Looking at this issue of E:CO, I am struck by the incredible diversity of topics and discussions proposed. In this current issue, for example, we have such topics as: Lifecycle Assessment of biofuels; How people’s mental models can affect organizational outcomes; Citizen trust and distrust and how AI might mimic cognitive functions in humans; Dynamical […]
A review of the Lifecycle Assessment literature concerning biofuels found no conclusive answers on the important and policy-relevant questions of whether biofuels can help reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, and whether they are an efficient source of energy. This inconclusiveness is attributed to the problematic specification of these papers, which cannot give actionable and policy-relevant answers. The main problems in the specification of the papers are: the reliance on aggregate-based modeling rather than investigating the impact of specific policies, the absence of integration within a dynamic economic model that includes the price effects, the focus on emissions quantities rather than the environmental impact of the emissions, and missing. This paper draws on insights from economics and philosophy of science to explain the underlying reasons why LCA studies fail to reach conclusive answers.
Mental models can affect people’s actions and have the capacity to affect how people achieve organizational outcomes. An ethnographic complexity-based inquiry into the mental models of staff and management about work practices was undertaken within a not-for-profit organization. Interviews were conducted to uncover the mental models held by management and staff about actual work practices and ideal work practices. A comparison of the individual mental models revealed that individuals in the organization were in a state of chaotic edge thinking, where everything is perceived as a threat, procedures are formed to control, and people are reacting radically. This was a result of the miscommunication between members of the organization and an environment characterized by a negative phrase space. It is suggested that the identification of individual mental models about work practices is beneficial for knowing how a person’s actions are influenced, and in this case, why work practices failed.
This paper presents a new theory, the Dynamical Organizations Theory: Openness, Synthesis & Emergence for organizational change that is practical and proven in many organizations. It integrates the work of Ilia Prigogine on dissipative systems (open, free flow of information and energy into, out of and throughout the organization), and synthesizes Kevin J. Dooley’s discussion of complex adaptive systems, Jeffrey Goldstein’s discussions of dissipative structures and self-transcending constructs, Per Bak’s self-organizing criticality, John Bennett’s Systematics and uses Richard N. Knowles’ Process Enneagram, a disciplined, focused dialogue tool which leads to the emergence of new information and releases the creative energy of the people..
Change is co-created by the people and emerges from focused, disciplined, bounded conversations using the Process Enneagram©, a dissipative tool, and is sustained using the co-created Process Enneagram Map, a dissipative structure, to guide and focus ongoing conversations as the people and their environment evolve. With the emergence of new information and energy, the people and their organization transform themselves, bridging the business and human sides of the enterprise, developing a highly effective, and more humane and sustainable workplace. Leading with this approach is called Partner-Centered Leadership
Citizen trust and distrust perceptions have become an increasingly controversial problem in recent election turmoil regarding changes in governance. Key to this trust and distrust problem is that the physical perception process in the human brain is still not well understood. The ongoing trust and distrust debate in organizational literature was researched seeking a resolution. The framework of this debate argues whether trust and distrust are separate dimensions or merely opposite ends of a single continuum. Because the human perception neural binding process is so little understood, the debate has remained in the argument stage of how trust and distrust should be defined. This led the research exploration to examine the Artificial Intelligence (AI) community’s development of computers that mimic cognitive functions of humans. AI includes a multi-sensory data gathering and binding architecture that mimics the human neural multi-sensory data gathering and binding neural signals for people to perceive a conscious awareness of the world around them. This sensory fusion architecture was used in the exploration research to create a map to match the human neural multi-sensory binding phases. The AI computer developers used fMRI research to test the credibility of their system with human participants. They identified that trust and distrust each activate separate correlative sections of the brain. This paper proceeds to examines how the perceptions of trust and distrust are used by people to develop their organization of self-governance of their social behavior, as individuals, as social groups, and as citizens’ especially the self-governance of their political governments. However, when both trust and distrust perceptions are at extreme force, they can become fused into one. The results come often at the expense of most of the people involved, as described in the Polybius’ Cycle Governments.
This paper contextualises the alignment of the wicked problem of using drones as a form of leisure. The fast evolving spaces of drones and their different uses, from military, to logistics, to leisure create many intertwining structures within a larger ecosystem. This research offers new perspectives by considering the role of the media in assisting with alignment to try to tame the wicked problem associated with a drone ecosystem, the use of drones for leisurely activities. Guided by the principles of the Agenda Setting Theory (AST), the paper elucidates the way drone contents are presented across different media channels; how key themes emerge from the narratives within different media channels; and how (non)convergence of media contents relates to alignment of drone governance.
Since first described by Markides and Coreil in 1986, multiple authors have attempted to unravel the curious finding that Hispanic Americans appear to, in spite of seemingly disadvantageous health factors, to have better outcomes than expected. While there have been some dissenting studies, the preponderance of evidence seems to support the finding, although the exact mechanism remains elusive. A computational analysis of the 2011-2016 data on the counties of Arizona and New Mexico contained in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s County Health Rankings and Roadmaps confirmed that this Hispanic Paradox does indeed exist. However additional factors, such as the distribution and concentration of the Hispanic population, appear to be necessary in order for it to manifest. It is maximized once a critical level of population percentage and lack of acculturation are met. These levels are achieved in some counties in Arizona, but are absent in New Mexico, despite an average county Hispanic population percentage only 60% that seen in New Mexico. In this regard, the Hispanic Paradox appears to follow the same dynamics as that seen in the Roseto Effect described in the 1960’s and may be related to the differing effect of curanderismo in these areas.
Uncertainty is an inherent attribute of emergence. This makes the traditional approaches for envisioning a desired future state not only ineffective but often grossly misleading. The unexpected crashes of the financial markets, for example, proved devastating for several organizations. This paper proposes an entirely different way of engaging with emergent reality based upon the ideas introduced by John Steinbeck and hopes to stimulate further research in this field.
The Nobel Laureate Physicist Frank Wilczek posed fundamental questions that are very hard to answer within the existing scientific paradigm, its ontology and epistemology: “Does the world embody beautiful ideas? … Is the world a work of art? …Is the world considered as a work of art, beautiful?” To my full sensorium—including speculative reason and poetic knowing—the answer is yes but this “Gap” between science and the arts cannot be mapped or explored or analyzed with the limited set of available tools built on speculative reason’s ontology or its associated epistemology alone. (Epistemology is about the way we know things; ontology is about what things are.) “Suchness” or the thing in itself is not part of speculative reason’s ontology and is not accessible to experimental design. For example, consciousness as a quality of mind is not discoverable by physics’ speculative reason driven investigations of the body. In contrast and as will be argued, poetic knowing, surrealism, meditation, “leaping over” and directly revealing one’s “natural face” are applicable to such a multiverse. So exploring and discovering the Gap suggests it needs a clear ontology that guides this mapping supporting an appropriate epistemology that merges speculative reason (science), poetic knowing, and somatic experience. This paper seeks to lay a foundation for this effort and to identify tools useful for carrying it out.
We start with what nowadays is an accepted basic assumption: Our Universe (U), and everything within it, is potentially connected with everything else. This assumption of “connectedness” implies, in turn, that every natural system that exists in U is an open system. Moreover, every open system is, necessarily, a self-organizing system. We name these systems, evolutionary systems (ES). Only ES, with their developmental and evolutionary processes, seem capable of bringing about the connectedness, diversity and complexity that can be observed throughout U. We propose that the long sequence of processes, that started with the Big Bang and are present today, have to be related, overall, in an essential way and, therefore, a thread connecting them, from the beginning of U all the way to the present and beyond, has to be considered and studied. In a purely descriptive manner, a conceptual framework is proposed whereby evolution and development are the mechanisms in the sequence of links that materializes such a “thread.”
We lost a special person over the holidays. William (“Bill”) Doll died December 27, 2017, one month short of his 87th birthday. Straddling the post-modern, Bill was a complex, complicated, caring man. With his penchant for alliteration, he gave us the four R’s (Richness, Recursion, Relationship & Rigor)1, the five C’s (Chaos, Complexity, Curriculum and […]
Exploring what the future of work will look like combines imagination with a healthy portion of pragmatism: where we have been, where we are today, as well as where we want to be in the future. But more than a wish list or a recipe, it requires an emergent perspective that can envision what will […]