By Ph.G. Herbst
Giving on events a conversation just about this publication, one of many queries raised was once, 'surely, what you suggest are flat hierarchies'. This, i feel, supplies a sign of the way tricky it may be to conceive of firms which wouldn't have a hierarchical constitution. a slightly related reaction was once received whilst, within the 1950's, an account used to be given to a supervisor of the British Coal Board of an independent composite workforce of greater than forty miners, who had taken over entire accountability for a three-shift cycle, and divided the source of revenue received between themselves. His remark was once that this couldn't almost certainly paintings. the hot mode of labor association which were developed by means of the miners in different pits within the Durham coal fields used to be, on the time, good sooner than the present options and philosophy of either administration and the alternate Union. It didn't support issues greatly that the particular debts have been provided in a tutorial and medical shape (Trist et aI. , 1963; Herbst, 1962). i believe that we felt that every one the backing of systematic learn and knowledge research will be had to current the case for modes of association, which deviated from traditional perform. despite the fact that, anything used to be realized from this adventure. whilst initially of the 1960's the Norwegian paintings Democratization venture was once began, a couple of demonstration websites have been arrange which individuals may possibly examine, and that may functionality as facilities for diffusion.
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Extra resources for Alternatives to hierarchies
In this way the field of knowledge can acquire the characteristics of a bureaucratic hierarchy within which each unit has a single exclusive boundary. In classical physics atoms were conceived to be like billiard balls. In grammar, sentences are decomposed into atom-like elements linked by a hierarchic structure. The same method of decomposition into smaller and smaller units, each with a single exclusive boundary, is followed in produc tion engineering. The dominant mode of organization design is based on the same type of assumptions.
Assumption 4. Organ izational u n its have a single excl usive boundary There are at least four separable assumptions involved. 1 . Every organization has a boundary which can be clearly demarcated. The boundary has to be fixed in position and is an essential property of the system. 3. Organizations have a single boundary. 4. e. The boundary separates systems from one another. 2. What we encounter here are not simply what may be taken to be necessary characteristics of organizations. If we take the field of knowledge as a whole, then we split this up into humanities and science.
The composite autonomous group. Within this type of group all members are capable of carrying out all or at least most tasks. The members of the group being equipotential, none has a special leadership function. The special characteristics of this type of organization is that it has no specific structure but can adopt any temporary structure which is judged by the members to be appropriate at any one time. Thus, there is no necessary requirement for all members to work together on any task or to make group decisions.