The Dynamic Simulation of Control and Compliance Processes in Material Organizations

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Computer simulation is a tool of multiple uses. One is the ability to dynamically model theories and discover unexpected interactions and outcomes. A propositional theory of organizational control, based on the work of Collins (1975, 1988), is modeled and simulated here. The verbal theory synthesizes other theories to explain how formal organizations attain and maintain compliance from members. The modeling and simulation of Collins' theory discovers a number of interesting and informative, but unexpected, outcomes. While the control processes of organizations do produce stable compliance, this compliance is punctuated by episodic periods of noncompliance that increase in frequency and duration over time, resulting ultimately in the breakdown of the control process.

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