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Decision Integrity and Second Order Cybernetics

Decision Integrity and Second Order Cybernetics
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Author(s): Anthony Hodgson (Decision Integrity Limited, UK)
Copyright: 2010
Pages: 23
Source title: Cybernetics and Systems Theory in Management: Tools, Views, and Advancements
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Steven E. Wallis (Director, Foundation for the Advancement of Social Theory, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-668-1.ch004


View Decision Integrity and Second Order Cybernetics on the publisher's website for pricing and purchasing information.


The rational worldview of management science has come to dominate decision theory. This chapter proposes that, despite its evident successes, this view of decision making is decreasingly effective in a global world which turns out to be unruly and unpredictable in critical areas. The result is an escalation of unintended consequences in business, public affairs and human ecology. Despite its success in some fields of management, we need to question the rational view which disconnects the observer from the observed. Decision integrity is proposed as a reflexive theory of decision making that incorporates the decision maker as part of the decision field. It requires stepping out of the observer/object paradigm of classical science and into the alternative paradigm of second order cybernetics. The decision maker is not simply an observer but also a participant who cannot abdicate from personal ethical considerations and ultimate responsibility even in the face of uncertainty.

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