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Cybernetics Principles in the Management of Intelligent Organizations

Cybernetics Principles in the Management of Intelligent Organizations
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Author(s): Stanislas Bigirimana (College of Business, Peace, Leadership and Governance, Africa University, Zimbabwe)
Copyright: 2024
Pages: 40
Source title: Theoretical and Conceptual Frameworks in ICT Research
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Agripah Kandiero (PhD) (Instituto Superior Mutasa, Mozambique/Africa University, Zimbabwe), Stanislas Bigirimana (Africa University, Zimbabwe)and Sabelo Chizwina (University of South Africa, South Africa)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-9687-6.ch009


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Against the background that mechanical principles were applied in management leading to bureaucracy, an application of cybernetics principles in management would imply (1) a behaviouralist approach to organisations, (2) teleology: reintroducing the notion of purpose, (3) managing complexity, (4) systems thinking, (5) managing as building intelligence, (6) managing as integrating knowledge domains. This overcomes the rigidity embedded in bureaucracy where organizations sought stability and equilibrium and operated in a relatively stable environment for a dynamic and integrative approach to organisations which are not closed stable entities but dynamic open systems. Organisations built on cybernetics principles are agile and continuously respond to their environment through information processing and feedback loops. In this context, there is a paradigm shift from top down management processes linked with hierarchy to cross-functional, flexible, adaptable, and open to learning management principles based on knowledge networks. Alternatives to bureaucracy can be suggested in terms of flat, inverted pyramids, matrix, networked and virtual organisational structures which may stipulate a change from Michael Porter's normative approach to strategic management to Mintzberg's descriptive approach. Organisational structures are not cast in stone but respond to changes in the environment, and there is a paradigm shift in corporate culture from organisations as closed stable entities to organisations as open dynamic systems, from competition to trust and collaboration including outsourcing, consortia, joint venture, and conglomerates become better ways of satisfying customer needs. From a corporate culture there is also a change from focusing on power and ownership in decision-making to focusing on knowledge and an increased use of information and communication technologies leading to virtualisation.

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