EPISODE 3 - Cognitive Tools for Individuals

EPISODE 4 - Organizations Develop Minds of their Own

Episode 4 is by far the most complex part of this hypertext. Understanding and explaining the technologies to extend personal cognition into Popper's World 3 is easy compared to what I am attempting in the present episode. Here I combine theory from a number of disciplines to present what is basically a biological understanding of organisations, based on biological thermodynamics, competition, evolution and the growth of organizational cognition (World 2) and persistent knowledge (World 3). Few if any of the ideas are original with me, or even especially controversial when looked at in their own domains, but I believe that I have combined the different domains in an original way to gain some unexpected insights towards a biological theory of organizations and towards understanding the present and potential roles of cognitive technologies in maintaining organizations as biological entities. My hope is that with this biological understanding, such organizational knowledge can better be managed. 

The first and major part of the episode will be to build a conceptual and theoretical framework. I will review non-equilibrium thermodynamics of biochemical and biological systems; concepts of self-organization; the properties, possible origins and early evolution of life; concepts of organismic heredity; properties of organizations, including organizational memory and cognition, that transcend those of the people that may be affiliated with the organization at any point of time; and concepts of knowledge and knowledge growth at the organizational level.

Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics and the Emergence of Complex Autopoietic Systems

In the beginning...

Fluxes of Energy Drive Cosmic Evolution

The Emergence of Chaos and Complexity

Autocatalysis, Self-Regulation, Self-Production, Autonomy, Identity and Autopoiesis

Natural Selection and Descent With Modification

Origins and Importance of Systems of Heredity

Foundation Problems in Organizational Theory and Epistemology

Semantic issues

Epistemology in an Organizational Framework

Introduction to a Theory of Organizational Knowledge

Michael Polanyi's Concepts of Personal Knowledge vs Popper and Kuhn

An Epistemological Holy War

Knowledge: The Explicit - Tacit Dimension

Organizations as Transcendent Entities

Initial Definitions of the Organization

Collective vs Transcendent Properties of the Organization: Self-Regulation and Autopoiesis


Organismic Biology and Heredity

Autopoiesis and Membranes

Organizational Self-Production and Heredity

Other Organizational Paradigms

Organizational Knowledge, Learning, Adaptation and Evolution in a Competitive Environment

Categories of Organizational Knowledge

Classifying Organizational Knowledge

Building organisational knowledge, intelligence, wisdom and stategic power

Tools for Keeping Data and Establishing Organisational Memories

Data processing for large organisations

Turning Information into Organisational Knowledge

Making the Tacit Explicit

Corporate Knowledge, Intelligence and Feedback Build Corporate Power

Birth of the Cybercorp