Article

Making the Decision to Monitor in the Workplace: Cybernetic Models and the Illusion of Control

David Zweig, Jane Webster and Kristyn A. Scott

in The Oxford Handbook of Organizational Decision Making

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780199290468
Published online September 2009 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199290468.003.0006

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management C

 Making the Decision to Monitor in the Workplace: Cybernetic Models and the Illusion of Control

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This article explores the reliance on cybernetic control models by managers and organizations when making decisions by investigating the desire for people to establish and maintain control. Further, it argues that applying cybernetic models of control to decision making might be inappropriate when applied to humans. Establishing control via the application of cybernetic models is illusory and can lead to a repetitive spiral of increased control. In contrast, research on leadership offers a different paradigm of control. It considers how a manager's behavior can trigger the appropriate response in an employee by activating the employee's working self-concept for how he or she should behave in the workplace. That is, this article examines how employees' desired behaviors and performance can be realized without the need to engage in electronic monitoring.

Keywords: cybernetic control models; decision making; manager's behavior; working self-concept; workplace behavior; electronic monitoring

Article.  7492 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Organizational Theory and Behaviour ; Business Strategy

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