Introduction Even a quick perusal of the contents of this issue of E:CO cannot but reveal it to be, in Ovid’s wonderful phrase, “an embarrassment of riches,” or, as a similar sentiment is expressed in Spanish, “que rico”! This issue provides a veritable feast of theories, pragmatics, cases, speculations, poetry, criticisms, news, reviews, and more. […]
Introduction The question that we want to explore in this paper is how change really occurs in socio-economic systems, based on the ideas of ‘evolutionary drive’ put forward some years ago (Allen & McGlade, 1987). In this view the evolutionary process is driven by the interplay of processes that create micro-diversity, and the selection operated […]
We have developed a unique procedure for analyzing innovation dynamism that uses a logistic equation. This paper is a trial to clarify the complexity of innovation systems using this procedure. The innovation paradigm comprises three logistic trajectories: technology, development, and diffusion, in this order. The nonlinear nature of these trajectories has revealed various interesting characteristics of innovations. For the electronics innovation paradigm, the development trajectory comprises chain fractals of the stepwise development of IC chips, which follows Moore’s law. Electronics technologies have been adopted by various industries, and these phenomena have been discussed as ‘technology fusion’, by which fusion trajectories are clustered along the electronics development trajectory per se, forming a bundle fractal. For the development trajectories of computer, electronics, and multimedia, various elementary technological systems emerge as system fractals. The innovation paradigm is a kind of discrete system formed by knowledge transfer from person to person. That is, it is a kind of complex system, and the self-organization mechanism has been observed. The trajectory formation itself is ascribed to a kind of self-organization resulting in a deterministic locus. The diffusions of innovations gather along the upswing of a Kondratiev cycle forming a bundle fractal; cluster formation is also explained by a self-organization mechanism. The discrete system of innovation is discussed in terms of logistic mapping and an important correlation with fractal formation is mathematically revealed.
Critical path of M&A (history) In the last decade M&A activity throughout the world, accounted for approximately 70% of the total value of inward investment in developed countries, making mergers and acquisitions a more important component than greenfield investments in foreign direct investment (Rodriguez-Pose & Zademach, 2003). In 1999, according to J. P. Morgan, companies […]
Many of the most successful firms have placed a strong emphasis on strategy. Strategies help decision-makers in organizations to think through what the organization needs to achieve and how these needs may be satisfied. This case study considers what the Chief Executive Officers of the top three aerospace manufacturers say about their strategies and how these strategies are being implemented. The aerospace manufacturing industry is interesting from a number of respects: its dependence on innovation, its global nature, its relationships with government and other firms, and the different characteristics of the civil and defence markets. This aerospace manufacturing triad is also interesting because of its industry sector coverage: one is a largely defence aerospace manufacturer, the second a largely commercial aerospace manufacturer and the third, an aerospace manufacturer with a balanced portfolio. Strategies are shifting to take an holistic view of the firm as the firm is increasingly being recognized as a complex system. This holism is particularly evident in the manufacturing firms examined, as they balance innovation, strategy and organizational characteristics in an evolutionary manner. Innovation is fundamental to evolution and this case study employs a novel holistic approach to innovation portfolio assessment. A complex systems perspective is taken for organizational analysis allowing the examination of how fluctuations, resource richness, freedom, capacity to innovate, culture, technology and strategy are balanced and made synergetic. This case study reflects upon how these organizations’ strategies are reflected in their organizational forms, their investments in innovations, their performance and ultimately in their potential to evolve.
European Modernity is characterized by a fragmentation of knowledge and the raise of metaphysical methodology embedded in emerging rationalistic Science. Such developments represent some of the facets of the cultural evolution of Europe. In many cases, the triumph of rationalistic and mechanistic thought cannot be dissociated from some of the most tragic events in world history which took place in Europe during the ‘short twentieth century’. Complexity, on the other hand, also has its roots in the European intellectual heritage, and as such it should be considered as one of the paths to knowledge opened by the European philosophical tradition — arguably, a path that was lost following the ‘victory’ of rationalist approaches in the European ‘Epistemic Civil War’. As Complexity Science continues to challenge established epistemology and Europe renews its search for a new identity, this article seeks to explore the relationship between ‘Scientific Culture’ and ‘European Identity’ in the light of the relatively recent (re-) emergence of Complexity.
Background The Classical Paper of this issue was written in 1939 by the philosopher W. T. Stace who argued against the metaphysical viability of emergence in a manner similar to that found in two previous reprints in E:CO, namely, that of Stephen Pepper (1926, 2004) and Charles Baylis (1929, 2006). Stace, born in London and […]
The last few decades have witnessed the development of a host of ideas aimed at understanding and predicting nature’s ever present complexity. It is shown that such a work provides, through its detailed study of order and disorder, a suitable framework for visualizing the dynamics and consequences of mankind’s ever present divisive traits. Specifically, this work explains how recent universal results pertaining to multiplicative cascades and fully developed turbulence entice all of us, in a logical way, to seek peace in a condition typified by the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle.
The production of biological weapons occurred in the Soviet Union on a vast scale of deadly effectiveness that is chilling and horrific. How could they do this? We are forced to take seriously the notion of evil. But, if we fail to address a central claim of emergence — that the character of a whole cannot be reduced to its parts — we will seriously misperceive evil with grave consequences. Drawing upon an account of this program by its chief research scientist, this paper exposes the character of emergent patterns within which people, much like ourselves, devoted their time and effort to preparations for mass murder. The patterns are disturbingly familiar. This paper demonstrates that emergence, as a disciplined way of thinking, can expand our understanding of evil and responsibility in ways that are relevant and critically important.
Shifting cultural behaviors toward healthier practices is not about creating a giant cataclysmic event that redirects the flow of process. It is a series of small nudges leveraging adjacent opportunities, creating a new level of opportunities that when nudged, open the next level to greater opportunities, and as they say, “Shift happens.” Jennifer Anastasoff and […]
What is the book about? Holistic Darwinism (HD) is Corning’s term for the new paradigm that is emerging as an alternative to Neo-Darwinism. HD views evolution as a dynamic, multilevel process, in which there is both “upward causation” (from the genes to the phenotype and higher levels of organization) and “downward causation” (phenotypic influences on […]
Introduction The title of Sharon Daloz Parks’s new book reduced me to my most sarcastic, dismissive self. Leadership Can Be Taught: A Bold Approach for a Complex World, it shouts at the reader, with all the shrillness of its italicized “Can.” So, directly after feeling insulted by the cover, I checked out Amazon.com, where I […]
Introduction Complexity and the Experience of Leading Organizations is the latest in a five book series on “Complexity as the Experience of Organizing” (emphasis added). The book reminds me of an engaging collection of Harvard Business School instructor perspectives, written during their transition from lecturing to discussion leadership, and collected in a 1991 volume entitled […]