The purpose of this paper is to propose that some level of disorder in daily life can be of benefit. The article aims to draw from recent ideas suggesting that chaos in a business setting has the potential to yield rich gains, and consider how these might be applied to a therapeutic community (TC) setting.
The authors combine sociological approaches with trends in commercial contexts to reflect on the potential implications for TC environments.
The instinctive quest for stability, control and continuity is suggested to run counter to the need for change at an organisational level. Chaos can be considered as both disorder and hidden order, each creating opportunities for positive change through a chaordic process. It is suggested that TCs are well‐suited to embrace the relational dynamic required, if they are willing to engage in this chaos organisationally.
The article has a very serious and far‐reaching range of implications for TC life, in suggesting that at an organisational level TC processes should be designed to accommodate the chaordic process. Rather than the TC simply being a container in which therapeutic change happens, it is proposed that the TC itself can undergo a dynamic of discontinuous change that brings additional benefit to its members.
This article is intentionally interdisciplinary, embracing thinking from the social sciences, especially sociology, as well as recent examples from business and organisational theory. In bringing some of these ideas into TC life the authors are also drawing on their own research and findings from founding and running a TC, observing on numerous occasions the positive outcomes following times of chaos, disorder and upheaval in the lives of clients and the TC.
Holmes, P. and Williams, S. (2012), "Consistency, continuity and stability – organizational virtues or not?", Therapeutic Communities: The International Journal of Therapeutic Communities, Vol. 33 No. 4, pp. 166-174. https://doi.org/10.1108/09641861211298967Download as .RIS
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