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 use of narrative as a cultural determinant and as a means for communicating otherwise complex ideas is one of the basic evolutionary advantages of the human race. We learnt early on to store knowledge in the external environment, breaking the dependency that other animals have on genetic evolution and imitation of parents. The earliest […]
Introduction It’s being the best part of half a year since I penned the first of these articles from a villa in Bali. The contrast between the vivid colors and tropical light of Bali with its ceremonies and temples and the mists and thin winter sun illuminating the Neolithic stone circles of Avebury, a short […]
Introduction This is the first manifestation of a feature which is designed to be a more or less eclectic and personal diary of experiences, thoughts and cases from the frontiers of applying complexity (and other related sciences) to the field of management. It comes to you courtesy of a small study attached to a villa […]
Complex approaches for a complex world The dramatic shift from the Industrial to the Information Age marking the beginning of the twenty-first century has come with a radical increase in global complexity promising both unprecedented uncertainty and unexpected new opportunities. It is surely no accident that along with the accelerating interconnectivity and resulting global interdependency […]
This report and opinion piece seeks to establish a model in which complexity can be positioned in the context of other management disciplines, in such a way as to effectively communicate to executives in industry and their equivalents in government the importance of applying complexity thinking. It also seeks to differentiate what is termed ‘social complexity’ from ‘mathematical complexity’ in the context of the development of management science. The background to this paper is taken from of the findings in a recently completed study for the European Commission entitled “Business Needs and Technology Trends in Knowledge Management” (the Study). The purpose of the Study was to answer questions concerning the role of, and future research requirements for, knowledge management (KM) that would enlarge an understanding of how knowledge management should contribute to the Lisbon Objectives of Europe becoming a global leader in the knowledge economy. In effect, the study aimed to see how KM should contribute toward growing the competitiveness of European businesses. A critical conclusion of the study was that social complexity provided a key strategic advantage of a diverse multi-cultural economic unit such as Europe (and by implication Asia and Africa) in the emergent knowledge economy, and that imitation of the research agenda and focus of the current dominant economic player, the USA, would in consequence be a mistake. In effect an approach to intellectual capital that arose in the context ofinfinitely available resources[i], and the creation of a common and new cultural identity based on the exploitation of those resources, is not an appropriate approach for the knowledge economy per se. This paper expands briefly and speculatively on some of the implications of this conclusion.
The content of this special issue of Emergence has its origins, but not its entirety, in a meeting at Bedfont Lakes, UK, entitled “Complexity and Knowledge Management.” The meeting was attended by a number of academics and practitioners from a range of disciplines and backgrounds. Many are contributors to this issue and many of the […]
Knowledge management is a difficult and challenging topic that has been subject to oversimplistic approaches from a variety of authors and technology vendors. It is fashionable to reference its 2,500-year-old philosophical origins in epistemology, which date back to the first use of the phrase “justified true belief” in Plato’s Theactetus. It is equally fashionable to […]