Introduction

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Complexity Of Organizational Bodies

There is a rough but intuitively appealing parallel between a complex economic entity such as a large company or a market, and a highly evolved biological structure such as a human being. Different cell groups may be imagined as groups of individuals within a company, trained to perform different sets of tasks. The organism's final product, be it a stone-age arrow or a line of brand-new shiny Hondas, results from a seamless coordination of all the specialized sub-systems.

In one example of coordination between cell groups, our brain interacts with different organ structures, receiving data and sending out commands. A company's management directs its employees in a very similar fashion. The details of management's function are very complex, much like those of its biological counterpart. For through the process of human history, the forces of economic and political interaction have evolved strong and flexible industrial entities, as complex and efficient as the products they churn out.

Specialists that comprise a large corporation would be helpless in the hostile environment of the marketplace if they tried to make, advertise and sell finished product single-handedly. By virtue of their training, which evolved along with the company structures, they are most productive when strapped into their firm's communication network. Each of them must receive and send information that guides her and others in the goal of earning a collective living. This abstract network of information transfer lives on a substrate of social connections, as opposed to its analogue based on the neural and hormonal links in our bodies. Yet in both cases it is hard to underestimate the network's importance in the workings of the overall system.

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