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Category Archives: Design

Assumed identities

As the creature emerged from the chrysalis, the documentary narrator, himself a prominent scientist in the field, announced that the previously observed grub was now revealing its true identity – the adult form of a wasp. But is that true?

The advantages of extinction

In nature, there are a variety of ways that organisms can disappear. There are those associated with predation and competition, of course. But there are two others that are integrally related to the processes of natural selection and evolution. The more interesting of the two from the perspective of organizational design is called . . .

Errant evolution

A key element of the many ideas drawn from science for application in management theories – and, in particular, in more recent notions of individual and organizational leadership – is the concept of evolution. As in so many other such borrowings, of course, the notion is roughly handled, and the results ultimately produce yet more disappointment and disaffection with the very thought of management theorizing. It is a truism, for example . . .

Whether the facts hit the theory or the theory hits the facts

Sometimes a theory becomes so powerful that no fact can withstand a collision with it. Indeed, it accumulates such overwhelming attractiveness as a persuasive, explanatory model, that facts wandering into its range are simply either absorbed or obliterated. It happens so quickly and completely as to escape detection. A violent end with no witnesses. In many ways, psychoanalysis is a good example of this . . .

Mr. Market

Benjamin Graham, author of the venerable “Intelligent Investor,” used the phrase “Mr. Market” to make the point that the stock markets are often irrational, thus presenting profitable opportunities for investors. And today, it is also common for supposedly sophisticated and hard-nosed stock market observers to anthropomorphize the market. . .