CMN 2148: Lecture #9 11/07/2012
Organizations as Flux Transformation:
Object of the lecture: tornado
Monday Nov 12 @ 1012 SEE PROF ABOUT PAPER!!!
Friday Nov 9 @ 1 SEE FRENCH prof 200 wilbrod
Order comes out of chaos
Complex behavior and structure comes something simply, out of simplicity because complexity and out of
simplicity comes order▯ paradox
• “You cannot step twice into the same river, for other waters are continually flowing on.”
• The universe is in constant state of flux and change.
– Whether we see the changes or not.
• And in condensed form
There are hidden tensions and connections that simultaneously create patterns of unity and
• There are hidden tensions and connections that simultaneously create patterns of unity and
• These small minuscule changes are the things that we don’t really notice.
• “David Bohm … described the external world which we see, touch and feel as just an impression of
an underlying reality that we are able to perceive with our sense organs, which we cannot
• He calls this deeper ‘non manifest’ level the implicate order, within which everything is enfolded.
• Unfolded versions of this implicate reality become ‘explicate’ for our experience” (Tim Read 2005) • So, according to Bohm there are two levels of reality:
• 1. Basic reality (implicate reality)
• The state of the universe at any given time. Invisible.
• 2. Explicate reality
• movement that can be seen in the world around us. Visible.
Implicate and Explicate Realities:
• Ex.: River: appearance of reality (implicate)
• underpinned by flux and movement (explicate)
• Look more closely:
• looks stable (implicate)
• has no existence other than in the movement of the river in which it exists (explicate)
hat we see is the movement and creates that basic implicate reality.
How is this related to the study of organizations?
If we see organization as a stable, empirical reality (implicate reality), then we can best understand
organizations by looking at the change through which this reality unfolds (the explicate reality).
On the surface orgns seem relatively stable, but by looking below the surface we can examine the flux and
transformation that underpin the orgn and in fact all relationships.
4 Images of Change (theoretical persepctives):
1. Autopoeisis (Biological metaphor) 2. Chaos and complexity
4. Dialectical Relations
1. Autopoeisis: self producing and selfreflecting systems. It has to keep its environment alive to
survive. system needs to sustain itself in order to sustain its environment.
Ex: Maytag commercials never need to call the Maytag repair man because may tag never breaks down.
This is the opposite of Autopoesis. A good example of autopoesis is the body or the brain.
“... the idea that biological as well as cognitive systems can be understood as ongoing selfcreating
processes that define their own identity by conserving their structure while exchanging energy and
information with the environment, with which they share a structural coupling” Allan Combs, Cybernetics
and Human Knowing, 9(2):83, 2002
the organ and its environment really one and the same
E.g.: human body: brain has to maintain heart and all other functions to maintain itself.
Organizations maintain themselves, and in order to maintain themselves, they have to maintain their
E.g. Bees and Farmers are intimately linked. We are intimately linked with bees too. Bee colonies are
disappearing= disappearance, affects heavily on our ecological systems. If we do not have bees, we will not
survive. Maintaining a healthy environment for ourselves . Colony Collapse disorder it is one of the signs
that our food system is unsustainable. When the bees are dying something is wrong, something is wrong
with our environment, and the bees are clear direct example. Bees survival influences our food supply, the
food supply impacts our survival.
E.g. The tobacco industry its problem is fewer people are smoking where will we get more smokers from?
This can all change and something else can be put in replacement. A lot of tobacco companies have turned
to harvesting peanuts. The big concern is the health of their corporation. They have to show to the
government that they are in interest of the health of their consumers. Tobacco companies need to give the
impression of caring about the health of their customers.
“Take care of the land and the land will take care of you”: “As reflexive, more selfaware beings, we are able to understand that all beings are connected,
interdependently coevolved and codependent. This is because the body is as much in the Spirit as the
spirit is in the Body. If we wish to care for our bodies and be well, we must first see to the Spirit; and if we