Identification, Response & Recovery
(the page has been in development since Oct.2004)
" Organizations inevitably face crises, but few are well prepared to deal with them".
crisis is a typical pathology of old, large, especially, not
business social-services, government research, public administration,
as well as, regional or international organizations.
In general, a crisis of organization causes its own "natural" and frequently "not conscious" response, but the proper recognition and management of the crisis require its external and internal identification, as well as, a complex and "delicate" recovery strategy.
0. Identification Method: the TOGA Conceptual Framework
The work employs the top conceptualizations, axioms and methodology of the TOGA (Top-down Object-based Goal-oriented Approach) meta-theory, it means, its top ontology and epistemology. Definitions of basic concepts and modeling frameworks are essential for this research.
1. Identification of an Organization Crisis
A) Symptoms and critical vulnerable properties of an organization
The metaphor of the health care of human body is useful for the initial top-down identification of the problem.
The basic, most easy observable crisis symptom is an inefficacy of organization internal and external decision-making (d-m). In such cases, the declared intentions of decision-makers are not congruent with the measured/observed results of the performed actions.
The second aspect is a lack of congruency between, for instance, "old" organization structures and the possibilities of competencies and responsibility networks in the organization.
The pathologies of an organization grown around the improper flows and allocations of information, knowledge and preferences in frame of repetitive networks of inter-dependencies based on the subjective UMP (Universal Management Paradigm). This paradigm is analyzed in the thesis of S.Mazzuca: http://erg4146.casaccia.enea.it/Simona/index.html.
At present, the critical
factor of crisis identification is the generic framework of the ontology
of intelligent organization (a
meta-ontology), not yet sufficiently precisely defined and investigated. It includes
such basic concepts as: organization fundation-goal,
role, competence networks, decision-making and ... ethics
The identification/diagnostis of a concrete organization in crisis, requires a construction of organization-dependent ontologies on sufficiently detailed (generalization) levels.
An organization ontology has to take under consideration the specific context (constrains), objectives and the type of organization resources .
An utility of the application of socio-cognitive engineering methods (TOGA) to the diagnosis of organization pathologies and vulnerabilities are briefly illustrated in the ppt presentation (SCEF-2003 Workshop) , and in the Gadomski's paper related to the socio-cognitive vulnerability identification , CNIP Conference (2006):
B) Crisis taxonomies and top-down crisis modeling
The main factors useful for the organizational crisis taxonomies and crisis modeling, are the following:
cause criteria ( various types of human
formal organization structure and the real role/responsibility
pathologies (they are caused by human/
All of them can be described in the terms of the management of information, preferences, knowledge (IPK) and the distribution of organizational information acquisition and executive power.
In the crisis modeling we may distinguish two types of crisis essential for the sustainable responses of human organizations and for the choice of a minimal-stress recovery strategy, see the CNIP2006, the presentation on Organization Vulnerability Modeling.
2. Socio-cognitive Pathologies (SCP)
Socio-cognitive organization pathologies leading to organization crises are weakly recognizable for external observers but they are usually well visible by the organization employees. For the reason of the managerial inertia they are neglected by the organization authorities and their revealing is usually connected with individual personal risk, but usually, informal information and opinions circulating between the organization employers relate to the well cognitively recognizable symptoms of SCP.
The most serious organization pathology is possible to conceptualize (A.M.Gadomski, 2005) as the triangle composed of reciprocally interacting :
From the computational modeling and simulation perspective, using IPK meta-model, we may assume the following short explanations:
- ignorance is considered as the lack of formally requested knowledge,
- power relates to the access to information and to the possibility of and autonomy in the realization of own decisions.
* The IAP syndrome, if related to the high-level managers, unable internal initiatives, neutralizes externally activated processes of the organization improvement and resilience. At the end, it usually leads to different forms of socio-cognitive and socio-economical crises.
* The IAP pathology depends on the individual assessment by managers, risk and benefits in their decision making . It especially emerges when managerial personal benefits are possible, and the risk of decisions, not profitable (wrong) for the organization, may be neglected during its routine functioning.
"In the lack of possible payoff, the main meta-objective of a public administration decision-maker is the minimization of his/her personal risk" [prof. George Ridman]
For the reason of the human bounded rationality (Herbert Simon), the triangle of Ignorance, Arrogance and Power also is closely related to such not business factors as: cultural, ethics and emotive/emotional.
The IAP pathology development is a slow at first, and increases with time. It causes socio-cognitive organization vulnerability. Therefore a proper periodical socio-cognitive organization scanning and early diagnosis are essential for the identification of the IAP symptoms and for the application of a sustainable prevention(*) or recovery strategy.
References: Socio-cognitive Pathologies: Intelligence and Manipulation in Managerial Decision-making, Adam M. Gadomski (in editing, 2007). See also the stuff of the CRESCO-SOC-COG project.
(*) Prevention means to stop or cancel something whilst it's going on before it can cause losses.
Sustainable Response and Recovery
real organization response on its own crisis and the strategies of recovery
which could be efficient, can be strongly different.
A) Key meta-properties of SRRS:
- Human factors (socio-cognitive)
- Organizational and business factors
- Socio-political and economic factors
- Policy making style: internal and external pressing/interventions
- Autocratic and democratic initiatives principles
- Motivation building and motivation management; role of a
B) The main SRRS types:
above strategies apply the generic organization model ( meta-model) based on three TOGA's
SPG Approach (UDP), together.
* The SRRS strategies include: recognition of organization lifecycle, preventive interventions, and application of the Precautionary Principle.
In particular, they require the monitoring of: autonomy, responsibility, transparency and sustainability (ARTS) of the managers, where:
- autonomy enables self-regulations and self-correction initiatives,
.- responsibility provides effective decision-making frameworks,
it includes the professional IPK, and the definition of roles network
- transparency provides information about the state of organizational
IPK, enables individual comprehension of the organization
preferences, and (if property realized) leads to the reinforcement of
the employees motivations
- sustainability is related to the cognitive and organizational bases
of motivation management aspects, such as cultural and ethical
factors, and to the possible conflicts of interests between the
organization and its employees.
Lifecycle:framework of a Generic Human-Organization Crisis
The conceptualization and methodological frameworks
employed for crisis management (as an event) incorporate the
management/supervision of its numerous factors, organization
components and properties.
Therefore socio-cognitive crisis modeling and management
include such concepts as: threat, vulnerabilities, risk, danger,
safety, robustness, motivation and many others, which usually
are analyzed in their independent groups. The TOGA meta-theory
framework enables their successive top-down
introduction/definition , specialization and decomposition to such
level of their observability and measurability which gives the
possibility of goal-oriented effective interventions.
More information on this approach ( from not always congruent
perspectives) is included in the papers referenced below.
- Cognitive decision-making, A.M:Gadomski,
Vulnerability, ppt , 2006, A.M:Gadomski,
(Oct.13, 2004):"organization crisis", 612 docs, this page is second
(Feb.15, 2005): organization, crisis, 7.860.000 docs, this page is first.
(Dec.06, 2006): organization, crisis, 45.600.000 docs, this page is first.
(July.19, 2007): organization, crisis, 48.100.000 docs, this page is second
(June.05, 2008): organization, crisis, 76.700.000 docs, this page is first.
For the citation purposes: A.M.Gadomski, Human-Organization Crisis: Identification, Response & Recovery. e-Paper on MKEM Server, ENEA, since Oct.,2004: http://erg4146.casaccia/.enea.gad-crisis.htm (last updating: 5 June 2008)
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Since: 10/10/04 16:27:27