Complexity theory is generating increasing interest amongst strategic thinkers. This book covers issues such as predictability, creativity and relationships as it considers how complexity, and its central principles of emergence and self-organization, are being used to understand organizations. It: introduces the variety of views put forward by different writers on complexity and management; outlines and critiques the way that complexity theory is frequently interpreted purely in the context of systems thinking; draws a new perspective on using complexity sciences to understand organizational stability and change, by focusing on the emergence of novelty and creativity in the course of everday processes; calls for a radical re-examination of management thinking. Timely and controversial, "Complexity and Management" should prove of value to those interested in strategy, systems thinking, organization and management theory, and organizational change.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: getting things done in organizations 2. The Age Old Question of Stability 3. Moving Toward an Unknowable Future 4. Limits of Systems Thinking: focusing on knowable futures 5. How the Complexity Sciences Deal with the Future 6. Complexity and the Emergence of Novelty 7. Differing Views on Complexity in Organizations 8. Complexity and Human Action 9. Getting Things Done in Organizations: from systems to complex responsive processes Appendices References
Ralph Stacey is Professor of Management and Director of the Complexity and Management Centre at the University of Hertfordshire, and a member of the Institute of Group Analysis. He is also consultant to managers at many levels accross a range of organizations and the author of a number of books and articles.