) From Knowledge Management to Cognition Management: A Multi-Potential View of Cognition, OLKC: International Conference on Organizational Learning, Knowledge and Capabilities, Copenhagen, Denmark, 28-30 April 2008

We have defined knowledge as a capacity or potential to act for a long time; this was a useful metaphor as puts emphasis on the process-nature and fluidity of knowledge and on the purpose for which it is used. However, when considering the idea of autopoietic systems, according to which all living systems are cognitive systems we realized that knowledge is a cognitive potential but not the only cognitive potential. In this paper we developed a conceptual framework that extends the conception of cognition to three further potentials beyond knowledge, the instincts, the emotions, and the transcendence.


Srića, Velimir [translator Szendrey, Jaszmina] (2006) Száz lecke menedzsereknek [The Inventive Manager], Myrror Media, Budapest, Hungary (original: Inventivni menadžer u 100 lekcija, Znanje, Zagreb, Croatia, 2003)

A menedzsment nem tanulható meg egy vastag könyvből. A menedzsernek kemény munkájához sok diszciplínát kell ismernie – ebben a könyvben a szerző száz személyes hangvételű írásban mesél ezekről. Ezek nem történetek, nem esettanulmányok, de rendkívül olvasmányos, érdekes stílusban tárják elénk a modern, innovatív menedzser számára fontos mindennapi ismereteket. A szerző komoly kultúrtörténeti, irodalmi és pszichológiai ismereteinek köszönhetően más összefüggésekbe helyezi a menedzserek hétköznapi feladatait, céljait, szándékait. A kötet Horvátországban jelent meg először, szerzője, Velimir Srića Zágrábban él. Egyetemi tanár, informatikai miniszterként is dolgozott, de tanult és tanított amerikai egyetemen is. Könyve a horvátországi viszonyok között, azokat vizsgálva-elemezve készült, de gondolatai Magyarországon is teljes mértékben megállják a helyüket és továbbgondolkodásra késztetnek.


Szendrey, Jaszmina (2006) A döntéshozatal tényezőinek modellezése [Modelling the Constituents of Decision Making], University of Technology and Economics, Budapest, Hungary

Ebben a dolgozatban azt vizsgálom, milyen eszközöket alkalmaz és hogyan a profi döntéshozó döntéseinek meghozatalakor. A döntéshozót rosszul strukturált, turbulens és bizonytalan környezetben vizsgálom, mert ilyenben tevékenykedik. Valamint csak az eredeti döntésekkel foglalkozom, mert a profi döntéshozó ezeket tartja meg magának.
Vizsgálataim során rosszul strukturált fenomenológiai megfigyeléseket végeztem természetes környezetben, valamint gondolatkísérleteket használtam.

Arra a megállapításra jutottam, hogy a profi döntéshozó preferenciáját négy tényező befolyásolja: ösztöne, értelme, érzelmei, és intuíciója. Vizsgálódásom eredménye egyetlen új elem, egy új metaséma, amely integrálja ezt a négy tényezőt. Az idő során ösztöneinkkel, értelmünkkel, érzelmeinkkel és intuíciónkkal kapcsolatos gondolataink, tapasztalatunk, tudásunk egybeolvad emlékezetünkben – ez a modell idődimenziója. A modellnek nagyon fontos eleme még a szabadság. A szabadságtól függ, hogy az adott döntési dilemmára, ott és akkor, a döntési tényezők milyen kombinációját fogja alkalmazni.

A modell megmutatja, hogy melyek azok a képességek, amelyekre szükség van a döntéshozatal során. Ha a döntéshozatal működését szeretnénk jobban megismerni a döntéshozatal folyamatával kell foglalkozni. Ennek megfelelően további vizsgálódás tárgya lehetne a modell dinamikussá tétele.


Szendrey, Jaszmina (1994) A hibrid áramkörök és a nyomtatott huzalozású lemezek szereléséhez használatos folyasztószerek vizsgálata, University of Technology and Economics, Budapest, Hungary

A forrasztás és ezen belül a lágyforrasztás régóta alkalmazott technológiai eljárás. Az elektronikai és elektrotechnikai ipar leggyakrabban használt kötési eljárása, amely napjainkban új fejlődési szakaszba érkezett. Ma már jobban ismerjük azokat a fizikai és metallurgiai folyamatokat, amelyek a forrasztáskor az összekötendő fémekben, a forrasztó anyagokban és általában a forrasztás folyamatában résztvevő anyagokban végbemennek.

A hibrid áramkörök és a nyomtatott huzalozású lemezek szereléséhez használatos jó minőségű forrasztott kötések kialakulásának előfeltétele, hogy a forraszömledék jól nedvesítse a kötendő felületeket. Ez csak abban az esetben teljesül, ha a fémfelületek tiszták, oxidmentesek. A folyasztószerek (fluxok) szolgálnak a kötési felületek esetleges oxidszennyezéseinek eltávolítására. Ezek az anyagok kémiailag különböző aktivitásúak lehetnek. A lapka felmelegedésekor, a hő hatására aktiválódnak. Forrasztás után a folyasztószer maradványait illetve bomlástermékeit el kell távolítani megfelelő tisztítási eljárással, mert ha ezt nem végezzük el, korróziót okozhatnak, befolyásolják az elektromos paramétereket. Eddig a különböző Freonokat alkalmazták lemosásra, igen eredményesen. A gondot az okozza, hogy ezek az oldószerek környezetszennyezőek és ezért a közeljövőben használatuk betiltása várható. Vizsgálataim célja egy olyan folyasztószer kiválasztása, mérési eredményeim alapján, amelynek csekély a maradványtartalma.

A korábban sokféle mérgező, környezetkárosító, szigorú óvórendszabályok szerint kezelendő gyakorta tűzveszélyes mosó-oldószerek használatához hozzászokva, nehéz elfogadni, hogy létezik már olyan veszélytelen, környezetbarát technológia is, amelyik nem tűzveszélyes, nem mérgező, korlátozások nélkül szállítható, raktározható, kezelhető és veszélyes hulladékként eltávolítható, mégis hatásosan működő oldószert, Prozone-t alkalmaz. Javaslom a Prozone oldószer használatát, mert ez nem csupán kompromisszumos megoldás. Ez egy teljesen új, tökéletes tisztító-oldószer, nincs károsító hatása az ózonrétegre, hatékonyan működik, kitűnően eltávolítja a folyasztószer maradványokat és az ionos szennyezéseket, tehát nem helyettesítő pótanyag.