How do we know what we know? Positivism. What is it? How valid is positivism?
Autopoiesis (Maturana and Varela) • Critiques notion of environment as external • Assumes we don’t have a Point of View • How can A cause B cause C cause D when we’re all part of same environment? • Organ. Are in trouble when they see themselves as egocentric (like above) • Pollution and poverty as externality
Autopoiesis: What is it? • Systems that are autonomous, self-referential and circular. • Like Einstein discovered: light is made up of particles and waves, neither of which can be reduced to the other. Such are organizations and their environments.
Self-Referential • Systems that try to shape themselves in their own image
Circularity • Change in one element of the system is coupled with changes elsewhere because of connections.
Autonomous • In the context of Autopoeisis, autonomy DOES NOT mean: independent or isolated. • Systems
Applying Autopoeisis to Org. • An egocentric org will make a decision despite information from the system. For example, how might the car industry be an egocentric org given the film we just saw. • How could the car industry be made autopoietic?
Chaos Theory • Complex non-linear systems with multiple systems of interactions. • Despite unpredictability, order emerges. • Order emerges because of attractors that pull behavior in particular direction • Latent potentials affect which attractors emerge
Applying Chaos Theory to Orgs • You apply TeamWork to your organization in a top-down fashion. Workers resist. What latent potential highlighted resistance as an attractor?
Loops not Lines: Mutual Causality • Changes occur in loops not lines. • We need to move beyond A causes B to mutual causality. • We deny how complex the world and feel that you can solve problems simply, for example….
Applying Loops not Lines to Org • This helps us understand how laying off workers can affect the remaining workforce. • Or how denying rights to gays/lesbians could affect productivity.
Organizations as Dialectic • Every phenomenon creates the opposite of itself. So life produces death. • Societies change because of the internal contradictions created in the social world. • For example, unionization creates movement by managers to end unionization.
Applying dialectics to Orgs • Think about how a new rule can create the opposite effect of what’s intended.
Autonomous • Systems that are free to produce their own survival.