Organisations as Emergent Normative Personalities: Part 1, the Concepts

Kybernetes, Vol. 40, Nos. 5-6, pp. 635-669, 2011

35 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2011 Last revised: 8 Jan 2012

See all articles by Maurice Yolles

Maurice Yolles

John Moores University - Centre for the Creation of Coherent Change and Knowledge (C4K)

Gerhard Fink

Dept of International Business and Trade

Daniel Dauber

University of Warwick

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

Purpose – Modelling the organization to enable purposeful analysis and diagnosis of its ills is often problematic. This is illustrated by the unconnected non-synergistic plurality of organizational models each of which relates to a particular isolated frame of thought and purpose. A cybernetic approach is adopted to create a generic psychosocial model for the organization that is used to characterize its emergent normative personality. Organizations are often complex, and seeing them in terms of their normative personality can reduce the complexity and enable a better understanding of their pathologies. This paper seeks to do two things. The first is to show that it is possible to set up a generic model of the organization as an agency, and the second is to show that this same model can also be represented in the alternative terms of the emergent normative personality. In order to do this, an understanding of what it is that constitutes generic criteria is required. In addition, the paper shall show that organizational and personality theories can be connected generically. One of the consequences of the theory is that the patterns of behavior which occur in an agency have underlying trait control processes.

Design/methodology/approach – A meta-systemic view of the organization is adopted through knowledge cybernetics that enables more flexibility and formality when viewing organizational models. The paper develops a formal generic model of the organization that should facilitate the exploration of problem situations both theoretically and empirically.

Findings – The outcome of the research formulates the cognitive processes of normative personality as a feasible way of explaining organizations and provide a capacity to analyse and predict the likelihood of their behavioral conduct and misconduct. As an agency trait model, agency explains the socio-cognitive aspects of self-organization and the efficacy of connections between the traits. These traits control the personality, and inter-trait connections are Piagetian intelligences that orient the traits and work through forms of first- and second-order autopoiesis. The development of a typology of pathologies is also suggested as feasible.

Originality/value – There are previous metaphorical notions that link agency with traits. Here, metaphor is extended to produce a formal model for the emergent normative personality. This is the first time that socio-cognitive and trait approaches are formally linked, as it is the fist time that a typology for organizational pathologies is proposed.

Keywords: organizational behaviour, modelling, knowledge, cybernetics, personality, pathology

JEL Classification: A00

Suggested Citation

Yolles, Maurice and Fink, Gerhard and Dauber, Daniel, Organisations as Emergent Normative Personalities: Part 1, the Concepts (2011). Kybernetes, Vol. 40, Nos. 5-6, pp. 635-669, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1924056

Maurice Yolles (Contact Author)

John Moores University - Centre for the Creation of Coherent Change and Knowledge (C4K) ( email )

Liverpool John Moores University
Liverpool
United Kingdom

Gerhard Fink

Dept of International Business and Trade ( email )

Welthandelsplatz 1, Building D1
Wien, 1020
Austria
+43/1/313364331 (Phone)

Daniel Dauber

University of Warwick ( email )

Gibbet Hill Rd.
Coventry, West Midlands CV4 8UW
United Kingdom

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