SOCDIM – Making Sense of Organizations

We had a rather interesting class activity. It was a debate session, girls versus boys. The statement that we would be debating on was this:

When we do not understand system dynamics, we get trapped into cycles of blaming and self defense; the enemy is always out there, and problems are caused by someone else.

We were on the affirmative side. The funny thing about this debate was that we weren’t really debating. We were arguing about two completely different sets of ideas that are related to the statements above. The girls were talking about this sentence being true. The boys were saying that to prevent people from blaming, they should do this and that. In essence, I believe the boys agreed with us, but that they were offering solutions, which was another different argument route altogether. It was rather hilarious. When the boys said that people should understand the system in order to not blame, we countered with, “But if you understand the system, you’re already off the statement, for it begins with, ‘When we do not understand…’ If you understand the system, then that’s a completely different topic altogether.” Haha!

The topic for the day is Making Sense of Organizations. It’s basically about human interpretations inside the organization. Everyone has an idea of how things are run or how things should run. Organizations then become complex, surprising, deceptive and ambiguous. Narrow or overly simple perspectives lead to fallacies that cloud managerial action. How this can be solved? Well, the boys actually gave good, albeit idealistic, solutions. At least, in my opinion. It’s always easy to say that you should know the system, the process, but then there are many systems and processes within a company. A company’s IT policy might go against its Marketing’s polices. For instance, what if the rule enforcer penalizes a delinquent client under the clauses stated in the end-user license agreement, only to find that the particular client is actually favored or has connections within the organization’s higher ups? Even with set rules written in stone, organizations will always be filled with gray areas.

It should be interesting to see how these gray areas are to be colored. I’d like to see different management styles. I mean, it would be boring if we all have to follow one right answer, one best way of rendering the gray areas.

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