Relations Between Architecture and Management | David L. Hawk | 1996 | J. Architectural and Planning Research

Distinctions between (1) Order!, (2) Legal Order, and (3) Negotiated Ordered are described as modes of management.  As a previous coauthor of an article on Negotiated Order, I hadn’t seen this prior article!

Figure 1 points to three distinct modes of management, the evolution of the field, and to where the field must move if we are to meet the challenges of contemporary conditions. To understand the significance of the third mode, it is instructive to examine the first two. The diagram was largely the creation of undergraduate honors students from engineering and architecture while taking a basic principles of management course.

Three Management Models

Figure 1:

Figure 1. Three modes of management — hard management for soft times, soft management for hard times

The first mode begins within the management confines of a narrow box. All a manager needs to do is get workers to head down the alley and then prod them to go faster and be more “productive.” Workers need not know to where they are moving or why they work. That is the prerogative of management. It is important to note the phenomenon of the “rat” in managing the operation. The rat is a worker that informs management of the nature and depth of worker discontent. In this way, human problems can be neutralized prior to an upheaval.

The second mode is a logical progression from the first. In this case, the straight lines of the alley-way expand into “democratic boxes,” within which people are undemocratically placed. The manager’s role is to articulate the organization’s mission and to convey it to employees that occupy the boxes. The “rat” retains a role, but in democratic circumstances its role is to help articulate the mission statement, which always tends toward the cynical.

The third mode is a different logical type. Management helps articulate the objectives and ideals of the mission, then falls back into a reduced profile. Each employee is expected to achieve the objective/ideals as he/she sees fit relying on teleological processes. Employees are allowed to question the mission by articulating a new ideal based on having gained better information nearer the front line of action. In this mode, the only use of the box is to bong the “rat.” Elsewhere, this third mode is known as the “negotiated order” mode of management.

Negotiated order processes of management are especially appropriate to the current difficult challenges of society. These require capabilities and capacities far beyond those of early industrial democracy, yet are consistent with ideas fight ancient cultures. An example of this is seen in the validity of principles articulated by Laotse in 500 B.C. China. His argument was that “he who manages least manages best.” This philosophy was the basis of my own 1970s development of the conception of the ideal manager as the “virtual management,” the manager who wasn’t. [pp. 23-24]


Hawk, David L. 1996. “Relations Between Architecture and Management.” Journal of Architectural and Planning Research 13 (1): 10–33, , cached at

Parhankangas, Annaleena, David Ing, David L. Hawk, Gosia Dane, and Marianne Kosits. 2005. “Negotiated Order and Network Form Organizations.” Systems Research and Behavioral Science 22 (5): 431–52.

#architecture, #management, #negotiated-order