Management of Uncertainty: Theory and Application in the Design of Systems and Organizations

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Springer Science & Business Media, Sep 17, 2009 - Business & Economics - 192 pages
As I write, the financial systems of the world are collapsing with still no clear indication of what the consequences will be and which measures should be taken to avoid such a crisis in the future. There seems to be agreement though, that the financial instruments introduced in the past few decades entailed far too much complexity and uncertainty and that there was too little regulatory control over the use of these instruments. Management of uncertainty with the aim of achieving self-control is the core concern of this book. It was not written with a focus on financial systems, but many concepts developed in this book are applicable to this field as well. The - neric principles of reducing, maintaining or increasing uncertainties in view of the different contingencies an organization is faced with, the fundamental issue of how much control is possible and who should be in control, and the question of how much and what kind of regulation is necessary with the overall aim of finding an appropriate balance between system stability and flexibility are at the centre of heated debates on the future of finance.

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Defining and Identifying Uncertainties in Organizations
Generic Principles for Managing Uncertainties 29
Creating Flexible Routines
Managing Uncertainties through Collaborative Planning
Limits to Control in Automated Systems
When Uncertainty Implies Safety Risk
Managing Uncertainties in Working Life
Index 185

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About the author (2009)

Gudela Grote has been full Professor of Work and Organizational Psychology at the ETH Zürich in the Department of Management, Technology, and Economics since 2000. Previously, she was Assistant Professor (since 1992) and Associate Professor (since 1997) at the ETH Zurich. She studied psychology at the University of Marburg and at the Technical University in Berlin. She received her doctorate at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, in 1987. Since 1988 she has continued her research at the ETH Zurich.

The main objective of Gudela Grote's research is to provide psychologically-based concepts and methods for integrative job and organizational design, taking into consideration the changing technological, economic and societal demands and opportunities. A special interest are the increasing flexibility and virtuality of work and their consequences for the individual and organizational management of uncertainty. Application fields for Prof. Grote's research include teamwork and standardization in high-risk systems, management of the psychological contract, career development, effects of new technologies on work processes, and collaborative planning within an between organizations.

Prof. Grote is associate editor of the journal Safety Science and member of the editorial board of several other journals. She has published widely on topics in organizational behavior, human factors, Human Resource Management, and safety management. She has worked with companies such as the Swiss Railways, Swiss Re and various public organizations. Together with Prof. Bruno Staffelbach from the University of Zurich she publishes annually the Swiss Human Relations - Barometer.