Although the science of organisations has a prestigious tradition, a number of questions have received only partial (or not completely satisfactory) answers. For example, definitions of organisations abound, but nobody would find easy to answer the question of what organisations are and what constitutes their properties, activities, constraints and behaviours. Despite the evident link between the science and management of organisations, the problem of how to create, modify and make them more efficient is a puzzle for scientists, as it is for entrepreneurs and managers. Which factors are mainly responsible for the quality of organisational performance, its accuracy, rate of error and so on? Are these factors external (environment) or internal (structure, design, strategy) to the organisation? Aside from these problems, less evident questions are also waiting for answers. These problems revolve around issues concerning the nature of the links between cognition and organisations, an issue about which one of the editors of the volume under review (Kathleen Carley) is an acknowledged expert. Thanks to her efforts and achievements, we are now certain that this link must be modelled as involving mutual influence. On one hand, individual mental constructs affect organisational processes and efficiency while organisations and groups affect agents and their minds on the other. Still, this mutual influence needs further investigation and qualitative modelling. For example, which aspects of the mind are essential for organisational life? How and why do people enter, represent and evaluate organisations? How do agents mediate intra and inter-organisational relationships, recursive structures and processes? Moreover, which aspects of the natural mind can be extended to the level of organisations? What is meant when referring to organisations as "agents", what type of agents are they and what are the interrelationships between agency on these two levels, individual and organisational?
Simulating Organizations: Computational Models of Institutions and Groups
info:cnr-pdr/source/autori:Conte, R./titolo:Simulating Organizations: Computational Models of Institutions and Groups/doi:/rivista:/anno:2003/pagina_da:/pagina_a:/intervallo_pagine:/volume:6(2)