Traditional ‘normal’ science has long been defined by classical physics and most obviously carried over into social science by neoclassical economics. Especially because of the increasingly rapid change dynamics at the dawn of the 21st century, different kinds of foundational assumptions are needed for an effective scientific epistemology. Complexity science – really ‘order-creation science’ – is particularly relevant because it is founded on theories explicitly aimed at explaining order creation rather than accounting for classical physicists’ traditional concerns about explaining equilibrium. This article sets up the rapid change problem, and shows why evolutionary theory is not the best approach for explaining entrepreneurship and organizational change dynamics. New theories from order-creation science are briefly presented. The continuing centrality of models in scientific realist definitions of modern science is brought to center stage. Agent-based computational models are shown to be better than math models in playing the role of forcing theoretical elegance and continuing the essential experimental tradition of effective science.
At the recent Academy of Management meeting in Toronto, Emergence sponsored a panel on the topic of why management academics do research. The panel consisted of Bernie Avishai, Max Boisot, Michael Cohen, Kevin Dooley, Alan Kantrow, Michael Lissack, Bill McKelvey, Tom Petzinger, and Jan Rivkin. Selected excerpts follow. Alan Kantrow We’re in the process of […]