Socio-Cybernetics and Complex Organisations

John Raven (Dr)
Mike McCarron (Dr)
Bernd Hornung (Prof)
Tony Korycki
08 October 2012

This session will offer a brief introduction into one perspective on formalising “systems thinking” and socio-cybernetics, using three scenarios to illustrate “the problem” as it presents itself; in the education area of government policy, in an evolving hospital system, and operation of a large business. Discussion will focus on the question of how to envision a management (governance, socio-cybernetic) system appropriate to such circumstances. The session will also introduce the work of the socio-cybernetics committee of the International Sociological Association, which is setting up a working group to seek a way forward. The primary aim of the session is to inform SCiO Open Day attendees to the issues, problem, proposal work and solicit participation of those willing to advance thinking in this area.

The session will be introduced and managed by Mike McCarron who has a long standing interest in effective management of public policy and recently organised a session with the Scottish Parliament with the objective of promoting systems thinking in governmental organisations. John Raven will summarise research into problems of the educational system, including the systemogram that highlighted how various causes of problems formed a system in which attempts to change any one part on its own was negated by the reactions of the rest of the system. This systemogram also drew attention to the fact that one of the central problems is the governance system itself. Bernd Hornung will summarise “the problem” as it emerged in hospital systems, from the recent conference of the socio-cybernetics committee, that led to the proposal to set up a group on thinking about appropriate arrangements for thinking about the management of complex organisations. Finally Tony Korycki will summarise the problems as observed in a large international company, from a recent SCiO Development Day.

The final part the session will be reserved for general discussion about the subject, during which it is hoped that additional participants may emerge, as well as identifying others who could participate in further work.There is further information of a follow-up meeting on Tues. 9th October for enthusiasts ! ….