2007/08/09 08:05 Systems Applications in Business and Industry, Session 1, ISSS Tokyo 2007

2007/08/09 08:05 Systems Applications in Business and Industry, Session 1, ISSS Tokyo 2007

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker's presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted on the ISSS web site by David Ing.

Chaired by David Ing

Context as posted in the pre-conference description.

Pam Buckle

Self-organization as a productive and reductive dynamics

Interviews:  most data was on counterproduct

  • Interest wasn't in intervention, but had data on this
  • Presenting data from dissertation research
  • When you see counterproductive, what do you do?

Four options, depending on how aggressive or passive, and how much explaining or not

(1) Watchful waiting

  • When not 100% sure, it's worth waiting
  • Maybe think systems is too entrenched
  • Sometimes person isn't comfortable in role to intervene

(2) Unexplained action:  intervene in the pattern, but don't explain why you're intervening

  • Helping profession usually does this, e.g. doctors don't tell you, psychiatrists don't tell you

(3) Create an information catastrophe

  • Disclosing people what is the pattern that you see going on
  • Name it
  • Explosive and powerful
  • Self-organizing pattern is usually unconscious
  • Shift from unconscious to conscious
  • Difference between espoused and in-use

(4) Explained action

  • Name, and create dialogue

Have systemic factors

  • Intervention doesn't mean can control
  • Intervention needs to work against that

Psychological factors

Organizational resistance

  • Shoot the messenger

Intervener resistance

  • Harming the system, not harming self


Same dynamics in Al Anon

Examples of self-organizing

Case: woman hired by municipal government group to do management consulting, teamwork

  • Local police, government officials
  • First meeting:  if had bazookas, would have been killing each other
  • She would have preferred to use information catastrophe:  found old book on civil war

Self-organization:  in workplaces, most everything is intentional

  • Self-organization as all of the patterns that are unintended

Way to hell is paved with good intentions?  There are cases where self-organized has improved intentions

People talked about patterns that are counter-productive, view could be right or wrong

Look at processes within self-organization?  Positive and negative processes, including immune, chaotic

Japanese examples:  Fujiya cakes, self-organized change of sell-by dates, first say that it's self-organizing, then they say it's management direction

  • Meat company saying it was selling beef, and put everything in it, saying it was self-organizing

Literature:  self-organizing generally hits union groups

  • Assumption in management literature that it's always someone's intention
  • Frequently, no one intended

Four categories seen as increasing in severity

  • Counterproductive means to organization's goals

In Japan, consequences internally versus externally?

Hisanoti Terasawa

New relationship between consumers and firms

  • Internet
  • Virtual interaction

Agent-based model

  • Virtual interactions by simulation

Example of virtual interaction

  • Observed in web sites

First, consumers offer a new product idea

  • Simple idea becomes an image within the virtual community
  • Then firm may adapt consumers' information
  • Develop product or service enhancement

We discuss only the origin point

Agent-based model

Model has 5 points:

  • 1. Two agents: consumer, vendor
  • 2. Rule of one-to-many communication:  one opinion spreads
  • 3. Rule that consumers participates in two or more communitys
  • 4. Consumer creates the new product ideas
  • 5. Firm agent is observed by consumer community, firm can't comment

Observed properties of interaction

  • Different effects from community via weblog
  • Active members
  • Voluntary interactions can appear in the weblog

Ways the firm may get the information by Japanese search engines, based on number of links to the site

  • Ranks based on consumer interest
  • Keywords

New search engine may be able to access customer inter


Proprietariness, open/closed

Demand chain versus supply chain

Agent-based model

Yong Pan

Cyber Lemons

Akerlof: assymmetric information

Cyber-lemons:  in the Internet market

Fortune magazine:  people use the Internet to search for cars, but don't buy there

In China, many issues of cyberlemons

Why do cyber-lemons happen in the Internet market?  Four reasons:

  • Consumer nature of transaction, not face-to-face
  • Unclear identity online for consumer
  • Subjective variation on quality online:  difficult to diffuse reputation
  • Influence of information paradox: quality is clear only after use

Mathematical model


  • Need a better coordinator of market
  • Law enforcement
  • Third party quality assuranace