Sunday, February 17, 2013

Hybridized - to be or not to be

The Ebb Tide rose: to get it, you start by taking a seedling from the parentage of an orange rose bush and a yellow rose bush and cross pollinate it with pollen from a red rose bush. Then you cross breed for three more generations with 2 varieties of lilac and another type of orange rose and voila! Or, you can go to the nearest florist and place an order for some seedlings. You also have the easiest option of simply buying a bunch of these lovely, purple blooms. Whatever the choice of floriculture, hybrid roses and genetically engineered 'blue' roses like the Applause rose are among the world's best flowers. Hybridization has indeed proven to be beneficial for the floral industry. The burning question is -  can hybrization of Air Traffic Control and related services bring betterment to the aviation community? Let us see.

The Applause blue rose, the colour is similar to the bluish tinge in the sky just after dawn.
To understand the issue of hybridization in ATC, we need to consider why firms decide to become hybrids. The hybridization process involves more than mergers and acquisitions or M & A. Just as with the cultivation of roses with deeper, colored pigments, firms hybridize to accomplish specific, unified goals and these goals are not limited to increasing profits. 
From my classes with Professor Ménard*, I have learnt that organizations get involved in hybridization to minimize transaction costs or the costs involved in producing a unit of good or service. They also participate in the process to increase competitiveness, to add life to an organization and to enhance performance via skill diversification or via the introduction of other measures. Can you think of some more reasons in support of the hybrid concept?

In 1960, a Convention was signed to initiate the process of European cooperation for a safer sky. The decision by several states to unite to improve the quality of ATC is an example of hybridization. The travelling class rooms of ICAO and IATA, or the places around the world where they present the same workshop or seminar for the benefit of several states, are by-products of the hybrid process. Outside of ATC there are numerous examples of this process in the aircraft, car and other industries. 
From a psychoeconomic perspective, hybridization provides gains to the industry and parallel gains to the social assets or the employees of the particular industry. Yes, problems with workplace wellbeing can be solved by this process. In addition, the gap between formulating an organizational plan and realizing the objectives of this plan can also be minimized by following the rules of the hybrid concept. But there are challenges.
Economists usually admonish that organizations submit to a feasibility analysis before making a decision for any enterprise.  First, it must be confirmed that the benefits outweigh the costs. Then the cooperating parties decide on their comparative advantages or assigning matching duties to the most capable party. Other issues worthy of consideration are the relegation of power and the personal biases that could hinder the process. Once this germination stage is past, the hybrid organization experiences growth.  Do not expect to see the benefits of the process immediately.

In 2001, the European AIS Database Services was formed to provide Aeronautical Information Services to Europe. That service is currently seeking to transit from the old AIS platform to the innovation - Aeronautical Information Management (AIXM) according to AIS analyst, Félix Rubio. Their customers now include Canada, South Africa, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates. 
What do you think, will hybridization be good for your ATC unit?

Red flowering jatropha whose hybrid form is currently used in biofuel research for aircraft and other commodities

*Economics of Organizations, Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne
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