abstracts

8.1 Felix Tretter:
"Towards Increasing the Performance of a Hospital: Complex Dynamics of Management Tasks and a Mapping Technique"


Managing a hospital for improving its performance as a total system, has to consider various conflicting variables. Decisional and operational tasks have to be realized in various ways at different times. Staff has to change priorities in their action fields (e.g. total quality vs. economy). They should identify with total goals and understand the interdependent dynamics of relevant conditions of action. The representation of the self, of the organization and of the (task) environment are very important components of a successful managing process.

One could introduce sociological theory of organizational action into the staff of the organization. However, for instance, the verbal but abstract theory of Luhmann can not be understood easily by laymen. For this reason, the process-oriented "Network Technique" by Probst, Gomez, et al. (St. Gallen Management School) was applied to study the interrelations of important factors for hospital action. As a result, a simple graphical representation of management tasks was obtained, with the effect that staff can cooperate in a more understanding way with management. Ona can even apply this technique for description and analysis of other problems.

Felix Tretter, Bezirkskrankenhaus, Postfach 1111, D-85529 Haar/Munich, Germany.




8.2 Dario Menanteau-Horta:
"Income Distribution and Social Well-being as Indicators of Social Performance"


In a market driven economy income distribution represents the most visible mechanisms by which a social system shares its resources and rewards among members of society. Income distribution therefore also may be a powerful indicator of performance of a social system if such distribution permits the satisfaction of public needs.

In contemporary society, however, problems of income distribution and conditions of poverty appear to go together in systems characterized by uneven development among regions and communities. Even in highly industrial nations including the United States, the "magic of modernization" and the "promises of development" have become elusive and distant from vast segments of the population. Moreover, the gap between the rich and the poor has widened over the last decade.

The paper will discuss some theoretical and axiological issues related to various explanations proposed as possible causes of income inequality. These will include social processes such as demographic changes, welfare programs, family structure, and industry changes, as well as those perspectives emphasizing economic factors such as economic growth, unemployment, and inflation.

The paper will also measure income inequality for localities (counties) in a midwestern state in the United States and determine the level of performance of the economic system in reference to an Index of Social Well-Being estimated for the same localities.

Dario Menanteau, Center for Rural Sociology, University of Minnesota, 376 McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Ave., St. Paul, Minnesota 55108, USA. Email: menan001@maroon.tc.umn.edu



8.3 Antonio Sánchez Súcar:
"The Environmental Balance, and the Performance of Social Systems"


The relationship between economic growth and environment has become a relevant issue to understand the property of societies. As economic development tends to be more intensive, pressure on natural resources increases, in such a way that the concept of sustainability prevails in an emerging culture where growth is envisaged in the long term.

The action plan for sustainable development "Agenda 21" adopted by the international community recognized its grounds on worldwide production and service processes. Thus, industry and business environmental management is quickly becoming a key factor to demonstrate company wide overall performance. Social responsibility must include environmental responsibility, and this should be accounted for in the social balance at corporate level.

This view of enhanced balance must be provided with adequate methodology and criteria to establish interrelation flows between production companies, environment, market forces and social organizations. Since the inherent basis for company survival is economic profit, accountability systems must be developed to integrate these flows in the social and financial balances.

Environmental indicators and risk assessment must be established within the environmental management as well as cost of diagnosis, preventive and corrective actions, driving a decision making process based on cost/benefit analysis. The methodology will comprise why companies should proceed to the internalisation of external costs generated and how the market is expected to regulate the process via prices. Finally, the role of public and administrative organizations should be envisaged in redistributing economic efforts and environmental and social goals in the production system, via taxes and charging fines based on the polluter-pays principle. A vision of the problem from a perspective of the air transport sector will be provided.

Antonio Sánchez Súcar, Planificación Economía y Flotas, Iberia Lineas Aereas de Espana, Blocque VI, Velazquez 130, 28006 Madrid, Spain



8.4 Francisco Parra-Luna:
"An Axiological Approach to Sociocybernetics for Measuring the Performance of Social Systems: Can the Performance of Social Systems be Measured?"


All societies pursue certain objectives and attempt to reach them using a series of means: i.e., society can be defined to be a system for transforming means into ends, an operation that has been represented on various occasions, by the process Input (X) Transformation (T) Output (Y). Indeed, any society, natural or artificial, large or small, is implicitly designed from the outset to convert something not directly "consumable" by the individuals that compose the said society, to something susceptible of being "consumed" by them. It can be compared to the classic scheme of manufacture whereby raw materials (money, effort and means) or, as the old-time handbooks said ("nature, labor and capital") were used to obtain certain finished tangible or intangible products intended to satisfy individual and social needs. Consequently, society arises to effect this transformation and would cease to exist should such transformation no longer take place or become ineffectual. There can, then, be no doubt that the definition of what input and output are (the latter in particular) is essential to understanding the nature and origin of the social phenomenon, which is nothing more than a "transformation unit".

Keywords: System, Axiology, Performance, Efficiency, Effectiveness, Values.

Francisco Parra-Luna, Department Sociologia I, Fac CC Politicas y Sociologia, Universidad Complutense (Somosaguas), 28223 Madrid, Spain. Email: parralun@lix.intercom.es



8.5 Elohim Jimenez Lopez:
"Humanitarian Aims for Reaching Humane Results: The Indispensability of Cybernetic Learning and Acting"


Cybernetics as a concept in any social or cultural domain should be concerned mainly with the need of learning to "conduct" on purpose the evolvement of humanitary actions in order to reach effectively humane results bearing in mind that everything in any human society is relatively ambiguous, uncertain, unpredictable, incoherent and inconsistent because we, as humans, have limited capabilities for perceiving well real facts and phenomena and two or more of us have different cultural frameworks when interpreting what each one could or was motivated to perceive.

Based on the knowledge that somebody individually or collectively might have acquired at any moment during his/her/their respective existence(s) about the social, economic, cultural, anthropological circumstances that prevail in a certain local, regional, national or international situation he/she/they might consider necessary and even indispensable to improve the outcome of humanitarian actions carried out in order to reach some humane aims relatively well predetermined by himself/herself/themselves. Such intention will oblige he/she/they to motivate him/her/them on his/her/their own towards "finding a way forward which depends on creating culturally proper social entities which ought to be both capable of learning from the effects of his/her/their actions and then acting on the insights so gained."


Elohim Jimenez Lopez, Schlossgasse 6/16, A-3512 Mautern a.d. Donau, Austria. Email: elohimjl@fbch.tuwien.ac.at



8.6 Mihajlo Nikolic:
"Culture as a Combination of Some Open and Closed Systems: Towards Measuring the Degree of Development"


The content of social systems depends on the following interactions: (1) the quality of artificial processes; 2) spontaneous changes; 3) laws as objective necessities. Culture is more active in the first, and less active in the second and third aspect. Within the first aspect we shall distinguish cases in which culture is dominant and is able to coordinate the output and the input (a closed system), from those when it is subordinated and plays an auxiliary role (for instance, in the sphere of politics), as well as when it is not decisive in the regulation of subsequent consequences.

In all such systems there exists a single (or several, if they are of a composite nature) Favorized Trend, which I will express concisely as FT. In order for it to be realized, it is necessary to form a ST (support-trend) and decrease or even eliminate the OT (Obstruction port-trend). The values are taking place on the ground of that dependence. Every ST consists of an AT (affirmative trend) and a POT (preventive obstruction trend) which represents the obstruction of obstruction. The values grow on the ground of the growth of ST and of suppressing of OT. It is possible to offer on that ground a formula of the value and a formula of the social development.

Mihajlo Nikolic, Aleksandra Kosti_a 19/VI, 11000 Beograd, Yugoslavia.




8.7 Yuri M.Pismak and Pyotr I. Smirnov:
"Minimal List of the Elementary Concepts for the Modelling of Social Systems"


It is necessary for the formal modelling of social systems in the framework of sociocybernetic approaches to expose the most fundamental categories describing society. The set of these categories must be as small as possible, and also complete. This means that each of the notions necessary for the formulation of the model can be expressed in terms of the basic elementary concepts which are indeed elementary, i.e. non-intersecting and non-expressible through each other. In the framework of the suggested conceptions, society is considered as a system of the interacting activities of the social subjects. The aim-directed activities are of two types: ego- and alter- activities. The game is considered as activity "for itself". The activities are restricted by the objective conditions of the external environment, and stimulated by the needs and values of the actors. There are two basic values regulating activities: the social significance of the actor and the wholeness of the social being. The first dominates for ego-activities, and the second for alter-activities. The interactions of activities are influenced by social norms. All these concepts enable a formal representation as numerical variables of a mathematical model. The dynamics of the model are defined by the energy-like function of the system's state. Models of this kind can be investigated by means of the methods of theoretical physics for the study of the most fundamental laws of social systems.


Yuri Mikhajlovich Pismak, Department of Theoretical Physics, Institute of Physics, State University of Saint Petersburg, Ulyuyanovskaya 1, 198904 Saint-Petersburg, Russia. Email: pismak@snoopy.phys.spbu.ru



8.8 Jean Jacques Blanc (contributed paper, text not corrected):
"Bioethism: A Paradigm, a Philosophy and a Methodological Systemic Approach
to a Performance Evaluation of Social Systems"


Chicago school, Durkeim (collective values and social psychology), Weber (histodcal pluralism), Pareto (social system), Parsons (social system), Merlon (social structure), Goflman (social interactions), Bourdieu (habitus and fields), Crozier (sociology of action), Touraine (sociology of intervention) represent sociology evolution towards sociology of action. Social systems led, with systems science to sociocybernetic, to socio-biology with Hamilton and Maynard Smith, and now to sociosystemic. Sociology re-evaluated, and its subfields with anthropology and ethnology, understands certain societal mechanisms, but, if then, natural selection values are sole liberalism evolution motors, they cannot bring up a global sustainability relevant and realistic of the evolution of societies in next futures. Humanistic natural fundamental values, essential to societies equilibrium's, and local social and cultural values and traditions must revalorise education for maintaining "local societies survival and sustainability". Maintenance of local socio-economic fabric is of a paramount inter, trans and multidisciplinarity necessity for the emergence of a global welfare. In such a perspective, the paradigm of the "BIOETHISM", a neologism I invented for the acronym of "Biology, Ethology-ecology and Humanism" is a "Paradigm of the Natural and the Cultural", a philosophical and methodological attitude utilising systemic approach of Life societies on Earth". "Earth Planet Life and Mankind Societies Welfare and Sustainability, all life ecosystems and sociosystems", (local social groups, collectivities, societies and national populations) are confronted with survival problems : mentalities and psychology, welfare access, individual and environmental "socio-economic sustainability" require philosophical, cultural, psychical and Life natural precepts that are of a highly valuable evolution chances motors necessity. Individuals, sociogroups, societies, firms, governments and many other actors and deciders confronted to reasoning, conceiving, projecting and building up any idea or object in perspective of "Societies survival and evolution needs" must be "acting on behalf of such Bioethismic learning" in order to evaluate and quality "Ecosystems and Sociosystems Sustainability Problems Management. Bioethism, then, as an "efficient cybernetic and systemic expertise" provides that transdisciplinarity indispensable for the revaluation of society's performance and fulfilment.


Jean-Jacques Blanc, Crêts de Champel 9, CH-1206 Genève, Switzerland. Email: jean-jacques.blanc@span.ch



8.9 Moises Garcia Jara (contributed paper, text not corrected):

"The Performance of Internet as an Autoreferential System"


Considering society as based on (autopoietic) systemic reproduction, and with functional sub-systems residing in communications, could establish the interrelation between sociocybernetics and the Internet. The relationship of correspondence between the communication in complex systems and control on the part of man, demonstrates the importance of the informational component within cybernetics. The existing paradox between the communication and the action of you communicate on the part of the men, it you contradicts the exposed by Niklas Luhman, who he expound a relative anti-humanism, leaving the man outside of the functional systems. The capacity of auto-reproduction and growth of a social system like Internet, it expound an antagonism between functional differentiation and identity, captured in most of the organisms of the net, which elaborated their "identity" before completing a global function. The possibilities of the Sociocybernetic (including in this relationship to the Social Sciences) inside this form's frame, they are centered in the control of the relationship Input/Output, as well as the diffusion of the information inside the social entitle, in order to establish the confines of the Cybersociety in the future.

Moises Garcia Jara, (data non available)



8.10 Salvador Gómez de Arteche (contributed paper):
"Las Funciones de la Universidad: Una Aproximación Axiológica Hacia la Definición de su Eficiencia"


Based on an analysis of the historical evolution of the university, this paper aims to make explicit what the essential functions of the 21st century ujuniversity should be. An explanatory pattern of university efficiency will be presented, which can go back to the "common welfare" scheme as potentiation, to the general expression of efficiency = outputs/inputs. By optimal utilisation of inputs (mainly human capital) of the university as transforming power (work), this study will concentrate on "values" facing "outputs". These values correspond with classic anthropological patterns, foundations of human needs theories, state functions, and especially with the tasks of the university as an institution. Research programs, educational and training functions, production of specialists, but also training of humanists able to join interdisciplinary work and ethical criticism, may be found among the principal factors which must lay the basis for the functions of the university subsystem. The main contributuions of the present report wil consist in designing the suitable "outputs" of the university system in view of advancing in the definition and measure of its global efficiency.


Salvador Gómez de Arteche, Dept. Sociologia, I, Fac. CC Politicas y Sociologia, Universidad Complutense Somosaguas, 28223 Madrid, Spain




8.11 Pilar Llacer Centeno (contributed paper, text not corrected):
"Cyberspace, Communication and Social Efficacy"


Identification of sociocybernetics. Description of profile of new citizen (Homo digitalis). Aspects like the identity,the presence in the cyberspace, the human dignity and the freedom, need to be defined again as new species of sociological and philosophic problems. Analysis of the computer as instrument that transforms the capacities of the knowledge and social of the to be human by bing a support of information without own finality. One of objective of this project is to be able to recognize upon bing human in the sociocybernetics. Identify the values that rule the behavior in the space of virtual communication. If the image has supplanted to the reality, to describe that world, product of my will lightting the computer, is an incentive for the reflection. The cyberspace as precinct of virtual communication is the world as representation of my will. The statute of the person in the cyberspace changes radically due to the anonymity. The computers, as true agents of the vital process of our existence, configure two to be possible of the human existence :Ignition and extinguished ;Is the symbol of this" silent revolution". Try finding a sense to what is passing, intending to draw with words" what there is", so if is actual as if is virtual. To characterize ontological of the virtual reality constitutes one of major challenges of the humanity, together with the description metaphysics of the new social space of the Homo digitalis. Front to the new categories of knowing, to see, to tell and to feel, produce a distancement of the man in the everyday interaction with the others. It unpublished of this facet of the man, " reduced" to a digitation of felt, is that that" I electronic" can be a true virtual image of the move man's type.


Maria del Pilar Llacer Centeno, Comandante Velloso, 1, 6A, 34002 Palencia, Spain. Email: centeno@santandersupernet.com



8.12 J.Luis Piñuel Raigada (contributed paper):
"Society, Communication and Knowledge in the Construction of Identity: As a Mean of Increasing the Performance of Social Systems"


The paper centers on a proposal for epistemological models and methods of analysis of the relations between society, communication and knowledge as factors of increasing the overall efficiency of social systems. In the proposed model we have highlighted the systemic analysis of the relations between:
a) A social system (SS) whose structure is regulated by rights and obligations that affect individuals and institutions with regard to the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services.
b) A system of communication (SC) whose structure is made up of patterns of expression corresponding to the various codes (iconic, graphic and audiovisual) which facilitate the production and interpretation of signs and messages.
c) A system of knowledge and cultural representations (SR) whose articulated content permits things, events and people to be attributed values, symbols and prospects, capable of providing the individual with pleasure and suffering.=20

This knowledge derived of the integration of these three dimensions is supposed to be an important explanatory factor of the overall performance (efficiency) of social systems.
José Luis Piñuel-Raigada, C/ Ramonet 12, 28033 Madrid, Spain. Email: pinuel@jet.es




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