Organisational Identity LO11505

Thu, 19 Dec 1996 12:11:50 GMT+2

Replying to LO11440 --

Bob writes:

>" I can think of a number of organisations where the individuals
>have great purpose, and these purposes may even be the same (eg to
>make the organisation be really effective and efficient). Yet from
>an observer's point of view the organisation does not display that
>purpose, and indeed appears to be pursuing goals which none of the
>participants seek. "

David writes

>"It may be useful here to make a distinction between known and
>unknown goals. I like to consider individuals and organizations as
>motivated by purposeful goals where these are known and stated.
>However, often ,the most powerful motivating goals for individuals
>and organizations are the unknown goals which I consider to be the
>purposive ones. This distinction also explains Bob Williams'
>observation that organizations often state one purpose but behave,
>objectively, as if they are following another."

In the systems engineering context purposive means "to serve a purpose".
Such systems are often referred to as designed systems and can be physical
(eg machines) or abstract (eg laws). PURPOSEFUL, on the other hand
implies goal-seeking behaviour. Your are quite right in stating that the
goals may not be worth pursuing, however this does not make a system any
less purposeful. The burden of management is to ensure that purposeful
behaviour (wherever it occurs) is in keeping with and reinforces
organisational aims and objectives. One of the main goals of LO thinking
and practice is IMHO to precipitate such convergence of purposeful energy.

Keith Sandrock Systems/Johannesburg Technology (JOHANTEC)
FAX 27-11-339-7997



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