Reflections on Information Pathologies & Organizational Intelligence — Why Predictive Analytics on Industrial Era Data is Fraud, Waste, & Abuse

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Restrictive Control and Information Pathologies in Organizations

Wolfgang Scholl* Humboldt-University, Berlin

Although the relation of power to knowledge is an often discussed theme, a psychological and sociological scrutiny of the issue is lacking. A new conceptual and theoretical approach to this issue is presented here that distingushes between restrictive and promotive control. Restrictive control is a form of power exertion in which one actor pushes his wishes through against the interests of another actor. In contrast, if an actor influences the other in line with his or her interests, this is called promotive control. Information pathologies, i.e., avoidable failures of distributed information processing, are introduced as an inverse measure for the quality and quantity of knowledge production. It is hypothesized that restrictive control has negative consequences for the production of new or better knowledge, because it induces information pathologies that in turn lower the effectiveness of joint action. These two hypotheses are tested in a study on 21 successful and 21 unsuccessful innovations with a dual qualitative and quantitative approach. The interpretive analysis of interviews with the main actors of each innovation case as well as the statistical analysis of questionnaire responses by the same actors strongly corroborate both hypotheses. Methodological problems, theoretical perspectives, and practical consequences are discussed. The second half of this century has seen the transition from industrial to informational societies.

The coming century will see communication and information processing becoming even more important for the handling of any issue in politics, in the economy, or in private affairs. The amount of information produced is I want to thank Irene H. Frieze and the anonymous reviewers for their many helpful comments as well as Iain S. Glen for improving my German English.

*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Wolfgang Scholl, Institute of Psychology, Humboldt-University, Oranienburger Str. 18, D-10178 Berlin, Germany [e-mail:].

PDF Full Article (101-118)

Phi Beta Iota:  This is a very fine article that among other things helps get us all back to Harold Wilenski's Organization Intelligence: Knowledge and Policy in Government and Industry (Basci Books, 1967), a classic work that first identified conditions leading to information pathologies — secrecy is a big one. The data in “big data” is so corrupt, full of holes, lacking in true cost attributes, and on and on, that using big data to predict the future is like overdosing on cocaine to see if our drug policies are working.  Within the intelligence world we have neglected the human factor and lost the ability to think with integrity.  Requirements definition is broken; collection management is broken; 360 global all language source discovery and discrimination is broken; etcetera.  Today there at least forces competing for the soul of analytic integrity:

With the Force:  Jack Davis and Analytic Tradecraft

With the Force:  Big Data Philanthropy, Data Autonomy from Legacy Systems

With the Force:  Forensic History; Transparency, Truth & Trust; Whole Systems & True Cost  —  Comprehensive Architecture

Dark Side of the Force:  More money for technology, no focus on lack of underlying human education

See Also:

2013 Robert Steele: Reflections on the Inability of Washington to Think with Integrity

2012 PREPRINT: The Craft of Intelligence 3.4

2012 Integrity, Reflexivity, & Open Everything

2012 Robert Steele: Reflections on Data as the New Oil BUT No One Is Serious About Holistic Analytics, True Cost Economics, Machine or Man-Machine Translation, or M4IS2

2011 Thinking About Revolution in the USA and Elsewhere (Full Text Online for Google Translate)

2006: Information Operations – All Information, All Languages, All the Time Technical Preface by Robert Garigue (Full Text Online for Google Translate)

1976-2013: Analytic, Methodological, & Technical Models

A Compendium of Analytic Tradecraft (Jack Davis)

Advanced Cyber/IO: Knowledge Integration

Berto Jongman: Big Data for Fire Risk Now Pro-Active

CIA’s CTO Gus Hunt On Big Data: We ‘Try To Collect Everything And Hang Onto It Forever’ — And a Few Things Most CTOs Do Not Compute

David Isenberg: Intelligence Community Must Adapt To Era Of Vast Data

George Soros Nails It: Intelligence with Integrity

Graphic: Changing Centers of Gravity for Intelligence in an Open World

Graphic: Four Quadrants J-2 High Cell SMS Low

Graphic: IBM Big Data (Severely Retarded)

Graphic: Information Pathologies

Graphic: The Four Quadrants of Knowledge

Howard Rheingold: Open Source Intelligence Meets Real-Time News and Data Curation – SwiftRiver

Patrick Meier: Big Data Philathropy aka Big Data Commons

Reference: Expectations of Intelligence in the Information Age, Review by Steele, Wright, Anon & New Link 3.0

Reference: Strategic Analytic Model for Creating a Prosperous World at Peace

Reference: Strategic Analytic Model for Creating a Prosperous World at Peace

Review: Knowledge As Design

Review: Organizational Intelligence (Knowledge and Policy in Government and Industry)

Robert Steele: Itemization of Information Pathologies

Robert Steele: Open Source Strategies for Enterprises and Nations

Search: organizational intelligence

Stephen Marrin: Evaluating the Quality of Intelligence Analysis: By What (Mis) Measure? With Comment by Robert Steele

Who’s Who in Public Intelligence: Jack Davis

Yoda: Big Data Tough Love, Everyone Fails

Yoda: Google Glass — Dark Side of the Force? + Big Data RECAP

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