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CHAPTER III: PHYSICAL AND BIOLOGICAL LIMITATIONS IN COOPERATIVE SYSTEMS.

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    • Abstract:
      This chapter of the book "The Functions of the Executive," by Chester I. Barnard (1938), explores how out of the existence of purposes of individuals and the experience of limitations arises coöperation to accomplish purposes and overcome limitations. The chapter explores the following basic questions: Why or when is coöperation effective? What are the objects of coöperative processes? What are the limitations of coöperation? What are the causes of instability in coöperative systems? What effect has coöperation upon the ends sought? Barnard develops the answers to these questions on the assumption that only biological and physical factors are present. This requires the treating of human beings somewhat as automatons. As a result, Barnard attempts to bring out the most elementary aspects of coöperation under conditions of artificial simplicity in which social factors are excluded and a system of coöperation is treated as a quasi-mechanical process. According to Barnard, the primary step in coöperation is to envisage biological characteristics of individuals as limitations which can be overcome by coöperation.