1. Espejo, R. (2009). “Performance management, the nature of regulation and the CyberSyn Project” in Kybernetes Vol 38, Number 1/2 pp 65-82
This paper offers a conceptual and practical framework for organisational transformation with the support of information and communications technologies (ICTs). This transformation requires appreciating ICTs as communication enablers rather than as information providers. It is relatively easy to provide managers with reports of all kinds however it is much more difficult to match information with effective communications. These days people in general and managers in particular are overwhelmed by information. Unfortunately, these huge amounts of information, exacerbated by an ever expanding internet, are not necessarily making organisations more transparent to stakeholders. Transforming internet, and related technologies, from a huge repository of information into communication enablers is a contemporary challenge for societies and enterprises alike.
In fact, organisation, if properly understood and structured, can be a powerful communication medium to bridge the fragmentation that is so common to enterprises of all kinds today. Organisation, in the sense of a network of meaning production rather than as a hierarchical arrangement to command obedience, is communicationaly closed and informationally open. In an organisation information is necessary to support communications that produce mutual understanding and take into account people’s intentionality and values. Organisation is required to integrate multiple perspectives into a cohesive understanding of a problematic situation. But not any organisation achieves this outcome; among other factors people need an effective structure to manage the complexity of their multiple relations; this is a structure for collaboration. This structure can be adequate or inadequate or anything in between; Beer’s Viable System Model (VSM) is used here as criteria for these judgements (Beer, 1979, 1981, 1985).
2. Observing organisations: the use of identity and structural archetypes by Raul Espejo Int. J. Applied Systemic Studies, Vol. 2, Nos. 1/2, pp.6–24.
This paper aims at increasing our ability to observe and diagnose shortcomings in the management of complexity in organisations. People by and large manage organisational complexity intuitively and of course in the process they make more or less costly mistakes. These failures tend to be archetypical in the sense that they are relational patterns that recur in many organisations. Their observation facilitates diagnosing organisational identity and structural shortcomings. The danger is the temptation to converge too quickly into diagnostic points, thus stifling necessary appreciative processes. Hence, the paper finishes with a critical reflection about their use. Stafford Beer’s Viable System Model (VSM) is used as a reference model to observe these archetypes.
Keywords: management of complexity; organisation; structural and identity archetypes; VSM; Viable System Model.
3. A practical tool to recognise individual and organisational learning obstacles by Alfonso Reyes Int. J. Applied Systemic Studies, Vol. 2, Nos. 1/2, pp.82–94.
The paper addresses the methodological problem of observing individual and organisational learning obstacles in a particular organisation.
These obstacles impinge on effective tasks management. First, we use Kim’s
revisited model for organisational learning presented by Espejo et al. (1996)
to classify major individual and organisational learning obstacles.
Then, we present a method to observe these obstacles in a particular
organisation. Some final remarks are discussed from the use, advantages and
limitations of the method in specific organisations in comparison with the use of traditional interviews.
Keywords: organisational learning; individual learning; learning obstacles.