Cybernetic & Non-Cybernetic Control

Principle & Practice of Management

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Cybernetic & Non-Cybernetic Control

Cybernetic Control

The process described above is a cybernetic control process. Cybernetic control is a system of control through which a critical resource is held at the desired level by a self-regulating mechanism.
For cybernetic control to work, standards must be set, actual results must be reliably measured, standards and results must be compared and the resulting comparison must be feedback to management for action.
Most non-business organizations (universities, cities, and museums for instance), do not meet these conditions. The business firms that are not involved in either production, operations or sales—research and development, advertising, personnel labor relations, engineering, legal, and accounting also do not meet these requirements. Therefore the organization objectives and standards are frequently missing, unclear or shifting, and hence results of activities are difficult to measure accurately and reliably, and feedback information is often unavailable, neither timely nor dependable.
Non-cybernetic controls and control systems are those which do not meet all of the criteria for cybernetic controls.

Organizational cybernetics

Organizational cybernetics (OC) is distinguished from management cybernetics. Both use many of the same terms but interpret them according to another philosophy of systems thinking. The full flowering of management cybernetics is represented in Beer’s books
Organizational cybernetics studies organizational design and the regulation and self-regulation of organizations from a systems theory perspective that also takes the social dimension into consideration. Extending the principles of autonomous agency theory (AAT), cultural agency theory (CAT) has been formulated for the generation of higher cybernetic orders. Researchers in economics, public administration, and political science focus on the changes in institutions, organization and mechanisms of social steering at various levels (sub-national, national, European, international) and in different sectors (including the private, semi-private and public sectors; the latter sector is emphasized)