One of the most immediately obvious signs of variety between organisations is their production of a wide range of different artefacts, extending to all forms of manufactured finished goods, components, refined natural products, communication hardware and software, management consultancy and medical, welfare, educational, leisure and other services. Yet this variety can be interpreted in terms of a common model which focuses not on the products but on their production. All organisations have a core, illustrated in Table 3.1, which comprises the acquisition of inputs of natural, human, financial and fabricated resources and their transformation through a variety of ways into the production and distribution of outputs of goods and services. For example, people in an electronics factory use mechanical and computer controlled equipment, skills, labour and knowledge to transform raw materials, energy and components into finished consumer products. Doctors in a hospital admit patients and try to transform them through medication, surgery and advice into healthier people. A construction company assembles supplies and skilled people on a new site and they use tools, plant and energy, labour and skill to transform the derelict land into a new office building.
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