Managerial Epistemics™

Managerial Epistemics™ is the systematic study of credulity, mendacity and delusion within individuals and organizations. Technically, it is the basic discipline of understanding, modeling and changing patterns of information distortion and manipulation, and proclivities towards deception, self-deception and fact-free representation in human creatures in general and managers in particular. It is different from behavioural decision theory, behavioural economics, cognitive psychology of judgment and causation and other pseudo-disciplines in that it does not pre-suppose a model of ‘valid belief’ of ‘coherent belief kinematics’ as a departure point for its study, and does not take for granted that those who study human biases and fallacies are themselves free from the very biases and fallacies that they study. In fact, quite on the contrary. It posits that most of the claims of scholars who study biases and fallacies, if correct, should undermine the credibility of those that advance them: if ‘all humans’ are biased, the researcher that advances this proposition is human, and the proposition depends on its validity on the researcher executing a large number of unbiased cognitive operations, then...

Managerial Epistemics is, accordingly, a relentlessly and adaptively self-correcting and self-adapting enterprise. Like Managerial Algorithmics, it is a discipline rather than a theory or a model, and a craft rather than a science. It can be used to generate a classification of ‘bullshit production systems’ – of systematic patterns of distorting and deleting information beyond minimally informative content, and to generate therapeutic and transformational interventions at the level of individual managers and top management teams grappling with ‘fog’, ‘complexity’, ‘ambiguity’ – or any other such euphemistically described predicaments of non-omniscient creatures. It approaches ‘thinking’ as a form of internal conversation’ and ‘internal conversations’ as internalized versions of external conversations. It therefore studies unproductive patterns of thinking and perceiving as unproductive patterns of relating and communicating, and attempts to ‘heal’ counterproductive patterns of thought by addressing head on counter-productive patterns of communication.

Articles

Groundwork for a Theory of Discursive Moves (Strategic Organization, 2009)

False Memories of the Future (Psychological Review, 2002)

Foundations of the Open Society (Journal of Socio Economics, 2000)

Language, Games and Language Games (Journal of Socio-Economics, 2002)

 

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© Mihnea Moldoveanu