Holonic Organizations LO2177

Gary and Lilly Evans (100451.3477@compuserve.com)
21 Jul 95 15:28:54 EDT

Replying to LO2045 --

On Tuesday 11th July Peter von Stackelberg introduced the concept of
holonic organisation and stated

> A holonic organization is the prototypical learning organization in that
it adapts quickly to changes in its environment, altering its structure,
products, etc. to meet the new conditions. This adaptation is generally
done with little or no centralized control.

I think that complexity theory and artificial life can provide many of the
theoretical concepts that underlie holonic organizations. These
theoretical concepts, when compared with the empirical data that can be
derived from the structure of business in Italy that Jackie refers to, can
provide significant new ideas in what a real learning organization is and
how it works. <end quote>

There is now growing wealth of examples from US, Canada and elsewhere in
Europe (namely Denmark) that holonic organisations are what underlies
successful networked companies. Recent article in the Industry Week
(19.6.95) was entitled "The Seamless Enetrprise" gives a number of such
examples. It also says, and I quote:

" Seamlessness at the industry level is less a question of deciding
between Internet and private-network infrastructure than of cultivating
creative connections with a whole universe of customers, suppliers,
competitors, and partners. In this environment, relationships based on the
principle of partnership as opposed to ownership are the norm, and trust
becomes the critical factor. In The Age of the Network (Oliver Wight,
1994), Jessica Lipnack and Jeffrey Stamps introduce the concept of "social
capital" as an economic force based on trust and reciprocity."

The heartening observation in this article is the statement that in the
process of transformation the emotional and the personal aspects are
critical. Hence, the role of a manager is seen to become that of breaking
down barriers and opening up possibilities to give people a sense of
freedom to actually do what they know is right. Sounds remarkably like
the kind of desires expressed in this forum. Perhaps the world at large is
more ready for what we have to offer than we think!


lilly evans                       100451.3477@compuserve.com

"Much of what is called progress has been the result of solitary individuals saved from feeling totally alone, even when persecuted, by the conviction that they have grasped a truth, a fragment of a much wider one too large to capture." Theodore Zeldin