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Systems Perspectives -- From Cybernetics and Pragmatic Constructivism

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Presentation to Academy of Management Boston 2019 ... part of PDW "Rejuvenating system perspectives in management research"

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Systems Perspectives -- From Cybernetics and Pragmatic Constructivism

  1. 1. Systems perspectives FROM CYBERNETICS AND PRAGMATIC CONSTRUCTIVISM
  2. 2. Systems are a description Dependent upon the observer and the context Devoid of any but ascribed ontic status
  3. 3. Descriptions are model based
  4. 4. Perceptions influence Understandings which influence Actions
  5. 5. We choose our perceptions in line with Ashby Space rules (Requisite Variety and Least Action)
  6. 6. We speak of “systems” to help understand change Systems change when their pattern-defining conditions (similarities, differences, and connections) change or when the dialogue about those pattern- defining conditions change
  7. 7. The words and narratives matter Systems narratives are about: resonance (self identity) consonance (cohesion with context) coherence and viability
  8. 8. To take a systems perspective is to choose WHAT MODEL MATTERS WHAT ELEMENTS MATTER WHAT CONTEXT MATTERS WHAT SIMPLIFICATIONS MATTER
  9. 9. The future of systems perspectives Depend on explicitly recognizing the role of choice, the contingency of attention and ascription, the power of context, and the possibility of error
  10. 10. To speak of systems is to speak in a framework – one that others might not share
  11. 11. Systems Perspectives are another tool to resolve Ambiguity 11
  12. 12. Don’t credit them with more than what they can do

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