This paper suggests cybernetic strategies for improving organizational control and information systems. The suggestions are based on the postulates of Beer’s cybernetic Viable System Model (VSM). The VSM was based on the way the human body’s neural control system successfully manages the high degree of complexity it regularly faces. The model identifies five linked control subsystems and specifies propositions concerning their information-processing behavior. The five systems are responsible for the following key tasks: policy development, environmental matters, internal control, coordination of basic units, and the basic work of the system. The information-handling propositions focus on providing requisite capacities in (a) the communication channels linking the five control systems, (b) the transducers that carry information across system boundaries, and (c) the complexity of linked pairs of control systems. The suggested management strategies focus on designing organizations to satisfy the task differentiation, communication channel capacity, transducer capacity, and requisite complexity postulates of the model.
Terry R. Haggerty and Denise Denomme
Multivariate analyses of responses from 327 undergraduate student members of 17 university recreational sport clubs indicated that eight variables jointly explained 35.3% of the variance in members’ organizational commitment. They were (a) the importance of management related items, (b) the emphasis the club placed on delivering its service, (c) the lack of emphasis the club placed on status related items, (d) the emphasis the club placed on social aspects, (e) members’ current involvement in physical activity, (f) reduced travel time to club gatherings, (g) increased preparation time for club activities, and (h) gender, with males expressing more commitment than females. The study concluded that management related factors were among the most important aspects in affecting member commitment in sport clubs. Implications for practicing managers and researchers were addressed.
Pàckianathan. Chelldurai, Terry R. Haggerty and Peter R. Baxter
Ninety-nine male and female players and 22 coaches of university basketball teams expressed their choice of one of five decision styles in each of 32 decision situations (cases). The cases were defined by two levels of each of five problem attributes (quality requirement, coach's information, problem complexity, acceptance requirement, and team integration). The results showed that male and female players differed in their preference for a decision style in only one of the 32 cases whereas the coaches' preferred decision style differed from both the male and female players' in 8 cases. Overall, the coaches chose more autocratic styles than the players; however, even the players tended to be more oriented toward autocratic decision making than toward participative decision making. The situational differences explained three times as much variance as did individual differences, and the effects of the problem attributes tended to be similar in all three groups.