Business thermodynamics

The Entropy Vector (2004)
2004 book The Entropy Vector: Connecting Science and Business by English business manager Robert Handscombe and mechanical engineer Eann Patterson, in which entropy theory is applied to business operation.
In human thermodynamics, business thermodynamics is the study of the energetic and entropic aspects involved in the transformative processes of business operation.

Business chemistry
Business thermodynamics has a certain amount of overlap with 'business chemistry', just as chemistry overlaps with thermodynamics, in the science of chemical thermodynamics. A factory, as discussed by American chemical engineer William Fairburn in 1914, can be considered, for example, as a reactive system (or beaker), such that that the foreman acts as the "human chemist", aligning proper work reactions between individuals, quantifying people by their relative entropy (human entropy), etc., and that in this sense, a manager must study the basic principles of chemistry so to intelligently perform their occupation. [1]

In his 1968 Management Science article, American researcher Bruce Gunn argued that the essence of employee motivation is to found in Le Chatelier’s principle and that the transformation of energy in a given productive system represents the “essence of motivation.” [6]

Beginning in the late 1970s, thermodynamic terminologies, such as corporate entropy or thermodynamic efficiency, have begun to find application in theory and practice.

In 1987, in their popular Peopleware book, business consultants Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister loosely outlined ideas on corporate entropy and stated a "second thermodynamic law of management." [2] In their presentation, they use a loose human chemistry metaphor, discussing topics such as "what it takes to make project chemistry", how some people can act as "human catalysts" who can help a project "jell", describing mobile workers as "free electrons", etc. Their latter chapters, according to the authors, discuss teams and what it takes to "build a sensible chemistry for team formation."

In 2005, Czechoslovakian-born American information systems executive Paul Strassman began lecturing and writting books on the connection between management, company organization, information theory, and entropy. [3]

One of the first articles in business thermodynamics, to specifically incorporate a human molecule, chemical thermodynamics point of view was the 2005 article "Human Thermodynamics and Business Efficiency" by American business strategist Lynn Liss. [4]

Entrepreneurial entropy
A 2012 whiteboard formulation of "entrepreneurial entropy" by Shawn Carson, in which he argues that entropy applies to the act or process of innovation in markets. [7]

See also
Sthar - Social Thermodynamics Applied Research.

1. Fairburn, William Armstrong. (1914). Human Chemistry. The Nation Valley Press, Inc.
2. DeMarco, Tom and Lister, Timothy. (1999). Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams (2nd ed.). Dorset House Pub.
3. (a) Strassmann, Paul A. (2005). “Information Management and Organization Entropy”, George Mason University, 29 March, Google Video.
(b) Strassmann, Paul A. (2007). The Economics of Information Systems (term: “entropy”, pg. 153). Information Economics Press.
4. Liss, Lynn. (2005). "Human Thermodynamics and Business Efficiency", Journal of Human Thermodynamics, Vol. 1, Issue 6, pgs. 62-67, Dec.
5. Handscombe, Robert D. and Patterson, Eann A. (2004). The Entropy Vector: Connecting Business and Science. World Scientific.
Gunn, Bruce. (1968). “The Dynamic Synthesis Theory of Motivation”, Management Science, 14: B106-, Jun.
7. Carson, Shawn. (2012). “Entrepreneurial Entropy”,, Jan 03.

Further reading
Callaway, Marguerite M. (2006). The Energetics of Business. Chicago: Lincoln Park Publications.
● Jessica. (2010). “Human Physics: Your Business and the Laws of Thermodynamics”, Aug 21.

External links
Business thermodynamics - IoHT Glossary.

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