Simplifying the Management of Complexity: As Achieved in Nature
Journal of Behavioural Economics and Social Systems, Vol. 1, No. 1. pp.51-73, 2019
24 Pages Posted: 26 Nov 2019
Date Written: September 1, 2019
This paper discusses how simplifying the management of complexity requires organisations to adopt an ecological form of governance found in nature and illustrated by stakeholder-controlled firms in the US, UK and Europe. The analysis reveals why centrally controlled command and control hierarchies cannot comprehensively simplify complexity reliably. Evaluation is based on using bytes as the unit of analysis. No changes in data and the social constructs of information, knowledge or wisdom can occur without the transaction of bytes within and between living things. Nature economises the transaction of bytes in creatures because they represent perturbations in matter and/or energy. The cybernetic laws of “requisite variety” of communications and control channels provide a rigorous basis to support the need to replace hierarchy with ecological networks. The emergence of global complex existential risks to humanity provides a pressing reason for the conclusions to be recognised and adopted to modify hierarchical institutions with elements of ecological governance. We also identify how human instincts are suppressed in hierarchies but can be reproduced in networks to amplify the control of complexity. The authors invites graduate schools of law, management, business and governments to engage with the knowledge of ecological governance.
Keywords: Bottom-up Governance, Complexity, Cybernetics, Holarchy, Management, Requisite Variety, Tensegrity
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