Online from: 1982
Subject Area: Human Resource Management
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|Author(s):||Steven French, (Coffs Harbour Centre for Enterprise Development and Research, Southern Cross University, Coffs Harbour, Australia)|
|Citation:||Steven French, (2009) "|
|Keywords:||Critical management, Epistemology, Self-adjusting control systems, Strategic management|
|DOI:||10.1108/02621710910923845 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to argue that the epistemology of the strategic literature is dominated by a Modernist (scientific) and Cybernetic system approach and that other epistemological options especially critical management studies and complex self-adapting systems, might provide greater insight for strategic thinking.
Design/methodology/approach – An extensive review of the literature was undertaken.
Findings – The current dominant way of thinking about management is based on closed system notions of causality in which good enough long-term prediction is possible. The process PLOC depends totally on this foundation. If a system's long-term behaviour is unpredictable, then using the PLOC model is questionable. In the current turbulent business environment long-term prediction may not be possible.
Practical implications – The life expectancy of a firm is only 40 years. Using closed system concepts to drive businesses to the equilibrium of a business plan may be killing the business, because a complex self-adapting system in equilibrium is dead.
Originality/value – Very little work, especially in strategy has been done outside the Modernist paradigm. This paper explores the possibility of incorporating open system ideas into a strategic methodology.
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