By David Stark

What counts? In paintings, as in different components of existence, it isn't continuously transparent what criteria we're being judged by way of or how our value is being made up our minds. this is disorienting and disconcerting. due to this, many organisations commit huge assets to restricting and clarifying the logics used for comparing worthy. yet as David Stark argues, agencies may usually be at an advantage, specifically in dealing with swap, in the event that they allowed a number of logics of worthy and didn't unavoidably discourage uncertainty. in reality, in lots of circumstances a number of orders of worthy are unavoidable, so enterprises and corporations should still learn how to harness the advantages of such "heterarchy" instead of trying to purge it. Stark makes this argument with ethnographic case reports of 3 businesses trying to focus on speedy switch: a machine-tool corporation in past due and postcommunist Hungary, a new-media startup in long island in the course of and after the cave in of the web bubble, and a Wall road funding financial institution whose buying and selling room used to be destroyed on September 11. In each one case, the friction of competing standards of worthy promoted an organizational reflexivity that made it more straightforward for the corporate to alter and take care of marketplace uncertainty. Drawing on John Dewey's thought that "perplexing events" offer possibilities for cutting edge inquiry, Stark argues that the dissonance of various rules can result in discovery.

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Extra info for The Sense of Dissonance: Accounts of Worth in Economic Life

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The greater interdependence of increasingly autonomous work teams results in a proliferation of sometimes competing performance criteria. 59 Because resources are not fixed in one system of interpretation but can exist in several, heterarchies make assets of ambiguity. 59 Andy Clark, “Leadership and Influence: The Manager as Coach, Nanny, and Artificial DNA,” 1999; and John H. Clippinger, “Tags: The Power of Labels in Shaping Markets and Organizations,” 1999. 60 I extend and, in the process, modify61 this notion by considering the problem of diversity for adaptability within an organization.

In circumstances of risk, chances are calculable; that is, the distribution of outcomes can be expressed in some probabilistic terms. ” The problem of uncertainty, it must be emphasized, is not a function of the limited calculative power of the human actors confronting it. Instead it is a property of the situation. The situation is indeterminate. John Dewey, writing about the same time as Knight but in a different context, nicely expresses the problem of indeterminate situations: A variety of names serves to characterize indeterminate situations.

Heterarchy principles of evaluation. Neither is it compartmentalization, in which different principles of worth map to separate departments or units, bounded and buffered from contamination. It is not a replicative redundancy or slack (more of the same) but a generative redundancy of difference. I write of organizing dissonance because some forms of friction can be destructive. When personalized, differences can be petty as opposed to productive. To be constructive, rivalry must be principled, with the adherents of the contending frameworks offering reasoned justifications.

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