Structuring process—organizing to get things done and achieve results—is considered to be one of the most potent component in strategy realization. Structure connects and weaves together all aspects of organization’s activities, its external and internal contexts, so that it functions as a complete dynamic entity. With changing business landscape, companies are struggling with novel forms of organizing. This study aims to fill the arena of void around study of organizational structure. Nonlinear dynamic properties of any system, falling under the hubris of complexity science, suggests structural options that embraces both explicitly mandated formal structures as well as emergent informal structure. Using qualitative research methodology, the study is grounded to the field—a content creating firm in entertainment industry. Seven distinct stages of transformation process are evinced in the process of creating content, as nature of raw material changes from its unsophisticated and/or untampered mode to content fit for monetization. These were mapped in Information (I) space. The grounded theory substantiates that extent of codification in information about raw material and/or work process will drive the structure, and that the organization design that gets generated is a fine balance between hierarchical, bureaucratic structure and self-organized form, each with preponderance across time and space based on distinctive stage of transformation process of raw material. Study argues that such organization structure subsumes both formal and informal ways of working with a fine balance between bureaucratic and self-organized forms. Actual organization structure depicts the messiness of how real organization actually works.
This paper explores whether something can be said about the likely evolution of organizational change patterns. It addresses such questions as (1) whether some patterns are more likely to remain constant and others are more likely to evolve into different patterns and (2) whether some patterns are likely to evolve more quickly than others. In other words, it considers whether some patterns may be more (un)stable than others. If an organizational population performing in an organizational pattern changes to a different pattern, this paper also explores the likely dynamics at work, models what the changes might be and develops hypotheses about those changes.
Today’s business world is characterized by a complex non-linear environment, non-hierarchical organization structures, multi-country and de-centralized operations, etc. The prominent models of decision-making that were primarily developed with the industrial economy in mind, and that viewed decision-making as a couple of linear sequential steps and “decisions given-and-decisions followed” — might not work too well. Knowledge-based economies call for developing decision-making models that represent the complexity of the present world business. Under such context, we present an alternative approach to studying management decision-making — seeking inspiration from the natural/biological systems. Bees show similar behavior in their foraging activities, as a single objective management decision-making problem. The uniqueness of the developed model lies in its ability to explain the major properties of a complex system, and the value that emergence (of a decision) brings to a company.
The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore and generate a holistic approach using chaos and complexity theories that captured the Coast Guard’s strategic management and public policy processes to improve the organization’s preparedness for unpredictable events. The case study included rich interviews of strategic management and public policy staff members and reviews of existing Coast Guard policy and procedural documents related to strategy and public policy. The research findings identified several themes in the data that were consistent with chaos and complexity theories. The identified themes were linked through the lenses of chaos and complexity theories to develop a holistic approach to improve Coast Guard organizational preparedness. The implications of the developed approach highlight the relevance of chaos and complexity theories in the understanding of the external environment and improved inter and intra-organizational processes related to strategic management and public policy for the Coast Guard.
This paper explores the notion of complexity as it arises in organizational research. In particular, we consider kaupapa Māori research as a transformational Indigenous methodology that not only enables research in Indigenous Māori contexts, but operates at the intersection of Western and Indigenous worlds. Our conceptualization of an Indigenous methodology incorporates complexity through paradigmatic plurality and explicitly acknowledges the characteristics of emergence and self-organization at the heart of kaupapa Māori research. The consequences are widespread not only for researchers and practitioners of organizations, but also for a perception of Indigenous business that is true to the Indigenous logics in which they are grounded and reflective of good practice. As such, our focus is on the complexity required of research if it is to reflect the views of Indigenous and mainstream simultaneously and be able to claim that it genuinely captures the diversity and dynamics of a complex society.
The current difficulties of the Russian economy indicate that the application of policies for the attainment of economic stabilization without regard to the historical conditions of a particular country may produce little positive effect. Consideration needs to be given not only to economic factors, such as the level of industrial development of the country, the scientific and technical potential, and the amount of economic monopolization, but also cultural factors, such as the sense of justice, historical traditions, general mentality, and the system of values. Recognizing these cultural factors, this paper proposes a theoretical base to develop a strategy for reform in social and labor relations that would be adequate to Russia’s current conditions. This paper investigates the processes of transformation of social and labor relations on the basis of logic modeling and an extended systems approach.
In a recent paper in this journal, a claim is made that the mind is not algorithmic. The supporting argument for this claim is that humans frequently solve certain problems which can supposedly not be solved by a computer. However, this argument is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of what it means to solve a problem. Here, I will argue that the provided argument for the claim that the mind is not algorithmic confuses two different meanings of the phrase “to solve a problem”: its formal meaning and its colloquial meaning. As a result, the argument is not logically consistent, and thus does not support the original claim.
Introduction Over the last 30 years, the Law of Life—learn and adapt or die—has become the Law of Markets. When Digital Equipment Corp. didn’t adapt to the personal computer because its CEO, Ken Olsen, couldn’t learn that this was the future, the company began to die. When General Motors couldn’t learn about either customers’ changing […]
One of the frustrations of working in the exciting area of “complexity science in organizations” is that there is no commonly accepted definition of what this term means (White et al., 1997). Definitions have been offered, such as “complexity is a watchword for a new way of thinking about the collective behavior of many basic […]
The speculative nature of the genre makes social settings provided by science fiction a fertile metaphorical testing ground for new management concepts. Science fiction’s need to maintain internal consistency, or “the willing suspension of disbelief,” reinforces this claim. If the “environment” is adequately cogent, new perspectives on the relevant concept can emerge from such an […]
Continuing transformation of the global business environment provides for the growth and modification of business risks and requirements for success. The increasing prevalence of ongoing change in competitive environments of various industries calls for an enhancement of strategic management systems so that they could help minimize strategic risks and meet new success requirements. The scope […]
The Lost World, Michael Crichton’s sequel to the dinosaur adventure Jurassic Park, is structured around complexity theory. Briefly defined, complexity theory examines emergent order in large, interactive, adaptive networks, such as neural networks or ecosystems. In The Lost World, Crichton’s characters investigate the emergent nature of complex ecosystems and seek to understand how extinctions occur […]
Businesses fail because management does not have effective control of the business. To believe otherwise is to believe that the chief executive officers of five major computer manufacturing corporations engineered their own terminations earlier this decade.1 No doubt there were many other managers with far less marketable products forced to resign in the interim. Management […]
WHAT IS “COMPLEXITY KNOWING”? “Complexity” is becoming a keyword at the cutting edge of modern thought. In the vanguard of this movement are the Brussels school led by Ilya Prigogine, a Nobel laureate in chemistry, and the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico. The latter, in particular, has attracted in recent years scores of researchers, […]