Cybernetics of culture

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to argue that culture is our primeval management that has its roots the same desire for control that management does. The paper explores the fundamental cognitive systems that allow us to create culture. Design/methodology/approach – The paper applies basic systems concepts to the notion of culture and draws parallels with other cybernetic processes in order to consider the means of developing culture as a systemic possibility and/or inevitability. Findings – Where management is reductive relying on cause and effect to apply its models to organising, culture is emergent and relies on correspondence to develop mutual models of organising. Research limitations/implications – The paper explores the creation of culture from a systems perspective and so further work could be devised to consider the demise of specific cultures such as the entropy of culture and its radical change in crisis. Practical implications – The paper is attempting to demonstrate that organisations may need to see culture along with structure and management as a control issue. That culture is at the heart of the individual and in the ether of the organisation and so the cybernetics of culture should not be considered as an adjunct to the management of the organisation but seminal to it. Originality/value – The paper attempts to consider culture as a cybernetic process of development.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)596-606
    Number of pages11
    Issue number5/6
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


    • Control
    • Culture
    • Cybernetics
    • Management theory


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