OBSERVING MANAGERIAL DECISION-MAKING AND INFORMATION FLOW FROM WITHIN THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF AN EMERGING ORGANIZATION: A LIVING SYSTEMS ACTION-RESEARCH PROJECT
Keywords:decision-making, social entrepreneurship, Living Systems Theory, cybernetics, emergence, action research, Concrete Process Analysis, self-organization
The investigation looked at a not-for-profit (NFP) organization referred to as SELF, which consisted of three for-profit, socially involved corporations, each serving on the Board. The problem was conceived of as an information overload situation which impacts the quality of decision-making at the highest organizational level, given the variety of information that must be processed by the Board of Directors, for example, financial, social, technological, and qualitative. The research used Living Systems Theory (LST) to take an organismic point of view in order to capture multiple forms of information as the organization evolves and adapts. The LST frame provided categories to tag and map information flows at a cross-level analysis at the “Decider” level. The research study is based on action-research, which takes place in iterative cycles of action and reflection. The research subjects were active participants in the research design and execution.