The purpose of this paper is to propose a way of asking about organizational conceptions. Some years ago, Edgar Morin proposed the paradigm of complexity as the one that opposes to and contains both the mechanicist and the systemic paradigms, which he calls simplifiers. Based on these paradigms, some of their principles, as well as their influence in organizational thinking are studied here, looking for the establishment of a set of considerations to be taken into account when treating an organizational conception as complex.
Ten paradigmatic principles were compared from the mechanicism, systemic and complexity viewpoints, considering how they were used in the organizational discourse.
As a result, complex organizational conceptions consider the subject as active conscience in the world. In the same way, they establish dialogic relations among: the universal and the particular, temporal reversibility and irreversibility, the parts and the whole, linear and circular causality, order and disorder, organization and environment, observer and organization, and autonomy and dependence, through the use of the complex logic that allows adopting a meta‐point of view to articulate the contradictions and paying attention to the result of the dialogic processes pointed out.
The paper focuses especially on the dialogic principle, leaving the need to approach both the recursion and hologramatic principles, according to that proposed by Edgar Morin.
The paper establishes some references which should contribute to the understanding of complex organizations, as human activity systems, beyond the objectivism of the so‐called “complex systems”.
In this paper, a way of asking about organizational conceptions is proposed, with the aim of knowing the degree of satisfaction of paradigmatic requirements of complexity; so that, it allows knowing if what is being called complex – the organizations – is being treated in a complex way in turn.
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