30 March 2006

Essay: Towards an Effect-ive Theory of Organizational Effectiveness

One hunk of writing down, a whole bunch more to go. For those who have been following my ongoing bloggy-symposium of sorts, and would like to read a somewhat more coherent treatment of the history of the organizational effectiveness construct, together with a proposal for its future, you're more than welcome to request a copy. Since it is a working paper, and part of a much larger work-in-progress, I'm not posting it for general download, managed by my digiself. I'd like to have a bit more direct contact with those who are interested in this topic - after all, one of the effects of blogging (and social media in general) is to enable engagement among those who share common interests - including research interests. Here's the abstract:
Organizational effectiveness, as it is conventionally constructed, typically addresses issues of an organization’s ability to access resources and achieve objectives. Relative to an organizational culture comprised of tacitly held underlying assumptions, organizational effectiveness can alternatively be used to probe and reveal aspects of that culture, making explicit the cultural constructs that contribute to both espoused and in-use theories. By reconceiving the notion of effectiveness to emphasize the effects created in the complex environment within which the organization exists and interacts, the organization can reconceive its theories of action by balancing four primary competing values – focus, structure, outcomes, and orientation. In doing so, an "Effect-ive Theory" of action can emerge that incorporates processes of feedforward, manifesting anticipatory environmental perception.
Yeah, it's a bit of an abstract abstract, I know. Essentially, it says, in order to be effective in a UCaPP* environment, you must create processes to detect the effects you are creating throughout that environment, and then grow the processes to be able to anticipate those effects.

In other words, I'm calling for a campaign to repeal the law of unintended consequences!
*UCaPP = Ubiquitously Connected and Pervasively Proximate

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