Wednesday, October 12, 2011

'Floating-Enterprise' Paradigm

Post Classification ---------------------------------------
Section GOVERNANCE / Category WHAT TO DO


1. Business Development

I am assuming that the enterprise is presently passing through a major crisis, and thereby undergoes significant changes.

The crisis can be seen in growing instability of the traditional conception of the enterprise, showing up, e.g., in excessive merger, acquisition, splitting, and buyout; in inflatory increase of non-viable companies, which shortly after their foundation dissolve; not to mention the global instability of the financial system.

2. Difficulty of Development Strategy

In the face of such a crisis, the Future of the Enterprise has become an issue. Business Leaders must ensure that the changes, required by the crisis, will come about in their companies, so they will come out of the crisis in good, even improved shape.

For that, they need a Business-Development strategy, which must be fairly sophisticated to be future-proof. But, future is uncertain and so is the enterprise of the future. How then could Business Leaders possibly establish a Business-Development strategy, if they cannot know the novel Enterprise concept, at which the development is to be targeted?

3. Meta-Strategy Approach

My answer is: Better not try to directly establish a detailed (primary) development strategy. Instead, switch over to a meta-strategy: Try to find as many features of the enterprise as possible, which don't change during the passage through the crisis.

These invariants can serve as reliable guidelines establishing, in their entirety, a firm heuristics. In telling us, what will certainly not have changed after the crisis, the invariants provide a safe, though partial, specification of the development target.

It seems this approach is as good a meta-strategy as one, possibly, can have.

4. How to get hold of the Paradigm of the Primordial Enterprise

So far so good, but how to discriminate between contingent and invariant, i.e., basically constitutive (primordial) features, if we only have the enterprise in its historical and current appearance?

Answer: By resorting to the timeless essence of the (any) enterprise, i.e., by switching over from the actual enterprise, as it appears in real-life economy, to what may be called the primordial enterprise, of which all actual companies, including today's, are but transient manifestations.

This primordial enterprise, a kind of prototype (archetype, if not idea) of the enterprise (as such), is determined and described by means of a paradigm, in which the constitutive features of the enterprise (as such) should be aggregated. Thus paradigm provides then a heuristics for any real enterprise-development strategy

5. Deriving the Floating-Enterprise Paradigm

FINDING #1: Primordiality of the enterprise is social of nature. Thereby, primordial sociality means something like pure mutuality, existing prior to any organization.

FINDING #2: Primordial sociality, however, is not yet the primordial enterprise. Another kind of primordiality of the enterprise is of market-nature. Thereby, primordial market means something like relational request-response actity.

FINDING #3: Market and Sociality are intimately related at the primordial level. At this level, market is something like 'autmated' sociality, or - more precisely - Market and Sociality appear related, from a certain perspective, like Automatism and Individuality.

In fact, the primordial Market evolves out of primordial Sociality by a transformation of mutuality into a structured offer-demand relationship. The nature of this transformation is a sort of generalized automatization. Primodial Sociality is superseded ('aufgehoben' in Hegel's philosophical terms) in the primordial Collaboration Market.

CONSEQUENCE: The market is primarily always a collaboration market, which - at the primordial level - has nothing to do with goods and services, nor with exchange, nor even with money, let alone capital.

SUMMARY: Being (among other things) a primordial Collaboration Market, the primordial enterprise qualifies as primordially social. Starting at this finding, we can proceed to define the primordial enterprise, paradigmatically, as a certain particular kind of appearance of the primordial (collaboration) market, possibly a particular component of it.

6. Stating the Floating-Enterprise Paradigm

FINDING #4: The primodial enterprise, we strive to get hold of, is a strongly regulated Sub-Market, drifting in the weakly regulated global Collaboration Market, much like an island in the ocean. This is, what the Floating-Enterprise paradigm is referring to.

FINDING #5: Regulation is by individual Market-Makers, who determine how individual participants can access the Market and how they have to behave during collaboration.

FINDING #6: Regulation, as well as participation for collaboration, is possible thanks to two kinds of interfaces, existing between primordial Individuality and primordial Market, according to the Floating-Enterprise paradigm, the first giving rise to Governance, the second to Self-Organization.

● In the - purely artificial - limit of no regulation, the primordial market would amount to pure (and purely fictitious) Self-Organization.
● In the weakly regulated global market matrix, regulation is governed by political institutions.
● In the strongly regulated primordial enterprise, alias Floating Enterprise, regulation is governd, additionally, by corporations, lead privately by Business Leaders.

7. Applying the Floating-Enterprise Paradigm

Having obtained the Floating-Enterprise Paradigm, we can now use its features as a heuristics providing general, future-proof guidelines for specific Business-Development strategies.

The Floating-Enterprise paradigm is most beneficial as an exceptionally reliable and profound partial specification of the very enterprise of the future, which is to come into existence by means of Business-Development.

Obviously, how a respective development strategy for a specific company should look like, cannot precisely be determined with sufficient certainty. However, (at least) one feature of such a strategy seems to be quite compelling:

Collaboration Management, as a backbone of a company's organization (internal, and more and more also across its border), to be compliant with the Floating-Enterprise Paradigm, must be conceived as a Corporate Collaboration Market.

According to the Corporate-Collaboration-Market paradigm, balance between Governance and Self-Organization is explicitly controlled by Business Leaders, or subordinate HR-Managers. It is to be expected that the point of equilibrium will be shifted toward Self-Organization by the crisis.

To get to know the Corporate-Collaboration-Market paradigm, please visit my Governance-Blog under the 'Academy' tab at

Go to special-interest group 'Art-Invest-Open / Floating Enterprise' at LinkedIn, to follow or enter discussion.

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