Applied theory of complexity : the case of human factor in the container terminal of the port of Piraeus

Αλέξανδρος Μ. Γουλιέλμος, Αγγελική Παρδάλη, Μαρία Μηλιαράκη


This paper begins with a historical introduction to the organizational model that ports in general
have adopted. Here also we talk about complexity theory as applied to organizations that
want to obtain a competitive advantage with elements from complexity theory of leadership. We
then dealt with the structure of the deregulated Port of Piraeus (early 1999), where the traditional
mechanistic model due to Taylor has been identified. Our field investigation concerning a survey
of the human factor, carried out with the use of a questionnaire in the international container
terminal of Ikonion in 2001. We then proceeded to criticize the port of Piraeus model being a
state mechanistic deregulated monopoly, with consequences on effectiveness of the port such as:
low productivity, long delays, and neglect of human factor completely as well as failure to deliver
qualitative services in what is required: i.e. in port terminology «a fast turnaround time». A second
field investigation was carried out at the same container terminal to assess quality, comparing
two investigations carried out in 1994 and 1999. Then proposals for remedial action have been
provided in the fifth section based on complexity theory of organizing, managing and leading
companies. Special emphasis has been paid on production breakdowns and quality. The last section
is a general exposition of the new theory of complexity and chaos, helpful we believe for those
that encounter for the first time the new concepts contained here in.


Water management; Port administration

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