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Wednesday, July 12 • 16:00 - 16:30
3076 The Provide-Pickup Paradigm: The Cornerstone in a General Systems Framework for Agency and Governance in Social Systems

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In spite of significant advances in technology in today’s world, our large social systems—workplaces, schools, and more—are marked by increasing social decline. Organization practices typically have conflicting approaches of two camps—top-down directive versus bottom-up participatory. A new unifying paradigm is needed. The aim of this paper is to uncover, understand, unify and clarify the laws of human social systems, as we have done with the laws of material and mechanical systems. Illustrations, examples, and metaphors serve the goal of being accessible to a wide audience from a variety of disciplines, academic and lay. The development of the paper is a narrative path analysis. The path begins with large social system outcomes as the unit of focus, links it with general systems theory—Boulding’s nine-level typology of system complexity and skeleton of science —then adds specifics from a wider knowledge base drawing key concepts, literature, and evidence from instruction, management, control systems engineering, psychology, adult learning theory, plus examples from large urban schools and workplaces. The root causes of organization learning and behaviour are located within the individual system member (individual as unit of focus), and a great shift becomes evident. Namely, in mechanical systems, behavior is determined by exteriorly prescribed criteria, controlled by outside forces, including a leader, engineer or scientist. In human systems, behavior is determined by interiorly prescribed criteria, inside each learner or worker. The narrative path then ascends toward the large social system, identifying new corresponding concepts, principles and practices—from the individual system member as unit of focus, to the pair, to the small social system, and then the large or multisite social system. At the level of the individual, the CAP (cognitive, affective, psychomotor) principle is identified, that is: every system member, leader and worker, learns and performs according to his/her own willingness (affective) and ability (cognitive and psychomotor). Updated theory, at the pair level of focus, is that agency of organization learning and behaviour is not in the leader, nor the worker, but in both, thus unifying the conflicting directive and participatory camps. A new PROVIDE-PICKUP paradigm is proposed as the cornerstone of this new framework. The leader’s role is to PROVIDE input, resources and tasks; the learner/worker role is PICKUP of input, each at his/her own rate. TPO Theory (Things, People, Outcomes) is offered for predictability, stating that: In ineffective social systems, decision makers select, design, arrange, distribute, and provide their THINGS (input, resources, and tasks) without regard for their PEOPLE’S needs, abilities, perceptions, choices, and learning rates, resulting in ever-increasing negative OUTCOMES. In contrast: In effective social systems, decision makers select, design, arrange, display, distribute, and provide their THINGS explicitly to allow their PEOPLE to pick up and work according to interiorly prescribed needs and goals, abilities, perceptions, and choices, each at his or her own pace, resulting in increasingly positive OUTCOMES. Back at the level of the large social system as the unit of focus, important input is beyond the pickup range of individuals—that is beyond their [1] awareness and understanding (cognitive span), [2] concern and care (affective span), and [3] physical control (psychomotor span). The concept of span-of-control in management theory is supplemented or replaced by span-of-pickup. User-designed ideal-based automated social control systems are proposed to allow organizations and system members to flourish. Finally, the rICE methodology proposes three necessary sufficient conditions for social system designers and management to consider: organization inputs and processes are most effective when they are inclusive, continuing, and emancipatory (ICE). Further, specifics of these conditions are relative (r) to each group of users.


Wednesday July 12, 2017 16:00 - 16:30
3rd Floor, Room SR 121, Institut für Computertechnik,TU Wien Gußhausstraße 27-29, 1040 Wien, Austria

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