This contribution is intended as a reflection on the soul of the corporate system and its ability to respond dynamically to maintain conditions of vitality and prosperity in the face of ever new and sometimes unforeseen events. As in any living, dynamic and complex system, the harmonious functioning of the various parts of the system is underpinned by mechanisms of regulation, self-regulation and autopoiesis; the company is therefore considered to be a dissipative system. The regulatory and autopoietic mechanisms are activated by a constant two-way internal-external exchange of energy and matter, capable of stimulating a negentropic evolutionary dimension, even in situations of instability. The company that achieves its goals is said to be “effective”; the company that does so at the lowest cost is said to be “efficient”; the company that does both is said to be “economically managed”. Underlying this discourse is the often taken-for-granted fact that firms must operate under equilibrium conditions or else exit the market (in the absence of subsidies from external agents). But companies are not biological systems that are inherently capable of reaching homeostatic states. Too often we forget that it is mainly the 'visible hand' of top managers that influences the state in which a firm finds itself. The search for equilibrium and its maintenance are hardly self-generating. The fathers of our disciplines already claimed that “economy expresses the ability of management to maintain economic equilibrium” and “profitability expresses the ability of management to generate positive income”. It is the economic actors - the owner-entrepreneurs, in the case of small companies - and the top managers - in the case of large companies - or, more generally, the leaders who make the difference, who lead a business system to operate in conditions of equilibrium (economic, financial and organizational), and who have to restore these conditions when they change in response to events, internal or external to the organization’s boundaries, whether foreseeable or not. Immersed as they are in VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) environments, today's companies and the leaders who run them are called upon to rebalance their organization, for example to enable it to respond appropriately to a shock by ensuring business continuity. Thus, each entropic trend tends to be matched by a syntropic (or neg-entropic) one in order to achieve states of ‘dynamic equilibrium’. This involves the coordination of the business system and the need to reach situations of interdependence; to find or rediscover the harmony of interpersonal integration relationships, to ensure a compatible relationship between the interests of the various stakeholders and to guarantee operational and managerial policies in line with the company's objectives and mission. So, it is not enough to design and implement orderly structures, it is necessary to keep them in harmony and ensure their vitality. Our contribution aims to answer the following research question: “If today's companies operate in extremely dynamic, ambiguous and, to some extent, unpredictable contexts, what characteristics should top management possess and what levers should it use to manage such hyper complexity, to balance entropic and neg-entropic forces and to achieve states of 'dynamic equilibrium' that allow the company to survive and develop?”. This question is particularly relevant when it comes to managing serious crises (wars, pandemics, international economic and financial crises, etc.), which require a radical adaptation of corporate governance to environmental dynamics. The research methodology is qualitative, based on the identification and analysis of a selected bibliography. The approach is interdisciplinary and covers various fields of study: economics, management, philosophy, business organization. Inspired by general systems theory, we have endeavored to integrate the various specialist contributions in order to develop a framework on the basis of which the business system can be interpreted as a unitary, integrated reality in continuous evolution. A socio-economic system that is open, complex, probabilistic, ductile, evolving according to the principle of equifinality and endowed with regulatory processes that make it possible to achieve homeostatic situations at increasingly complex levels.

Epistemology of complexity in a state of crisis. Leadership and coordination as catalysts of neghentropy / Zanda, Stefania; Castaldo, Francesca. - Book Proceedings:16th Annual Conference of the EuroMed Academy of Business(2023), pp. 1221-1225. (Intervento presentato al convegno 16th Annual Conference of the EuroMed Academy of Business tenutosi a Vilnius, Lithuania).

Epistemology of complexity in a state of crisis. Leadership and coordination as catalysts of neghentropy

Zanda, Stefania
Primo
;
Castaldo, Francesca
Ultimo
2023

Abstract

This contribution is intended as a reflection on the soul of the corporate system and its ability to respond dynamically to maintain conditions of vitality and prosperity in the face of ever new and sometimes unforeseen events. As in any living, dynamic and complex system, the harmonious functioning of the various parts of the system is underpinned by mechanisms of regulation, self-regulation and autopoiesis; the company is therefore considered to be a dissipative system. The regulatory and autopoietic mechanisms are activated by a constant two-way internal-external exchange of energy and matter, capable of stimulating a negentropic evolutionary dimension, even in situations of instability. The company that achieves its goals is said to be “effective”; the company that does so at the lowest cost is said to be “efficient”; the company that does both is said to be “economically managed”. Underlying this discourse is the often taken-for-granted fact that firms must operate under equilibrium conditions or else exit the market (in the absence of subsidies from external agents). But companies are not biological systems that are inherently capable of reaching homeostatic states. Too often we forget that it is mainly the 'visible hand' of top managers that influences the state in which a firm finds itself. The search for equilibrium and its maintenance are hardly self-generating. The fathers of our disciplines already claimed that “economy expresses the ability of management to maintain economic equilibrium” and “profitability expresses the ability of management to generate positive income”. It is the economic actors - the owner-entrepreneurs, in the case of small companies - and the top managers - in the case of large companies - or, more generally, the leaders who make the difference, who lead a business system to operate in conditions of equilibrium (economic, financial and organizational), and who have to restore these conditions when they change in response to events, internal or external to the organization’s boundaries, whether foreseeable or not. Immersed as they are in VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) environments, today's companies and the leaders who run them are called upon to rebalance their organization, for example to enable it to respond appropriately to a shock by ensuring business continuity. Thus, each entropic trend tends to be matched by a syntropic (or neg-entropic) one in order to achieve states of ‘dynamic equilibrium’. This involves the coordination of the business system and the need to reach situations of interdependence; to find or rediscover the harmony of interpersonal integration relationships, to ensure a compatible relationship between the interests of the various stakeholders and to guarantee operational and managerial policies in line with the company's objectives and mission. So, it is not enough to design and implement orderly structures, it is necessary to keep them in harmony and ensure their vitality. Our contribution aims to answer the following research question: “If today's companies operate in extremely dynamic, ambiguous and, to some extent, unpredictable contexts, what characteristics should top management possess and what levers should it use to manage such hyper complexity, to balance entropic and neg-entropic forces and to achieve states of 'dynamic equilibrium' that allow the company to survive and develop?”. This question is particularly relevant when it comes to managing serious crises (wars, pandemics, international economic and financial crises, etc.), which require a radical adaptation of corporate governance to environmental dynamics. The research methodology is qualitative, based on the identification and analysis of a selected bibliography. The approach is interdisciplinary and covers various fields of study: economics, management, philosophy, business organization. Inspired by general systems theory, we have endeavored to integrate the various specialist contributions in order to develop a framework on the basis of which the business system can be interpreted as a unitary, integrated reality in continuous evolution. A socio-economic system that is open, complex, probabilistic, ductile, evolving according to the principle of equifinality and endowed with regulatory processes that make it possible to achieve homeostatic situations at increasingly complex levels.
2023
16th Annual Conference of the EuroMed Academy of Business
complexity; crisis; leadership; coordination; negentropy
04 Pubblicazione in atti di convegno::04b Atto di convegno in volume
Epistemology of complexity in a state of crisis. Leadership and coordination as catalysts of neghentropy / Zanda, Stefania; Castaldo, Francesca. - Book Proceedings:16th Annual Conference of the EuroMed Academy of Business(2023), pp. 1221-1225. (Intervento presentato al convegno 16th Annual Conference of the EuroMed Academy of Business tenutosi a Vilnius, Lithuania).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1689568
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