Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

Some thoughts concerning a general theory of business 1: a series offered to mark Platt Perspective reaching 2002 postings

Posted in blogs and marketing, reexamining the fundamentals by Timothy Platt on December 8, 2015

I set an ambitious and far reaching goal for myself when I first started writing to this blog: the systematic organized development and presentation of an at least significantly fleshed out Weltanschauung, or world view, that would at least relatively systematically encompass businesses and the workplace, and at multiple levels, including

• Employment, and jobs and careers best practices,
• Business operations and strategy, and how a workplace and business enterprise are organized and run,
• Projects and project management, and other non-operational but still standardized business functions and activities,
• Competitive and collaborative business-to-business interactions, and the functions and dynamics of the marketplace, and consideration of larger-scale economic systems.

I initially, and I add naively thought that I would be able to summarize my core approach to all of this in some 500 or so postings, and as an outer limit for completing that. But I almost immediately realized that I could not possibly cover the span of issues that I intended to address, and in the level of depth that I wanted to address them in, in less than 1,000 postings. I found myself thinking of Scheherazade: the interlocutor of Sir Richard Francis Burton’s Tales of the Arabian Nights, and how she related 1,001 tales there. And I set a tentative goal of completing my basic framework narrative in my first 1,001 postings. But I knew by the time I reached 400 or so postings that this would not be enough for that goal either.

I acknowledged my reaching that Scheherazade number of postings, and tentatively set the double- Scheherazade number of them as my next working goal, knowing from the start of that endeavor that while I would come closer to my overall goal with 2,002 postings, I was still unlikely to fully reach it and even just for what I could assemble towards it from my own study and experience.

This is my posting 2,002 – my double- Scheherazade number posting and I begin it by acknowledging that I still have a ways to go. If I keep to my current basic pattern of writing postings to have one go live every other day, and if I do not add in all that many supplemental off-day postings, I should reach number 3,003 in early 2021. But I am only incidentally offering this update posting to make note of reaching this particular self-imposed and idiosyncratic milestone. I write it with the issues of my overall ongoing goal for this blog firmly in mind.

This is my 2,002nd posting to this blog and I am continuing my effort to draft, post and share an overarching Weltanschauung that encompasses the workplace and work experience from the level of the individual, on through to the level of the complete macroeconomically defined economy and with detailed consideration and inclusion of more intermediate organizational levels as key elements of that. I seek to develop, write up and share a general theory of business, from the individual employee level on up, and the macroeconomic level on down. But what does this mean?

I have, of course, been thinking about that complex of issues for a while now. But I decided quite a while ago that before I stepped back to discuss this more metatheory side of what I am doing here and at that level, I needed to develop and offer a fairly substantial body of work that would fit into any answer I might offer, as to what “general theory of business” means. And I decided, and perhaps as arbitrarily and idiosyncratically as when I selected 1,001 and 2,002 postings as benchmarks, that this is a reasonable place in this ongoing flow of postings, to begin to more systematically address that challenge. So this is a posting about this blog and about reaching the 2,002 posting mark. But it is also, and more importantly, my first installment to a new series on general theories in general, and on what would be called for in a general theory of business in particular. And in anticipation of series installments to come for this, I will at least begin by considering two fundamentally distinct approaches to that:

• Overarching descriptive and predictive explanatory systems that are general rules based, and that serve, in a fundamental sense as empirically grounded “laws of nature”-type axiomatic systems, and
• What in their extreme would be special case, best practices based compendiums.

I will discuss what these approaches are and when they might respectively best apply as developmental methodologies for assembling the type of Weltanschauung: the type of general theory that I seek to offer here. And in anticipation of that, I note that the first of these two options is top-down in explanatory organization, beginning with more abstractly stated general principles and working from there to sustain or refute proposed specific case-in-point implementations. While the later begins with those specific case in point examples and implementations, and then seeks to develop more general and abstracted principles from them. I will also discuss these approaches in terms of stability, change and disruptively emergent change too.

I have been including these posting number-reached benchmark notes in my About this Blog and Blogs and Marketing directories, and will continue to do so here for this posting, and for this series. I am also going to include this posting and series in my Reexamining the Fundamentals directory, as topics section VI there.

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