2001 Conference (May 27-29)

Vancouver, B.C. Canada

John Brocklesby

The Cybernetics of Praxis in Management Science




This paper explores the cybernetics of praxis in the domain of Management Science - a discipline and area of professional practice in which technology is paramount and in which objectivist epistemologies have traditionally held sway.

Drawing primarily on Maturana's Ontology of the Observer the paper conceptualises Management Science as an activity that fundamentally belongs to the relational circumstances in which it is carried out and which reflects the dominant conversations and discourse that constitute these. The paper rejects the idea that Management Science is an activity carried out in the name of objectivity and/or as something that is reducible to the nature of the problematic situation under investigation. Its distinctive take on Management Science brings matters of agency, emotion, ethics, and power to the fore.

The theoretical perspective of the paper is illustrated through reference to a major Management Science intervention carried out by the author in a large telecommunications company.


(Abstracts Index)
(Home Page)