« From Mechanistic to Social Systemic Thinking | Main | Social Network Analysis and Systems Change »

June 29, 2005

Design For A Self-Regenerating Organization

Dr. Michael C Geoghegan ([email protected]) and Dr. Paul Pangaro ([email protected])
Ashby Centenary Conference
March 4-6, 2004, University of Illinois, Urbana

Ashby’s Design for a Brain [Ashby 1952] comprises a formal description of the necessary and sufficient conditions for a system to act ‘like a brain,’ that is, to learn in order to remain viable in a changing environment, and to ‘get what it wants’. Remarkably, Ashby gives a complete, formal specification of such a system without any dependency on how the system is implemented. In this presentation the authors will argue how Ashby’s formalisms can be applied to human organizations.

All organizations seek to successfully carry out transactions that achieve their goals and assert their identity, whether to educate college students for employment, to govern a territory fairly, or to make money for shareholders. An organization’s transactions are predicated on agreements, and agreements in turn are based on conversations in a shared language. Thus human organizations are delimited by their operation in the domain of language, and Ashby’s ‘essential variables’ are the ‘shared truths’ of an organization—perturbed by the environment, regulated by employees’ actions, and carried in its language.
To read this article, click on the link: Design For A Self-Regenerating Organization.

Posted by ACASA on June 29, 2005 at 11:17 AM in Interesting | Permalink


Post a comment