2.7 Self-organization and distributed control: theory and practice

   Complex social and technological systems are challenging the traditional engineering and management approaches, models and control algorithms. The traditional Wiener approach to management control is not enough to address the complexity of current organisational reality. We have to shift to a more contemporary understanding of self-organization and distributed control. In this Thematic Group, we will explore recent developments in theory and practice of self-organisation in management. In particular, we plan to consider the following issues.

Coordinators

Discussion points

  • How could a neural network approach be applied to the management of social systems?

  • How could we design distributed network management systems for complex organisations?

  • Which approaches and tools are useful for managing the dynamics of social networks?

  • When, how and why do transitional metasystems emerge?

  • Is it possible and desirable to ‘manage self-organization’?

  • Why are we moving along the path charted by Stafford Beer so slowly?

  • What are the features of self-organization in reflective organisational systems and environments?

  • How self-organisation and distributed control can create a better context for business and society sustainability?

  • How are self-development, self-organization and self-management related?

  • What are the prospects for interaction of leading interdisciplinary approaches - synergetics and cybernetics? Is it through conflict or synthesis?

  • Is it possible to build an evolutionary theory of control systems?