The idea of the organization and companies as phenomena to be analyzed and investigated starts to take shape with the various industrial revolutions. It becomes a true science with the introduction of the scientific management by Frederick Taylor: data, formalization of processes and specializations give birth to the figure of the manager, and the consequent company that operates like a clockwork in a perfect manner.

Since then, the conception of the company has evolved and it is not a simple system anymore, but a complex adaptive system which behaves according to the more general system theory, also known by complexity science. However, the introduction of the scientific management brings with it a set of visual models and tools to represent organizations as a whole that are still spawn of the manager’s book, a tool that gathered and recorded data, informations and indexes to manage the work activity from the decisional centre of an organization to the bottom of its hierarchical structure.

This exchange of information is not compliant with how a complex adaptive system behave, since it’s based on principles of self-organization and self-management. Organizational charts, Gantt charts introduced with the scientific management are still in use today, accompanied by the newer network analysis, however they exist to this day in separate realities, where in actuality the organizational theory teaches that activity influences structure and vice-versa, in a network of feedback loops that change one organization’s behaviour.

It’s from this incongruence that the research takes shape, with the aim to identify representation models both new and integrated with the already existing ones that, unlike the manager’s book, become available to all individuals in the organization’s structure and become, more generally, a tool both to manage and plan and to diffuse organizational culture and history to the public.

These two principles (an interactive tool to all employees, and an interactive tool to the general public) are found in two main case studies, correlated with a research of existing solutions from the past to the present, creating a set of guidelines to create innovative visual languages apt to cover all organizational needs.

Poliscope is one of the case studies to investigate novel ways to represent complex data to favor decision making.

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