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The dolphin attractor: Dialogue for emergent new order in a Dutch manufacturing firm

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  • Communication
  • Design


Working Paper (to be) Presented at the Founding Meeting of the ECCON Network, Lage Vuursche, Netherlands Paper for the Special Issue of the International Scientific Journal of Methods and Models of Complexity (ISJ M & MC) The Dolphin Attractor Dialogue for Emergent New Order in a Dutch Manufacturing Firm Frans M. van Eijnatten & Maarten C. van Galen Institute for Business Engineering and Technology Application Eindhoven University of Technology, Faculty of Technology Management, The Netherlands Tel.: +31 40 247 24 69, Fax: +31 40 243 71 61 E-mail: [email protected] Internet: __________________________________________________________________________________ Abstract This paper documents a series of complex responsive processes, observed in a Dutch capital-equip- ment manufacturing firm in the South of The Netherlands, which are focused on the development of the organisational mind, seen through the Chaos lens. The organisational goal is to facilitate self- organisation by using Dialogue as a main mode of communication. The research is covering a period of two years (September 1999 - August 2001). The project was executed in a firm which is specialised in developing and producing tailor-made processing systems for the food industry. Its rich history of organisational development dates back to 1988. Up until 1999 the company evolved into a fully team-based organisation, using Socio- Technical Systems Design as the main re-design approach. However, an evaluation study carried out in 1999 revealed, that – although numerous projects have been successful both in implementing new team structures in production, sales, R&D, and service, and in increasing productivity – individual attitudes did not show much development. Management complains that taking initiatives by employees still runs below expectation. Medio 1999 management, researchers and consultants collaborated to explore some

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