The Transformation of Human Resource Management: Performance as Practice

Performance management is the institutional triptych of individual, team and organisation matching their demands and needs along one path. Here the contiguities of these three elements are blurred to attempt to bridge their gaps in skills, knowledge and information. It has moved from a command-and-control structure of top down implementation of goals to be met via annual reviews where pay-based bonuses are distributed and the weakest are let go (the Jack Welch model) to an increasingly decentralised system of constant feedback via informal meetings so as to meet the adaptive nature of modern business goals and focus on personal development within organisational culture, emplacing agility within the wider organisation through an individual-based and team-centric focus. Continue reading

Membership Negotiation and Organisational Structure: From Learning Styles to Meta-Systematicity

“Companies and shop-floors thus produce the heat of chatter, some of it meaningless and some of it subversive, creating code within code and internal signs that route-around management practices, filling in gaps and moving capacity by creating autonomous junctures via intra-shop-floor negotiations and informal guidelines”[1]. Organisations are a locus of activity, from membership negotiation to their structuration. They tessellate across informal and formal methodologies of practice, never fully controlling but never fully autonomising either. As they flit between adaptivity and rigidity, they must find methods of integrating the formal and informal, particularly when it comes to incorporating members and meshing individual aptitudes with organisational ideologies and needs. Continue reading

Organisational Mechanics of Voice and Exit

“Every major organization will have to learn how to maintain its identity, the quality of its products and service, and its customer relationships, while being prepared to give up everything else”[1]. The continual transformation of markets, economies and organisations signals the increasing need for work patterns and communication strategies to be on the edge of adaptivity, responding intelligently to change and flux. The organisational changes of the past century show a move away from Taylorist production systems and work by standardised process toward more flexible methods of organisation that focus on functional units and teamwork. The centralised methods of GM and Ford and their in-house units, hierarchical structure and strict control over knowledge pathways[2] gave way the Kanban system of long-term subcontractor relations, decentralised teams and dialogic methods of understanding and reforming work patterns (as through Toyota’s Operations Management Consulting Division and their workshop-based quality circles[3]). In this change, “the need for collaboration in which all parties share a goal – so that they all profit from complementary innovations – but they are not so tightly integrated that as to lose the competitive spirit to innovate”[4] is paramount. Continue reading

Motivation, Incentives and Organisational Chaos

“We are in the midst of a global epidemic of institutional failure. Even then, the signs were everywhere if one cared to look. It has much to do with compression of time and events”[1]. Chaotic systems are accelerating, from monopolistic platform companies implementing new market governance frameworks to alternative modes of accumulation developing out of the financial crisis and the rise of new axes of geopolitical power. The variety of new organisational models, knowledge flows and bottlenecks present opportunities and dangers to established methods of accumulation and growth, requiring alternative methods and incentives to exploit and explore such possibilities. In an organisation, the exploitation of existing knowledge and the exploration of new opportunities create methods of strategic renewal, the ability to use and find knowledge for the purposes of furthering organisational goals and constructing a shared vision. In creating a shared vision, “a sense of commonality that permeates the organization and gives coherence to diverse activities”[2], learning and motivation are fundamental as they drive forward strategic renewal. Continue reading

Organisational Ossification and Management Theory

Modern organisations exist in an increasing system of flux, where informational and financial flows are eroding competitive advantages, companies transform and metastasise into governmental functionaries and new forms of financial[1], knowledge[2], technological[3] and cultural[4] systems are on the horizon. Organisational culture is moving from an “instrumental view” to a “sacred view”[5], and with this new forms and leadership/managerial mechanisms will come forth. The factors that primarily affect what leadership styles are chosen in organisations are the attempt to combat organisational ossification i.e. the attempt to prevent their organisation from becoming unable to adapt to changes in the systems they work within, maintaining the value and loyalty that their stakeholders put into it. By implementing an organisational culture and methods of motivation that create an administration that is adaptive and open to change, leadership styles are influenced and created that allow an organisation to be agile. By looking at the Situational Leadership Model I analyse the four quadrants that define it, I show how the contextual nature of managerial administration attempts to combat ossification and maintain stability and implant adaptivity. Continue reading

Sublimity, Scale, Smallness

“But what if we were to combine such ideas by giving control over to the residents and surrounding communities. Well then I believe that the ideas of developing resilient, utopian communities becomes a very real possibility. Big is sublime, but those within can construct the small is beautiful ethos that shapes truly resilient communities”[1]. Maybe, maybe not. My earlier ruminations on the combinatory potential of brutalist planning with decentralised localised control suggested a premonitory ability for grand visions to mix (rather than collide) with residential or municipal ambitions. To create spontaneity from planning. Of course this is entirely possible in the built environment but then what isn’t. The problems that were faced by housing developments built in 1950s/60s Britain are no fault of the architectural principles (no matter how utopian they were) but instead a consequence of governmental mismanagement that, in a similar way to my quasi-utopian advocacy, advocated that if you built it everybody would be happy to self-regulate. Continue reading

Postscript on Libertarian Subject Users

While posthuman diagrammatic fields certainly a-centre the individual as the primary vector for socio-economic intercursive flows, it does not necessarily destroy the individual or eliminate the importance of individual articulation. While logistical logics presuppose an omnipolitan “hyperconcentration”[1] of circumferential users and institutions that do not cohere on a centre, but instead exist along a continuum of complex adaptation and entropic decay, logisticality[2] suggests a combinatory form of individual that can cohere dividual parts into differential structures depending on context and position, producing coping mechanisms for this entropic decay. While intercursive flows cut through with increasing speed, to such an extent that their perception is blurred at best and almost hostile at worst, there are potentials to resituate the individual subject users in areas of context. Continue reading

Fields of Potentiality: Part 3 – Patchwork and Institutional Oceanography

We can see through 5th generation warfare and meta-perspectival lenses, the human as central actor may well be subsumed to alternative ontological frameworks that emphasise alternative users. As I’ve argued with regards to institutions attempting to map the conversational nexuses of modernity[1], the increasing levels of linguistic output and by extension linguistic heat create clinamenetic stirrings that go beyond modern institution’s boundaries, thereby increasing the informational complexity beyond their capability to manage. And in cohering new institutions, these may move beyond the human subject-user as its central focus, going into new technological and posthuman perspectival worlds that are below and beyond human comprehension. In mapping this, it would not be cartographic, mapping geography and landscape, but rather an oceanography of alternative codes and semiotics, where the new lifeworlds are below the surface of our view, deep in the inky black of posthuman nexuses. Continue reading

Fields of Potentiality: Part 2 – Posthuman Developments and Flows

The evolutions of capitalist organisation have been along dividual lines, as both market developments and corporate forms become singular and combinatory in their nature and relations. New addresses have formed that constitute different methods of organisation beyond current institutional methods of measurement. The initial organisation of capitalism and markets was premised initially upon the centrality of private property and individual ownership. Individuals traded wares in markets and exchanged ownership of goods for money or some other equivalent. They would occasionally form firms so as to better organise their resources and increase their efficiency and productivity by limiting the market’s effects through internal transfers and contracts that organised production with the aim of producing whole products from initially fragmented parts. Continue reading

Fields of Potentiality: Part 1 – Posthuman Subjects and Dividual Lines

The development of institutional and conversational maps to understand the prevailing discourses and powers in societies tend to produce themselves around a human subject and its collective scales. It is centred around the individual as the indivisible being, that which is unique and dissimilar from its combinations of emotional, cultural and institutional shaping that form a persona. However new configurations and concatenations are developing that resituate being and the individual in new contexts, a-centring them and introducing new users and entities. They are neither “individual parts nor…an imagined whole…community”[1], but rather heterogeneous collections of addressable elements and flows of intercursive knowledge and resources. This then goes beyond a simple cartography of institutions and sovereign claims, going instead to deeper, darker recesses of posthuman existences that bring into question human centrality, and develop methods of alterity and potentiality beyond existing maps. Continue reading