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The languaging of models: The understanding and communication of models with particular reference to Stafford Beer's cybernetic model of organization structure

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Abstract

Scientific models are not descriptors nor are they pointers toward some neutral, objective reality, but are consensual conventions which enable particular understanding and coordination of activity in a community of observers. Impeccable communication of a model entails making visible this activeconsensual function, rather than simply pursuing a more detailed investigation of the phenomenon considered as the source or origin for the model.

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This paper is a result of research undertaken by the author while part of the Doctoral Programme at Aston Business School, Brimingham, U.K.

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Harnden, R.J. The languaging of models: The understanding and communication of models with particular reference to Stafford Beer's cybernetic model of organization structure. Systems Practice 3, 289–302 (1990). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01062733

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Key words

  • consensual
  • constitutive
  • cybernetic
  • hermeneutics
  • languaging
  • objectivity-in-parentheses
  • ontology
  • real-time
  • Viable System Model (VSM)