Purpose – Illustrate supported by Beer’s Viable System Model and four vignettes the relevance of self-organisation, recursive structures, self-reference and reflexivity in policy processes. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach – First, the concepts of self-organisation, recursive structures, self-reference and reflexivity are briefly discussed to ground policy processes in good cybernetics. Then, with the support of four vignettes, the idea of good cybernetics in policy processes is illustrated. Findings – The cybernetics of policy processes is often ignored. Research limitations/implications – If the purpose of this paper were to influence policy makers it would be necessary to further the empirical base of the four vignettes and clarify desirable forums to ground the relevance of self-organisation, recursive structures, self-reference and reflexivity in policy processes. Practical implications – Beer’s recursive structures, self-reference and reflexivity have much to contribute to the betterment of policy processes and the amelioration of the unbearable social and organisational costs of many current policies. Originality/value – The application of concepts such as self-organisation, recursive structures, self-reference and reflexivity adds to the understanding of policy processes.
Kybernetes – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 1, 2015
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