Welcome to the first issue of Emergence: A Journal of Complexity Issues in Organizations and Management. Emergence publishes articles of a qualitative nature relating complex systems, sensemaking, psychology, philosophy, semiotics, and cognitive science to the management of organizations, both public and private.
The readers of Emergence are managers, academics, consultants, and others interested in the possibility of applying the insights of the science of complex systems to day-to-day management and leadership problems.
The emerging theory of complex systems research has resulted in a growing movement to reinvigorate management. Theory, research, practice, and education can all benefit by adopting a more dynamic, systemic, cognitive, and holistic approach to the management process. As interest in the study of complex systems has grown, a new vocabulary is emerging to describe discoveries about wide-ranging and fundamental phenomena. Complexity theory research has allowed for new insights into many phenomena and for the development of new manners of discussing issues regarding management and organizations.
A shared language based on the insights of complexity can have an important role in a management context. The use of complexity theory metaphors can change the way in which managers think about the problems they face. Instead of competing in a game or a war, managers of a complexity thinking enterprise are trying to find their way on an ever-changing, ever-turbulent landscape. Such a conception of their organization’s basic task can, in turn, change the day-to-day decisions that those managers make.
The most productive applications of complexity insights have to do with new possibilities for innovation in organizations. These possibilities require new ways of thinking, but old models of thinking persist long after they are productive. New ways of thinking don’t just happen; they require new models that have to be learned. Emergence is dedicated to helping both practicing managers and academics acquire, understand, and examine these new mental models.
To our new community … a most hearty welcome.