Authors: Maurice Yolles; Gerhard Fink
Addresses: The Business School, Liverpool John Moores University, 2 Rodney Street, Liverpool L3 5UX, UK ' Department Global Business and Trade, Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien, Welthandelsplatz 1, Building D1, Room 3.032, 1020 Vienna, Austria
Abstract: Agency theory explores autonomous systems which have the capacity to develop their own patterns of behaviour and to change that behaviour, too. Change of an agency emerges from the immanent dynamics of its own internal processes, and as responsive change from interaction with other agencies in its environment. In this paper, we deal with the cybernetic foundations of agency theory and generic system hierarchies into which agencies are nested. The modelling exercise begins with the instrumental agency, and is stepwise extended into higher cybernetic orders: the cognitive-affective agency, the defining socio-cultural agency, and finally to superstructure modelling. Agency dynamics is explored through elaboration on internal (immanent) dynamics which may consequently lead to paradigm change.
Keywords: agency theory; complexity; organisational change; superstructure modelling; substructure; agency dynamics; agency modelling; cybernetic foundations; instrumental agency; cognitive-affective agency; socio-cultural agency; paradigm change.
International Journal of Markets and Business Systems, 2015 Vol.1 No.3, pp.217 - 243
Received: 22 Apr 2015
Accepted: 29 Jun 2015
Published online: 11 Dec 2015 *