This is a post from my old study blog posted back in 2005 after I discovered terminology for management techniques that I had been struggling with for many years prior.The ORGANISation is an ORGANISm. Complex adaptive systems (CAS) theory helps us understand how these organisms interact, both internally and with their environment - the marketplace. The problem with many Knowledge Management solutions today is that they try to apply universal principles or solutions as if the organization were a machine.
Rather than acknowledging both the shortcomings and the amazing capabilities inherent in a constantly adapting system, these overly-pragmatic solutions seek first to understand how this particular machine works, and then go about trying to plumb it in such a way as to increase performance, efficiency and eventually productivity and market advantage. Seen in this light, traditional Taylorist management philosophy is akin to trying to install a turbo charger on a race-horse. Silly really. Obviously the gentleman who first named "organisations" had the right idea, but we seem to have wandered off the path, lured by the positivistic promise of total empirical control.
The real trick now is to get back on the road without bogging ourselves in the post-modernist ditch waiting on the other side. SJF - 30-Oct-2005