On Constructed Culture and Technological Determinism as Self-Fulfillling Prophecies

Harro van Lente, Arie Rip; Expectations in Technological Developments: An Example of Prospective Structures to be Filled in by Agency; 28 pages; ; OAI:oai:doc.utwente.nl:34732; landing, (a photocopy of a paper article) academia.edu, landing as Chapter 7; In Cornelis Disco, Barend vander Meulen, Getting New Technologies Together: Studies in Making Sociotechnical Order; Walter de Gruyter; 1998; An earlier version of this paper was prepared, submitted, presented at the XXIth (21st?) World Congress of Sociology, ISA, Bielefield, DE, 1994-07-18; separately filled.

Mads Borup, Nik Brown, Kornelia Konrad, Harro Van Lente; The Sociology of Expectations in Science and Technology; an editorial; In Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, Volume 18, Numbers 3/4, 285 –298, July – September, 2006-07; 14 pages; DOI:10.1080/09537320600777002; paywall; copy; separately noted.

Leonardo Bursztyn, Georgy Egorov, Stefano Fiorin; From Extreme to Mainstream: How Social Norms Unravel; Working Paper No. 23415; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); 2017-05; paywall; separately noted.
tl;dr →something about needing “just the right” amount of correlational clustering to allow ideas to spread appropriately.

Rand Waltzman; The Weaponization of Information; CT-473; Rand Corporation; 2017-04-27; 10 pages; landing.
Teaser: The Need for Cognitive Security

Testimony presented before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Cybersecurity on 2017-04-27; separately filled..

Christopher Paul, Miriam Matthews; The Russian “Firehose of Falsehood” Propaganda Model; PE-108-OSD; Rand Corporation; 2016; 16 pages (landscape, like slideware); landing; separately noted.
Teaser: Why It Might Work and Options to Counter It


How Useful Is Christensen’s Theory Of Disruptive Innovation? | Roundup

tl;dr → it is wrong; Clayton Christensen’s theory of Disruptive innovation is

  • not explanatory
  • not a causal path
  • merely a warning to others

Everyone is covering the paywalled article.

Original Sources

  • Andrew A. King (Dartmouth), Baljir Baatartogtokh; “How Useful Is the Clayton Christensen’s Theory of Disruptive Innovation?”; In MIT Sloan Management Review; Fall; 2015-09; paywall.


  • Disruption
  • Innovation
  • <quote>The theory of disruptive innovation provides a generally useful warning about managerial myopia. Many of our experts noted examples of managers who overlooked or misunderstood the importance of an emerging threat…. the theory of disruptive innovation provides a useful reminder of the importance of testing assumptions, seeking outside information, and other means of reducing myopic thinking.</quote>, attributed to King & Baatartogtokh.
  • <quote>The authors do not consider the possibility that the incumbent firms had a particular way of managing—inward-looking hierarchical bureaucracy—that made them prone to fail at innovation. The firms were not merely accidental victims of the law of averages. Their ability to innovate was crippled by their own management practices aimed at preserving the status quo. Given their advantages as incumbents, they could and should have had more success if they had been practicing management more suited to innovation.</quote>, attributed to Steve Denning (Forbes)
  • Incubents choose to die 90% of the time
  • Incumbents choose to “innovate” 9% of the time.
  • Method
    • Canonicalize history to cases.
    • Analyze canonical cases
    • Quantify
    • Conclude.
  • MindMatters; some survey


  • The Disruption Machine: What the gospel of innovation gets wrong; Jill Lepore; In The New Yorker; 2014-06-23; previously filled.
  • Clayton Christiansen
    • The Innovator’s Dilemma
    • The Innovator’s Solution
    • Key Concepts
  • Chunka Mui, Paul B. Carroll; The New Killer Apps; 2013.
  • Some Reportage; Harvard Business School 2013
    tl;dr → America can’t compete; is losing the ability to compete
  • Michael Porter, Jan Rivkin, Rosabeth Moss Kanter; Rebuttal & Analysis of ‘Some Reportae’ ; Harvard Business School.
    tl;dr → management excellence is excellence; everyone else is failing; this is a strength.  The strength is <quote>Apparently it’s the limited challenge of making the quarterly numbers with the existing engineering skills, product designs, and production facilities.</quote>, attributed to Steve Denning (Forbes).
  • Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg; How Google Works; 2014.

Via: backfill.

The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization | Peter M. Senge

Peter M. Senge; The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization; Doubleday; revised edition; 2006-03-21; 445 pages; kindle: $14, paper: $4+SHT.

Peter M. Senge; The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook: Strategies and Tools for Building a Learning Organization; Crown Business; 1st edition; 1994-06-20; 593 pages.

Peter M. Senge; The Dance of Change: The challenges to sustaining momentum in a learning organization; Crown Business; 1st edition; 1999-03-16; 608 pages.

Quiz: What Kind of Office Speak Dominates Your Brain? | The Atlantic

Quiz: What Kind of Office Speak Dominates Your Brain?; ; In The Atlantic; 2014-04-24.
Teaser: Are you a Life Hacker? Have you Self-Actualized? The way you talk says a lot about your work life.

Also, The Quiz


Taxonomy of …

  • … of people
  • … of thinking
  • … of frames of mind

The Types

  1. The Self-Actualizers
  2. The Optimizers
  3. The Financiers
  4. The Marketers
  5. The Disrupters
  6. The Creatives
  7. The Life Hackers
Type Era
The Self-Actualizers 1960s-1970s
The Optimizers 1980s-1990s
The Financiers 1980s-2000s
The Marketers 1960s-1970s, 2000s-2010s
The Disrupters 2000s-2010s
The Creatives 2000s-2010s
The Life Hackers 2000s-2010s


  • Claim: academics have had a big effect on how workers work, all thanks to one group of people: consultants.



  • mechanistic
  • emphasis
    • accuracy
    • precision
    • incentives
    • maximized production.
  • Fredrick Winslow Taylor
    • Taylorism
    • Time & Motion Studies
  • George Elton Mayo
    • Australian
    • Hawthorne Works
    • Western Electric Company
    • Hawthorne Effect
  • Instead of thinking of workers as cogs in a vast machine, they began thinking of them as living units of a large, complex social organism.
  • The methodology of the Hawthorne experiment has since been criticized.


  • existential crisis
  • concepts
    • Alienation
    • Abseentism
    • Labor turn-over
    • Wild-cat strikes


  • authoritarianism [Germany, Japan]
  • “What was it about the culture of those societies that led them to suddenly shift from what was seen as quite enlightened and advanced to suddenly becoming very authoritarian?” attributed to Khurana.


  • diversified conglomerates
  • mergers & acquisitions
  • big business
  • Schools of Thought
    • Management Science
      • Decision-Making Theory
      • Carnegie Mellon
  • Peter Drucker; The Practice of Management; 1954.
  • Mangement by Objective
  • industrialist


  • Schools of Thought
    • Organizational Development
      • Douglas McGregor, Edgar Schein, Richard Beckhard
      • MIT
      • Organizational Culture, an older form of corporate culture
      • Taxonomy
        • Theory X => lazy work-haters who need to be closely supervised
        • Theory X => ambitious self-motivators who thrive in an atmosphere of trust
  • Douglas MacGregor; The Human Side of Enterprise; 1960.
  • Abraham Maslow
    • Hierarchy of Needs
    • self-actualization
  • George Leonard, Look, a magazine
  • Esalen Institute
    • Michael Murphy, Dick Price,
    • founded 1962
    • promoted by George Leonard “into the mainstream”
  • Human Potential Movement
  • Raymond Cattell
    • British
    • psychology
    • term: synergy
      from Synergism (theology), Protestant for cooperation between the human will and divine grace.
  • Thomas Kuhn
    • U.C. Berkeley
    • philosophy
    • The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 1962.
    • term: paradigm shift


  • Consultants
    • Bain,
    • McKinsey,
    • Boston Consulting Group
  • Milton Friedman
    • quoted: <quote>“There is one and only one social responsibility of business—to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits.”</quote>
    • an oped, The New York Times, 1970.


  • Jack Welch
    • General Electric
    • Work-Out Program
      • 1989
      • a formal language
      • terms
        • low-hanging fruit
        • rattlers
        • pythons
  • Charles Krone, management consultants to the stars
    • </quote>following the teachings of Armenian mystic Georges Gurdjieff.</quote>
    • cited as a failure.
    • 1984 => contracted at Pacific Bell to do corporate culture overhaul.
    • A “leadership development” program
      • known as “kroning”
      • thesis:
        • certain words helped employees communicate better
        • their use improves organizational health
      • terms
        • task cycle
        • functioning capabilities
    • failure mode

      • 23,000 employees trained
      • $40 million paid.
      • 1987 => “statement of principles” defined “interaction” as <quote>The continuous ability to engage with the connectedness and relatedness that exists and potentially exists, which is essential for the creations necessary to maintain and enhance viability of ourselves and the organization of which we are a part.</quote>
      • newspaper article(s)
      • California Public Utilities Commission investigates
      • end.
  • More consulting speak & jargon
  • entrepreneur
  • venture capitalist


  • Skip a little brother
  • Wall Street Culture
  • Networking Culture
    • advice networks
    • mentoring networks
    • coaching
  • Business School Culture
    • The Executive MBA
  • VUCA => Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity
  • Clayton Christiansen
    • books
    • 1995 => disrupt
  • Tom Peters; The Brand Called You; In Fast Company; 1997.
  • Mommy Wars start


  • Clayton Christiansen
    • Harvard B-School
    • term: disrupt


  • Maker Culture
    • creatives
    • makerspaces
    • DIY
    • Etsy
  • Lean In Culture; Women {Can,Can’t} Have It All
  • Diversity & Inclusiveness Theory


  • Rakesh Khurana
    • attributed as:
      • a professor at Harvard Business School
      • soon-to-be Dean of Harvard College
    • Seems to be the source of all the historiography
  • Edgar Schein
    • now age 86
  • Joanne Ciulla
    • attributed as: professor, University of Richmond
    • opines on The Krone Affair
  • John Van Maanen
    • attributed as: a management professor at MIT
    • opines on pseudo-scientific language in consulting.
  • Geoffrey Nunberg
    • attributed as: a linguistics professor at UC Berkeley.
    • opines on language choice
  • AnnaLee Saxenian
    • attributed as:
      • professor, U.C. Berkeley
      • Regional Advantage: Culture and Competition in Silicon Valley and Route 128
    • opines on Silicon Valley culture contra Auto Industry culture
      • stability & effiency => output
      • vuca & chaos => innovation
  • Kevin Kelly
    • attributed as:
      • founding editor, Wired
      • Cool Tools, 2001, 2003, 2013
    • opines about the Maker Revolution; the employment evidence doesn’t support this.
  • Nancy Koehn
    • attributed as: professor, Harvard Business School
    • opines on emotion in the the office register.
  • Luke Visconti
    • attributed as: CEO & founder of Diversity Inc.
    • opines on diversity becomes “diversity & inclusion”
  • Shawna Vican
    • attributed as:
      • doctoral candidate, Harvard
      • studying organizational change
    • cited for color, background & verisimiltude
      • “talk of yellow people and purple people, that sort of thing”



without attribution, see the article.

  • “My proactive leadership must be working!”
  • “Bingo, sir”
  • “reach out”
  • “run it up the flagpole”
  • “circle back”
  • “boil the ocean”
  • “streamline”
  • “soup to nuts”
  • “low-hanging fruit”
  • “pain points”
  • “drilling down”
  • “bleeding edge”
  • “the bottom line”

Biz Speak

Optimization Culture
  • low-hanging fruit
  • rattlers
  • pythons
Human Potential Culture
  • 80-20
  • boil the ocean
  • sync up
  • streamline
  • restructure
  • let go
  • create operational efficiencies
  • human resources
  • task cycle
  • functioning capabilities
Finance Culture, Wall Street Culture
  • optionality
  • standard deviations
  • leverage
  • value-add
  • shareholder value
  • VUCA
  • mission
  • energy

Marketing 1.0 Culture, 1960s-1970s

  • run it up the flagpole
  • hard-sell
  • ideation
  • native solutions; e.g. native advertising

Marketing 2.0 Culture, Silicon Valley Cult-ure, Venture Capital Cult-ure, 2000s-2010x

  • establishing a #personal #brand.
  • (with or without irony)
    • #leanin
    • #twitter
    • #socialmedia
  • thought leader
  • disrupt
  • move fast, break things
  • bandwidth,
  • hack,
  • multi-task
  • download
  • innovation
  • top-down
  • bottom-up
  • entrepreneur
  • journey
  • passion
  • mission
  • vision
  • values
  • passion
  • purpose
  • work-life balance
  • lean in
  • unplug
  • life-hack
  • bandwidth
  • capacity
  • diversity unto “diversity & inclusion”
  • engagement
  • dialogue
  • recognition
  • experience
  • awareness
  • education

Via: backfill

Diffusion of Innovations | Everett M. Rogers

Everett M. Rogers; Diffusion of Innovations, 5th Edition Paperback; Free Press; 5th Edition; 2003-08-16; 576 pages; kindle: $25, paper: $13+SHT; earlier editions kindle: $24, paper: $0.01+SHT.

Table of Contents

  1. Elements of diffusion.
  2. A history of diffusion research.
  3. The generation of innovations.
  4. The Innovation-decision process.
  5. Attributes of innovations.
  6. Innovativeness and adapter categories.
  7. Diffusion networks.
  8. The change agent.
  9. Innovation in organizations.
  10. Consequences of innovations.


Individual Decision Life Cycle Model

  1. Knowledge
    … of the innovation.
  2. Persuasion
    i.e. forming a favorable or unfavorable attitude toward it.
  3. Decision
    to accept or reject.
  4. Implementation
    … of the innovation.
  5. Confirmation
    i.e. seeking reinforcement of the decision from others.

Mass Adoption Life Cycle Model

  1. innovators,
  2. early adopters,
  3. early majority,
  4. late majority,
  5. laggards.


Via: backfill

The Core/Context Model | Geoffrey Moore

Geoffrey Moore; Keynote for Intacct Corp; 2013-12-19; 39:30.

Geoffrey A. Moore; Escape Velocity: Free Your Company’s Future from the Pull of the Past; HarperBusiness; 2011-09-06; 245 pages.


  • Computers (Information Technology)
    • History Systems
    • Nervous System
  • Risk Management (is what the Finance discipline does)
    • Risk to mitigate
    • Risk to accept & manage
    • Efficient Frontier on risk to mitigate vs take.
  • Urgent vs Important
    • Core => Important
    • Context => Urgent
  • Fund Core before Context
  • Social Mobile Analytics Cloud
    • SMAC Stack
    • Stairway to Heaven



Communities of Practice | Wenger et al.


Also cited as

  • Cultivating communities of practice: a guide to managing knowledge. By Étienne Wenger, Richard McDermott, William Snyder, Harvard Business School Press, 2002.
  • Communities of practice: the organizational frontier. By Étienne Wenger and William Snyder. Harvard Business Review. 2000-01/2000-02, pp. 139-145.
  • Knowledge management is a donut: shaping your knowledge strategy with communities of practice. By Étienne Wenger. Ivey Business Journal, 2004-01.
  • Communities of practice: learning, meaning, and identity. By Étienne Wenger, Cambridge University Press, 1998.


on measuring & evaluating communities





  • COP Framework (Communities of Practice)
  • Definition: <quote>Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.</quote> ref
  • Diagnostic Characteristics
    • The Domain
    • The Community
    • The Practice
  • Aliases
    • learning networks,
    • thematic groups,
    • tech clubs.
  • Purpose
    • stewarding knowledge
    • autonomy,
    • practitioner-orientation,
    • informality,
    • crossing boundaries.
  • Similar to
    • Apprenticeship Studies
    • Knowledge Management (Studies)
  • Where
    • (large, hierarchical, bureaucratic hosts)
    • Businesses
    • Government
    • Education
    • Associations (trade boosterism groups)
    • Social sector (civic, cultural & regional boosterism & nonprofit)
    • The Web (hackday culture, hackerdojo culture, coding culture, startup culture, open source, meetup, STEM promotionalism, etc.)
  • Blog of Wenger & Traynor
    Seems moribund since 2013-09
  • Levels of Participation
    • Core
    • Active
    • Occasional
    • Peripheral
    • Transactional
  • Metrics, Monitoring, Evaluation, PKI
    • Immediate Value
    • Potential Value
    • Applied Value
    • Realized Value
    • Reframing Value
  • Orientations of Communties (COP) from Digital Habitats
    • meetings,
    • open-ended conversations,
    • projects,
    • content,
    • access to expertise,
    • relationships,
    • individual participation,
    • community participation,
    • serving a context.



Problem solving “Can we work on this design and brainstorm some ideas; I’m stuck.”
Requests for information “Where can I find the code to connect to the server?”
Seeking experience “Has anyone dealt with a customer in this situation?”
Reusing assets “I have a proposal for a local area network I wrote for a client last year. I can send it to you and you can easily tweak it for this new client.”
Coordination and synergy “Can we combine our purchases of solvent to achieve bulk discounts?”
Discussing developments “What do you think of the new CAD system? Does it really help?”
Documentation projects “We have faced this problem five times now. Let us write it down once and for all.”
Visits “Can we come and see your after-school program? We need to establish one in our city.”
Mapping knowledge and identifying gaps “Who knows what, and what are we missing? What other groups should we connect with?”

Source: slide

Via: backfill

Geert Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions Theory

Via: Jimi Wales’ Wiki pages Power Distance; Geert Hofstede

  • PDI => Power Distance
  • IDV => Individualism
  • UAI => Uncertainty Avoidance Index
  • MAS => Masculinity contra Femininity (also Quality of Life vs Quantity of Life)
  • LTO => Long-Term Orientation


Geert Hofstede, Gert Jan Hofstede, Michael Minkov; Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind; McGraw-Hill, 3rd edition; 2010-05-03; 576 pages; kindle: #16, from: $10.