Institutional domination of organizational systems
In every instance of organizational planning the same dynamics appear to be at work: a reflex action on the part of each major institution to attempt to expand its planning over the space of the whole system, because no system-wide integrating force is at work in that space. The absence of such a force acts against the inherent nature, structure, and organization of the social system. It is a destructive gap, which many institutions compete to fill. This almost subconsciously motivated attempt, that of a sector to expand over the whole space of the system in its own particular terms and in accordance with its own particular outlooks and traditions, compounds the problem by further fragmenting the wholeness of the system. For sectors cannot become systems, they can only dominate them; and when they do they warp them. This tendency is an ominous portent of the conflicts and dislocations that await society unless a system-wide integrative approach is worked out, and unless new institutions with legitimate system-wide jurisdiction for turning such an approach into policy and action are devised.
All organizations, even up to societal or global levels, may be said to be warped by the most powerful forces which dominate as much as they are able. But in the dynamics of freedom, counter-forces evolve either unilaterally or sectorally, or as alliances of power. It is just such a dialectic of history that has encouraged progress. Imposition by the state of a system-wide integrative approach to benefit society has been the ideology of dictatorships and collectivist utopians.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
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