The Organization as Artifact: Structuring the Organization in Times of Constant, Dramatic Change

By John Michael Cipolla.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

A normative truth is a phenomenon that two or more people agree to accept as true, and whose truth or falsity is almost wholly determined by that acceptance. For example, the virtue (or lack thereof) of patriotism is a normative truth, for neither virtue nor patriotism exists in the natural universe; 2 + 2 = 4 is a normative truth, for equality is a relationship which has no material reality in the natural universe. The myriad of human social organizational forms (from cultures, to governments, to businesses) are normative truths. Note, however, that these normative truths are not artificial, are not superficial, are not inconsequential. They are as real as the universe itself. But they are not “natural,” they do not transcend man, and they are not indifferent to man’s knowledge, i.e., they do not exist as they exist unless and until people give them existence as such. They are not artificial; they are artifactual. The failure to recognize this has led to crises in government, the arts, and business. The ability to actively and creatively deal with it has led to some marked successes in many fields of human endeavour.

Keywords: Crisis Leadership, Innovation, Social Construction of Reality, Change

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp.135-148. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.280MB).

Dr. John Michael Cipolla

Associate Professor, College of Business and Management, Lynn University, Boca Raton, Florida, USA

I have extensive experience working with organizations that needed to change the way they looked at their “world” because they found that that “world” had changed.

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