M. JACKSON comments on the co-operative system model introduced (in business management) by C. BARNARD as early as 1938 (2000, p. 108)
Basically, cooperative systems appear when groups of individuals share common goals and are simultaneously submitted to similar constraints. They quickly find out that by sharing resources and harmonizing behaviors it becomes possible to attain their goals more easily and more economically.
"Sharing" and "harmonizing" imply the need and the shaping of differenciated structures and functions and, of course, of a general coordinator and regulator of the subsystems activities as related to the basic goal of the system (which is survival in the most efficient way).
Jackson writes: "Barnard believed his thinking was relevant to all forms and types of organization. His aim was to discover features common to executive functions in all organizations". Obviously, these basic executive functions are precisely coordination and regulation. But the previous and indispensable condition is a sound understanding of the general nature and order of the co-operative systems.
It is useful to note that these functions exist also in a much less specific way in animal and specially insects societies and are now also emerging in robots endowed with reciprocal capacities of communication.
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To cite this page, please use the following information:
Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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