If entropy—the natural degradation of systems—is indeed a universal characteristic of systems, what signs of entropy do you see in organizations with which you are familiar?

If entropy—the natural degradation of systems—is indeed a universal characteristic of systems, what signs of entropy do you see in organizations with which you are familiar?.

Discussion Questions
1. If entropy—the natural degradation of systems—is indeed a universal
characteristic of systems, what signs of entropy do you see in organizations with
which you are familiar?
2. In his text on persuasion, Herbert Simons relates the story of three umpires
disagreeing about the task of calling balls and strikes. The first umpire says, I calls
them as they is. The second one says, I calls them as I sees them. The third and
cleverest umpire says, They ain’t nothin’ till I calls them. What do you suppose
this story has to do with Weick’s notions of enactment, selection, and retention?
3. The systems concept of equifinality proposes that there are many ways to
achieve system goals and get to the same place. If, for example, members of
an organization lack motivation to work, how would this concept apply? What
different options might be considered as a way to address the problem?
4. The principle of requisite variety suggests that the more equivocal an
organizational problem is for organizational participants, the more they need
to develop correspondingly complex processes to cope with the issue. Do you
agree with this idea—or might it be possible that a rather complex and uncertain
situation could be managed by a very simple strategy?
5. The concepts of efficiency (doing things right) and effectiveness (doing the
right things) might seem rather abstract. Can you think of specific situations where
organizations have done something very efficiently, but not very effectively?
6. This chapter stresses the value of proactive, reflexive, and fairly deep and
systematic thinking about organizations. Yet organizational theorists such as
Peters and Waterman, in their classic book In Search of Excellence, argue that
businesses often spend too much time and energy analyzing everything, and that
excellent firms have a bias for action. Do you think it is possible to overstudy
a problem facing an organization?

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