Remember what the starting point of our deliberations was in the past few days? In the first part of the topic, What the world of an artificial manager is made of, I told what sense is necessary for an artificial manager. It was a sense of activity. Other senses our new boss could have, but the most important thing is that it should be able to recognize what actions are being taken, and be able to take some action (managerial actions). So let’s combine the two bricks of the manager’s world – resources and processes.
Imagine an empty world. Simply – nothing. It’s not easy, but try. If someone (omnipotent) wanted to create something (resource), he would have to make something (process). If he wanted a house, he would have to build it. If he wanted to have dinner on his plate, he would have to cook it. And so on… If we were to go back to language more from philosophy than management science, we would say that an event creates a thing. In the language of management, we would say that a process creates a resource.
For example, if you are a manager, you probably plan something from time to time. The action “you plan” creates a resource (in this case, not necessarily having a material form, so we’ll say it’s an organizational resource), which is a “plan.” You plan a plan. This is a sentence: an implicit subject, a predicate and a complement. It may not be elegant from the point of view of language, but that is exactly the point. For other managerial actions, the verb and noun mean exactly what the manager does: sets a goal, generates an idea, creates motivation (of an employee), resolves a conflict, makes a decision, etc.
As you can see, an artificial manager’s sense of activities would have to be designed to be able to register, understand and – in the simplest version of such an artificial manager – repeat the activities of a human manager. So its most important sense would not be sight, hearing, smell, taste or touch, but precisely the sense of activities. The robot manager needs to know, when it observes the human world, that the human manager [sets the plan], [sets the goal], [resolves the conflict], [makes a decision] (I deliberately write – one decision, because I always make only one at a time), [induces motivation].
In future blog posts I’ll tell you how to build such a simplest sense of activity for an artificial manager, but for now let’s return to the concept of activity. It can be associated with process in management, described here: http://olafflak.home.pl/artificialmanagers/2023/02/17/what-is-the-world-of-an-artificial-manager-made-of-part-5-events-as-processes/ and the very popular process approach in management science. However, it is necessary to specify that I am talking here only about the work of people – the manager and his colleagues. Therefore, the robot manager’s sense of activities must record only activities undertaken by humans. Is it only by the human manager, since the robot manager must observe and, in the simplest terms, imitate him?
The answer is no. The robot manager must also be able to observe, record and interpret the activities undertaken by members of the team managed by the human manager. Otherwise, it would only understand the activity of the human manager (on whom it could imitate), and would not understand the activity of that manager’s team and, consequently, its own team.
Let’s summarize our consideration of the world of the robot manager. In philosophical terms, it consists of events and things (Figure 1), and in management science terms it consists of resources and processes (Figure 2). We assemble the resource and process into a single object – the managerial activity. To measure both bricks of the manager’s world, in the organizational size system the resource is called the primary organizational size, and the process is called the derived organizational size. In subsequent posts, I will explain the reasons why one is primary and the other is derivative.
Figure 1. Managerial action – an event and a thing
Figure 2. Managerial action – a process and a resource
What can actually be directly measured – a resource or a thing, or perhaps both, I will tell in future blog posts.