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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2004

Drew Wollin and Chad Perry

This article explores how complexity theory can help marketers to understand a market and to operate within it. Essentially, it argues that complexity theory has the…

Abstract

This article explores how complexity theory can help marketers to understand a market and to operate within it. Essentially, it argues that complexity theory has the potential to provide both global and some local explanations of markets and is complementary to local theories like relationship marketing that may be more familiar to marketing managers. It establishes four types of complex systems that might be used to model social systems. Of these four types, complex adaptive systems seem most appropriate to describe markets. This is illustrated in an investigation of Honda in the global automobile industry. Implications for marketing managers centre on the need to understand feedback loops at many levels of a path‐dependent system that are inherently difficult to predict and control.

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European Journal of Marketing, vol. 38 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 11 May 2015

Dianne Ford, Susan E. Myrden and Tim D Jones

The purpose of this paper is using competing hypotheses (a spillover hypothesis, based on Engagement Theory, and a provisioning hypothesis, based on Adaptive Cost Theory

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is using competing hypotheses (a spillover hypothesis, based on Engagement Theory, and a provisioning hypothesis, based on Adaptive Cost Theory) to help explain why employees become disengaged from knowledge sharing.

Design/methodology/approach

Employed knowledge workers completed an online questionnaire regarding their job characteristics, their general health and wellness, perceived organizational support, job engagement and disengagement from knowledge sharing.

Findings

The findings provide empirical support for Adaptive Cost Theory and illustrate the relationship between Engagement Theory and the Disengagement from Knowledge Sharing. In particular, this research illustrates the importance of health and wellness for preventing disengagement from knowledge sharing. In addition, the findings introduce a new finding of tensions between job engagement and knowledge sharing, which supports knowledge workers’ complaints of “being too busy” to share.

Research limitations/implications

This study uses cross-sectional methodology; however, the participants are employed and in the field. Given the theoretical arguments that disengagement from knowledge sharing should be either short term or transient, future research should follow-up with diary methods to capture this to confirm the study’s conclusions.

Practical implications

The findings of this study provide some insight for practitioners on how to prevent disengagement from knowledge sharing. New predictors and an interesting tension between job engagement and knowledge sharing are identified.

Originality/value

This study examines an alternative explanation for the lack of knowledge sharing in organizations, and uses competing theories to identify the reasons for the disengagement from knowledge sharing.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Maturing Leadership: How Adult Development Impacts Leadership
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-402-7

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Article
Publication date: 30 October 2018

Maurice Yolles

Complex systems adapt to survive, but little comparative literature exists on various approaches. Adaptive complex systems are generic, this referring to propositions…

Abstract

Purpose

Complex systems adapt to survive, but little comparative literature exists on various approaches. Adaptive complex systems are generic, this referring to propositions concerning their bounded instability, adaptability and viability. Two classes of adaptive complex system theories exist: hard and soft. Hard complexity theories include Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) and Viability Theory, and softer theories, which we refer to as Viable Systems Theories (VSTs), that include Management Cybernetics at one extreme and Humanism at the other. This paper has a dual purpose distributed across two parts. In Part 1, the purpose of this paper is to identify the conditions for the complementarity of the two classes of theory. In Part 2, the purpose is to explore (in part using Agency Theory) the two classes of theory and their proposed complexity continuum.

Design/methodology/approach

A detailed analysis of the literature permits a distinction between hard and softer approaches towards modelling complex social systems. Hard theories are human-incommensurable, while soft ones are human-commensurable, therefore more closely related to the human condition. The characteristics that differentiate between hard and soft approaches are identified.

Findings

Hard theories are more restrictive than the softer theories. The latter can embrace degrees of “softness” and it is explained how hard and soft approaches can be mixed, sometimes creating Harmony.

Originality/value

There are very few explorations of the relationship between hard and soft approaches to complexity theory, and even fewer that draw in the notion of harmony.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 48 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Karma Sherif

This article proposes an adaptive strategy for managing knowledge in complex organizations. Specifically, this article aims to extend understanding in the field of

Abstract

Purpose

This article proposes an adaptive strategy for managing knowledge in complex organizations. Specifically, this article aims to extend understanding in the field of knowledge management (KM) by examining how an adaptive strategy for managing knowledge can help organizations become innovative and build dynamic capabilities.

Design/methodology/approach

Literature on complexity theory and KM is reviewed to propose the development of an adaptive strategy that will assist organization in managing knowledge and becoming innovative. The paper is structured around the following constructs: complexity theory, complex adaptive systems, and KM.

Findings

A link between an adaptive strategy for managing knowledge, innovation and dynamic capability is established. The central proposition of the article is the organizations that follow adaptive complex processes for managing knowledge are better able to compete in the market today.

Research limitations/implications

This article extends prior research on KM by proposing complexity theory as a framework for establishing adaptive strategies for managing knowledge and fostering innovation.

Practical implications

With the dramatic environmental changes and fierce competition that organizations are faced with today, managing knowledge becomes critical for driving creativity and adapting to changing markets. Organizations lack direction on how best to develop an adaptive strategy for managing knowledge. The revelation of adaptive processes for managing knowledge in complex systems can lead to more effective KM practices and a higher rate of creativity and flexibility.

Originality/value

The study answers recent calls for defining processes for the second generation of KM that shift focus from the codification and transfer of knowledge to the creation of new knowledge. Although previous studies have established a link between complex adaptive systems and KM, this study takes it one step further in defining an integrative strategy for the creation of knowledge based on the processes of complex adaptive systems. The paper provides a foundation for future studies to test the causal relationship between adaptive processes for knowledge creation and innovation.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2018

Maurice Yolles

Complex systems adapt to survive, but little comparative literature exists on various approaches. Adaptive complex systems are generic, this referring to propositions…

Abstract

Purpose

Complex systems adapt to survive, but little comparative literature exists on various approaches. Adaptive complex systems are generic, this referring to propositions concerning their bounded instability, adaptability and viability. Two classes of adaptive complex system theories exist: hard and soft. Hard complexity theories include Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) and Viability Theory, and softer theories, which we refer to as Viable Systems Theories (VSTs), that includes Management Cybernetics at one extreme and Humanism at the other. This paper has a dual purpose distributed across two parts. In part 1 the purpose was to identify the conditions for the complementarity of the two classes of theory. In part 2 the two the purpose is to explore (in part using Agency Theory) the two classes of theory and their proposed complexity continuum.

Design/methodology/approach

Explanation is provided for the anticipation of behaviour cross-disciplinary fields of theory dealing with adaptive complex systems. A comparative exploration of the theories is undertaken to elicit concepts relevant to a complexity continuum. These explain how agency behaviour can be anticipated under uncertainty. Also included is a philosophical exploration of the complexity continuum, expressing it in terms of a graduated set of philosophical positions that are differentiated in terms of objects and subjects. These are then related to hard and softer theories in the continuum. Agency theory is then introduced as a framework able to comparatively connect the theories on this continuum, from theories of complexity to viable system theories, and how harmony theories can develop.

Findings

Anticipation is explained in terms of an agency’s meso-space occupied by a regulatory framework, and it is shown that hard and softer theory are equivalent in this. From a philosophical perspective, the hard-soft continuum is definable in terms of objectivity and subjectivity, but there are equivalences to the external and internal worlds of an agency. A fifth philosophical position of critical realism is shown to be representative of harmony theory in which internal and external worlds can be related. Agency theory is also shown to be able to operate as a harmony paradigm, as it can explore external behaviour of an agent using a hard theory perspective together with an agent’s internal cultural and cognitive-affect causes.

Originality/value

There are very few comparative explorations of the relationship between hard and soft approaches in the field of complexity and even fewer that draw in the notion of harmony. There is also little pragmatic illustration of a harmony paradigm in action within the context of complexity.

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Article
Publication date: 9 July 2021

Stefan Hartman

This paper brings together the literature on theories of complexity adaptive systems (CAS), develops an analytical framework, applies this framework to the development of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper brings together the literature on theories of complexity adaptive systems (CAS), develops an analytical framework, applies this framework to the development of tourism destinations and critically reflects on the use of this perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper elaborates on a CAS perspective on destination development, to further develop complexity thinking in tourism studies. This approach enables to identify policy avenues geared towards improving destination governance and contributing to sustainable tourism development.

Findings

Theories of CAS offer an analytical lens to better understand destination development, drawing explicit attention to (1) the levels of the individual, (emergent) structures, the structure-agency interface and the system level, (2) the steps related to the process of adaptation that is critical for systems to survive and thrive in times of change and (3) the undervalued importance of considering the factor of time.

Originality/value

Applying CAS theories help to address a range of (policy) avenues to improve destination governance, contributing to a shift in focus from reactively fixing problems to proactively addressing the structural issue of adaptive capacity building. It shows that managing tourism destination as complex systems involves a set of conditions that are critical as well as difficult to meet in tourism practice.

Details

Journal of Tourism Futures, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-5911

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Article
Publication date: 18 June 2019

Xianjin Zha, Haijuan Yang, Yalan Yan, Guanxiang Yan, Chengsong Huang and Kunfeng Liu

Microblogging as one kind of social media application provides an important information sharing platform. Adaptive information sharing is the combination of adaptive

Abstract

Purpose

Microblogging as one kind of social media application provides an important information sharing platform. Adaptive information sharing is the combination of adaptive information technologies (IT) use behavior and information sharing behavior and subsequently refers to adaptive use of IT oriented to information sharing. The purpose of this paper is to understand adaptive information sharing in the context of microblogging from the perspective of cognitive switching.

Design/methodology/approach

A research model was developed and survey data were collected. The partial least squares structural equation modeling was employed to verify the research model.

Findings

Adaptive information sharing is positively impacted by other people’s use, discrepancies and deliberate initiatives among which other people’s use is the key determinant. Meanwhile, task self-efficacy positively moderates the effect of other people’s use on adaptive information sharing.

Practical implications

Developers of microblogging should as far as possible create learning atmosphere and learning culture. With learning atmosphere and culture, more and more users could keep on learning from observing other people. Consequently, more and more users would be willing to try new features of microblogging to share information.

Originality/value

This study examines adaptive information sharing by extending adaptive IT use behavior from the levels of technology, system and feature to the information level, presenting a new lens for adaptive IT use and information sharing alike.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 71 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2017

Jeremy C. Wells and Lucas Lixinski

Existing regulatory frameworks for identifying and treating historic buildings and places reflect deference to expert rule, which privileges the values of a small number…

Abstract

Purpose

Existing regulatory frameworks for identifying and treating historic buildings and places reflect deference to expert rule, which privileges the values of a small number of heritage experts over the values of the majority of people who visit, work, and reside in historic environments. The purpose of this paper is to explore a fundamental shift in how US federal and local preservation laws address built heritage by suggesting a dynamic, adaptive regulatory framework that incorporates heterodox approaches to heritage and therefore is capable of accommodating contemporary sociocultural values.

Design/methodology/approach

The overall approach used is a comparative literature review from the fields of heterodox/orthodox heritage, heterodox/orthodox law, adaptive management, and participatory methods to inform the creation of a dynamic, adaptive regulatory framework.

Findings

Tools such as dialogical democracy and participatory action research are sufficiently pragmatic in implementation to envision how an adaptive regulatory framework could be implemented. This new framework would likely require heterodox definitions of law that move beyond justice as a primary purpose and broaden the nature of legal goods that can be protected while addressing discourses of power to benefit a larger group of stakeholders.

Practical implications

The authors suggest that an adaptive regulatory framework would be particularly beneficial for architectural and urban conservation planning, as it foregrounds considerations other than property rights in decision-making processes. While such a goal appears to be theoretically possible, the challenge will be to translate the theory of an adaptive regulatory framework into practice as there does not appear to be any precedent for its implementation. There will be issues with the need for increased resources to implement this framework.

Originality/value

To date, there have been few, if any, attempts to address critical heritage studies theory in the context of the regulatory environment. This paper appears to be the first such investigation in the literature.

Details

Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-1266

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Abstract

Details

Leadership
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-785-0

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