Information Systems Approach
Explanation of Theory:
Weick uses General Systems Theory to explain the interconnectedness
of individuals in an organization. Organizing uses the process of enactment, selection, and retention.People working
in loosely coupled systems utilize the double interact to reduce equivocality and make sense of the information they receive
from others in order to accomplish goals.
Weick, K. E. (1969). The social psychology of
organizing. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Although the Information Sytems Approach uses a somewhat
mathematical model, it is a humanistic theory. It displays these interpretive tendencies in its efforts to use the "double
interact" when individuals communicate in an organization. The double interact model involves an act, a response, and
an adjustment between two people. This occurs between individuals in an organization, helping to illustrate that people
in an organization create multiple realities.
ontological assumptions of the Information Systems Approach show us that the individual's will is exposed in his/her interactions
with the organization or with other individuals within it. This ontology illustrates that people do make real choices
in their act, response or adjustments to one another; and these choices are not pre-determined by our genes. These choices
are socially constructed.
Epistemologically speaking, Weick believes that the organization is not defined by a few individuals, rather the many
individuals that interact in an organization.
axiological assumptions of Information Systems Approach show how an individual's values do play a role in accomplishing an
organization's goals. While one's values may not completely control their decisions, they play a little more than a
conscious role in inquiry.
Borrowing a little from Shannon and Weaver's Information Theory
in its attempt to reduce uncertainty (here called equivocal information), Weick displays the power of this theory's
Analytic Consistency. Although Shannon and Weaver's mathematical model does not
quite cover Weick's ideas in regards to the individual's role in an organization, Information Systems Approach is a more in
depth look at equivocal information. The methodological rigor of this theory is good. By this we mean that Weick
illustrates his definitions of loosely coupled systems very clearly. It's ideas are a little fuzzy until they are applied.
Information Systems Approach makes up for it in its Intuitive Credibility. We know that individuals that interact in
an effort to accomplish a common goal requires cooperation on both or all parts. The way that people select, enact,
and retain information is a key element in an organization's success. This theory does have Heuristic Value. Even
C. Berger's Uncertainty Reduction Theory discusses the reduction of entropy/uncertainty/equivocal information. This
idea of reaching mutual understanding through the reduction of ambiguity in the messages we send to one another has produced
a great deal of inquiries into this process by other communications scholars.