Judging the quality of development: the subject of knowing

Title: Judging the quality of development: the subject of knowing
Author: Boxer, P.J.
Category: Working
Publication Year: 1990
Abstract:

 

This paper traces the origins of the technique of reflective analysis, as supported by CRITIK; and considers its place in relation to different forms of teaching paradigm. It describes the technique in terms of enabling a manager to articulate the paradoxes and dilemmas inherent in his own way of framing his experience. The paper then goes on to discuss the characteristic ways in which managers get ‘stuck’ in their own development in terms of each of the teaching paradigms, and the ways in which teachers can collude with this to serve their own interests. It concludes that the best teaching practice enables managers to find their own authority in relation to their experience, and to live with the issues of timing that this form of authority inevitably gives rise to.

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Book by Elliot Jaques: ‘Requisite Organisation: The CEO’s Guide to Creative Structure and Leadership’

Title: Book by Elliot Jaques: ‘Requisite Organisation: The CEO’s Guide to Creative Structure and Leadership’
Author: Boxer, P.J.
Category: Review
Publication Year: 1990
Where Published: Management Education and Development Vol 21 Part 4 Winter 1990 pp 337-339

I suspect that the usefulness in what he has written lies in the way in which he interprets it in relation to the particular of his experience. Like an analyst perhaps? So are we (the Other Serious Readers of his introducing Memorandum?) to become analysts if we are to work with this book in practice? If process follows structure, is there to be a Requisite Organisation II – what the CEO didn’t see?! Jaques sets high standards by which to be judged. What he has achieved is a milestone in the understanding of organization. But I think Jaques has developed an explanation of what he has learnt from his 40 years’ experience, and left his own position out of it.

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The economy of discourses: a third order cybernetics?

Title: The economy of discourses: a third order cybernetics ?
Author: Philip Boxer & Vincent Kenny
Category: Published
Publication Year: 1990
Where Published: Human Systems Management Volume 9 Number 4 pp 205-224.
Abstract:

 

This paper introduces the idea of, and necessity for, a ‘third-order cybernetics’. It does this through the critique and problematisation of the ontology of the observer as elaborated within a second-order cybernetics. The necessity for this third-order is directly generated from our work as strategy consultants and our needs to evolve an effective, coherent and ethical consultancy practice. The paper draws primarily on the writings of Lacan and Maturana to provide the epistemological presumptions upon which we generate a new characterisation of, and approach to, the business organisation. This new approach for the understanding of the business organisation is presented as an ‘Economy of Discourses’. This Economy is a description of the effects of a third-order in the second-order observer’s invention of himself as subject. We have formulated this approach as an aid for diagnosis, intervention and prognosis in our work with business organisations. We include two case studies, one of a chemicals-based manufacturer, the other of a large accountancy practice. In these two cases we seek to unpack and illustrate the way in which it is possible to use the new approach, and to highlight the principles which allow the consultant maximal movement and effectiveness in relation to his client system. We end by outlining the implications of our approach for an ethics of consultancy.

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Niches and Networks: Prospects for Strategic Analysis

Title: Niches and Networks: Prospects for Strategic Analysis
Author: Philip Boxer & Dr Robin Wensley
Category: Published
Where published: Third IMP Conference, UMIST, Manchester
Publication Year: 1988

The network characteristic of markets has been widely recognized by a number of researchers particularly in the field of Organizational Buyer Behavior and Industry Innovation. An analogous development in Industrial Economics and micro economic analysis is the recognition of the relationship between the various value adding stages of production and the role of intermediaries in the overall industry structure.
This widespread recognition of the greater complexity of both producer and market organization has, however, posed severe problems for analysis at the level of both the individual firm and also public policy. In the former case there has developed an espousal of so-called ‘niche’ strategies for firms whilst in the later case the realities of market organization are often ignored in the general notion of the ‘free’ market. The complexity of the data requires powerful forms of analysis that can address such issues in a more systematic manner, and yet most current attempts fail to reveal new insights or taxonomies for the network structures that are observed.
This paper proposes a closer evaluation of the particular problems of network analysis to indicate what form such analysis might take and how it might be translated into a strategy framework. Such a development provides the opportunity for a critical appraisal of some current examples of empirical work in this area as well as indicating the sorts of questions and issues that the new forms of analysis might address. A number of these questions are seen as critical to developing a more market-based method for strategy evaluation in such contexts.

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Niches and Clusters: the aesthetics of market organisation

Title: Niches and Clusters: the aesthetics of market organisation
Author: Boxer, P.J. & Wensley, J.R.C.
Category: Working
Publication Year: 1987

The concept of “niche” is used in much competitive marketing and strategic analysis to imply both a passive model of customer behaviour and also a particular form of relationship betweer the firm and its environment which is not sensltive to variations in individual customers’ contexts: a niche approach. This paper suggests that more emphasis should be given to the active customer and an attendant cluster approach which can support a competltive ability to couple the business’ activities to a wide range of individual customer contexts. In understanding and applying such an approach, the choices made organise the market. The paper concludes by considering the aesthetics of such choices.

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DEFENCES AGAINST ANXIETY ARE DEFENCES AGAINST INNOVATION