A Complexity Approach to Sustainability: Theory and Application

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Article publication date: 20 September 2011

Citation

(2011), "A Complexity Approach to Sustainability: Theory and Application", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 12 No. 4. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijshe.2011.24912daa.009

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


A Complexity Approach to Sustainability: Theory and Application

Article Type: Books and resources From: International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Volume 12, Issue 4

Angela Espinosa and Jon Walker,World Scientific Publishing Company,Abingdon,2011,US$120,376 pp.,ISBN 1848165277

A major challenge of our times is to understand and manage the increasing complexity of socio-economic reality. This has immediate relevance for sustainable development. The impact of recent contributions from systems and complexity sciences in addressing this issue has not filtered down into effective practice; notably, there remain problems caused by the legacy of competing paradigms and the application of their associated methodologies.

This book argues the urgency for the application of analytical tools that embody the principles of complexity management. The authors describe a theoretical framework based on complexity science with a focus on organisational and second-order cybernetics, one that presents a powerful new insight into the concept of sustainability. The book also describes actual applications of the ideas in the area of organisational, societal and environmental managements, and reflects upon the impact of such an approach on current practice.