Saturday, November 22, 2014

Members of Organizations Negotiate Shared Hallucinations of What Is

Karl Weick, a renowned organizational theorist, suggested that organizations spend enormous effort negotiating a shared hallucination of what is going on. What happens are always mutual interactions between people. Interpreting those interactions and constructing forms of organization thereof is done retrospectively to make sense of what happened. (1995, pp. 16, 135)

That makes me think:
  1. What increases or decreases the time spent on agreeing this mutually shared hallucination?
  2. What would even be a reasonable amount, e.g. as a percentage of effort spent on organizational affairs?
  3. How does agreeableness of or dissent on that shared hallucination influence organizational performance and stability?
  4. In hierarchical structures: Is the level of trust between regular members and members in authority related to the time spent on that negotiation?
  5. Is there a correlation between the time spent negotiating and different forms of collaboration, e.g. push or delegating in chains of authority as opposed to pull participation (Kanban)?
  6. Particularly: Does the ratio of time spent on negotiation per number of interactions grow bigger or smaller with pull methods, and how does it relate to productivity?
  7. Many levels of hierarchy tend to distort communication from the bottom to the top. On every level (C-level, Tier 2, 3-Management, employees) do specific attributes exist that characterize the negotiation on that particular level?
  8. Does chain of authority management  accept a higher degree of negotiating activity (maybe even neglect it) as a tolerated trade-off to reinforcing authority (parole vs. transparency)?

Tons of questions ...


Weick, K. E. (1995). Der ProzeƟ des Organisierens [Social Psychology of Organizing]. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp. ISBN: 3-518-06039-2