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Book part

Yulia I. Dubova

The purpose of the work is to study the process of development of “conflict-free” socio-economic system from the positions of the theory of conflicts and the theory of systems.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the work is to study the process of development of “conflict-free” socio-economic system from the positions of the theory of conflicts and the theory of systems.

Methodology

The object of the research is development of systems according to the optimistic scenario from the positions of the theory of systems and development of “conflict-free” socio-economic system from the positions of the theory of conflicts. The methods include comparative analysis, dynamic modeling of systems, and formalization. The authors compare treatment of phenomena and processes that emerge during development of system from the positions of the theory of systems and the theory of conflicts and compare the model of development of “conflict-free” socio-economic system from the positions of the theory of conflicts and the theory of systems.

Conclusions

As a result of the research, due to founding on the theory of systems, the theory of economic conflicts receives meta-scientific conceptual and methodological substantiation, which ensures its advantages as compared to the existing theory of economic cycles and the existing theory of economic crises: complex consideration of economic and social effects of conflict, correct description of phases of conflict, and more precise classification of causes of conflicts.

Originality/value

Due to these advantages, the theory of economic conflicts may help to describe, model, and forecast the processes of development of modern socio-economic systems, as well as to classify them via differentiating “conflict” and “non-conflict” systems.

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Article

The purpose of this study is to develop a meta-model for organisational change based on a literature review across organisational theories, specific theories about…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to develop a meta-model for organisational change based on a literature review across organisational theories, specific theories about organisational change and systems theories related to theories of organisational change.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is based on an extensive literature review for the period 1972–2012 which covers organisational theories, systems theories relating to organisational change theories, and specific theories of organisational change. It used the Social Sciences Citation Index using as search items change, transformation, organization[al] model, theory, systems, and combinations of these terms. The research is based on an extensive literature review for the period 1972–2012 which covers organisational theories, systems theories relating to organisational change theories, and specific theories of organisational change. It used the Social Sciences Citation Index using as search items change, transformation, organization[al] model, theory, systems, and combinations of these terms.

Findings

The meta-model is constructed as a complex systems model including the four discourses and their process elements. As each discourse provides specific and different insights into how organisational change occurs, we can widen our field of view on change by switching between different discourses. This also allows a holistic rather than the reductionist methods of other approaches.

Practical implications

The meta-model makes it possible to look at organisational change from a variety of angles. Structural, cultural, behavioral and strategic change can be looked at from four different dimensions. It allows for insights from the different discourses to be drawn upon, as each of which have their merits but also their own limitations. By going beyond the normative discourse, it provides for a model of organisational change that better reflects the complexity of change in real life settings and captures the complexity of the research literature.

Originality/value

The paper seeks to demonstrate that a systems model of change is better able to capture the complex nature of change than are linear models. Synthesizing this literature has been undertaken previously but this has usually been done with linear models of change which have produced limited results.

Details

Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7282

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Article

Alexis V. Jdanko

The approach is based on an evolutionary interpretation of the fundamental concepts of cybernetics, general systems theory, information theory, theory of automata…

Abstract

The approach is based on an evolutionary interpretation of the fundamental concepts of cybernetics, general systems theory, information theory, theory of automata, autopoiesis, etc. In the author's view, this enables us to formulate principles of the evolutionary theory of cybernetic systems which is visualised as the theory of structures, functions and evolution of cybernetic or control systems. This suggests a heuristic idea of cybernetic evolution as the higher stage of negentropic universal evolution of open systems.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 17 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Book part

Md Shah Azam

Information and communications technology (ICT) offers enormous opportunities for individuals, businesses and society. The application of ICT is equally important to…

Abstract

Information and communications technology (ICT) offers enormous opportunities for individuals, businesses and society. The application of ICT is equally important to economic and non-economic activities. Researchers have increasingly focused on the adoption and use of ICT by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as the economic development of a country is largely dependent on them. Following the success of ICT utilisation in SMEs in developed countries, many developing countries are looking to utilise the potential of the technology to develop SMEs. Past studies have shown that the contribution of ICT to the performance of SMEs is not clear and certain. Thus, it is crucial to determine the effectiveness of ICT in generating firm performance since this has implications for SMEs’ expenditure on the technology. This research examines the diffusion of ICT among SMEs with respect to the typical stages from innovation adoption to post-adoption, by analysing the actual usage of ICT and value creation. The mediating effects of integration and utilisation on SME performance are also studied. Grounded in the innovation diffusion literature, institutional theory and resource-based theory, this study has developed a comprehensive integrated research model focused on the research objectives. Following a positivist research paradigm, this study employs a mixed-method research approach. A preliminary conceptual framework is developed through an extensive literature review and is refined by results from an in-depth field study. During the field study, a total of 11 SME owners or decision-makers were interviewed. The recorded interviews were transcribed and analysed using NVivo 10 to refine the model to develop the research hypotheses. The final research model is composed of 30 first-order and five higher-order constructs which involve both reflective and formative measures. Partial least squares-based structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) is employed to test the theoretical model with a cross-sectional data set of 282 SMEs in Bangladesh. Survey data were collected using a structured questionnaire issued to SMEs selected by applying a stratified random sampling technique. The structural equation modelling utilises a two-step procedure of data analysis. Prior to estimating the structural model, the measurement model is examined for construct validity of the study variables (i.e. convergent and discriminant validity).

The estimates show cognitive evaluation as an important antecedent for expectation which is shaped primarily by the entrepreneurs’ beliefs (perception) and also influenced by the owners’ innovativeness and culture. Culture further influences expectation. The study finds that facilitating condition, environmental pressure and country readiness are important antecedents of expectation and ICT use. The results also reveal that integration and the degree of ICT utilisation significantly affect SMEs’ performance. Surprisingly, the findings do not reveal any significant impact of ICT usage on performance which apparently suggests the possibility of the ICT productivity paradox. However, the analysis finally proves the non-existence of the paradox by demonstrating the mediating role of ICT integration and degree of utilisation explain the influence of information technology (IT) usage on firm performance which is consistent with the resource-based theory. The results suggest that the use of ICT can enhance SMEs’ performance if the technology is integrated and properly utilised. SME owners or managers, interested stakeholders and policy makers may follow the study’s outcomes and focus on ICT integration and degree of utilisation with a view to attaining superior organisational performance.

This study urges concerned business enterprises and government to look at the environmental and cultural factors with a view to achieving ICT usage success in terms of enhanced firm performance. In particular, improving organisational practices and procedures by eliminating the traditional power distance inside organisations and implementing necessary rules and regulations are important actions for managing environmental and cultural uncertainties. The application of a Bengali user interface may help to ensure the productivity of ICT use by SMEs in Bangladesh. Establishing a favourable national technology infrastructure and legal environment may contribute positively to improving the overall situation. This study also suggests some changes and modifications in the country’s existing policies and strategies. The government and policy makers should undertake mass promotional programs to disseminate information about the various uses of computers and their contribution in developing better organisational performance. Organising specialised training programs for SME capacity building may succeed in attaining the motivation for SMEs to use ICT. Ensuring easy access to the technology by providing loans, grants and subsidies is important. Various stakeholders, partners and related organisations should come forward to support government policies and priorities in order to ensure the productive use of ICT among SMEs which finally will help to foster Bangladesh’s economic development.

Details

E-Services Adoption: Processes by Firms in Developing Nations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-325-9

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Article

Vladislav Valentinov and Anna Hajdu

The stakeholder theory encompasses instrumental and normative varieties whose mutual relationship remains unclear and exhibits a classic tension between rational…

Abstract

Purpose

The stakeholder theory encompasses instrumental and normative varieties whose mutual relationship remains unclear and exhibits a classic tension between rational self-interest and moral motivation. The purpose of this paper is to develop a strategy for navigating this tension.

Design/methodology/approach

Niklas Luhmann’s social systems theory is concerned with the limited ability of social systems to codify, and be receptive to, the complexity of the environment. Drawing on this theory, the paper juxtaposes the codification problems of two types of social systems: the for-profit firm and the economic function system.

Findings

This juxtaposition allows to identify four firm behavior patterns, two of which can be aligned with instrumental and normative stakeholder theories. If the codification capacity of the economic function system is assumed to be sufficient, the codification problems of the for-profit firm are shown to specify the range of applicability of the instrumental stakeholder theory. Dropping the above assumption is shown to specify the range of applicability of the normative stakeholder theory.

Originality/value

The argument offers a fresh way of understanding the institutional economics foundations of the stakeholder theory. Given that the systems-theoretic idea of codification reflects the functioning of the real-world institutions, the argument shows that both instrumental and normative stakeholder theories reflect the institutional texture of the modern society in distinct but equally legitimate ways.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article

Anne Gregory

The emergence of public relations as an academic and practitioner discipline has benefited from input from many sources: social science, behavioural science, engineering…

Abstract

The emergence of public relations as an academic and practitioner discipline has benefited from input from many sources: social science, behavioural science, engineering, philosophy, business and management. One of the main theoretical underpinnings is systems theory, with parallels being drawn between systems and how communication is practised. Most public relations texts, however, including some of the most influential, do not do justice to the richness of systems theory, especially the most recent thinking on the subject. In this paper the author reviews the use of the better known systems theories, and examines some of the newer developments and applies these to the contemporary practice of public relations. The French school of thought called actor‐network theory is also alluded to in order to extend the discussion. The paper is in three sections. The first focuses on the older systems theories and their traditional application to public relations practice as propounded in the prevalent Grunig and Hunt public relations models. The second looks at some of the newer models in systems thinking, notes how they differ from the older ones and examines how they have relevance to modern practice. In the third section the author uses two practical examples, the breaking down of organisational barriers and current and potential uses of the Internet, to demonstrate the inadequacies of the older systems approach and the applicability of the new theories.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

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Article

Sifeng Liu, Jeffrey Forrest and Robert Vallee

The purpose of this paper is to present the scientific background from which grey systems theory came into being, the astonishing progress that grey systems theory has…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the scientific background from which grey systems theory came into being, the astonishing progress that grey systems theory has made in the world of learning and its wide‐ranging applications in the entire spectrum of science.

Design/methodology/approach

The grey uncertainty is compared with other kinds of uncertainty such as stochastic uncertainty, unascertainty, fuzzy and rough uncertainty.

Findings

The advances in grey systems theory and its various successful applications are introduced individually by algorithms of grey numbers and grey algebraic systems, grey dynamic models and grey predictions, grey optimization analysis for decision making, grey control models.

Research limitations/implications

Many scientific theories require the unremitting efforts of several generations of people and have gone through hundreds of years before reaching maturity and perfection. Grey systems theory is still in its growth period. So, it is unavoidable that there exist immature and imperfect parts in the theory.

Originality/value

Grey systems theory is a new method for studying problems of uncertainty with few data points and poor information. This new theory studies small samples and systems with poor information, which have partial information known, partial information unknown. It describes adequately and monitors effectively systems' operations and evolutions through extracting valuable information from the little known information. Grey systems theory comes into being along with the development of modern systems science and uncertainty systems theories and methods. It is also a result of deepened perceptivity about uncertain systems.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 38 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Article

Vladislav Valentinov and Spencer Thompson

The economic theory of the firm apparently concurs with Niklas Luhmann’s theory of social systems with regard to the primary function of the firm to be complexity…

Abstract

Purpose

The economic theory of the firm apparently concurs with Niklas Luhmann’s theory of social systems with regard to the primary function of the firm to be complexity reduction, i.e. the alleviation of the cognitive burden on agents whose cognitive capacities are limited. At the same time, however, the theory of the firm ignores the attendant issues of societal sustainability emphasised by Luhmann. The paper aims to fill this gap.

Design/methodology/approach

Taking a theoretical approach, the paper builds on the conceptual construct of “the complexity-sustainability trade-off”, which combines two contrasting aspects of the relationship between a system and its environment, namely, the precariousness highlighted by Luhmann and the embeddedness highlighted by open systems theory. These themes are respectively reflected in the principles of complexity reduction and environmental dependence which constitute the trade-off.

Findings

Drawing inspiration from the classic Marshallian presentation of supply and demand in modern economics, the paper argues that the principles of complexity reduction and critical dependence translate into the demand for and supply of social systems. In the proposed systems-theoretic interpretation of the theory of the firm, demand and supply refer to the imperatives of achieving coordination and securing cooperation within the firm, respectively. Thus, in the theory of the firm, the complexity-sustainability trade-off manifests itself as a trade-off between coordination and cooperation.

Originality/value

The implicit focus of the theory of the firm on complexity reduction disregards the nature, importance and fragility of cooperation in real-world firms. In so doing, it impedes the authors’ understanding of unconventional types of business organisation, such as cooperatives. These defects can be corrected by reorienting the theory of the firm according to the proposed systems-theoretic approach, which holds that firms should not be governed or studied in isolation from their environment, as they too often are – and, accordingly, that apparently anomalous forms of organisation should be taken seriously, as they too often are not.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 48 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Article

Wu Xuemou

The purpose of this paper is to state new formulation of the programme‐styled framework of pansystems research and related expansions.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to state new formulation of the programme‐styled framework of pansystems research and related expansions.

Design/methodology/approach

Pansystems‐generalized extremum principle (0**: (dy/dx=0)**) is presented with recognitions to various logoi of philosophy, mathematics, technology, systems, cybernetics, informatics, relativity, biology, society, resource, communications and related topics: logic, history, humanities, aesthetics, journalism, IT, AI, TGBZ* <truth*goodness*beauty*Zen*>, etc. including recent rediscoveries of 50 or so pansystems logoi.

Findings

A keynote of the paper is to develop the deep logoi of the analytic mathematics, analytic mechanics, variational principles, Hilbert's sixth/23rd problems, pan‐axiomatization to encyclopedic principles and various applications. The 0**‐universal connections embody the transfield internet‐styled academic tendency of pansystems exploration.

Originality/value

The paper includes topics: history megawave, pansystems sublation‐modes, pan‐metaphysics, pansystems dialogs with logoi of 100 thinkers or so, and pansystems‐sublation for a series of logoi concerning the substructure of encyclopedic dialogs such as systems, derivative, extremum, quantification, variational principle, equation, symmetry, OR, optimization, approximation, yinyang, combination, normality‐abnormality, framework, modeling, simulation, relativity, recognition, practice, methodology, mathematics, operations and transformations, quotientization, product, clustering, Banach completeness theorem, Weierstrass approximation theorem, Jackson approximation theorem, Taylor theorem, approximation transformation theorems due to Walsh‐Sewell mathematical school, Hilbert problems, Cauchy theorem, theorems of equation stability, function theory, logic, paradox, axiomatization, cybernetics, dialectics, multistep decision, computer, synergy, vitality and the basic logoi for history, ethics, economics, society OR, aesthetics, journalism, institution, resource and traffics, AI, IT, etc.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 40 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

Keywords

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Abstract

Details

Individualism, Holism and the Central Dilemma of Sociological Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-038-7

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