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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2010

A.H. Louie

This article aims to be an expository introduction to Robert Rosen's anticipatory systems, the theory of which provides the conceptual basis for foresight studies.

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to be an expository introduction to Robert Rosen's anticipatory systems, the theory of which provides the conceptual basis for foresight studies.

Design/methodology/approach

The ubiquity of anticipatory systems in nature is explained.

Findings

Causality is not violated by anticipatory systems, and teleology is an integral aspect of science.

Practical implications

A terse exposition for a general readership, such as the present article, by definition cannot get into too many details. For further exploration the reader is referred to the recent book More than Life Itself by the author.

Originality/value

The topic of anticipatory systems in particular, and methods of relational biology in general, provide important tools for foresight studies. It is the author's hope that this brief glimpse into the world of relational biology piques the interest of some readers to pursue the subject further.

Details

Foresight, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article
Publication date: 14 August 2007

John J. Kineman and K. Anil Kumar

To propose a conceptual paradigm for unifying concepts of material, living and spiritual nature, based on the natural philosophy of Gregory Bateson and the more formal…

Abstract

Purpose

To propose a conceptual paradigm for unifying concepts of material, living and spiritual nature, based on the natural philosophy of Gregory Bateson and the more formal relational theories of Robert Rosen.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper combines Bateson's natural philosophy with the relational meta‐theory of Robert Rosen to develop the world view we believe Bateson argued for. It shows that the assumptions of this view correspond with Vedic philosophy. An integral view of nature that can underlie mechanistic and relational science is provided.

Findings

Bateson's natural philosophy can be interpreted in terms of Rosen's relational concepts to provide a unifying view of nature based on information entailments. This is described in terms of an irreducible complementarity between abstract and material aspects of nature (corresponding to Bateson's “mind and nature”) that forms a causally effective, or “necessary” unity. Encoding and decoding relations correspond with Bateson's ideas of patterns and information. The general application of this view suggests a reality not unlike the “immortal luminous being” described in the Vedas and Upanishads of India.

Originality/value

The paper shows why the dualistic/mechanistic view of nature is inadequate for understanding living systems and natural complexity. It describes a more general foundation from which living and generative aspects of nature can be studied. This corresponds with the Vedic concept of intrinsic value (divinity) in nature, and lends support to deep ecology ethics. As Bateson argued, the relational view can be an ethical instrument, leading away from conflict as to understand better the roots of interconnectedness.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 36 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Book part
Publication date: 24 September 2010

Robert Eli Rosen

This chapter proposes that corporate lawyers be studied as committed to their clients, asking how they advance exercises of power by those whom they have chosen to…

Abstract

This chapter proposes that corporate lawyers be studied as committed to their clients, asking how they advance exercises of power by those whom they have chosen to represent. Currently, corporate lawyers are studied as independent from their clients, asking how they resist client demands. Such research continues despite repeated findings that corporate lawyers are not independent. This chapter explains the puzzling persistence of independence by cultural understandings of both professionalism and law. It recovers a submerged historic voice in which corporate lawyers are judged by their position in a network of relations. It argues that it was the organization of the corporate law firm as a factory which allowed it to become a professional ideal. Market competition has led corporate law firms to move away from a factory model to one in which commitment to clients, not independence from them, is the organizing principle.

Details

Special Issue Law Firms, Legal Culture, and Legal Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-357-7

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2010

Roberto Poli

After summarizing the theories of anticipation proposed over the past century, the paper aims to distinguish between anticipation as an empirical phenomenon and the

Abstract

Purpose

After summarizing the theories of anticipation proposed over the past century, the paper aims to distinguish between anticipation as an empirical phenomenon and the conditions that make anticipation possible. The paper's first part seeks to show that many scholars from various research fields worked on the many nuances of anticipation. The paper's second part seeks to discuss the difference between the capacity of anticipation and the nature of systems able to exhibit anticipatory behavior. The former endeavor adopts a descriptive attitude, whilst the latter seeks to understand what it is that makes anticipation possible.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents a theoretical and experimental analysis of anticipation and anticipatory systems.

Findings

Anticipation is a widely studied phenomenon within a number of different disciplines, including biology and brain studies, cognitive and social sciences, engineering and artificial intelligence. There is a need for relying on at least two different levels of analysis, namely anticipation as an empirical phenomenon and the idea of an anticipatory system or the study of the internal structure that a system should possess so that it can behave in an anticipatory fashion.

Research limitations/implications

The literature summarized by the paper is only part of a substantially larger body of documents. More extensive analyses are needed to firmly establish the conclusions suggested.

Practical implications

The paper allows better understanding of the complexity of anticipation and the differences between types of anticipation (e.g. between explicit versus implicit anticipation).

Originality/value

For the first time, the distinction implicitly present in the surveyed literature between anticipation as an empirical phenomenon and the idea of anticipatory system as the study of the conditions that make anticipation possible is raised explicitly.

Details

Foresight, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article
Publication date: 6 September 2011

Jeanne Liedtka

Design thinking is a process of continuously redesigning a business to achieve both product and process innovation. The purpose of this paper is to present a this case

Abstract

Purpose

Design thinking is a process of continuously redesigning a business to achieve both product and process innovation. The purpose of this paper is to present a this case study of two managers – both highly capable and committed, both seeking to innovate – a design thinking approach with a set of four tools which enables one to succeed with his initiative while the other struggles.

Design/methodology/approach

The author demonstrates the use of four tools routinely practiced by successful innovation firms: Journey Mapping – the ethnographic technique to follow the customer home to explore their problems in life; Assumption Testing – a prototyping technique long practiced within any firm's R&D area; Co‐creation – the surest way to de‐risk a new offering is to involve your value chain partners in the innovation's small initial experiments; and Rapid Prototyping – making small bets fast is nothing more than good old hypothesis generating and testing. Many managers have become so analysis focused that they have forgotten that the best data in an uncertain environment come from real world trials, not extrapolation of history. A tool like assumption testing, that structures the process, is essential.

Findings

The paper finds that learning only occurs when we step away from the familiar and accept the uncertainty that inevitably accompanies new experiences. Innovation means moving into uncertainty.

Research limitations/implications

The cases are drawn from direct experience working with large US corporations.

Practical implications

These are tools that any manager can use to execute an innovation initiative.

Originality/value

The paper reveals that it is important to have customer intimacy with a deep and personal empathy with customers as people, rather than as demographic or marketing categories. A focus on improving their lives (not just selling them products), allows perception of new opportunities (unarticulated needs) that others miss. It also highlights the importance of a low‐risk approach. One can expect to make mistakes and therefore adopt a portfolio‐based, experimental approach, in which multiple small experiments are done to test the ideas in action. Reduce risk whenever possible and increase learning by partnering with suppliers, giving them skin in the game. It also reveals that one should not bet on analysis alone; one should not seek the one right “answer” nor look only for “big” wins at the outset, or to be able to “prove” the value of the idea before moving into the marketplace. All of these beliefs are fatally flawed in the context of the uncertainty surrounding growth.

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Article
Publication date: 20 November 2017

Rodolfo A. Fiorini

This paper aims to offer an innovative and original solution methodology proposal to the problem of arbitrary complex multiscale (ACM) ontological uncertainty management…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to offer an innovative and original solution methodology proposal to the problem of arbitrary complex multiscale (ACM) ontological uncertainty management (OUM). The solution is based on the postulate that society is an ACM system of purposive actors within continuous change. Present social problems are multiscale-order deficiencies, which cannot be fixed by the traditional hierarchical approach alone, by doing what one does better or more intensely, but rather by changing the way one does it.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper treasures several past guidelines, from McCulloch, Wiener, Conant, Ashby and von Foerster to Bateson, Beer and Rosen’s concept of a non-trivial system to arrive to an indispensable and key anticipatory learning system (ALS) component for managing unexpected perturbations by an antifragility approach as defined by Taleb. This ALS component is the key part of our new methodology called “computational information conservation theory (CICT) OUM” approach, based on brand new numeric system behavior awareness from CICT.

Findings

To achieve an antifragility behavior, next generation system must use new CICT OUM-like approach to face the problem of multiscale OUM effectively and successfully. In this manner, homeodynamic operating equilibria can emerge out of a self-organizing landscape of self-structuring attractor points in a natural way.

Research limitations/implications

This paper presents a relevant contribution toward a new post-Bertalanffy Extended Theory of Systems. Due to its intrinsic self-scaling properties, this system approach can be applied at any system scale: from single quantum system application development to full system governance strategic assessment policies and beyond.

Practical implications

The new post-Bertalanffy Extended Theory of Systems Framework allows, for the first time, social, biological and biomedical engineering ideal system categorization levels, from an operational perspective, to be matched exactly to practical system modeling interaction styles, with no paradigmatic operational ambiguity and information loss.

Social implications

Even new social and advanced health and wellbeing information application can successfully and reliably manage higher system complexity than contemporary ones, with a minimum of design specification and less system final operative environment knowledge at design level. The present paper offers for discussion an innovative solution proposal for the complex society and big government modeling and management approach.

Originality/value

Specifically, advanced wellbeing applications, high reliability organization, mission critical project system, very low technological risk and crisis management system can benefit highly from our new methodology called CICT OUM approach and related techniques. This paper presents a relevant contribution toward a new post-Bertalanffy Extended Theory of Systems. Due to its intrinsic self-scaling properties, this system approach can be applied at any system scale: from a single quantum system application development to full system governance strategic assessment policies and beyond.

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 April 2000

Robert Rosen

Abstract

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2010

Vesselin Petrov

The paper aims to investigate what is the best ontological framework of anticipatory systems. Its aim is to argue the thesis that the ontology on which anticipatory

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to investigate what is the best ontological framework of anticipatory systems. Its aim is to argue the thesis that the ontology on which anticipatory systems are based should be a dynamic one: a kind of process ontology. It seeks to include a demonstration of the fruitfulness of such an ontological framework for the investigation of anticipatory systems.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology of the paper is a process ontological one. The objectives are achieved by a comparative analysis of the static and dynamic approaches to the ontological framework.

Findings

A process ontological framework is a reliable basis for the substantiation of the thesis that there is no great gap between living and non‐living systems as far as anticipation is concerned.

Practical implications

An example is represented of an anticipatory non‐living system that is artificially created and is programmed as a self‐control system. In this respect the paper has some practical implications.

Originality/value

A new approach is suggested to the investigation of anticipatory systems. It could be of interest not only for philosophers, but also for scientists who work on ontology as technology.

Details

Foresight, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 25 January 2013

Roberto Poli

The purpose of this paper is to explain why finding a theory for futures studies is such a demanding task. In particular, the paper paves the way towards a theoretical

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explain why finding a theory for futures studies is such a demanding task. In particular, the paper paves the way towards a theoretical framework that goes beyond both positivism and anti‐positivism.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper discusses a network of mutually interlinked concepts, including: levels of reality; parts and wholes; causation; the multiplicity of times; anticipation; the thick present; and latents.

Findings

The paper presents the two main obstructions blocking the way towards a theory for futures studies (namely, the belief that the opposition between positivists and anti‐positivists is exhaustive, and the need for better connections with other sciences such as biology, cognitive science and the social sciences.

Research limitations/implications

The paper discusses only one of the different threads in the elaboration of a theoretical basis for futures studies, namely the components closer to science.

Social implications

A proper theory for futures studies will contribute to making them more robust and efficient.

Originality/value

The general framework presented by the paper extends well beyond the somewhat restricted field of futures studies and includes social and psychological sciences, together with biology.

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2010

J. Ferret

The study of anticipatory systems assumes the existence of two distinct types of systems in nature. Some systems anticipate the future and such anticipation forms part of

Abstract

Purpose

The study of anticipatory systems assumes the existence of two distinct types of systems in nature. Some systems anticipate the future and such anticipation forms part of the system itself, while other systems, however, do not anticipate and solely rely on past states. This article aims to argue that this distinction is inadequate given the current understanding of fundamental physics and it seeks to propose instead that all systems need to be considered fundamentally anticipatory.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis centers on showing how classical and quantum mechanics implies the concept of anticipatory system by showing how systems are relational and inherently anticipatory because of the potential interaction from a given reference frame of another system.

Findings

This article shows the fundamental relationship between the physical state of the system and its energy, first in classical mechanics and then in quantum mechanics. This serves, first, to remind that energy is arbitrary and so is the system, and second, that the role of potential energy is precisely one of anticipation of interaction with another system at the boundaries.

Research limitations/implications

This article shows there is a fundamental concept of anticipation built in the concept of a closed system, but open systems can get around the analysis presented.

Practical implications

Systems engineering and decision theory fields may benefit from a renewed understanding of the role of anticipation in systems.

Originality/value

This analysis contributes to the fundamental understanding of the concept of anticipation, systems, and their fundamental role in physics.

Details

Foresight, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

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