12:00 - 00:00
James Fox, University of Essex
Lectures, talks and seminars
Centre for Commons Organising, Values Equalities and Resilience (COVER) Research Seminar Series
Centre for Commons Organising Values Equalities and Resilience
COVER Research Centre email@example.com
The Centre for Commons Organising, Values Equalities and Resilience (COVER) welcome you to join this online seminar with guest speaker James Fox from the University of Essex.
Presentation by James Fox on his research into cybernetics and alternative organizational forms, with invited participation and response from people from the collaborators he has been working with
This project explores the relationship between cybernetic theory and non-managerial forms of organization, consider in detail the implications of organizational cybernetics on non-hierarchical organizations. I argue that Alternative Organization Studies requires a more stable, scientific grounding; and that cybernetic theory is an appropriate language through which to understand these varied organizational structures.
In particular it focuses on the work of Stafford Beer, whose development of organizational cybernetics provides the theoretical basis upon which my project builds. Despite the fact that Beer’s work has deep theoretical resonances with non-hierarchical organizational ideas, his work does largely assume some role for managers and management, particularly in the meta-systemic control of large organizations. This leads me to ask: can Beer’s theoretical work be understood and developed without the use (or at least presupposition) of mangers and management?
This has led me to develop a research design which investigates the structure of organizational processes at work in three non-hierarchical organizations. I will explore the relationship between these organizations and cybernetic theory, particularly how they regulate meta-systemic functions and the effects of Ashby’s Law of Requisite Variety. I will use the data this project produces to develop an understanding of non-managerial, non-hierarchical cybernetic control in an organization, which I will call ‘organizational democracy’. This conception of organizational democracy can be understood as an application of cybernetic theory to participatory organizational design.
We welcome you to join this seminar online on Wednesday 15 March 2023 at 12pm.
This seminar is free to attend with no need to register in advance.