Introduction In this issue I noticed the abundance of editorials and editorial comment that already address, and present the contents of, the Special Edition, the Classic paper and warming comments on our earlier Volume. So, rather than add to the presentations of the papers here, I thought it might be more useful to raise some […]
Introduction In this special issue, we have drawn upon contributions to the Strategy, Innovation and Change stream of the Complexity Science and Society conference which was held in Liverpool in September 2005. The papers presented covered a wide variety of topics. These included leadership in the public and private sectors, corporate social responsibility, modeling and […]
Introduction A strategic choice perspective views innovation strategy as a function of managerial choice in the light of environmental contingency. Writers like Miles and Snow (1978) and Freeman (1982) provided taxonomies of strategies to identify the types of strategic actions a company might adopt. Commercialization of promising innovative developments requires a mix of profiling, marketing, […]
In this paper a preliminary theoretical framework for the study of business ecosystems is constructed. It is based on theories from the fields of complexity and evolutionary economics. Important concepts include the following: coevolution, self-organization, emergence, conscious choice, limited knowledge, interconnectedness, feedback and the interaction of variation, selection and development.
The study of various knowledge creation approaches (like operations research, systems thinking, cybernetics, complexity, knowledge management, and scientific method) leads to the development of a framework describing a sufficient capability for trans-disciplinary knowledge innovation and knowledge creation. This is done by looking at knowledge creation as a complex phenomenon, and using an appropriate approach, as found in the Cynefin Framework. The proposed knowledge innovation framework highlights the various aspects to be developed in order to define a capability which can be used for knowledge innovation, scientific problem solving, and quality assurance for knowledge work. This framework can be seen as a ‘knowledge technology’ that can be developed and implemented like any other technology.
Difficulties have been encountered in communicating the meaning and value of complexity science principles to people in organizations. While one school of thought in the literature holds that it is not necessary to attempt to communicate the principles transparently, one set of researchers set out to develop a range of tools and a workshop session to do just this, and called it ‘The Complexity Starter Kit’. The Complexity Starter Kit features a six-day calendar and ‘water—cooler’ area posters, an exercise class and group sensemaking session, and an online knowledge development tool with group discussion boards. This paper describes the Complexity Starter Kit at high level, proposes its usefulness in the context of innovation, and provides an overview of educational strategies that facilitate learning about complexity science, a consideration of the ways in which these correlate with complexity science, and how this informed the development of the Complexity Starter Kit.
Recently, a new initiative has entered the Dutch policy-arena of spatial planning, water management and nature preservation: the so-called Community of Practice (COP). Within such a COP actors with very different backgrounds (experts, inhabitants, officials, stakeholders) participate to try and find creative solutions for persistent political and societal problems by combining conflicting spatial functions in specific areas. From a complex adaptive systems point of view, we analyze the logic and functioning of such a COP. From the literature on complexity and innovation we can learn that staying at the edge of chaos for COPs mean that they not only have to maintain an internal process of coevolution between the very different actors involved, but also have to maintain relations of coevolution with their wider environment. After an in-depth case study ‘Gouwe Wiericke’ we conclude that COPs can produce innovative policy results, but reaching ‘bounded instability’ through sustainable coevolution requires careful balancing acts between extremes.
In this paper I introduce features of the context of argument related to the status of complexity theory and then move towards a description of Ricoeur’s theorizations on metaphor. I extend the discussion of Ricoeur’s hermeneutic by comparison with the ideas of Lakoff and Johnson on metaphor (influenced by cognitive science as well as Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology) and show correlations which link diverse theorization on the significance of metaphoric theorization. I further extend the description of correlations between Ricoeur’s ideas on symbolism and complexity theory exemplars centered on the conception of ‘emergence’. These perspectives are contextualized relative to the debate concerning whether complexity ought to be conceived as a series of ‘local’ instances or cases, or a ‘universalized’ theory. I extend the view that the mobility of complexity metaphor has created an expansive epistemology within the social sciences and that the resistance to ‘transcendent’ truth — especially felt within attitudes towards ontology within poststructuralist influences on complexity theorization — render problematic the expansion of complexity as a coherent body of theory within the social sciences. It is suggested that a view of phenomenology which acknowledges the role of metaphor and does not have the same problem with ‘transcendent’ truth — setting the arche firmly within the epistemic realm (i.e., Ricoeur’s hermeneutic of metaphor, and related theorization) — might resolve this problem, and also make positive reading of the role of metaphor in complexity studies.
Emergence is not ordinary change: Introduction to Baylis The idea of emergence in its complexity science sense was first broached by adherents of Emergent Evolutionism, a loosely joined movement of scientists, philosophers, historians, social thinkers, and even theologians during the first quarter of the twentieth century (Blitz, 1992). Included among the proponents of Emergent Evolutionism […]
Introduction I have just finished reading E:CO’s Volume 6 Annual, received at my home today and I cannot refrain from expressing that I think it is a small but wonderful piece of complex issues presentation. The authors, in my view, grasp many of the essential features of our present worldwide complexification of issues; a situation […]
Introduction It’s a sad reflection on the tyrannies of modern life that one of the few opportunities one gets for uninterrupted writing is on a plane. This piece comes to you courtesy of an upgrade on a flight to Washington, the start of five week sequence of flights to either sell, check-up on, or take […]
The swell rises behind him, lifting him gently as he sits astride his surfboard in the cool dawn of a La Jolla, California morning, bobbing beyond the banks of Windandsea Beach. The Sun’s first light rides along the edges of a brightening California cloudless blue sky etched with streaks of foamy contrail. It’s a moment […]
Introduction Results is another contribution in a crowded field about ideas and prescriptions to create high performance within organizations. The book draws on work of the global firm Booz Allen Hamilton and offers a useful framework to understand how organizations achieve results. The work is based on four building blocks which are described as the […]
Introduction The central thesis is that the world has become ‘flat’ — which is essentially jargon for the progressive but rapid removal of geographic, communication and even cultural barriers that historically divided the world into separate markets. Friedman traces the factors that led to this phenomenon (‘The Ten Forces’, ‘The Triple Convergence’, ‘The Great Sorting […]