Collective Regulative Bunble


Change by all in a Group

A collective regulative bundle (CRB) methodology builds upon a facility for sharing certain programme and project artefacts by all in the group. Such a group can be small, for example the workers on a farm, or big, for example all inhabitants of a country, or all living members of mankind.

Change by all in the group builds upon the mobilisation of resources for the group's common causes. A practical mini-guide on resource mobilisation for educational research in West and Central Africa has been compiled by ERNWACA [1].

Pretext Vulnerabilities

Preparing for change in a group is not only knowledge intensive. The justification for allocating the resources mobilised for causes of the group is prone to mis-representation in the diagnostics-therapeutics chain: what are the problems in the mess, what are their causal chains, and what design is going to resolve these problems (with a minimum of undesirable impacts).
Abuse (by privileged individuals) is motivated as they may see opportunities to use for their own advantage, the resources that have been pooled and mobilised for the group.

Pretexts are facilitated in situations with a confused common cause-and-effect picture, where knowledge pertinent to change remains or gets dissipated, fragmented and reworded in innumerable documents and texts. The communications and knowledge management practices are non-transparent.

The weakest link in the chain reality makes that the vulnerability is very likely to be exploited, with a polarizing impact on the resource mobilisation: on the one hand, member's commitment erodes quickly as the common value for effort reduces, on the other hand, easy pretexts and institutionalised powers feed a leader's motivation to maintain the status quo.

Transparency & shared diagnostics-therapeutics chains

Checks and balances in change by all in a group are indispensible to avoid or mitigate the resource-abuse risks caused by the pooling of resources and claims1.

Transparency2, collaborative diagnostics capability and collaborative therapeutics skills, and shared diagnostics-therapeutics chains offer possible controls for the risks to sustainable and equitable development induced by poor communications and knowledge management practices.

The collective regulative bundle methodology emphasizes systematized content commons as reuseable programme and project artefacts. Published and maintained on the web, these artefacts can enable programme and project practices such as those advocated by the UK Office of Government Commerce [2], but for a much smaller overall cost and effort.

Moreover in cases where the group's interactions are ICT-reliant[3], these programme and project artefacts can feed (system) development approaches that leverage the formal approach to systems modeling and enterprise architecture tools[4].

Change Methodology

Change is one of the areas where the articulation of content commons can bring enormous social savings. The Convention on Knowledge Commons is an institutional measure to enable us to achieve those savings. The Collective Regulative Bundle (CRB) methodology that we advocate is based on the Regulative Cycle and its joint application by multiple stakeholders at the Dr. Shingo's three levels of transformation [7]:

  • Principle-driven: imbedding principles into culture;
  • System-driven: structuring tools into a systems context;
  • Tool-driven: using specific methods to create point solutions.

Regulative Cycle

Originating in psychological practice, the regulative cycle [5] has been extensively applied as a methodology of (clinical) practice, geared towards the "interested" regulation of the behaviour of groups or organizations in the desired direction. The cycle includes the activities evaluation (of work system operations with respect to an instrument or via benchmarking), problem identification (selection from a problem mess), diagnosis (of the problem situation – analysis), plan of action (design), and intervention (implementation).

Collective Regulative Bundle (CRB)

The Collective Regulative Bundle merges the activities that individuals, groups, organizations and agencies perform to improve their being and doing. It is conceived as the bundling of the regulative cycles that individuals may perform.
A very simple case is included here to illustrate the basic terminology. For each italic term, there is a more detailed description that can be accessed at the wiki dedicated to the definition of the CRB Methodology. The case illustrates both the daily-life-embedded character of initiatives, and the key terms used in the CRB Methodology.

Introductory Case: My car has a flat tire

It will happen to you. You are bringing a friend and his family to the airport. After completing his phd in Belgium, with wife and two kids, your friend is leaving to return to his home country Sri Lanka. The ride is short, less than 30 minutes. You just got on the highway, and there you sense the problem. You can manage to get on the shoulder of the road, and now you must in no time replace the flat tire of your car, for the first time in your life.

The car is part of a worksystem which offers mobility to its driver and passengers. The lifecycle stages of System Operation and Maintenance (SOM) and System Development (SD) are present, with several foci in the activities [6]:

Change in Vulnerable Livelihoods

There is an excellent online tutorial on poverty and livelihood in development cooperation [8].

Knowledge management and governance issues that come into play in the dialogue between researchers and local knowledge systems have been illustrated in a paper on mutual learning and empowerment in rural India [9].

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