Version 3.2_September 2016

Individual Paper: Toward New Public Management Arrangements: Some Parameters

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The “human brain” sifts more intelligent from less intelligent understandings through successive “experimental interactions with the environment”. At a societal level, our problem is to evolve a “learning society” which experiments and learns in a similar way.
The internet is widely thought to offer a basis on which to build an information-based management system. But how are good ideas to be sifted from poor ones?
In essence, the task is to evolve a decentralised, “organic”, management system having multiple feedback loops analogous to that which manages the internal functioning of organisms.
Some educational research1 which helps us to understand how to do this will be discussed.
A key observation is that the “educational” system mainly performs a sociological, rather than an educational, function. It operates to legitimise and promote hierarchy which, as Bookchin has shown, contributes inordinately to our plunge to self-extinction.
Because the barriers to the introduction of more effective arrangements do not operate independently but form a system, or network, in which it is impossible to change any one part without the effects being negated by the reactions of the rest of the system a way forward will only be found via study of the sociocybernetic processes involved.
Surprising insights into the nature of the requisite democratic processes emerge from this work.
1 Summarised in Managing Education for Effective Schooling