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Self‐organisation as quality control in inquiry

Gerard de Zeeuw (Faculty of Business and Management, University of Lincoln, Lincoln, UK)


ISSN: 0368-492X

Article publication date: 1 October 2004



Knowledge is defined as the result of successful attempts to transfer expected effort in the future to effort spent in the present. The less effort remains to be spent in the future, the more knowledge is exhaustive and complete. It is shown that some efforts remain necessary in the future for accidental reasons, e.g. to correct mistakes, to estimate parameters, to act. Some efforts will also be required for fundamental reasons. They are needed to compensate as and when testing for exhaustiveness proves ineffective. It is argued that the need for such additional effort may be met by starting collectives as a form of pre‐containment. Such collectives may include non‐ordered experiences. They will maintain themselves by striving to serve as equivalents to knowledge. They help in two ways: they indicate what is needed to create which knowledge. The design of collectives serving as knowledge is linked to second‐order cybernetics.



de Zeeuw, G. (2004), "Self‐organisation as quality control in inquiry", Kybernetes, Vol. 33 No. 9/10, pp. 1411-1418.



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Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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