Notes on Information Processing
The first four chapters of this book are devoted to a discussion of the management task as a control process and to an examination of the relationships between controllers and the system they control as well as the relationships between the controllers. Most organisations are concerned with a wide variety of tasks, each requiring the participation of many controllers with various degrees of involvement. In order to handle these tasks and to maintain the necessary hierarchical relationships between controllers in the system, and indeed in order to pass directives and other signals between various parts of the system, a network of communications must evolve. When we observe an organisation in action, for example a manufacturing enterprise, we can regard it at a superficial level as a black box, the internal structure of which is disregarded, and make certain inferences about the enterprise by monitoring the physical inputs and outputs over a period of time. But if we want to learn something about the internal structure we need to examine the control function itself, and the only way in which the working relationships between controllers and those between them and other parts of the system can be passively observed (i.e. without asking the controllers to describe these relationships) is by scrutinising and evaluating the information flow in the system.
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