Resilience and transparency in social systems

Griffiths, David ORCID: 0000-0002-6863-2456 (2019) Resilience and transparency in social systems. Kybernetes, 48 (4). pp. 715-726. ISSN 0368-492X

Griffiths Resilience and Transparency Kybernetes.pdf - Accepted Version

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This paper draws on the literature of cybernetics to argue that the resilience of organizations can be diminished by an unconsidered maximization of transparency and accountability. In doing so it critically examines the concept of resilience, and the relationship of resilience to neoliberalism. A conceptual analysis of resilience is carried out at two levels. Firstly, the use of the concepts of resilience, viability, transparency, accountability and neoliberalism is considered, together with the relationship between them. Secondly the management interventions that result from the application of these related ideas are critiqued from the perspective of cybernetics, and particularly of variety and black boxes. It is shown that within complex social environments the unconsidered imposition of transparency and accountability as a management strategy may constrain the resilience of the organizations and individuals rather than enhance it. The use of data analytics enhances this tendency. The theoretical analysis of the relationship between transparency and resilience offers a basis for carrying out empirical studies. There are practical implications for organizational managers, employees and stakeholders, offering them a means of understanding the systemic threat posed by organizational design decisions which enhance transparency and accountability without taking into consideration the full range of interactions which act to maintain organizational viability. The analysis provides a rationale for resisting the imposition of social policies inspired by neoliberalism. The bringing together of the concepts of resilience, neoliberalism, transparency and accountability, and their exposure to cybernetic analysis, provides a novel perspective on resilience, and new insights into way that organizations maintain their viability.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Paper first published 'Earlycite' Kybernetes,2018 © Copyright 2018 Emerald Publishing Limited. Accepted 05 September 2018
Uncontrolled Keywords: resilience, transparency, accountability, neoliberalism, Education, black box
Divisions: School of Education and Psychology > Education
Depositing User: Tracey Gill
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2018 12:46
Last Modified: 16 May 2019 13:21
Identification Number: 10.1108/K-01-2018-0032

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