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Organisational Memetics?: Organisational Learning as a Selection Process

By Ilfryn Price

Abstract

Companies are not only systems created and controlled by those who manage them but also self-organising entities that evolve through learning. Whereas an organism is a creation of natural replicators, genes, an organisation can be seen as a product of an alternative replicator, the meme or mental model, acting, like a gene, to preserve itself in an Evolutionary Stable System. The result is an organisation which self organises around a set of unspoken and unwritten rules and assumptions.\ud \ud Biological evolution is stimulated by environmental change and reproductive isolation; the process of punctuated equilibrium. Corporate innovation shows the same pattern. Innovations in products and processes occur in groups isolated from prevailing mental norms.\ud \ud Successful organic strains possess a genetic capability for adaptation. Organisations which wish to foster learning can develop an equivalent, mental capability. Unlike their biological counterparts they can exert conscious choice and puncture the memetic codes that seek to keep them stable; the mental models of individuals, and the strategies, paradigms and unwritten rules at the company level

Publisher: SAGE Publications
Year: 1995
OAI identifier: oai:shura.shu.ac.uk:4035

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