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Organizing and coordinating talk and silence in organizations

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  • Herbert A. Simon

Abstract

The computer stores mountains of information that it communicates worldwide through an enormous bandwidth. We must learn to exercise severe, intelligent selectivity in mining our data mountains, and to communicate information in ways that will inform and not bury the recipients. This is today's task of organizational design. Organizing combines human efforts efficiently, dividing the undertaking into separate but interdependent tasks and securing good coordination in their performance. An effective organization and its buildings balance opportunity for reflective deliberation against opportunity for mutual exchange of ideas and information. That balance is lost if talk drowns out silence. In our time, silence is unlikely to drown out talk. In recent years, we have been learning a great deal about the general nature and organization of complex systems. We ourselves are complex systems and we are surrounded by a host of other complex systems: social, technical and natural. Among the important social systems are business and non-profit organizations, on a smaller scale families, and on a larger scale, ethnic groups and nations. Among the important technical systems are machines, buildings of innumerable kinds and electronic networks. Among the important natural systems are multicelled organisms and ecosystems. Copyright 2002, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Herbert A. Simon, 2002. "Organizing and coordinating talk and silence in organizations," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(3), pages 611-618, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:11:y:2002:i:3:p:611-618
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    Cited by:

    1. Fiorenza BELUSSI & Luciano PILOTTI & Silvia Rita SEDITA, 2006. "Learning at the boundaries for industrial districts between exploitation of local resources and the exploration of global knowledge flows," Departmental Working Papers 2006-40, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    2. Fiorenza Belussi & Luciano Pilotti & Silvia Rita Sedita, 2006. "Learning at the boundaries for industrial districts between exploitation of local resources and exploration of global knowledge flows," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0033, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
    3. You-Na Lee & John P. Walsh, 2012. "Intra-organizational integration and innovation: organizational structure, environmental contingency and R&D performance," ICER Working Papers 20-2011, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.

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