Founding an Organization Theory of Work Policy as Imperative Regimes of Regulated Freedom for ITC Development

Founding an Organization Theory of Work Policy as Imperative Regimes of Regulated Freedom for ITC Development

Raymon R. Bruce
DOI: 10.4018/jicthd.2012070104
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This paper proposes a theory of imperative regimes of regulated freedom as they relate to the development of policy for Information Communication Technology. Policy is characterized here as an imperative regime of regulated freedom, guiding people in both objective (regulated reasoning) and subjective (heuristic common-sense freedom) decision making to guide communities’ to achieve needed work outcomes. The paper includes: researching organizing as being the practical nature of our work, building a new theory of reorganization for people working, developing human imperative regimes of regulated freedom to guide communities’ work, and developing policies which are societies’ own artifacts helping communities work together. The paper then focuses on the human work domain, which involves policy making governing societies’ cultural and social organizations, in general, and the importance of policymaking for Information Communication Technology, in particular.
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We often think that when we have completed our study of one, we know all about two, because ‘two’ is ‘one and one’. We forget that we still have to make a study of ‘and’. Secondary physics is the study of “and” ‑ that is to say, of organization. - (Eddington, 1958)

The purpose of this paper is to put forth a theory of policy being developed out of nature’s imperative regimes of regulated freedom. Our imitation of nature comes from our need for doing work to sustain our lives and our communities. Meeting our needs requires us to reorganize the resources around us including ourselves in working together to achieve our needed outcomes. We create policies as artifacts mimicking nature’s imperative regimes of regulated freedom, but always escort the danger of calculating the exact nature of our needs relative those outcomes we select to meet those needs. The crux of this dilemma rests in the nature of the energy and information exchange required of us in doing our work. This is because of the gap between deciding what our needs are and doing the energy/information exchange required to meet those needs. Thus there develops a schism between the deciders (policy makers) and the doers (people doing the work) and meeting communal needs sharing by the outcomes equitably.

  • Researching organizing as being the nature of our work. What are organizations that we have so many theories about them? Perhaps one of the main causes of theories on organizations is the fact that organizations have come to play an ever larger role in our public and private lives. Businesses, social groups, and governments abound with organizations and us within in them. What, then, is organization? How does organization evolve? Or has organization always been with us? In their paper, “A future for organization theory: living in and living with changing organizations,” James Walsh, Alan Meyer, and Claudia Bird Schoonhoven remark as to the state of our understanding organization:

The field of organization theory is adrift. The press for ‘relevance’ is but one symptom of a field that has lost its bearings. . . scholarship that was once so relevant is now irrelevant (or worse). . . the answer is to change our research foci. The theories we developed to comprehend the Management Revolution no longer have the traction they once did. Organization and management theory is uniquely positioned to ask and answer questions that speak to the defining characteristics of our new century. The future is ours. We need to seize it (Walsh, Meyer, & Schoonhoven, 2006).

Organization theories tend to be moreabout organizations and their management than about the nature of organization itself. There are many definitions of organizations. Most of them come to a generic base: organizations are people working together for a common outcome (Harmon & Mayer, 1986). Organization theories tend to focus on a particular aspect of organizations in order to address the organization issues of the historical moment. For example, Max Weber’s bureaucratic organization focused on economic efficiency, the scientific management approaches of Frederick Taylor and others focused on effectiveness, while the human relations theories of Kurt Lewin and others focused on participation, performance, and learning. Each new organization theory usually proposes its own framework and much of its own terminology. Although new organization theories are traditionally built upon past theories, they often tend to develop into separate schools, often at theoretical odds with each other. Another view: “There is no such thing as the theory of organizations” (Shafritz & Ott, 1996).

During the process of applying Action Training & Research (AT&R) as designed by Neely Gardner to public policy development a theory research workshopwas first conducted in 1995 at Kaunas University of Technology in Lithuania. The workshop/symposium researched the question of “What is organization?” as part of their research project to use the AT&R approach for changing organizations. In this case the key research step was to explore the issue of: What is Organization? The exploratory workshop/symposium used the genealogy of language as their method to research the origin of the word organization.

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