Revisiting the Political Cybernetics of Organisations
Kybernetes, Vol. 34, Nos. 5/6. pp. 617-636, 2005
20 Pages Posted: 16 Mar 2009
Date Written: 2005
Purpose - The viable systems theory of autonomous social communities is a cybernetic theory in which politics is seen as a facilitator for social coherence. A recent paper by Yolles explored this dimension, considering, how power and its process affects structure, manipulates information, and influences the way that people behave. A core conceptualization of that paper about political temperament is corrected and further developed.
Design/methodology/approach - Interest in this paper lies in the social cybernetics of autonomous social communities that have a culture, normative behaviour, and where the behaviour is ultimately determined from that culture. Autonomous social communities that have culture have a history and dynamic that can be argued to have a potential for behavioural oherence through policy formation and processes of action research. It is through this proposition that politics is engaged in the theory.
Findings - This paper offers a correction and development of Yolle's conceptual representation of the notion of political temperament as discussed by Duverger. Political temperament is a part of political culture, and is ultimately connected to the way that power is created, assigned and used. Yolles was concerned with the relationship between political temperament, political management, and processes of power distribution. However, this model was misconceived, and we shall redefine it by expressing political temperament as the relationship between political mindedness, political management, and political centripetality (or process of power distribution).
Originality/value - In this paper it is argued that political temperament comes from a set of attitudes that underpin the political nature of a governing body that becomes responsible for the political management of a social community. It is seen to contribute to the formation of the olitical culture of autonomous social communities.
Keywords: Cybernetics, Systems theory, Communities
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