Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Genesis of a theoretical framework

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Genesis of a theoretical framework"— Presentation transcript:

1 Genesis of a theoretical framework
Emergence and Growth of Knowledge and Diversity in Hierarchically Complex Organised Systems: Genesis of a theoretical framework William P. Hall National Fellow Australian Centre for Science, Innovation and Society - University of Melbourne DIS: ICT Head Office / Engineering Tenix Defence, Williamstown Visiting Faculty Associate University of Technology Sydney Dept Info Sci - 13/10/2006 Personal Research

2 Some background My path to organisational KM is unique
physics (3½ years from 1957) computers (all generations from cog-wheel calculators) neurophysiology (2+ years as research assistant - signal processing) comparative ethology, comparative anatomy and ecosystem theory PhD Evolutionary Biology (Harvard, 1973) - genetic system, systematics personal KM in the sciences with bibliographic search engines studied epistemology and scientific revolutions ( ) I bought my first microcomputer in 1981 and it had to pay for itself 1980's: computer literacy journalism, software tech writing, and documenting Hogan banking systems With Tenix Defence since Jan 1990 full life of the ANZAC Ship Project - On time, on budget, all the time building content authoring/management systems now working on cross divisional knowledge management solutions This gives me some different perspectives! I started university in physics (before the time of pocket calculators!). I eventually proved to my own satisfaction that I couldn't do the arithmetic well enough to excel on exams. Changed my major to zoology because studying living things had always been a hobby. Lived on a boat, spent a good deal of my childhood immersed in the ocean and keeping things in aquaria. Also had a good compound microscope, so I was as familiar with protozoa and marine invertebrates as most people are with mammals and birds. My PhD research was on chromosome evolution and speciation in lizards. After having had four years of very high teaching loads, I was just starting a University of Melbourne Fellowship to begin writing up my research for publication. I couldn't why reviewers were having problems with my research publications - one, who had actually been my research assistant in much of the field work, claimed my writing was "unscientific" and proved his total failure to understand my method of argument by trying to rewrite the paper he criticized. I spent most of the two years ( ) at Melbourne studying what made theories scientific (i.e., epistemology), and the nature of scientific revolutions. Eepistemology is the theory of knowledge, and answers the questions: What is knowledge? How is knowledge created? I found the solution to my writing problems, but not soon enough to salvage my career in biology. I also bought a personal computer in 1980, and discovered that computers were evolving vastly faster than lizards! Personal Research

3 The work summarised here began ~1977 in response to paradigmatic misunderstandings over my PhD
PhD Evol. Biol. Harvard 1973 University of Melbourne Research Fellow in Genetics 77-78 Problems with reviewers of papers following my PhD led to studies in epistemology and history and philosophy of science Worked with computers since 1981; Tenix Defence since Jan 1990 Technical writers' holy wars in 2000 over content oriented vs page oriented writing & management led to book project Co-evolution of cognitive tools and human cognition When I got to KM organisations I found my understanding of "knowledge" differed from what my peers thought it was Had to stop writing until I understood the difference Solution re-formulates org theory and KM on evolutionary principles Reformulation now well underway with peer-reviewed published papers I am also reinventing the theory of life itself theory of self-organizing hierarchically complex dissipative systems evolutionary epistemology autopoiesis Personal Research

4 Epistemology (theory of knowledge)
KM is a mess in several other areas as well with too many poorly understood paradigms Epistemology (theory of knowledge) personal knowledge (Michael Polanyi) objective knowledge (Karl Popper) Organization theory (Donaldson recognises 15 paradigms) resource view environment view autopoietic view How to analyse knowledge in the organization individual view social view critical view alternative views How organizations create knowledge cognitivist view connectionist view Donaldson, L American Anti-Management Theones of Organization, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press – see also McKelvey, B Quasi-natural organization science. Organization Science 8: Personal Research

5 Foundation Problems in KM: We can’t even define knowledge consistently
A few definitions from the literature Author(s) Data Information Knowledge Wiig (1993) Facts organised to describe a situation or condition Truths and beliefs, perspectives and concepts, judgements and expectations, methodologies and know how Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) A flow of meaningful messages Commitments and beliefs created from these messages Spek and Spijkervet (1997) * Not yet interpreted symbols Data with meaning The ability to assign meaning Davenport (1997) Simple observations Data with relevance and purpose Valuable information from the human mind Davenport and Prusak (1998) A set of descrete facts A message meant to change the receiver’s perception Experiences, values, insights, and contextual information Quigley and Debons (1999) Text that does not answer questions to a particular problem Text that answers the questions who, when, what, or where Text that answers the questions why and how Choo et al. (2000) Facts and messages Data vested with meaning Justified, true beliefs Stenmark, D Information vs. Knowledge: The Role of intranets in Knowledge Management. In Proceedings of HICSS-35, Hawaii, January 7-10, 2002 * * Full text free to the web Personal Research

6 Conflicting paradigms of knowledge in KM
Michael Polanyi (1958, 1966): personal/tacit knowledge Focus knowing subjects knowledge of doing, personal skills belief, faith and intuition final arbiters of "truth" followers tend to denigrate explicit knowledge to mere "information" Popularised in KM and organization theory by Nelson & Winter, Sveiby, Nonaka, von Krogh & Roos Popper (1972): epistemology without a knowing subject Knowledge grows through conjecture & refutation, i.e., criticism against reality Different kinds of knowledge: Subjective or dispositional – as embodied in instantaneous structure Persistent or objective – in codified form Joe Firestone of Macroinnovation Associates one of few KM practitioners using Popperian epistemology Personal Research

7 Incommensurability of the paradigms
Search dates: 11/02/2002, (15/08/2002), [14/07/2004] Michael Polanyi "Personal Knowledge" Google hits = 1,760 (1,450) [4,040] Karl Popper "Objective Knowledge“ Google hits = 1,850 (1,570) [3,730] Both together Google hits = 64 (55) [88] Only 1.1% of authors citing either book cited both! Conclusion Writers concerned with one author's thinking were not interested in or could not cope with discussing the other author's thinking in the same document - even to the extent of listing them in a single bibliography. Personal Research

8 Key ideas for answering “What is knowledge?”
Evolutionary biology and evolutionary epistemology J.D. Watson & Francis Crick (molecular genetics) Ernst Mayr (was still writing in his 100th year), Steven J. Gould Donald T. Campbell Karl Popper’s mature epistemology: 1972 and later – published in his 70th year Autopoiesis (auto = ‘self’ + poiesis = ‘production’) Humberto Maturana & Francisco Varela Chilean neurobiologists working in the 1970’s Defining what it means to be alive Emergence of complex hierarchical systems Hebert Simon, Ilya Prigogine, Stuart Kauffman Biosemiotics Howard Pattee, Luis M Rocha, Hoffmeyer & Emmeche Personal Research

9 Karl Popper - a philosopher who studied science
What is knowledge? Karl Popper - a philosopher who studied science "All life is problem solving" Knowledge is solutions to problems Epistemology summary Knowledge is fundamentally based on external reality The ultimate authority for deciding the truth of a claim to know is its correspondence with external reality - but.... Claims to know are cognitively constructed Impossible to prove any claim to know is true (or false) Any number of favourable tests are logically falsified by a single failure Any falsification can be "immunised" by auxiliary hypotheses Knowledge is fallible (Firestone & McElroy 2003) Personal Research

10 Reproduction/Production
Popper's three worlds 2. Cybernetic self-regulation Consciousness Cognition Drive/Enable 3. Expressed language Computer memory Recorded thought Logical artefacts Heredity Reproduction/Production Development/Recall Inferred logic Describe/Predict Test Observe Organismic/Personal Knowledge exists in World 2 Emerges from World 1 processes Objective Knowledge forms World 3 Persistent logical Content produced / evaluated by World 2 processes Regulate/Control 1. Energy Thermodynamics Physics Chemistry Biochemistry Existence/Reality World 1 Polanyi's epistemology of personal knowledge encompassed within Popper's World 2 © William P. Hall Personal Research

11 Karl Popper's "tetradic schema" or "general theory of evolution"
TS 1 2 m P n +1 EE Pn a real-world problem faced by an entity TS a tentative solution or tentative theory EE a process of error elimination Pn+1 changed problem as faced from by an entity incorporating a surviving solution TS may be embodied in W2 in the individual entity, or TS may be expressed in words as a hypothesis in W3, subject to objective criticism Objective expression and criticism lets our theories die in our stead As an iterated cyclic process, solutions can approach reality Personal Research

12 John Boyd's OODA Loop process wins conflicts
OBSERVE (Results of Test) DECIDE (Hypothesis) ACT (Test) ORIENT O OBSERVATION PARADIGMS GUIDANCE AND CONTROL PARADIGMS CULTURE PARADIGMS PROCESSES EXTERNAL INFORMATION GENETIC HERITAGE O D A INPUT ANALYSIS SYNTHESIS CHANGING CIRCUMSTANCES MEMORY OF HISTORY UNFOLDING ENVIRONMENTAL RESULTS OF ACTIONS UNFOLDING INTERACTION WITH EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT An organisation's success in a competitive environment depends critically its ability to do a better job of assimilating information, increasing its epistemic quality to generate strategic power, and reducing decision cycle times. See Personal Research

13 Some OODA definitions Observation assembles data about the world in which the adaptive entity exists (including the entity's own effects and those of its competitors on that world). Data is given a context relating to the entity's interactions with the world. Orientation processes that observations into semantically linked knowledge in the form of a world view comprised of new information, memories of prior experience (which may be explicit, implicit or even tacit, genetic heritage (i.e., "natural talent"), cultural traditions (i.e., paradigms), and analysis (destruction) of the existing world view, and synthesis (creation) of a revised world view including possibilities for action. This generates intelligence (in a military sense). Decision selects amongst possible actions generated by the orientation, action(s) to try. Choice is governed and informed by wisdom based on prior experience gained from previous OODA cycles, and the synthesis (creation) of new possibilities to try. Action involves putting the decision to test by applying it to the world. The loop begins to repeat as the entity observes the results of its action. Personal Research

14 Maturana and Varela: autopoiesis defines life
Autopoiesis (= self + production) is the condition achieved by a bounded and self-regulating autocatalytic set of processes able to maintain its existence as an autonomous entity in the face of environmental perturbations; i.e., that which gives a living entity the property of life. Recognizing an autopoietic entity (see von Krogh & Roos) Self-identifiably bounded (membranes, tags) Individually identifiable components within the boundary (complex) Mechanistic (i.e., metabolism/cybernetic processes) System boundaries internally determined (self reference) System intrinsically produces own components Self-produced components are necessary and sufficient to produce the system (autonomy) Personal Research

15 Paradigm of the autopoietic organised system
Maturana and Varela (1980) - Autopoiesis & Cognition – properties of living things Early 1970s quest to define the property of life Autonomous entities defined by self regulation and self production Emergence I. Prigogine - Nobel Laureate Principles of non-equilibrium thermodynamics H. Simon (1962) – Architecture of Complex Systems H. Morowitz (1968) – Energy Flow in Biology: Systems forced through time to evolve increasingly complex cycles to transport energy/matter from sources to sinks J.J. Kay (1984) – Self-organization in living systems S. Salthe (1985, 1993) emergence in a scalar hierarchy S. Kauffman (1993) – Origins of Order: "autocatalytic sets" "organization for free" Personal Research

16 Complexity theory: Hierarchically complex dissipative systems and the focal level (complex triad)
HIGH LEVEL SYSTEM / ENVIRONMENT boundary conditions, constraints, regulations Emergent properties Synthesis cannot predict higher level properties Behaviour is uncomputable Boundary conditions & constraints select Analysis can explain SYSTEM SYSTEM SYSTEM FOCAL LEVEL Possibilities initiating conditions universal laws "material - causes" SUBSYSTEMS Stanley Salthe (1993) Development and Evolution: Complexity and Change in Biology Personal Research

17 Emergence of knowledge
Cognition is the cybernetics of autopoiesis (Maturana) Emergence = establishment of a complex system at a new level in the hierarchy between two pre-existing levels of complexity (Salthe) Early autopoietic systems emerge close to thermodynamic equilibrium between coalescence/disintegration (Kauffman's autocatalytic sets) Autopoietic systems produce more components that favour autopoiesis Dis-integrationg systems lose history, but return components to the environment that have previously worked in autopoietic systems Knowledge of autopoiesis is inherent in the environment, thus shared promiscuously Promiscuity impedes specialisation because random components need to work together Early reproduction requires only growth and fragmentation - where fragments would retain some of the parent's history Selection for self-stabilization evolves towards clonal reproduction away from equilibrium, to preserve structural history that worked Knowledge defines the nature and behaviour of the autopoietic system Meaning = knowledge of solutions to life embodied in dynamic structure Knowledge = heredity = historically accumulated 'information' controlling autopoietic cybernetics to regulate problem responses Personal Research

18 Knowledge: a phenomenon of emergent and evolving autopoiesis
The nature and growth of autopoietic knowledge Turbulent flow from available energy (exergy) sources to entropy sinks forces conducting systems to become more organised (state of decreased entropy) - Prigogine, Morowitz, Kay and Schneider, Kauffman) Coalescent systems have no past. Self-regulatory/self-productive (autocatalytic) activities that persist for a time before disintegrating produce components whose individual histories "precondition" them to form autopoietic systems. Each emerged autopoietic system represents a tentative solution to problems of life. Those that dis-integrate lose their histories (heredity/knowledge). Stable systems are those whose tentative solutions enable them to persist indefinitely. Competition among such systems for resources is inevitable. Survivors thus perpetuate historically successful solutions into their self-produced structure to form dispositional or tacit knowledge (W2). Those that fail to solve new problems dis-integrate and lose their histories. Replication, transcription and translation. With semantic coding and decoding, knowledge can be preserved and replicated in physiologically inert forms for recall only when relevant to a particular problem of life. Objective knowledge may be shared across space and through time. - Howard Pattee ( ) series of papers; Luis Rocha (1995-) series of papers. Dis-integration Integration Turbulence Evolutionary Stage Tentative solutions Coalescence / Emergence Stable solutions Stabilised autopoiesis Selected solutions Dispositional autopoiesis Semiotic autopoiesis Knowledge sharing Shared solutions Criticised solutions Personal Research

19 Emergent orders of autopoietic complexity
Presence of autopoietic system self-defines the focal level of a complex triad 1st order triad Focal level = living cell Subsystems/components = macromolecules Supersystem/environment = dynamic medium/ecosystem/multicellular organisms 2nd order triad Focal level = multicellular organism Subsystems/components = living cells Supersystem/environment = dynamic ecosystem 3rd order triad Focal level = society of organisms (ants, bees, termites) Subsystems/components = multicellular organisms Supersystems/environment = dynamic ecosystem Focal level = human economic organization Subsystems/components = entities with linguistic capabilities Supersystems/environment = dynamic economy Personal Research

20 Reproduction, sex, and diversification (1)
World 2 knowledge transmitted by the division of pre-existing dynamic structure inescapable consequence of autopoiesis entails some loss of computationally irreducible structure depends on what parts of structure passed on Emergence of world 3 knowledge depends on evolution of codification systems Autocatalytic nucleic acid polymers in emergence of first order autopoiesis. Nucleic acid polymers may have enzymatic and/or structural fns Autoreplication of polymer replicates the polymer's functions RNAs retain structural & enzymatic functions to apply control info DNAs codified control information into "genes" Selective advantages for grouping genes into chromosomes Accurate replication Controlled segregation into daughter cells Personal Research

21 Reproduction, sex, and diversification (2)
Clonal reproduction in prokaryotes Clonal evol & differentiation of coadapted snippets in lineages Advantage: Protected accuracy of existing world 3 knowledge Disadvantage: Reduced ability to recombine tested knowledge from different sources in one lineage Sexual recombination totally independent from reproduction Transformation (naked DNA absorbed from environment) Transduction (viral transfer) Conjugation (transfer of plasmid DNA via cell bridge) Recognition of related & rejection of unrelated DNA sequences Pairing & crossing over of homologous DNA Eukaryote DNA well isolated from external exchanges Choreographed cell & nuclear fusion Choreographed recombination and assortment Specialised knowledge allows emergence of biological speciation and gene pools as evolutionary entities Personal Research

22 Knowledge in higher order autopoiesis (1)
Second order systems (multicellular organisms) Clonal budding and alternation of generations common in lower orgs W2 knowledge transmitted via structure of egg cell Learning reflected in structural connections of neurones and other aspects of dispositional structure (physiological adaptation) Most dispositional (somatic) learning cannot be transferred via sexual reproduction Extended parental care can transfer some W2 knowledge via demonstration and copying (i.e., tacit exchange) W3 knowledge in DNA All cells have same DNA Some DNA is control info for cell differentiation and development Only evolves via blind variation and selective elimination of carriers W3 knowledge in extrasomatic heritage Evolution of semiotic/linguistic transfers Encoded objects Personal Research

23 Knowledge in higher order autopoiesis (2)
Third order systems (societies, organizations) Pubs: Hall 2003, 2005, 2006; Else 2004; Hall et al. 2005; Nousala et al, 2005; Dalmaris et al. 2007 W2 knowledge layout and capabilities of plant and machinery social network structure tacit organizational routines tacit personal knowledge cultural dynamics W3 knowledge part of DNA at level of individual organisms encodes adaptations for social behaviours pheromonal trails, published inducements, etc. records and documents of organizational significance explicitly defined processes and procedures Personal Research

24 The organisation is a complex system in the environment
Constraints and boundaries(laws of nature determine what is possible) The organisation's imperatives and goals Entropy/Waste Energy (exergy) Processes Materials Products Recruitment Departures Income Expenses Observations Actions Processes (which may be complex subsystems that are autopoietic in their own rights) are necessary responses to imperatives: Survival Self-maintenance of the processes themselves Personal Research

25 Some concepts building on autopoiesis theory and Karl Popper's theory of knowledge
Organisations (and other living things) are complex dissipative systems emerging from the medium They consume environmental resources that are limited Resources People Income Sinks for entropically degraded materials/devalued energy Competition limits survival { Resources People Economics Information Constraints Medium or supersystem WORLD 1 ("everything") Organisation 1 Organisation 3 Organisation 2 Organisation 4 Personal Research

26 Knowledge in an autopoietic entity
Material Reality WORLD 1 Embodied cybernetic knowledge WORLD 2 Produce Symbolically encoded knowledge/ memory WORLD 3 Recall Constrain/Control Observe/Measure ITERATION/SELECTION THROUGH TIME AUTOPOIETIC SYSTEM Personal Research

27 Autocatalytic metabolism  Flux along the focal level 
Emergent autopoietic vortexes forming world 2 and world 3 in a flux of exergy to entropy . . . Symbolic knowledge . Embodied knowledge Autocatalytic metabolism Autonomy Exergy source Material cycles World 1 Entropy sink  Flux along the focal level  Personal Research

28 Cognition (terms are meaningful in relation to autopoietic or artificially intelligent systems)
Observation: Initial change induced within the autopoietic system by a perturbation Classification (/ decision): Process by which an induced change results in the system settling into one of alternative attractor basins on a landscape of potential gradients Meaning: The net result in the system due to the initial propagation and classification of an observation Coombe's Hierarchy (Australian Army Info Mgmt Manual) Data: The atomic level of meaning Information (first level of synthesis): Classified observations assembled into relationship structures Knowledge (second level of synthesis): Semantically identified and linked information Intelligence (third level of synthesis): Tentative theory(ies) about the world based on knowledge Wisdom (fourth level of synthesis): Solutions after the elimination of errors through testing theories against the world Strategic power (the result): Wisdom applied to control the world Personal Research

29 Coombe's hierarchy in the autopoietic entity
Autopoietic system Cell Multicellular organism Social organisation State Classification Memory of history Environment Semantic processing to form knowledge Observations (data) Meaning Perturbations Predict, propose Intelligence Related information Personal Research An "attractor basin"

30 Conscious OODA Loop in Material Terms
Another view Conscious OODA Loop in Material Terms Medium/ Environment Autopoietic system Memory Observation World State 1 Classification Perturbation Time World State 2 Transduction Synthesis Codified knowledge Decision Evaluation Processing Paradigm Assemble Response Observed internal changes Iterate Effect Internal changes Effect action Personal Research

31 Paradigm of the autopoietic organization (2)
Nelson & Winter (1982): Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change Postulated that organizational knowledge transcends knowledge of individual members to form organizational heredity to maintain the existence and behaviour of the organization (i.e., self-production). Assumed this transcendent knowledge was tacit (Polanyi) physical layout routines contexts connections von Krogh and Roos (1995) Organizational Epistemology Personal Research

32 Existing users of Autopoiesis neglect World 3
Current paradigm of organizational autopoiesis Blind spot: Maturana & Varela legitimately did not include reproduction in their minimal definition of autopoiesis As stated the concept does not consider persistent heredity transcending the life of a single entity Nelson & Winter Focus on tacit personal & organizational knowledge Represents late 1970s early 1980s thinking As they were writing, world 3 organizational content largely consisted of data, information & transaction records, not knowledge Roles of persistent knowledge (heredity) to guide growth & maintenance of the living organization The exception is Hugo Urrestarazu (2004) On Boundaries of Autopoietic Systems Three domains: phenomenological, "biological", "languaging Funct. equivalent to Popper's 3 worlds Personal Research

33 Organisational knowledge in World 3
Persistent objects of corporate knowledge Articles of incorporation & employment agreements Contracts s & correspondence Graphics and drawings Plans, records, process & procedure documents Enacted workflow systems Written history Links & captured contexts Databases AV recordings World 3 comprises the bulk of organizational memory or heredity Personal Research

34 END Personal Research

Download ppt "Genesis of a theoretical framework"

Similar presentations

Ads by Google