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Reducing uncertainty: A formal theory of Organizations in Action
 American Journal of Sociology
, 1999
"... This article presents a formal reconstruction of James D. Thompson’s classic contribution to organization theory, Organizations in Action. The reconstruction explicates the underlying argumentation structure for Thompson’s propositions—literally, theorems or problems to be demonstrated. This allows ..."
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Cited by 7 (4 self)
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This article presents a formal reconstruction of James D. Thompson’s classic contribution to organization theory, Organizations in Action. The reconstruction explicates the underlying argumentation structure for Thompson’s propositions—literally, theorems or problems to be demonstrated. This allows Thompson’s propositions to be derived as theorems in a deductive theory. As it turns out, the formal theory is based on general assumptions using only few primitive concepts. In addition, this theory explains why Thompson’s propositions do not hold for noncomplex or “atomic ” organizations (a restriction on the domain of application). Furthermore, this study reveals that organizations attempt to reduce constraints in their environment—a heretofore unknown implication of the theory.
On criteria for formal theory building: Applying logic and automated reasoning tools to the social sciences
 In Proc. AAAI’99
, 1999
"... This paper provides practical operationalizations of criteria for evaluating scientific theories, such as the consistency and falsifiability of theories and the soundness of inferences, that take into account definitions. The precise formulation of these criteria is tailored to the use of automated ..."
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Cited by 6 (3 self)
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This paper provides practical operationalizations of criteria for evaluating scientific theories, such as the consistency and falsifiability of theories and the soundness of inferences, that take into account definitions. The precise formulation of these criteria is tailored to the use of automated theorem provers and automated model generators—generic tools from the field of automated reasoning. The use of these criteria is illustrated by applying them to a first order logic representation of a classic organization theory, Thompson’s Organizations in Action.
Organizations in Action
, 1999
"... This article presents a formal reconstruction of James D. Thompson's classic contribution to organization theory, Organizations in Action. The reconstruction explicates the underlying argumentation structure for Thompson's propositionsliterally, theorems or problems to be demonstrated. ..."
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This article presents a formal reconstruction of James D. Thompson's classic contribution to organization theory, Organizations in Action. The reconstruction explicates the underlying argumentation structure for Thompson's propositionsliterally, theorems or problems to be demonstrated. This allows Thompson's propositions to be derived as theorems in a deductive theory. As it turns out, the formal theory is based on general assumptions using only few primitive concepts. In addition, this theory explains why Thompson's propositions do not hold for noncomplex or "atomic" organizations (a restriction on the domain of application). Furthermore, this study reveals that organizations attempt to reduce constraints in their environmenta heretofore unknown implication of the theory. 1 Introduction Thompson's Organizations in Action was published more than three decades ago but is still one of the classics of organization theory. The book provides a unifying perspective on open and clos...
Reducing Uncertainty: A Formal Theory of
"... This article presents a formal reconstruction of James D. Thompson's classic contribution to organization theory, Organizations in Action. The reconstruction explicates the underlying argumentation structure for Thompson's propositionsliterally, theorems or problems to be demonstrated. ..."
Abstract
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This article presents a formal reconstruction of James D. Thompson's classic contribution to organization theory, Organizations in Action. The reconstruction explicates the underlying argumentation structure for Thompson's propositionsliterally, theorems or problems to be demonstrated. This allows Thompson's propositions to be derived as theorems in a deductive theory. As it turns out, the formal theory is based on general assumptions using only few primitive concepts. In addition, this theory explains why Thompson's propositions do not hold for noncomplex or "atomic" organizations (a restriction on the domain of application). Furthermore, this study reveals that organizations attempt to reduce constraints in their environmenta heretofore unknown implication of the theory. 1 Introduction Thompson's Organizations in Action was published more than three decades ago but is still one of the classics of organization theory. The book provides a unifying perspective on open and close...
On the Relation between Counterexamples and Implicit Background Knowledge
, 2001
"... People engaged in fruitful discussion, or in any arbitrary conversation, rely on a considerable amount of common background knowledge. The validity of informal arguments, even in regulated discourse, depends not only on the explicitly mentioned premises, but also on the implicit background knowledge ..."
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People engaged in fruitful discussion, or in any arbitrary conversation, rely on a considerable amount of common background knowledge. The validity of informal arguments, even in regulated discourse, depends not only on the explicitly mentioned premises, but also on the implicit background knowledge. Consequently, a computational representation of such an argument should somehow come to grips with the implicit background knowledge. It comes as no surprise that background knowledge is also ubiquitous in the nuts and bolts of articial intelligence, although often relegated to the technical detail and the neprint of footnotes. Background knowledge gives rise to two fundamental problems: (1) how can we unearth the implicit background knowledge, and (2) how do we decide which parts of it are relevant for the problem at hand. We analyze these problems in a logical setting, and show how automated reasoning tools can give crucial feedback for addressing these problems. 1 Introduction Peop...
On “Modelbased ” Abduction
"... This paper reports on a concerted effort to axiomatize social science theories in first order logic. Most social science theories are stated in ordinary language (like essaystyle articles in social science journals). The natural language argumentation is usually sketchy and incomplete, relying on t ..."
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This paper reports on a concerted effort to axiomatize social science theories in first order logic. Most social science theories are stated in ordinary language (like essaystyle articles in social science journals). The natural language argumentation is usually sketchy and incomplete, relying on the reader’s commonsense or on familiarity with common background assumptions in the substantive field at hand. As a result of this, it is more than likely that some of the informal claims cannot be rigorously proved in an initial formal rendition of an ordinary language theory. This can be established formally by generating one or more counterexamples to a particular conjecture—that is, if we can find models of the premises in which the conjecture is false, we have proved that the conjecture is not a theorem. As it turns out, inspecting these models that are counterexamples to a particular conjecture can be instrumental in deciding how to revise the initial