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< previous page page_152 next page > Page 152 knowledge and information, and buffeting from external forces. An "ideal-seeking system" obviously requires a very particular kind of organisational design, capable of rapid and effective learning and adaptation. Ackoff, in fact,, supplies an outline for such a "responsive, decision system". This contains five essential functions: identification and formulation of problems (threats and opportunities); decision makingdetermining what to do about the threats and opportunities; implementationdoing
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it; controlmonitoring performance and modifying actions to prevent repetition of any mistakes; acquisition or generation, and distribution of the information necessary to carry out the other functions. There are further recommendations in Ackoff's work about the design of appropriate management information systems, about issues of organisational structure (e.g. centralisation versus decentralisation) and, as we have seen, on how to achieve a participative
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