Organisational Identity LO11372

Michael McMaster (
Thu, 12 Dec 1996 00:58:22 +0000

Replying to LO11354 --

Mark sharing his wonderful speculations about "organisational
consciousness" spurs me to share my own view that it already exists.

If you look at a large organisation, can't you often see that it has a
vision and mission of its own? Might this explain why most of those
vision statement exercises don't go anywhere - because they were made by
some individuals far to independently of the organisation's own "vision"
or intentions?

One of the things to be aware of in pursuit of this idea of organisations
having consciousness, etc in their own right is that it will not look
exactly like (very much like?) how these manifest in individuals.

For example, the brain functions of an individual taken as a whole do not
look anything like the functions of the cells, etc which are the component
parts of the brain.

Theories of emergent phenomena, such as consciousness, state that the
characteristics of the emergent phenomena do not match those of the
elements from which they emerged. More, the characteristics resulting
cannot be extrapolated from the constituent elements.

Michael McMaster :
"I don't give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity 
but I'd die for the simplicity on the other side of complexity." 
            attributed to Oliver Wendell Holmes 

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