Knowing and modelling of human enterprises : a holistic approach.
The desire to develop a holistic framework for knowing and modelling in human
enterprises is not new. Methodologies, such as Systems Dynamics, Soft Systems and
the Viable Systems Model all claim a holistic perspective. Each of these approaches
emphasises the interrelatedness of `things', rather than the `things' themselves. Thus,
they avoid the possible fragmentation that can occur when elements within a situation
are treated as if they exist independently.
Unfortunately, the systems approaches flounder because they fail to reconcile
knowledge with the path that brings it into being, or to satisfactorily deal with the
concepts of order or communication in language. The Thesis, therefore, provides a
greater clarification of these issues, in the light of enactive cognitive science, chaos
theory and contemporary theories on dialogue. As a result, a new framework is
presented, for knowing and modelling in human enterprises, that is based on our `new'
understanding of holism.
The organisational context of the Thesis is provided by two generic models, both
developed by the author (a model of Duopoly Competition and a model of Chaos
Control ), together with a case study of the Danish hearing aid manufacturer Oticon.
The Thesis concludes by presenting various insights arising from our new frame of
reference and reflecting on their challenges for organisations.