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Critical complexities: From marginal paradigms to learning networks

Slawomir Magala (Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Article publication date: 1 August 2000

Abstract

The concepts of critical theory and complexity merit criticism. Growth of knowledge merits paradigmatic sacrifices. The erosion of orthodox establishments and an on‐going re‐structuring of research communities make the sciences of management susceptible to the influences of critical social scientists. A change of paradigms ceased to be a threatening emergency so vividly evoked by Kuhn. The new complex world of overlapping research networks is less hierarchic, more mobile, and not easily centralized. In boundary‐less correlations all critical research paradigms are subjected to a networking and re‐networking at all times. Postmodernist anarchism (“anything goes”) is presently giving rise to the theories of organisational learning. The latter express a methodological compromise with respect to the paradigms and a political compromise with respect to the governance structures. The underlying tensions motivate an ongoing search for a sustainable compromise between a critical thrust of research and a managerial need for governance, accountability and control.

Keywords

Citation

Magala, S. (2000), "Critical complexities: From marginal paradigms to learning networks", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 13 No. 4, pp. 312-333. https://doi.org/10.1108/09534810010338979

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited