This book brings together social scientists, economists, engineers and biologists who recognize communication and control as a common concern.
They have found, for example, that a new epistemology for social inquiry seems to emerge when science is regarded as a communication process. In light of this, measurement and data analysis are viewed from a new perspective and the notion of information, which has largely been ignored in economics, is incorporated as a theoretical concept in formal economic analysis and in applications to a variety of organizational phenomena.
The book approaches problems of constructing systems models involving communication on several levels, that of small social groups in which human individuals are clearly recognizable and that of large socio-economic systems in which they are not.
In the context of large social systems, the development of social control theories has long been ignored. While contributions to such theories permeate the whole book, one section is explicitly concerned with control processes in society.
Several contributions consider knowledge as a controlling agent of social organizations, management and decision making and present analyses to demonstrate the point. Insights gained from these deliberations lead several authors to discuss policy implications for future inquiries in the social sciences.
The book is organized into several sections with introductions providing the intellectual context and connective summaries.