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Implications for Beer’s ontological system/metasystem dichotomy
Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK
Keywords Cybernetics, Management Abstract Stafford Beer developed managerial cybernetics, but there were many facets of his work. Most of his work concerned epistemology, and little concerned ontology. Not all of the aspects or implications of his work has been fully recognised, and an attempt shall be made to explore one of these. In particular, this paper explores his paradigm by considering some of the epistemologically and ontological angles. Some of the implications for Beer’s work will also be shown to have led to the creation of a virtual paradigm capable of exploring his achievements ¨ “externally”, after Godel.
Introduction The 1960s saw the maturing of a few great thinkers who, in the 1970s and 1980s, led the way into forms of constructivism that paved the way for a new emergence into the social sciences. These included people like Foucault (1974), Habermas (1970), Piaget (1977) and Vygotsky (1978). It is rarely recognised that it also included Beer who developed his own constructivist approach ¨ conditioned by the inconsistency theory of Godel (Beer, 1959, 1979, p. 311). Both Piaget and Vygotsky began their work with an interest in child development, adopting related, but distinct approaches that result in related, but differentiable axioms for their respective paradigms. Vygotsky was interested in the social processes that enabled learning to develop. Piaget used a cybernetic approach for his interest in how the interactions between children contributed to their learning processes, and this developed into an examination of the relationship between subjects and objects (rather like Foucault (1974) whose interest lay in subjectiﬁcation and objectiﬁcation as political processes). Habermas (1970) was interested in the cultural, social and behavioural aspects of people, and in the subjective transfer of meaning through the process of communication. Beer was interested in how social communities were able to survive, realising that regulation was central to this. Like Habermas, he also recognised the need for communications. However, he was guided by the formal logic of ¨ systems by Whitehead and Russell (1910) and Godel’s (1931) incompleteness theorem that illustrated the limitations of language. His interest in this limitation led him to the development of a new cybernetic paradigm with clear practical application for the management of coherent social communities, seen
Kybernetes Vol. 33 No. 3/4, 2004 pp. 726-764
as systems with controlled operations. The control emanated from a metasystem that communicated internally through a metalanguage. While the logical systems theory that Beer admired explored systems through the use of metasystems, his interests were very much centred on applied science. The paradigm that he developed created an ontological dichotomy deﬁned in terms of the system and metasystem. The term dichotomy was not the one normally used by Beer, but in fact it is rather harmless because it means a “division into two” that can be argued here to represent two ontological species of a given generic entity. The generic entity may be seen as a self-organising body and its ontological species are the system and metasystem that interact as an intimate ontological couple. That is, they each have validity claims about reality that operate in a way that mutually relate: one validity claim to reality is manifested in the other relative to its validity claim to reality. Hence, a thought in the metasystem may be manifested differently in different systems. Survival, for Beer, related to viability, which he saw as occurring through emergence. This is illustrated by a comment by Denis Adams, a close academic colleague of Beer, when he recently said in a private communication that Beer “was very interested in viability which I see as an emergent behavioural property of a complex system (that we can never establish without doubt) and how we think it may work. But as a result of observations and thinking about how different systems (activities seen as if they were systems) seemed to have a varying behavioural emergent property, he was able to ‘see’ characteristics that the organisation of a viable system should have. These were systemic characteristics in that they had to be abstracted and described from an interacting dynamic whole system.” Beer’s pragmatic interest lay in mapping his analytical ontological conceptualisation of the metasystem/system onto practical situations. While he developed the basis of a new ontology through the creation of the dichotomy, his pragmatic interest centred on epistemology, which become manifested through his viable system model (VSM). To illustrate this, again quoting from Denis Adams.
The thrust of Stafford’s work in VSM is epistemological in nature; “what do we know and how do we know that” is how he deﬁned epistemology to me “in a nutshell”. So the VSM helps you to think about a situation in terms of viability, and the VSM is describing the communication and information ﬂows round a system that is doing the same (what do they know and how do they know that) for the sub-system behaviours.
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The relationship between the dichotomous parts is recursive. By this we mean that the ontological system/metasystem couple can be embedded as a whole within either the system or the metasystem to give it a new ontological context and an epistemological consequence. Beer’s approach also appears to be constructivist in a way that is consistent with the ideas of not only Piaget, but Vygotski too. Beer was true to the ideas of the incompleteness theorem, and this paper discusses his developments not in
the language of his paradigm, but consistent with his view, in another cybernetic language that provides a way of exploring his managerial cybernetics externally. The system paradigm, and beyond Elementary systems thinking emerged from the work of the Gestalt psychologists who emphasised that the study of the mind should be seen as a whole rather than as a collection of psychological parts. The approach led to the notion of holistic thinking (Ellis, 1938). The idea of using a system to understand the phenomena is normally attributed to work in the 1930s by Ludwig von Bertalanffy, a German Biologist. He gave the name general systems theory to a discipline devoted to formulating principles that apply to all systems (Bertalanffy, 1951). Others like Boulding (1956) and Churchman et al. (1957) developed these, and applied them to organisational theory. The traditional concept of a system still used in some areas of organisational theory (for instance, in the Organisational Development (OD) methodology (Yolles, 1999) used in Human Resource Management) is an input-output device. Thus, for instance, Fogel (1967) looked at the human as an information-input/decision-making/decision-output processor, and Nadler and Tushman (1977, 1979) used the notion for organisational behaviour (Figure 1). Further conceptualisations of the idea of the system developed, harnessing the idea that it is not only a processor, but also has the property of synergy and wholeness (Ackoff, 1971). The concept of the system, however, also had a cybernetic dimension. In a foundation paper, Arturo Rosenblueth, Norbert Wiener, and Julian Bigelow (Rosenblueth et al., 1943) were interested in the teleological properties of systems, those that relate to their identity and degree of autonomy and
Figure 1. Nadler and Tushman’s perception of systemic organisational behaviour
coherence. In particular, they were interested in biological, physiological, and social systems, and their control and feedback processes. These authors formed the Teleological Society, and after Wiener coined the term cybernetics, they changed its name to the Cybernetic Society. While the conceptual base of cybernetics still centred on the single concept of the system, it was to become transformed by Beer with the introduction of a new frame of reference that involved a second conceptual arm, the metasystem. The notion of the metasystem is credited to Whitehead and Russell (1910) in their logical study of formal systems. Recent theoretical developments of this work has led to Metasystem Transition Theory (MTT) by Turchin and Joslyn (1999) as a means by which higher levels of complexity and control are generated, and by Palmer (2000) as a general theory of metasystem engineering. Another development that had relevance to metasystem theory was the incompleteness ¨ theorem of Godel (1931), who was concerned with the completeness (if an argument is valid, then it is provable) and soundness (if an argument is provable, then it is valid) of logical systems, and showed that any attempts to prove that a logical system is sound (and therefore having validity and truth) will result in a paradox unless reference is made from outside the system. Beer became interested in the use of the concept of the metasystem as a practical way of explaining the viability of coherent social communities through self-regulation, self-organisation and control. As shown in Figure 2, part of his ¨ direction for this came from Godel’s (1931) inconsistency theorem (Beer, 1979, p. 311). While he does not seem to have used the term metasystem in his very early work, he did use the term metalanguage throughout. He noted that a system uses a language to communicate about what it does – its operations. However, language is defective because there are always propositions about the language itself that cannot be expressed in the language. Consequently, another language is required that is “over and beyond” the language being used at the time, and this is a matalanguage. It is parallel to the notion supported by Beer of “looking at problems themselves and not at their content” (Van Gigch, 1987, p. xv). In particular, in Beer (1959, p. 169), we are told that “a control system cannot discuss itself and that a higher order [system] is needed in which to describe the behaviour of a system expressed in a given language.” Indeed, he takes this a little further by considering that control is practically linked to operations through its local management. Beer (1966, p. 425) also says that “Since the normal occupation of management is to be expert in using the practical language of the ﬁrm’s operations, there is the danger that the management will never speak the metalanguage in which its own structure can be discussed.” While the term metasystem was clearly implied in his earlier work, it does not appear to have been used in his books until later, when Beer (1972) explicitly adopts the term metasystem as the residence of the metalanguage. It is, he says, a “second order system” from which language about the system itself and its language can originate.
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Figure 2. The development of the applied use of the metasystem by Stafford Beer
The nature of the metasystem is that it operates as a control impulse domain, which in human systems occurs through the process of “thinking”, and according to De Bono (1977) has come to be associated with beliefs. Without the metasystem, the system would behave with spontaneous responses that are programmed into its structure through what Yolles and Dubois (2001) refer to as strong anticipation. In the context of the human being, like Beer, De Bono relates the concept of the metasystem to the social community when he suggests that without the metasystem a person would act according to its own personal systems, which might be based on immediate gratiﬁcation, self-indulgence and impulse. Thus, the metasystem lies outside individual systems and overrides these factors in favour of society and a longer time base.
De Bono provides an illustration of the use of the metasystem: an individual may only collect enough food for his immediate needs, but the metasystem may require him to collect enough to store for the winter as well. For De Bono, to some extent, the success of societies has depended on the strength and nature of the metasystems they have created. By creating a management approach incorporating the system/metasystem, Beer produced a new paradigm for management science and indeed in social science. To see this it is appropriate for us to discuss the idea of paradigm change. It has been only within the last 30 years or so, largely since the work of Kuhn (1970), that we have considered how paradigms change their form. Incremental change involves the development of base concepts and their structured relationships, creating new knowledge. Paradigms also change dramatically as new base concepts arise that alter their frames of reference, i.e. as new conceptual extensions enter their frames of reference (Yolles, 1996, 1999). In doing so, paradigm holders expand their capacity to explain and therefore diagnose the phenomena that they perceive. Such dramatic change has also been referred to as paradigmatic revolution or metamorphosis. It occurs because of a perceived need by paradigm holders to respond to inherent inadequacies, anomalies or paradoxes (e.g. Zeno’s paradox). Such metamorphosis can be part of an evolutionary process within which a new species of paradigm arises that has its basis in an existing paradigm. Metamorphosis is not spontaneous, and paradigms ﬁrst pass through a “virtual” stage (Midgley, 2000; Yolles, 1996, 1999). VST is an example of this; its original development occurs because of a perceived need to respond to the problem of paradigm incommensurability (Burrell and Morgan, 1979; Yolles, 1996, 1999), and at that time other approaches seemed unable to adequately respond to it. VST can be historically related to the principles of managerial cybernetics. Thus, Beer created a new paradigm whose frame of reference moved from a single base conceptualisation of the operational system, to two: the operational system and conceptual metasystem. We have already said that Beer’s interest in this lay primarily in the epistemological basis of their relationship that was associated with structured communications and meaning. His creation of the metasystem/system dichotomy was clearly an ontological one, but his interest here did not appear to extend to the proper ontological considerations that Casti (1989) would consider is important. The epistemological dimension is reﬂected in conditions that enabled viability to develop, supported by structured processes of communications that effectively related to semantic communications embedded in what Schutz and Luckmann (1974) would call lifeworld processes. The ontological analysis can be understood by following a lead taken by Habermas (1987) in his three worlds model, and where he explores the validity claims about reality for each world resulting a distinct ontological characteristics that differentiate the realities. Therefore, in Beer’s terms, we are in a position where we should examine the validity claim about reality for both
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system and metasystem. This is illustrated in Table I and derives from Beer (1979, p. 311, 57, 70, 120). The system and metasystem are ontologically coupled, the connection occurring through the boundaries that differentiate them. To elaborate on this, following Yolles and Guo (2003), the system and metasystem each have boundaries that condition their validity claims about reality, and the boundary of one domain is differentiated from that of the other through its ontological horizon. This horizon maintains a content that varies depending on the cognitive perceiver that provides an entry into what may be meaningfully reﬂected on, spoken about, or acted over. The two domains are ontologically related, and their horizons meld when the domains are seen as an emergent whole. However, this can only occur if the boundaries that create the horizons also harbour ontological migrations that condition that melding. Thus, ontological horizons both distinguish and connect differentiable validity claims about reality. This notion provides entry into the understanding that the boundaries have themselves transformation attributes. Epistemologically the metasystem can be perceived to operate by housing a worldview that the members of an organisation (or more generally social community) hold to, and it is the repository of the knowledge that the community accepts to perform its operations. Social communities are autonomous when they deﬁne, create and manage their own futures. A corollary to this is that autonomous systems are recognised to exist only when they have a worldview(s) that has associated with it a language that can economically represent and effectively use its own knowledge. Viability and recursion Beer (1979) wanted to provide an approach that can make autonomous organisations viable, where viability is the ability to maintain a separate existence and to survive as an identiﬁable entity through appropriate self-regulation and self-organisation. The metasystem has a role in this. An organisation is composed of a set of local systems, and each has its own set of operations. While local management manages each set of operations, the different local systems with their operations are collectively managed through
Types of reality System Nature of reality A ﬁrst-order system composed of interactive operational objects that together form a whole, the perception of which is conditioned by a cognitive knowledge-based frame of reference. It is relative to individual subjectivity of groups that have developed normative perspectives A second-order system that operate through concepts, thinking and beliefs, from which knowledge derives. The local individual or group belief-based creation of concepts and their patterns are held in worldviews that establish a frame of reference, and determine what is known and associated meanings
Metasystem Table I. Realities for Beer’s system and metasystem
the metasystem. These must operate together systemically with coherence (Beer, 1979, p. 120), and for Ackoff (1971) with synergy and wholeness. An important aspect of organisations that has impact for their viability is that they should be seen in terms of a set of nested system ontological focuses of reality that are also logically distinct levels of examination. This means that the ontological model can be applied and re-applied to different focuses of examination, each focus bringing in local complexity that cannot be seen from a higher focus. Each time this occurs, the nature of the ontology model becomes relative to its host focus. One ontological focus can be used as the reality from which the whole system is referenced (the frame of reference), and be referred to as the referencing focus with its vertically embedded subordinate focuses. This nesting is sometimes referred to as a logical hierarchy, but the term can lead to confusion in people’s minds by mistaking the meaning with that of a socio-political hierarchy typical of bureaucracies. The nature of the nesting of focuses is that at any referencing focus of examination, the system has a set of operations that can be expressed in terms of the deeper set of subordinate focuses. Recursion is often a concept used within methodology (Yolles, 1999). For instance, it is an essential part of Stafford Beer’s VSM when it is used as the basis for methodological inquiry into organisations that may not be viable, and it can be used to correct the faults that it ﬁnds. Recursion is also quite intimate to the earlier works mentioned, for instance, Whitehead and Russell (1910). The system/metasystem couple can occur at every focus of examination, and the ability to apply the notion of the couple to distinct focuses is a form of recursion. The notion of recursion can be recalled to mean the application of a whole concept or set of actions that occurs at one logical level (focus) of consideration at a lower logical level (or focus) of consideration. What is particularly interesting here is that the recursive use of the system/metasystem dichotomy provides not only a shift in the degree of relative complexity accessed relative to the reference focus, but also in the relativistic process the metasystem must be capable of being assigned a different worldview(s), with its different knowledge and its own metalanguage. Implicitly, this means that Beer has developed an approach that, because of its knowledge implications, is fundamentally constructivist as well as providing an important entry into an understanding of the nature of the autonomous organisation. To see this, let us ﬁrst explore the notions that underpin constructivism. Knowledge acquisition paradigms Guba and Lincoln (1994) are interested in the methodology, and identiﬁed four knowledge acquisition paradigms that underpin them: positivism, postpositivism, constructivism, and critical theory. However, Anderson (1993) provides a distinct view of the classiﬁcations proposed by Guba and Lincoln. Taking this into consideration, this distinction can likely be
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differentiated into two classes, positivism and constructivism, there being a variety of forms of the latter (Table II). More generally, we can deﬁne ontological species of knowledge acquisition paradigm. They are normally embedded within concepts of either realism or relativism, as illustrated in Table II. In doing so, we shall consider the considerations of Guba and Lincoln initially, and their four species of paradigm. For them, constructivism is relativistic, and relativists believe that reality is deﬁned by what it is locally perceived to be, and a deﬁnable social community usually deﬁnes that locality. Other perspectives adopt forms of realism. Epistemological species can also be differentiated, by distinguishing between knowledge acquisition paradigms that adopt objectivism or subjectivism. Guba and Lincoln hold that positivism and postpositivism are objectivist, while constructivism and critical theory are subjectivist. We should note that their view of constructivism is deﬁned in terms of the ontology of social constructivism and the epistemology of cybernetic constructivism as identiﬁed in Table II. Their postpositivism and critical theory both support
Postpositivism (cognitive constructivism) Realism Critical realism Critical theory Habermas (1971)
Aspect Ontology Description
Constructivism Cybernetic Beer (1972, Radical 1979) (Piaget, 1977)
Social (Vygotsky, 1978)
Table II. Comparative axioms for each species of Knowledge Acquisition Paradigm
Bounded Relativism Social Personal Personal relativism relativism or social relativism Reality is Reality may Reality is Reality is Reality exists Nature of Reality socially exist, but is local and local and imperfectly. Is reality exists, constructed mediated by cognitively and may be probabilistically cognitively individual demiurgic demiurgic: apprehended apprehendable being shaped senses shaped by by socially related factors socially (e.g. political, related factors cultural, economic) Epistemology Objectivism Subjectivism Description Dualist/ Modiﬁed Transactional/ Transactional/ Transactional/ Transactional/ objectivist dualist/objectivist subjectivist subjectivist subjectivist subjectivist Findings are Findings are Findings Findings Through Knowledge Value free, individual, and socially are value are value creation and through falsiﬁcation, connected to the created mediated mediated ﬁndings objectivity, interrelationship through through replicable and ﬁndings between subject normative consensus probably true must be values and object replicable resulting from to be true interaction ¨ Naıve realism Historical realism
realism, and many realists are also instrumentalists (or logical positivists) believing that reality is deﬁned by the readings that have been acquired through measuring instruments. One area of importance to management processes is communication. A positivist/postpositivist view of interpersonal communication looks at the technical phenomena and expresses the efﬁciency of transactions. A constructivist view sees a communication episode as part of cultural framework with subjective outcomes. Critical theory takes a rather more bleak perspective on what communication is for, and its conceptualisations may be explored best through the work of Habermas (1987) on Communicative Action, where participants to a process of communication pursue their plans cooperatively on the basis of a shared deﬁnition of the situation. Similarly, Luhmann’s (1995) work on social science is concerned with the information bound within a communication, noting that its nature must take on board the notion that it means something very different for the sender and the receiver. ¨ Positivism has an ontology that is naıvely realistic – that is, there is a reality that may be apprehended and that we can see it as it “really” is. Its epistemology adheres to the notion of objectivity, and the possibility of ﬁnding universal truths. Those who hold positivistic views see reality to exist autonomously from any observer, and inquirers can be objective and non-participant observers to the events that they see. The events can be represented by observer independent measurables called data that represent the “facts” of a single objective “reality”. Thus, for instance, a given investigation should always produce the same result for any observer if the theory about it is “true”, and if it is undertaken “scientiﬁcally” (though what is scientiﬁc is deﬁned by positivists in terms of a set of propositions for practice that are consistent with a positivist epistemology). The truths set-up as a pattern of propositions represents knowledge. Through deductive reasoning, the approach usually embeds an attempt to test theory in order to improve both understanding of a situation and ability to make predictions about it. Positivism has a long tradition. It is sometimes referred to as mechanistic thinking as it paralleled the machine age western industrial revolution. In the last century, it was manifested within psychology as behaviourism, and it has some relevance to the learning theory of organisations (Yolles, 1999). Positivism purports that statements that emerge from a theory should be positive and testable, but this can be problematic in a complex world. This is because statements that may ﬁrst appear to be simple may be quite complex and convoluted, and the creation of testable hypotheses may be highly problematic. Postpositivism arose as a counter to positivism to this. The problems of quantum mechanics, chaos and complexity have been captured in postpositivism with its “participatory interminglings” that links the observer and that being observed, rather than perceptions of objective things standing apart from human subjectivity (Fischer, 1998). In short, the
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traditional understanding of the physical world as a stable or ﬁxed entity is no longer adequate. However, there is no standard deﬁnition of “postpositivism”. Its base assumption is that reality exists, but can never be fully understood or explained, given both multiplicity of causes and effects and problem of social meaning. Objectivity can serve as an ideal, but requires a critical community of interpreters. Critical of empiricism, it emphasises the social construction of theory and concepts, and qualitative approaches to the discovery of knowledge. There is a critical tradition in postpositivism that is explained by Myers (1999). A critical realist believes that there is a reality independent of our thinking that science can study. While positivists are realists, the critical realism of postpositivists supports the notion that observation is fallible and has error and that all theory is revisable. That is, the critical realist is critical of our ability to know reality with certainty. Unlike the positivist, the critical realism of the postpositivist believes that the goal of science is to seek the truth about reality. Owing to the fallibility of measurement, the postpositivist supports the notion that multiple measures and observations are needed, each of which may possess different types of errors that can be related and therefore eliminated. The postpositivist also believes that all observations are theory-laden, so that scientiﬁc inquiry is inherently biased by their cultural experiences and worldviews. To deal with this, they reject the relativistic idea of the incommensurability of different perspectives. That is the idea that we can never understand each other because of our different worldviews developed through our individual cultural experiences, leading to our individually different patterns of knowledge that deliver meaning to us from our experiences and communications. Data information that deﬁnes replicated ﬁndings that create knowledge are considered to be true only probably. Myers further contends that most postpositivists are constructivists who believe that we each construct our view of the world based on our perceptions of it. This view will be developed further through the conceptualisations supported by Anderson (1999). It supports the notion that since perception and observation are seen to be fallible, our constructions of reality must be imperfect. Postpositivists do not believe that any individual can see the world perfectly as it really is. All scientiﬁc inquiry is biased and all observations are theory-laden. Objectivity in postpositivism is a social rather than individual characteristic involving critique across a subject area. Unlike Myers, Guba and Lincoln (1994) do not admit that postpositivists are technically constructivists. They agree that like positivists who support the notion of an objective reality, postpositivists believe that this may only be apprehended imperfectly and probabilistically, and only an approximate image of reality may be possible. A distinction between constructivists and postpositivists, however, is that the former believe that they can construct their own reality while the latter are constrained in this by a positivist reality. Another distinction
is that in positivism, replicable ﬁndings are assumed to be true. In postpositivism, however, the concept of falsiﬁcation arises, where ﬁndings are examined critically to see if they can be shown to be false. Supportive of Guba and Lincoln, Fischer (1998) paints a picture of postpositivists as “interpretive consensualists” rather than constructivists. From an epistemological perspective, he tells us that empirical data that are accepted by consensus becomes knowledge through interpretative interaction with the perspectives of others. It is only by examining such data through conﬂicting frameworks that the presuppositions giving it meaning can be uncovered. The crucial debates now become centred on their underlying assumptions. Such deliberations produce new understandings in a process better framed as a “learned conversation” than the pursuit of empirical proof. Emphasis shifts from the narrow concerns of empirical-analytic theory to the development of “a rich perspective” on human affairs. Within this context, knowledge is the evolving conversation that is more accurately understood as consensually “accepted belief” than as proof or demonstration. Horkheimer and others developed critical theory in relation to the political disappointments at the absence of revolution in the West, the development of Stalinism in Soviet Russia, and the victory of fascism in Germany (Habermas, 1987; Held, 1980, p. 116). It was intended to explain mistaken Marxian evaluations without breaking with its fundamental intentions. The form proposed by Habermas (1970) is expressed in terms of his theory of knowledge constitutive interests. Critical theory is a blanket term that may be deﬁned to include both postmodernism and poststructuralism since their epistemology supports the notion that inquiry is value determined (Guba and Lincoln, 1994). Epistemologically, critical theory is transactional and subjectivist. An inquirer and the situation being inquired into are assumed to be interactively connected through the values of the inquirer and any others involved (the inquiries). Any data information, taken as ﬁndings that create knowledge, are therefore value mediated. As such a properly constituted value laden personal interpretation of data information from ﬁndings made through personal values is seen to be valid. The ontology of critical theory tells us that while there may be a reality separate from experience, it can only be known through experience making it relative to the viewer. Since all individuals have distinct experiences, this leads to the notion that each view of reality is unique. In particular, it holds that reality is virtual as opposed to being tangible, and is shaped by social, political, economic, ethnic and other factors that crystallise over time. Myers (1999) tells us that inquirers who adopt a perspective through critical theory assume that social reality is historically constituted and that it is produced and reproduced by people. Although people can consciously act to
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change their social and economic circumstances, critical inquirers recognise that their ability to do so is constrained by various forms of social, cultural and political domination. The main task of critical inquiry is seen as being one of the social critique, whereby the restrictive and alienating conditions of the status quo are brought to light. A critical framework focuses on the oppositions, conﬂicts and contradictions in contemporary society. It may be seen as the existence of any entity (a thing, object or event) that is perceivable and that can be experienced in some way. As such phenomena are what we shall call “cognitively demiurgic”: to be formative or creative, and deriving from the notion of one who fashions the material world out of chaos. It is consistent with the notion of creative observation as deﬁned by Roy Frieden (1999) that physical reality is a result of an interaction between a viewer and acquired information. Unlike constructivism, it is not consciously constructed. However like it, reality is locally made. Following a lead offered by Carter et al. (1997), the underlying assumptions for critical theory can be identiﬁed as: . all thought is mediated by power relations that are socially and historically constituted; . the relationship between “concept and object” (relating to say an idea about something, and the thing itself) and “signiﬁer and signiﬁed” (relating to say an indicator of something about a thing and that which is understood about it) is socially (and culturally) mediated rather than being ﬁxed and stable; . language is central to the formation of subjectivity; . certain groups are privileged over others; . oppression (race, class, gender, age, for example) is reproduced when subordinates accept their status or situation as natural, necessary, and/or inevitable; . empirical data are interrogated with the intent of uncovering contradictions and negations in objective descriptions; . information always involves acts of human judgement and interpretation; . power is the basis of social groups; . there is no such thing as neutrality; . inquiry includes political action to redress injustices found in the inquiry process; . purposes focus on facilitating change and emancipatory action; . conceptual context, informed by the assumptions listed above, is explicit; . research questions focus on uncovering, provide a space for introspection, seek out multiple realities; . internal and external validity is replaced by critical trustworthiness.
Habermas (1987) has developed a view of critical theory that eventually developed into a theory of communicative action, concerned with the relationship between behaviour and communication. His earlier work identiﬁes as part of its conceptual base, the notion of cognitive interest that is deﬁned in terms of three attributes that have embedded within them learning domains that generate knowledge. The three attributes are: work, interaction and power (Habermas, 1970, 1971). They determine how knowledge can be identiﬁed and whether knowledge claims are warranted. It forms the basis of his theory of Knowledge Constitutive Interests (KCI) that forms a basis for his three worlds model. MacIsaac (1996) differentiates between these three forms of knowledge in the following way. . Work knowledge broadly refers to the way one controls and manipulates one’s environment. Commonly known as the instrument of action, knowledge is based on empirical investigation and governed by technical rules. The appropriateness of action is deﬁned by the criterion “effective control of reality”. It is through empirical and analytical approaches that hypothetical and deductive theories can characterise the learning domains. . Practical knowledge occurs through communicative action within a process of social interaction. Social knowledge is created through consensual norms, and these deﬁne reciprocal expectations about the behaviour of others. While social norms can be expressed through empirical and analytical propositions, their validity is subjective and connected to intention. The determinant of nature of appropriate action is “clariﬁcation of the conditions for communication and intersubjectivity”, that is, the understanding of meaning rather than causality. . Emancipatory knowledge is individual self-knowledge or self-reﬂection. It involves an interest in one’s history, and biography is expressed in terms of self-image, roles, and social expectations. Ones desires (libidinal), institutional and environmental forces limit emancipation by constraining our options and rational control over our lives. Knowledge is gained by self-emancipation through reﬂection leading to a transformation in perspective. In critical theory, there is no absolute real world that can be separated out, because viewers create it within their frame of reference, and interact with their creation in a way that creates local or demiurgic phenomenology. There is therefore no separation between viewers and the behavioural world around them. Since what constitutes reality is determined through worldviews, it changes as worldviews change. In each worldview, we build our view of what we perceive to be the world through our mental models, created through a collection of conceptual extensions that form our patterns of knowledge. We may believe that we share the mental models with others, but mostly they will
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be incommensurable (Yolles, 1999). This is because the mental models involve conceptual extensions, the meanings of which are not individually shared. This is because the meaning of the conceptual extensions that make them up is either not known or is qualitatively different. This results in a mismatch in meaning the models supposedly shared. We are never aware whether the shared models are related, except by attempting to draw meaning from others’ explanations provided through language, or comparing what we expect from the behaviour of people in a situation with what we perceive that they are doing. Let us now move on to forms of constructivism as supported by Anderson (1999), whose classiﬁcation of constructivism is different from that of Guba and Loncoln. He explains that the species of constructivism adopt the base notions of Dewey (1938). According to Doolittle and Camp (1999) and Von Glasersfeld (1984), constructivism has four epistemological axioms: (1) knowledge is the result of cognitive processes, (2) cognition is an adaptive process that enhances the viability of behaviour for a given environment, (3) experience becomes meaningful through cognitive processes, and (4) knowing is created through biological/neurological as well as social, cultural, and language-based interactions. Thus, constructivism recognises that knowledge acquisition is a personal process that is based on experience. Therefore, the knowledge acquired by an individual will be personal, be connected with experiences, and have a validity that is related to the ability of an individual to relate it convincingly in terms of reality. Interestingly, these axioms are also valid for the critical theory paradigm, which may therefore be seen as yet another species of constructivism. However, this species of knowledge acquisition paradigm has a number of subspecies, named by Anderson (1999) as: cognitive, social and radical constructivism. Cognitive constructivism, according to Dole and Sinatra (1998), accepts the epistemological axioms (1) and (2) above, is linked to the learning process, and holds that external structures that exist in external reality can be accurately represented as internal models. Hence, structures and processes that are internally formulated can correspond to those of the real world, and reality is ¨ knowable to the individual, and like positivism supports the notion of naıve realism. Knowledge construction is therefore considered to be primarily a technical rather than a subjectivist process of knowledge creation. Interestingly, from the brief descriptions provided here, it is not an easy matter to differentiate clearly between Anderson’s description of cognitive constructivism and Guba and Lincoln’s postpositivism, and ultimately a decision occurs through a matter of fancy or context. In Table II, we relate postpositivism with cognitive constructivism.
Both radical and social constructivism are closely related, each adopting all four axioms. Their distinctions are differentiated in that Vygotski (1978) sees knowledge processes being dependent initially on social processes in what we ¨ shall call naıve knowledge acquisitors, while Piaget (1977) allows knowledge acquisition to be totally a subjective process. Radical constructivism is principally due to Piaget, whose propositions were designed to enable him to explain the capacity of children to learn (Doolittle and Camp, 1999). Knowledge acquisition is an adaptive process that results from active cognising by the individual learner, and while social interactions represent a source of knowledge, it occurs through internalisation by the individual. As such, knowledge has an internal nature, and the idea that, while an external reality may exist, it is unknowable to the individual knowledge is internal. This is because our experience with external forms is mediated by our senses, and our senses are not adept at rendering an accurate representation of these external forms (e.g. objects, social interactions). Therefore, knowledge is constructed from experience, and does not represent an accurate representation of external reality. The adaptive nature of knowledge supports the notion that knowledge cannot represent objective truth, and that internal knowledge is a viable model of experience rather than a reﬂection of external reality. Piaget theory of psychological constructivism is cybernetic, and holds that understanding is constructed through the interrelationship between the object, that is differentiated from self and towards which one acts without personal attachment, and the subject that is associated with personal attachment. This distinction is similar to that supported by Foucault (1974), and we shall return to this in a moment. Piaget’s perspective on cognitive learning may be constrained through that of Vygotsky’s (1978) social constructivism (Doolittle and Camp, 1999). Rather similar to radical constructivism, knowledge is a social phenomenon and is the result of social interaction, language usage and social discourse. However, the major departure from Piaget is that knowledge is seen to be a shared rather than an individual experience. The social collective seeks and ﬁnds truth through their collective interactive dialogue. Truth is therefore socially constructed in the collective consciousness deﬁned by cultural co-participants. The social interaction occurs within a socio-cultural context, so that knowledge is bound to a speciﬁc time and place. Truth is socially constructed and agreed upon through common participation in cultural practices. Social constructivists are concerned not so much with the mental constructions of knowledge creation, but rather the co-construction of meaning within a social activity. In this sense, social constructivism is more concerned with meaning than structure. Cullen in 1999 notes that the social constructivist notions of the construction of knowledge focus on its social origins, and appear to have direct relevance to learning in organisational settings.
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Vygotsky (1978) builds upon a foundational principle that all cognitive learning occurs at a social level prior to becoming individual. As such, others mediate cognitive learning, social dialogue is an important component of learning; and cultural tools (beliefs, artifacts, systems) are accessed and acquire meaning in social contexts. However, the mediated cognitive learning approach does not reﬂect particularly on the processes of knowledge intensiﬁcation, only on the conditions that enable knowledge intensiﬁcation to develop. We can refer to this as the mediation proposition. This leads us to the question of where Beer’s conception ﬁt into the pattern of knowledge acquisition paradigms with his system/metasystem recursive process. Following Pickering (2002), Beer’s interest in the success or failure of organisations was a function of their adequacy in coping with their environment as the real world. However, this real world was classiﬁed by him as an “exceedingly complex system”, meaning that it was not exhaustively knowable, however much, one mapped it and theorised it, one would always be surprised by it. Hence, ontologically speaking, reality may exist, but it is not knowable. In this sense, it is similar to critical theory. We can consider Beer’s understanding of epistemology by recognising ﬁrst, that the metasystem is the harbour of knowledge and the place where it is acquired. Consequently, the recursive principle is consistent with the notion that knowledge, embedded in language, is subjective to subordination as relative movement occurs from one subordinate focus to another, relative to a superior focus. In particular, Beer (1972, p. 228-9) implies, but states in Beer (1979, p. 311), quite clearly the constructivist nature of his work when he says: “systems are to be recognised subjectively; and their purposes exist only in the mind of an observer (or group of observers, who have themselves agreed on the conventions of their joint observation)”. This would seem to link with the constructivist conceptualisations of both Piaget and Vygotsky. As a result of this, we have presumed to interpret Beer’s perspective as given in Table I, with similarities to Habermas, Piaget and Vygotski. However, there is a difference between the constructivism of Piaget and Vygotsky, and that of Beer, Beer is a realist in the sense that ultimately reality is independent of our thinking about it (and this is implicit in his thinking when he developed his Viable Systems Model - see for instance Beer, 1979). However, he is also a constructivist, and his relativism is bounded by his realism. This ontology may be referred to as reality relativism. The system/metasystem dichotomy in viable systems Organisations that are viable can adapt to a changing environment. Variety in the environment of an organisation is determined by more or less distinguishable entities (elements, events or states) that occur within it. This is not problematic since to be adaptable, one has to see what it is that one must adapt to. These entities can be expressed in terms of time, space or purpose. The distinguishable entities may:
be constrained through relatively stable causal relationships between them in time and space, and appear to have a lack of constraint or be chaotic, when they appear to be loosely related such that one event or state cannot be clearly associated with another.
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The variety of a system can be deﬁned (Beer, 1979, p. 3) as the number of possible states that the system is capable of exhibiting. The basic condition of the complexity of a system is determined by its variety. Variety can therefore be seen to act as a measure of complexity. As environmental variety changes, so will environmental complexity. Organisational and social problem situations are often seen to arise with changes in complexity. We often see this as a natural development with, for example, the rise of new technologies and their consequence for existing labour mechanisms. The context of a situation that exhibits variety is important when discussing complexity. Thus, what we mean by variety will be dependent upon the context within which the system is placed by an inquirer. In this light, we can say that when we talk of the number of possible states in a situation that deﬁnes variety, then we are also talking about the worldview of an inquirer. A viable system is one that can be seen to be self-dependent, and thus take on an independent existence. At present, a system can be viewed as a set of hierarchies that together form a complex whole. In the same way as it is possible to explore the viability of an organisation as a whole, the viability of each focus can also be explored as a part of the system as a whole. This leads to a question posed by Beer. “If a viable system is one ‘able to maintain a separate existence’, how is it that a viable system contains viable systems which are clearly not separate from the viable system in which they are contained” (Beer, 1979, p. 118). The answer is that often parts of the system that might be identiﬁable as self-standing viable systems have other social, cultural, propositional, operational, or human constraints that do not enable them to separate out to work as independent viable systems. Having said this, it should also be noted that organisations might be responsible for their own demise due to their pathology. This is tied into their autopoietic nature, which should relate to ontological focuses and indeed the referencing focus that may deﬁne the whole. Autopoiesis should not be applied to an organisation’s metasystem. An example of when this might occur is when part of the metasystem attempts to control for the sake of control. Seeing control as a product of the organisation destroys the viability and autonomy of the broader system. In Beer’s terms, a system in this condition can be described as pathologically autopoietic (Beer, 1979, pp. 408-12). Ultimately, the pathology of a viable system concerns the failure of its cohesiveness. Beer (1959), in his development of managerial cybernetics, explored the nature of viable systems as he created his VSM. Viable systems participate in the autonomous development of their own futures. A viable organisation
participates in automorphosis, when it is responsible for and participates in changing in its own form, and thus enabling it to maintain appropriate operational behaviour under a changing environment and survive. The form is determined by its structure that both facilitates and constrains that behaviour. Its reﬁnement over the OD methodology is that strategic decisions are not simply seen as an input to the system (Yolles, 1999). Rather, they derive from its metasystem that is responsible for manifesting and maintaining system structure. While OD sees the system itself as the transformation, the management cybernetics that underpins VSM invents a metasystem, and it implicitly supposes a transformation between the system and metasystem. Thus for instance, in OD strategy decisions are seen as inputs to the system, while in VSM they derive from the metasystem. In this way, the metasystem formally becomes one aspect of a structured inquiry. When decision-making is part of a formalised determinable process in an organisation, so the metasystem is also formalised, and decisions are made within it with respect to the perceived needs of the organisation at the level of focus concerned. This does not mean, however, that there may be another informal metasystem from which informal decisions derive. The metasystem ultimately operates through and is deﬁned by the worldviews that determine the nature of the organisation. When a worldview exists formally it may be called its paradigm (Yolles, 1999). VSM is a generic model of the organisation that promotes principles of communication and control that help it to maintain its viability (Schwaninger, 2001). It is axiomatic in VSM that any organisation that can be modelled as a viable system can also be modelled as a set of ﬁve subsystems. They each represent an interactive function that act together as a ﬁlter between the environment and organisation’s management hierarchy, and connect management processes and their communications channels. The ﬁlter is sophisticated because it attenuates (reduces the importance of) some data while simultaneously amplifying other data. The ﬁltered data are converted into information that is relevant to different levels of management within the organisation. A ﬁnal control element addressed in the model offers auditing tools to make sure that the correct data are being collated. The audit channel mops up variety by sporadic or periodic checks. However, making sure that the appropriate data are assembled is only one of its functions. The VSM is deﬁned in terms of ﬁve entities, referred to as system one (S1) to system ﬁve (S5), plus S3*, each with related communicative relationships (Yolles, 1999). S1 is deﬁned as the system of operations (with its local management), and S3, S4 and S5 compose the metasystem. The meaning of each of the systems is described in Table III. While the epistemology of the VSM is taken care of by Beer, there is an ontological discussion. In exploring this we see that S1 is ontologically associated with the system, and S3-S5 are ontologically associated with the metasystem. However, S2, S3* and the
System 1 Operations
Nature of system System 1 is concerned with the system in focus (“the system”) and its behaviour. “Operations” provide a representation of what the system does and produces; it is usually broken down into functional units, and interacts with the environment through futures/planning. It is the system that is itself the subject of control. S1 interacts with the environment directly and through S4. There may be a number of perspectives from which to see system 1, and it may be seen from more than one by an organisation. For instance, system 1 could be seen in terms of product line, technology used, location, cycle time of products, customers, distribution channels, etc. System 2 can provide effective control. It concerns aspects of culture and is interested in limited synergy across divisions of an organisation. It tries to harmonise the culture and structure of the enterprise whilst also trying to reduce chaos and introduce order. It ampliﬁes the control capability to try to induce self-regulation into its behaviour, which is in the implementation of operations. It can be seen as predominantly anti-oscillatory. It implements non-executive decisions like schedules, personnel and accounting policies and other areas governed by (legal and other) protocol. The aspect of culture it addresses is that of house style rather than the values/identity questions of S5 This function is concerned with effective regulation of the dynamic internal to the organisation. Integration/control is in charge of the functional units of the system. It controls and monitors what is going on. It is responsible for the implementation of policies, resource allocation, and the control and monitoring of the implementation activities. It determines information needs. It is involved in synergy related tasks Investigation, evaluation and validation of information ﬂow between S1 and S3, noting that the link to S1 occurs only to pick up the information deﬁcit associated with S2 This function is important to the identity of the organisation. Futures/planning involves issues of development and strategic planning. It observes the organisation from both internal and external views. It does this by gathering information from the environment and the system itself. It does all the future orientated tasks: research and development, training (except the orientation and maintaining skills at S2), recruitment, public relations, and market research. Consistent with the information gathering activities, it is also connected with the creation of knowledge (continued)
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3 Integration/ control
In void (early work) or metasystem (later work)
4 Future/ planning
Table III. Nature of the VSM systems
System 5 Policy
Nature of system This is concerned with the establishment and maintenance of a coherent context for the processes of the organisation. It relates to what the organisation sets out to do. It deﬁnes the direction of the organisation. It requires an accurate overview that represents the various dimensions of activity. Policy provides the systematic capability to choose from the different problem situations or opportunities thrown up by the environment. It is concerned with identity and cohesion and balances the present and future and internal with external perspectives
environment are normally portrayed within an ontological void (Table III) as illustrated in Beer (1979, p. 253). It must be stressed that this has no impact at all on the practical power VSM, concerned with the meanings associated with each S1-S5 and their associated messaging (epistemological migrations) along channels of communication (ontological migrations). Beer’s constructions, when considered from an ontological perspective, provide entry into a rich development that almost immediately connects with the work of Schwarz (1997) and Yolles (1999). Schwarz has developed a principally ontological theory that explains how persistent viable systems are able to maintain themselves, change and die. However, it does very little to engage with human activity systems, and it explains processes rather than provides for diagnosis as in VSM. In what follows we shall create a synergy between the conceptual constructions of Beer and Schwarz. It will result in a new paradigm that is capable of engaging the power of VSM while at the same time can draw on Schwarz’s elegant explanations. In creating this synergy such that it is true to Beer, however, we shall need to develop some additional conceptualisations that extend those of Schwarz into human activity systems. The three domains VSM Consistent with Table I, the needs of Table III, and with the construction of Schwarz, we shall deﬁne the three domains (Yolles and Guo, 2003): cognitive or existential (that can house a metasystem), the virtual or organising (that in terms of VSM would house System 2, System 3 and System 3*), and the phenomenal of behavioural (that can house the operational systems and their environments). Domain epistemology is shown in Figure 3, which is originally derived from the need to give a relatively practical explanation of change in China as it joins the World Trade Organisation (Yolles and Guo, 2003). Each domain has boundaries that condition their validity claims about reality. The boundary of one domain is differentiated from that of the others through its ontological horizon. In exactly the same way, as we considered the system/metasystem couple, this horizon maintains a content that varies depending on the cognitive perceiver that provides an entry into what may be
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Figure 3. Inﬂuence diagram exploring the relationship between the phenomenal, virtual and existential domains
meaningfully reﬂected on, spoken about, or acted over. The three domains are ontologically coupled, and their horizons meld when they are seen as an emergent whole. However, this can only occur if the boundaries that differentiate the domains maintain ontological migrations that condition the melding process. Thus, ontological horizons both distinguish and connect differentiable validity claims about reality. Earlier, we introduced the ontology of the system and metasystem, and in Table IV, we consider the ontology of the three domains. Consistent with the notions of phenomenology, the three domains have boundaries that condition their realities. The boundary of one domain is differentiated from that of the others through its ontological horizon. In exactly the same way, as we considered the system/metasystem couple, this horizon maintains a content that varies depending on the cognitive perceiver that provides an entry into
Types of domain Phenomenal or behavioural Nature of reality Material objects or events in interaction, the perception of which is conditioned by a cognitive knowledge-based frame of reference. It is cognitively demiurgic (meaning formative or creative), deriving from the notion of one who fashions the material world from chaos, and consistent with Frieden (1999) and Husserl (1950, p. 108) Symbolic or logical relational images that relate to phenomenal reality and involve purposeful organising. It is local to the experiences of the perceiver. Images of value and belief are maintained, partly represented through ethics and ideology. The domain is conditioned by a cognitive knowledge-based frame of reference The local belief-based creation of concepts and their patterns held in worldviews that establish a frame of reference, and determine what is known and their related meanings
Virtual or organising
Existential or cognitive
Table IV. The three domains and their realities
what may be meaningfully reﬂected on, spoken about, or acted over. The three domains are ontologically related, and their horizons meld when the domains are seen as an emergent whole. However, this can only occur if the boundaries that create the horizons also harbour ontological connections that condition that melding. Thus, ontological horizons both distinguish and connect differentiable realities. These domains have properties (Table V), this notion inspired by Habermas’s (1970) Theory of KCI relating to the phenomenal domain, related to Beer’s ideas on the system/metasystem couple, and extended to the other domains. The idea of cognitive interests was Habermas’s, and in addition we have included the notion of cognitive purposes and inﬂuences. Additionally, we have adopted the notion of sociality properties that describes some of the capacities of the organisation as a whole (Yolles and Guo, 2003). It is interesting that some of Habermas’s conceptualisations in his KCI theory are directly reﬂected in Beer’s notions. Thus for instance, when Habermas talks of technical and practical interests, they are principally reﬂected in Beer’s system (S1) that links practical management control with the operational system. Beer’s principles of variety and requisite variety imply a host of soft issues that are associated with organisational processes, and are necessarily related to the emancipation and critical deconstraining of Habermas. However, Beer’s language is less than transparent in this respect and requires deep reading. It has therefore permitted critics of VSM to make incorrect statements about the inadequacies of VSM, for instance by Checkland (1980) who says that it misses the human meaning aspects of individuals (surprising realising the epistemological nature of VSM), and from Ulrich (1981) who suggests that tools of inquiry should have an ethical dimension. The three domains of Figure 3 exist in a ﬁrst-, and second-order ontological couple that is expressed through its boundaries. The relationship between the phenomenal and virtual domains deﬁnes a ﬁrst-order ontological couple. This is more usually referred to as autopoiesis (Maturana and Varela, 1979; Schwarz, 1997; Yolles and Dubois, 2001), but in fact autopoiesis is only an example of the ontological migrations that can occur when two ontologies are coupled together. It leads to the simple notion that the autopoietic capacity for a system can be directly related to its ability to manifest phenomenally its own virtual images through the self-production of usually structured intentional behaviour. We say usually because organisations operate through normative behaviour that is consistent with their expectations, and normative behaviour is normally regulated through structure. This does not mean that structure is a necessary condition for regularised behaviour to occur. Having said this, it is probably possible to express any mechanisms through which regularised behaviour occurs in terms of either implicit or explicit structure associated with the organisation in focus. The second-order ontological couple that we have referred to connects the existential or cognitive domain to the ﬁrst-order ontological
Cognitive properties Cognitive interests Phenomenal or behavioural (conscious) domain
Kinematics (through energetic motion) Technical Work. This enables people to achieve goals and generate material well-being. It involves technical ability to undertake action in the environment, and the ability to make prediction and establish control
Sociality properties Orientation Possibilities (through (determining trajectory) potential development) Practical Interaction. This requires that people as individuals and groups in a social system gain and develop the possibilities of an understanding of each others subjective views. It is consistent with a practical interest in mutual understanding that can address disagreements, which can be a threat to the social form of life Rational/appreciative Formative organising. Enables missions, goals, and aims to be deﬁned and approached through planning. It may involve logical, and/or relational abilities to organise thought and action and thus to deﬁne sets of possible systematic, systemic and behaviour possibilities. It can also involve the use of tacit standards by which experience can be ordered and valued, and may involve reﬂection Critical deconstraining Degree of emancipation. For organisational viability, the realising of individual potential is most effective when people: liberate themselves from the constraints; imposed by power structures and learn through precipitation in social and political processes to control their own destinies Ideological/moral Manner of thinking. An intellectual framework through which policy makers observe and interpret reality. This has an aesthetical or politically correct ethical orientation. It provides an image of the future that enables action through politically correct strategic policy. It gives a politically correct view of stages of historical development, in respect of interaction with the external environment
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Cognitive purposes Virtual or organising (subconscious) domain
Cybernetical Intention. This is through the creation and strategic pursuit of goals and aims that may change over time, enables people through control and communications processes to redirect their futures
Table V. The three domains, their cognitive properties, and organisational (continued) patterning
Cognitive properties Cognitive inﬂuences Cognitive (non-conscious) domain
Kinematics (through energetic motion) Social Formation. Enables individuals/groups to be inﬂuenced by knowledge that relate to our social environment. This has a consequence for our social structures and processes that deﬁne our social forms that are related to our intentions and behaviours
Sociality properties Orientation Possibilities (through (determining trajectory) potential development) Cultural Belief. Inﬂuences occur from knowledge that derives from the cognitive organisation (the set of beliefs, attitudes, values) of other worldviews. It ultimately determines how we interact and inﬂuence our understanding of formative organising Political Freedom. Inﬂuences occur from knowledge that affect our polity determined, in part, by how we think about the constraints on group and individual freedoms, and in connection with this to organise and behave. It ultimately has impact on our ideology and morality, and our degree of organisational emancipation
couple. An example of this ontological migration is autogenesis, that represents the self-production of the rules of production, and that can therefore be expressed in terms of the creation of principles that are able to guide self-production. The ontological migrations shown in Figure 4, will be discussed later. The use of autopoiesis within the context of social communities It may here be noted while we have referred to autopoiesis in a social context, there is an argument that this is not appropriate to this. Following
Figure 4. Relationship between normative belief system in a social community and patterns of knowledge that it develops
Mingers (1995), Maturana and Varela (1980) developed the concept of autopoiesis within the sphere of biology applied to living systems. They do not see social systems as an appropriate application because they are not living systems and cannot self-produce the components that comprise them. Beer (1980) notes that the purpose of Maturana and Varela (1980) is “to understand the organization of living systems in relation to their unitary character. This formulation of the problem begs the question as to what is allowed to be a called a living system, as they themselves admit.” From an epistemological perspective, Beer (1980, p. 68) does not see that the need for systems to be living stands in the way of social systems being seen as autopoietic:
The fact is that if a social institution is autopoietic (and many seem to answer to the proper criteria) then, on the authors’ own showing, it is necessarily alive. That certainly sounds odd, but it cannot be helped. It seems to me that the authors are holding at arms length their own tremendously important discovery. It does not matter about this mere word “alive”, what does matter is that the social institution has identity in the biological sense; it is not just the random assemblage of interested parties that it is thought to be. When it comes to social evolution then, when it comes to political change: we are not dealing with institutions and societies that will be different tomorrow because of the legislation we passed today. The legislation – even the revolution – with which we confront them does not alter them at all; it proposes a new challenge to their autopoietic adaptation. The behaviour they exhibit may have to be very different if they are to survive: the point is that they have not lost their identities.
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Beer (1980, p. 71) consequently shows that he is not neutral to whether or not social systems can be autopoietic, as he also argues epistemologically that:
. . .any cohesive social institution is an autopoietic system because it survives, because its method of survival answers the autopoietic criteria; and because it may well change its entire appearance and its apparent purpose in the process. As examples I list: ﬁrms and industries, schools and universities, clinics and hospitals, professional bodies, departments of state, and whole countries. If this view is valid, it has extremely important consequences. In the ﬁrst place it means that every social institution (in several of which any one individual is embedded at the intersect) is embedded in a larger social institution, and so on recursively – and that all of them are autopoietic. This immediately explains why the process of change at any level of recursion (from the individual to the state) is not only difﬁcult to accomplish but actually impossible – in the full sense of the intention: “I am going completely to change myself ”. The reason is that the “it”, that self-contained autopoietic “it”, is a component of another autopoietic system. Now we already know that the ﬁrst can be considered as allopoietic with respect to the second, and that is what makes the second a viable autopoietic system. But this is in turn means that the larger system perceives the embedded system as diminished as less than fully autopoietic. That perception will be an illusion; but it does have consequences for the contained system. For now its own autopoiesis must respond to a special kind of constraint: treatment which attempts to deny its own autopoiesis. Consider this argument at whatever level of recursion you please. An individual attempting to reform his own life within an autopoietic family cannot fully be his new self because the family insists that he is actually his old self. A country attempting to become a socialist state cannot fully become socialist; because there exists an international autopoietic capitalism in which it is embedded, by which the revolutionary
country is deemed allopoietic. These conclusions derive from entailments of premises which the authors have placed in our hands. I think they are most valuable.
In exploring the argument against social system autopoiesis, Mingers (1995, p. 123) deﬁnes the ontological argument that inhibits social systems being seen as autopoietic. For this he identiﬁes the following three “problematic” elements. (1) Centrally, autopoiesis is concerned with the processes of production – the production of those components that constitute the system themselves. (2) It is constituted in temporal and spatial relations, and the components involved must create a boundary deﬁning the entity as a unity – that is, a whole interacting with its environment. (3) The concept of autopoietic organisation speciﬁes nothing beyond self-production. It does not specify particular structural properties and thus should not need to be modiﬁed for social systems. There is a concern explored by Mingers that these elements cannot be legitimately applied to social systems, presumably because it is unclear how this can occur directly in terms of individuals and groups. While he discusses Luhmann’s (1986) approach to autopoiesis in social systems later in his book, he does not appear to highlight that because it may not be the individual or the group that is self-produced, but the components that enable the social group to exist. Thus for instance, Luhmann’s model centres on communications and the self-production of communications. In the same way, social systems produce patterns of knowledge, myths, behaviour, and other things to which autopoiesis can similarly be applied. Mingers (1995, p. 125) notes, however, that “a more radical approach” is to apply autopoiesis to concepts or ideas, though why this radical is unclear. In another vein, Mingers (1995, p. 124) notes that the fundamental problems of autopoiesis for social systems are not signiﬁcant if they are applied metaphorically “in helping our thinking, or that a more generalised version, such as Varela’s idea of organisational closure, could be fruitfully applied.” Having said this, Mingers also indicates that metaphors produce merely metaphoric results, and thus they have no greater claim on our attention. Consistent with this view, Beer (1989) suggests that comparisons deriving from metaphor should not be taken too seriously. These representative views about the limitations of metaphor relate to those that are on a par with simile, which take experiences from one domain and apply them to another directly. However, unlike simile, metaphor is often purposefully abstracted and elaborated, leading to more profound and signiﬁcant comparisons. For Brown (2003), metaphor is very important to the development of science, facilitating mature knowledge and understanding. Based on his characteristics of metaphor, we list the following.
(1) Metaphors, like simile, begin with literal everyday experiences in a source domain that is necessarily local and culturally based. (2) Metaphors are mapped from the source domain to a sink domain (where it is used). The aim is to enlarge and enhance understanding of situations in that sink domain. These understandings ultimately derive from direct experiences that enable us to create more abstract conceptualisations. (3) A given metaphor may highlight certain features of the source domain and may obscure others. Obscured features are often implied or inferred through context, and this can make the metaphor a powerfully creative force in scientiﬁc reasoning. (4) Although metaphors invite comparisons of two disparate things, the more interesting metaphors do more than this. They stimulate creation of similarities between the source and sink domains, such that the latter is seen in an entirely new light. (5) Metaphors in science serve an explanatory role and are a stimulus to new inquiries. They may be very simple and evocative initially, then grow more detailed as research ﬁndings support or disconﬁrm inferences drawn from the initial metaphor. (6) Metaphors may be elaborated, when they are extended and abstracted, and also perhaps individually or in plural convergence so can form models. These models may have associated with them metaphorical entailments that inﬂuence how they are understood and applied. Models commonly form a basis for theory creation. They may constitute primary propositions, and when this occurs they need to be evidenced. As an example of this, we note Beer’s (1989) reference to his VSM that he considers to be a generic model for the social domain, and rather than talking about evidencing it, he equivalently refers to it as being testable and veriﬁable. Scientiﬁc principle may be thought of as a literal representation of an elaborated metaphor, a statement that we shall explore brieﬂy. While metaphors are grounded in experience, scientiﬁc principles are grounded in facts. However, what is fact? In one of Beer’s writings, he said that facts are “fantasies that you can trust”, where we can take trust to be a ﬁrm belief , and where fantasies at there best can be a “subjective interpretation of information”. Trust, however, occurs through belief, and it should therefore be realised that it can vary from individual to individual, from group to group, or from time to time. In other words, it is a cultural phenomenon. From a constructivist perspective, this must mean that since scientiﬁc principle are grounded in fact, and fact is culture relative and not absolute, scientiﬁc principle must also be relative. A simple illustration of this arises from a brief examination of the conﬂict between the supporters of the wave and particle theories of light (Hoffman, 1947).
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The distinction between metaphor and scientiﬁc principle therefore becomes less differentiable, as can be illustrated through an example. The system is a conceptual construction that constitutes an elaborated metaphor. It operates as an abstracted ideal, and used non-literally in a sink domain aids the process of inquiry and the creation of intervention strategies for improvement where this is desirable. This is a constructivist view that Beer (1980) supported, when he tells us “a system is not something presented to the observer, it is something recognized by him”. Sometimes the knowledge and language of an extended metaphor becomes so embedded in the sink domain that it becomes a frame of reference, and any scientiﬁc principle that develops become grounded in the metaphor(s). When this happens, it becomes very difﬁcult to distinguish between extended metaphor(s) and resulting scientiﬁc principle. Hence, metaphors can be as important as the scientiﬁc principles that rest on them. In developing our viable systems theory conceptualisations, we create a frame of reference that like the system should be thought of as an abstract metaphor. As such, the ontological constructions that appear here should not be seen in positivist terms, as might be the case if we were attempting to create literal causative models. They operate to assist the formation of explanations about social community pathology, which may more pragmatically enable an inquirer to reﬂect on ways of creating intervention strategies for improvement. The abstract metaphor that we are using is a development of philosophical questions that ask what is the nature of reality (ontology) and knowledge (epistemology). Systems concepts are normally framed in an epistemological frame of reference. Thus, it may be asked, “how can we improve a given complex situation for a social community”, where the notion of improvement implies the acquisition of knowledge such that this can happen. It is a rarity for systems concepts to be deﬁned in ontological terms. The reason is that reality is usually taken for granted because it cannot apparently provide a route, like epistemology, for improvement. However, one of the reason that our social communities are pathological is that we each individually have our own realities, and when we form into bounded groups these too ascribe to new normative bounded realities. These realities form with the development of local paradigms that are the concern of epistemology. In this sense, epistemology and ontology can only be divorced analytically, not practically or pragmatically. However, the analytic and pragmatic approaches are different sides of the same coin, especially if the analytic approach is explicitly intended for use to satisfy the pragmatic one. Mingers (1995, p. 151) discusses the metaphorical use of autopoiesis by Morgan (1986) whose thesis is that the organisation is inﬂuenced by its own internal self-image or identity. They are continually concerned to recreate and maintain their image and identity by projecting themselves onto environments, and what they monitor is a reﬂection of their own concerns and interests. While there is more to the theory than this, its basic tenets are consistent with the
notions embedded in the ontological arguments of Eric Schwarz (Yolles, 1999), who developed his abstract analytic ontology that we are applying in principle to social community. Schwarz is concerned with the ontological perspective that explains the dynamic that enables autonomous systems to maintain their viability, and his constructions explored the nature of autonomy in terms of autopoiesis and its second-order form autogenesis. We assert that there is a relationship between autonomy and autopoiesis in social communities, an argument that comes, for instance, from Jessop (1990). He deﬁnes autopoiesis as a condition of radical autonomy that enables a system to deﬁne its own boundaries relative to its environment and its own operational code. It implements its own programmes, reproduces its own elements in a closed circuit, and obeys its own laws of motion. When it has “autopoietic take-off”, its operations can no longer be directly controlled from outside, though there may be a variety of indirect controls that in part constitute its “environment”. When we talk of autonomous systems, we are often interested in autopoiesis, and conversely when we talk of autopoiesis, we are normally concerned with radical autonomy. However, it can be argued that the characteristics that constitute the condition of radical autonomy may have a subjective dimension. It must be stressed at this juncture that even though we consider that this construction, like that of the system, is a metaphor, this does little to weaken the importance of theoretical arguments to pragmatic approaches of inquiry. Recursion There are epistemological implications to our ontological construction that relates to the notion of recursion, so important to VSM. Maturana (1996) explores the nature of reality, regarded as:
a proposition that we use as an explanatory notion to explain our experiences. . .. [beyond this] it is that which in our living as human beings we live as the fundament of our living. Under these circumstances, reality is not energy, not information, however powerful these notions may appear to us in the explanation of our experiences. We explain our experiences with our experiences and with the coherence of our experiences. That is we explain our living with our living, and in this sense we explain human beings as constitutively the fundament for all that exists, or may exist in our domains of cognition.
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Explaining our experiences with our experiences is a recursive phenomenon, enabling whatever images of reality that we perceive to be embedded within other images, like two mirrors at an angle reﬂecting an image of an object to inﬁnity. This is effectively a recursive frame of reference, and each image represents a new validity claim about reality that is contextualised by the validity claim in which it is embedded. This idea allows us to talk about recursion, by which we mean that each of the three domains can, through the local context of its own validity claim about reality, recursively host the set of three domains. When this happens, the host domain has a validity claim that is ontologically distinguished. When the domain hosts other relative domains
within it, they are capable of formulating ﬁner, more local validity claims about reality. Let us illustrate this. Phenomenal reality can be apprehended by a unitary consciousness from which a single person responds to his or her phenomenal experiences. Alternatively, a socially plural consciousness with distinguishable complexities may be deﬁned, for which coherent social behaviour occurs phenomenally. This is enabled through phenomenal structures that anticipate  a plurality of commonalities and norms, and an expectation for behavioural adherence to them. It is within the virtual domain that images of these arise that enables the phenomenal structures and behaviours to be manifested in the ﬁrst place. They are deﬁned in the conceptual domain through the knowledge that constitutes such commonalities and norms. This is only possible because of the recursive nature of the domains within the conceptual domain, through which the commonalities and norms are manifested through the interaction of a plurality of consciousnesses. It may be noted that the commonalities and norms that have arisen to create a paradigm for the group arose originally through the creation of a virtual paradigm in the virtual domain at another level of recursion. In this case, the paradigm itself with its shared concepts and their structured interconnections that constitutes a pattern of normative knowledge would have been associated with the phenomenal domain. We can apply the concept of recursion to our three domains model. Unlike Beer’s VSM, this is not intended to diagnose the system. Rather, like the work of Schwarz (1997), its purpose is to provide explanations for the complex organisation that relate to its operational behaviour. This may or may not provide additional ways of diagnosing the organisation. We illustrate the notion of recursion and its signiﬁcance for explanation in Figures 4 and 5. Figure 4 shows the relationship between normative organisational beliefs and the patterns of objectiﬁed knowledge it has. Figure 5 shows how recursion can occur in this model. The postulated model in Figure 4 is not claimed as valid, and the notion that the relationship between an
Figure 5. Embedding the three domain model into the existential domain
organisation’s paradigm and its patterns of knowledge is an autopoietic one is sheer hypothesis. It postulates that an organisation can maintain its own patterns of knowledge as structures that can be represented in the phenomenal domain. Likely these patterns are explicit and can be expressed as propositions that underpin the organisation’s modus operandi. They derive from the dominant paradigm (if one exists) that the organisation maintains and from which it operates. In viable organisations, the relationship between the paradigm and patterns of knowledge may well be expressed as an autopoietic process. Earlier, we indicated that this relationship between the virtual and phenomenal domains is a ﬁrst-order ontological couple. The second-order ontological couple links from the existential domain to the ﬁrst-order couple. To illustrate recursion, in Figure 5, we have embedded the three domains in the existential domain to explain how the normative belief system arises in the ﬁrst place from a plurality of them connected with the individuals that make up the social community. Normative processes develop during communication between participants of an organisation through the lifeworld. The recursion in Figure 5 postulates how a normative belief system emerges in an organisation from a plurality of individual belief systems. Through autogenesis common, principles of lifeworld interaction about belief systems emerge that enable a plurality of competing images of what belief system is to hold to be managed. It is through autopoiesis that these competing images are self-produced as a normative organisational belief system. The normative belief system that results is now reﬂected as the existential domain for Figure 4. In Figure 6, we develop a further model that deals with co-evolutionary development. This model derived from Yolles, explores the relationship
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Figure 6. Indication of the ontological relationship between adaptation and co-evolution “Man is a prisoner of his own way of thinking and his own stereotypes of himself” Beer (1975, p. 15)
between adaptation, self-organisation  and co-evolution, the ﬁrst two of these concepts are a serious concern of Beer. Interestingly, this representation now gives autopoiesis a simple form of expression, illustrating that it is an organisation’s ability to manifest its internal images of itself and its future into phenomenal/behavioural reality. It may be noted here that Figure 4 would also appear to give clear meaning to Beer’s (1975, p. 15) statement that “Man is a prisoner of his own way of thinking and his own stereotypes of himself”. The new ontology of the three domains model provides the capability of more easily appreciating the notion of pathological autopoiesis, a term that is easily open to a variety of interpretations. This is primarily because autopoiesis is an ontological condition, and if one does not engage ontological arguments the notion of autopoiesis can become convoluted and unclear. Viewed from the ontological perspective of Schwarz, the meaning of pathological autopoiesis is very clear. Since autopoiesis is the capacity of a social community (or individual) to establish/produce its image of itself and its future as a pattern of behaviour, pathological autopoiesis must mean that the social community gets locked into this, thereby decoupling the ontological connection (autogenesis) to autopoiesis as shown in Figure 6. We have represented this situation of pathological autopoiesis in Figure 7 as a development of Figure 6. The pathology leads to a stationary image of oneself and the future with whatever embedded variety it may have in it. Adaptation can occur, but if none of the possibilities available within that image are adequate to deal with the changing environment, then a lack of capacity for adaptation occurs. In general, while it might appear that an evolutionary process is under way, this is not the case since a host of variations available to the community will be called on, but no new evolutionary ones will develop. As a consequence, there is no possibility for a co-evolutionary process. This type of
Figure 7. Situation during pathological autopoiesis with bounded variety options
situation therefore explains the onset of the eventual demise of a species of social community, when all of its variety has been used up without success. The legacy of Stafford Beer and the dynamics of paradigm change We have discussed the contribution that Beer has made to organisational theory through his introduction of constructivism, adopting the theoretical ideas of the metasystem and recursion, and giving them practical capacity. In arguing this, we have also discussed the idea that paradigms change, and in doing so that pass through a virtual stage that they may not survive. This brings us to an interesting juncture, which is how do we perceive the legacy of Beer’s conceptualisations. The problem we have here relates to what Iles and Yolles (2002) and Yolles (2000) call knowledge migration that explains the epistemological distance between the semantic implications seen in a communication by a message source and semantic inferences applied to a communication by a message sink. This epistemological distance results in the acquisition of distinct information and the creation (not re-creation) of knowledge that is catalysed by the communication, not embedded in it. When people communicate they send messages that carry meaning, and thus embeds knowledge, in coded form. To encode the message the source of the message uses their current patterns of knowledge to encode the message. The message sink does something similar. In a paradigm that adopts the epistemology and ontology of positivism, knowledge migration is simply knowledge transfer. However, in the critical theory approach adopted in this paper, every communicator has their own unique pattern of knowledge deﬁned by their experiences and contextualised by their culture. This means that the knowledge that is assembled by each message sink is not a reconstruction of the knowledge of a source, but is rather a knowledge re-creation facilitated and catalysed by the message, and it is unique. This is complexiﬁed by the idea that every message has a horizon of meanings, those things implied by those who know, but not made explicit. There is a problem therefore, when a new paradigm arises. It is that each person who interacts with it is likely to create what Yolles (1999) calls a doppelganger virtual paradigm. It is a new species of the genus that has re-interpreted or recreated the new paradigm. Unless this shift is substantive in that it has the capacity to introduce a new conceptualisation that fundamentally alters the frame of reference of the original paradigm, contestations can be fed back through lifeworld processes that involve response and debate. Sometimes this is not sufﬁcient, and contested differences become elaborated, and result in conﬂict. This process is explained by Yolles (2001). This process of paradigm contestation can become exacerbated with the demise of the father of the paradigm. In the case of Beer’s cybernetic theory of management, there is no possibility of a feedback control process, and the consequence is that bloody paradigmatic revolution can result. This author
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wonders therefore, whether the legacy of Beer’s ideas will fragment into not only a set of virtual paradigms, but also whether the result will be destructive bloody conﬂict. To ensure that this does not happen, the operational research and systems community needs to establish a metasystem in which the operational subsystems are the species of virtual paradigms. For the sake of simplicity, we can call this a metaparadigm. I pose this as a challenge to the OR and systems community.
Notes 1. To illustrate that Beer was a constructivist, and held such principles at least in the same period as those whose names are assigned to this, we will be obliged to explore the notion of constructivism in this paper, and it has led to an appreciation of an apparent conﬂict of view in the literature. 2. Webster online dictionary. 3. The complement to this is weak anticipation that can be associated with strategy. 4. Swanson (2001) differentiates between base and auxiliary concepts. Auxiliary concepts describe base concepts. 5. “. . .scientists, just like the rest of humanity, carry out their day-to-day affairs within a framework of presuppositions about what constitutes a problem, a solution, and a method. Such a background of shared assumptions makes up a paradigm, and at any given time a particular scientiﬁc community will have a prevailing paradigm that shapes and directs work in the ﬁeld. Since people become so attached to their paradigms, Kuhn claims that scientiﬁc revolutions involve bloodshed on the same order of magnitude as that commonly seen in political revolutions, only the difference being that the blood is now intellectual rather than liquid. . .the issues are not rational but emotional, and are settled not by logic, syllogism, and appeals to reason, but by irrational factors like group afﬁliation and majority or ‘mob’ rule” (Casti, 1989, p. 40). 6. Zeno’s paradox is concerned with the impossibility of moving between two points A and B in space. To reach B from A, one must travel half the distance to it to a point say a1, and to go from a1 to B you must reach a point half way to it at a2. This argument is recursive as you move to a3, a4, a5,. . .. To count the full distance that you have travelled you must add all of the half distances that form an inﬁnite series, suggesting mathematically that you can never reach B. The solution to the paradox is to introduce time as a new analytically and empirically independent conceptual extension that operates as a limiting factor on the summation. The introduction of this new conceptualisation has meant that a new paradigm has been created with new propositions and beliefs, and it is thus incommensurable with the previous paradigm since it creates a new conceptual extension through which new ways of seeing can be created (Yolles, 1998). 7. This happens in all paradigmatic environments, whether they relate to the cultural basis of an organisation – for instance, in the privatisation of public companies (Yolles, 1999), or of a discipline of science as that being considered here. 8. For example, see Yolles (1999), referring to the work of Flood and Jackson (1991). ¨ 9. The idea of ontological horizon may be developed by referring to Ladriere (2002). 10. According to the American Heritage Dictionary 4th edition 2000 online, meld means to merge or blend (e.g. a meld of diverse ethnic stocks). In our context, it relates to a process of de-differentiating that is a consequence of emergence.
11. An ontological migration enables validity claims about one reality to be migrated to another ontologically coupled reality. 12. The term self-organising is normally used here, but within the context of this paper, it can be misleading in that it can be supposed to be part of an “organising” domain, rather than what it is, associated with system structure and its manifest behaviour. It is for this reason that we refer to it as automorphosis, or self-change-of-form, relating to the concept of morphogenesis (Yolles, 1999). 13. Mingers (1995) notes that this word autopoiesis, also referred to as self-production, comes from auto as self as opposed to alloi as other, and poiesis as bringing forth, in this context with respect to production. 14. Propositions constitute knowledge. Axioms are base propositions that are cultural statements of belief, need no demonstration, and underpin the primary propositions that may be elaborated and perhaps generalised abstractions of a metaphor. Secondary propositions are derived consequences from primary propositions and may describe a particular characteristic of them. Following Keynes (1973), such secondary propositions may be claimed to support rational belief. 15. Beer’s language is different, and rather than talk of a model being generic, he rather uses the more formal logical word homomorphism. 16. Collins Reference Dictionary, 1992. 17. When we say anticipation, we are actually referring to “strong anticipation” (Yolles and Dubois, 2001), relating to the nature and relationship of the boundaries of the three domains and their validity claims about reality. 18. According to Habermas (1987), lifeworld is a transcendental site where speakers and hearers meet for intersubjective affairs like dealing with validity claims, settle disagreements, achieve agreements. It has both teleological and communicative aspects of a management situation. Lifeworld deﬁnes patterns of the social system as a whole, and is associated with culturally transmitted background knowledge. 19. The term automorphosis is used here for self-organisation. The reason is that the virtual domain can be called as an organising domain, and it is better to be sure that self-organisation is part of the phenomenal domain and relating to self-change of form. References Ackoff, R.L. (1971), “Towards a system of systems concepts”, Management Sciences, Vol. 7 No. 11, p. 27. Anderson, J.R. (1999), Rules of the Mind, Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ. Beer, S. (1959), Cybernetics and Management, English U. Press, London. Beer, S. (1966), Decision and Control, Wiley, Chichester. Beer, S. (1972), The Brain of the Firm, Wiley, Chichester. Beer, S. (1975), Platform for Change, Wiley, Chichester. Beer, S. (1979), The Heart of the Enterprise, Wiley, Chichester. Beer, S. (1980), Autopoiesis: The Organization of the Living, pp. 63-72 and a preface to Maturana, H. and Varela, F.J., Autopoiesis and Cognition, Boston Philosophy of Science series, Vol. 40, available at: http://www.cogsci.ed.ac.uk/,jwjhix/Beer.html Beer, S. (1989), “The viable system model: its provenance, development, methodology and pathology”, Journal of Operational Research Society, Vol. 35, pp. 7-26. Bertalanffy, L.V. (1951), “General systems theory: a new approach to the unity of science”, Human Biology, Vol. 23, pp. 302-61.
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