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Lazonick -seems interesting, tech and sustainability.

by on December 31, 2010

William_Lazonick@uml.edu

Phone: 617 233-2634

Office hours: Mondays, 3:00 PM-5:00PM, or by appointment

Course Description:

Regional development depends on the activities and performance of various types of business, government, and civil-society organizations. The term “organizational dynamics” refers to the interactions among different organizations as well as among participants within particular organizations that enable these organizations, individually and collectively, to develop and utilize their resources to achieve “superior performance” (which is itself in need of definition). In this course, we will ask who starts organizations, how organizations “learn” and grow, and what determines the distribution of the costs and benefits of organizational success – or failure. This course focuses mainly on

business

organizations. In a modern capitalist economy, the resources available to, and the potential impacts of, non-business – governmental and civil-society – organizations depend on the performance of the business sector. To interact with business organizations in ways that promote regional development, those working in governmental and civil-society organizations must understand organizational dynamics in the business sector. In particular, we seek to understand under what socioeconomic conditions and with what institutional support business organizations will generate higher quality, lower cost goods and services while contributing to “sustainable prosperity” – stable and equitable economic growth. Organizational Dynamics in Regional Development

and his new book

Sustainable Prosperity in the New Economy: Business Organization and High-Tech Employment in the United States (Paperback)
by William Lazonick

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One Comment
  1. If only scientific evidence always helped us discover what we wished for and nothing more, that would be the best thing. Unfortunately science presents us occasionally with what is unwelcome whenever we acquire, however tentatively and unexpectedly, knowledge that runs counter to human desire. We have seen occurrences of this kind before.

    Let us assume that human beings evolved on Earth (did not descend from heaven or come here from some other place in the universe) and the emerging data of human overpopulation of our planetary home are somehow on the right track, then humanity could soon confront daunting global challenges.

    Perhaps hubris, greed and foolhardiness confuse human reasoning about the “placement” of humankind within the natural order of living things. There is the rub, I suppose. We have learned from God’s great gifts to humanity—natural philosophy and modern science—that Earth is not the center of the universe (Copernicus); that we are set upon a tiny celestial orb among a sea of stars (Galileo); that such things as the Law of Gravity and the Laws of Thermodynamics affect living things equally, including human beings (Newton, et al); that humankind is a part of the general evolutionary biological process (Darwin); and that people are to a significant degree unconscious, mistake what is illusory for what is real and, therefore, have difficulty both adequately explaining the way the world works and consciously regulating our behavior (Freud).

    Now comes apparently unanticipated, unfortunately unwelcome and heretofore unchallenged scientific evidence that indicate we have widely shared and consensually validated an inadequate, preternatural understanding of human population dynamics and willfully refused to appreciate the necessity for regulating certain distinctly human global “overgrowth” activities. That is to say, as a consequence of the current colossal scale and projected growth rate of worldwide overconsumption, overproduction and overpopulation activity by the human species in our time, humanity itself could soon be presented with a predicament resulting from 1) increasing and unchecked per capita consumption/hoarding of limited resources, 2) seemingly endless expansion of production/distribution capabilities in a finite world, and 3) unbridled species propagation.

    Extant scientific evidence indicates that human influences could directly and primarily account for excessive extinction of biodiversity, creeping environmental degradation, and the dissipation of limited natural resources. A convergence of scientific evidence points us to something undeniable: global overconsumption, overproduction and overpopulation activities by the human species are occurring synergistically on the surface of Earth and could soon become patently unsustainable.

    It does look as if the challenges posed to humanity by certain unregulated human overgrowth activities overspreading Earth now are huge ones. Even so, we can take the measure of the looming challenges and find solutions to problems of our making that are consonant with universally shared, humane values.

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