The Economic Value of a Synergistic Organization
Robert M. Sneider, 1993. "The Economic Value of a Synergistic Organization", Creating, Managing, and Evaluating Multidisciplinary Teams, Paul Ching, Marlan Downey, John Greene, John Masters, C. N. Tinker
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Synergy is defined as the “action of discreet agencies so that the total effect is greater than the sum of the effects taken indepen-dently”. Within the context of the petroleum exploration and production business, syner-gy means that geologists, geophysicists, petroleum engineers and others work together on a project more effectively and efficiently as a team than working as a group of individuals (Sneider, 1986). The Synergistic team approach has been tried by several large and small oil companies in the 1970's and 80's in order to compete more effectively and profitably with fewer staff and managers.
During the past sixteen years, I have had the opportunity to build or help build both small and large synergistic teams and organizations. Although it is relatively easy to measure qualitatively a group's performance, it is very difficult to evaluate quantitatively the technical and economic benefits of a synergistic team and organization versus that of other traditional E & P organizations. Also, it is very difficult to determine what are the critical ingredients that make one organization more effective, productive and profitable than another. The following “experiment” is the only attempt that I know of to help evaluate quantitatively the technical benefits and economic value of the “traditional” versus” synergistic” team approach in exploration and production.
“How can you really prove that synergistic teams are more effective and profitable?” This question was posed to me by a senior director (banker) of a large oil and gas company. I proposed an “experiment” that
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Creating, Managing, and Evaluating Multidisciplinary Teams
The oil and gas industry has experienced major changes worldwide, including downsizing of professional staffs. Greater emphasis has therefore been placed on carrying on exploration and production with smaller, more efficient work teams of geoscientists and petroleum engineers together with land, legal, accounting, and administrative staff. This publication is a direct result of a course presented in October 1990, and focuses on the competitive advantages gained by recognizing the role of people and teams dovetailed with improved technology in exploration and development.