Organisational Structure and Dynamics



Patterns of relationship and communication in natural ecosystems evolve naturally through the dynamic balancing and channelling of energy flows. By contrast, human organisations based on objective rationality are ordered in accord with abstract prescriptive rules, regulations and economic principles that support the imposition of hierarchical power. They may hence generally be or become environmentally unsustainable and creatively stultified.


Comparison between the structure and dynamics of human and non-human organisations may hence show up similarities and differences that offer helpful insights into possibilities for transforming our collective enterprises into more ergonomic and creative formations. As a general principle, non-human organisations tend to have fluid dynamic boundaries, open internal communication space, a capacity for degeneration and regeneration, an absence of central executive agency and a high degree of receptivity and responsiveness to their neighbourhood. Rationalistic human organisations commonly have complicated and restrictive internal communication channels and hierarchies, inflexible boundaries, inequitable distribution of work load and resources, and conflict between specialists and generalists, management and workers, supply and demand. Whereas non-human organisations form dynamic, labyrinthine networks of flow, rationalistic systems form webs of attachment that trap and dissipate rather than release and distribute creative potential.