Operationalising and Managing Variety

Paper number: 11/04

Year: 2011

Paper Category: Discussion Paper


Roger Maull
Phil Godsiff


To extend the conceptual model of a service system presented by Godsiff. (Godsiff, 2010). The model based on Ashby‟s Law of Requisite Variety (1964) suggests a number of possible sources of variety including, the value proposition, the customer and producer inputs and the customer and producer outcomes. Frei proposes two strategies for managing variability, accommodation often provided by employees managing the variations presented by the customers and variety reduction through the value proposition. (Frei, 2006). This paper explores both the types of variability and the strategies adopted to manage variability through the analysis of a case study based on a commercial laundry.


Empirical research in single case study over 12 month period; data was collected through interviews with the owner manager and operational director, and twelve months operational and customer data was provided for analysis.

Operationalising and Managing Variety Operationalising and Managing Variety

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