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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2003

David Kernick

The patterns of health and social care provision in the community have always been complex. The Government's current call to integrate systems of care can be seen as a…

Abstract

The patterns of health and social care provision in the community have always been complex. The Government's current call to integrate systems of care can be seen as a search for greater simplicity and predictability, but people in these systems know that any new networks will be equally complex. This article argues that our organisations and systems should no longer be viewed and managed as ‘machines’ with inherent rationality, and suggests that the new intellectual discipline of complexity theory offers a more relevant model with which to view the real world where we operate under the constraints of limited time, knowledge and processing power. The author is a general practitioner with an interest in applying complexity insights to health care organisation.

Details

Journal of Integrated Care, vol. 11 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1476-9018

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Book part
Publication date: 23 July 2019

Jon-Arild Johannessen

Abstract

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The Emergence of the Fourth Industrial Revolution
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-994-7

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Article
Publication date: 12 March 2018

Alastair Orr, Jason Donovan and Dietmar Stoian

Smallholder value chains are dynamic, changing over time in sudden, unpredictable ways as they adapt to shocks. Understanding these dynamics and adaptation is essential…

Abstract

Purpose

Smallholder value chains are dynamic, changing over time in sudden, unpredictable ways as they adapt to shocks. Understanding these dynamics and adaptation is essential for these chains to remain competitive in turbulent markets. Many guides to value chain development, though they focus welcome attention on snapshots of current structure and performance, pay limited attention to the dynamic forces affecting these chains or to adaptation. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper develops an expanded conceptual framework to understand value chain performance based on the theory of complex adaptive systems. The framework combines seven common properties of complex systems: time, uncertainty, sensitivity to initial conditions, endogenous shocks, sudden change, interacting agents and adaptation.

Findings

The authors outline how the framework can be used to ask new research questions and analyze case studies in order to improve our understanding of the development of smallholder value chains and their capacity for adaptation.

Research limitations/implications

The framework highlights the need for greater attention to value chain dynamics.

Originality/value

The framework offers a new perspective on the dynamics of smallholder value chains.

Details

Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-0839

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2006

Hind Benbya and Bill McKelvey

Existing literature acknowledges information systems development (ISD) to be a complex activity. This complexity is magnified by the continuous changes in user…

Abstract

Purpose

Existing literature acknowledges information systems development (ISD) to be a complex activity. This complexity is magnified by the continuous changes in user requirements due to changing organizational needs in changing external competitive environments. Research findings show that, if this increasing complexity is not managed appropriately, information systems fail. The paper thus aims to portray the sources of complexity related to ISD and to suggest the use of complexity theory as a frame of reference, analyzing its implications on information system design and development to deal with the emergent nature of IS.

Design/methodology/approach

Conceptual analysis and review of relevant literature.

Findings

This article provides a conceptual model explaining how top‐down “official” and bottom‐up “emergent” co‐evolutionary adaptations of information systems design with changing user requirements will result in more effective system design and operation. At the heart of this model are seven first principles of adaptive success drawn from foundational biological and social science theory: adaptive tension, requisite complexity, change rate, modular design, positive feedback, causal intricacy, and coordination rhythm. These principles, translated into the ISD context, outline how IS professionals can use them to better enable the co‐evolutionary adaptation of ISD projects to changing stakeholder interests and broader environmental changes.

Originality/value

This paper considers and recognizes the different sources of complexity related to ISD before suggesting how they could be better dealt with. It develops a framework for change to deal with the emergent nature of ISD and enable more expeditious co‐evolutionary adaptation.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2007

Linda J. Vandergriff

This paper seeks to explore new complex venture approaches needed because the classical twentieth century system engineering model does not accommodate the complexities of

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to explore new complex venture approaches needed because the classical twentieth century system engineering model does not accommodate the complexities of twenty‐first century ventures, especially those with significant knowledge management components.

Design/methodology/approach

A complexity literature review was performed to identify the attributes of complex ventures. Then the fundamental differences in defining, developing, and implementing complicated traditional systems and complex ventures were explored. The resultant complex venture model builds on the insights derived from chaos and complexity theories; observations of several acquisition successes and failures; and doctoral research on agile enterprise decision support.

Findings

Successful traditional systems engineering complicated systems models' built‐in assumptions do not scale to the needed twenty‐first century complex solutions. It is necessary to develop a complex venture model that guides the engineering solutions that: describe complex ventures as flows of intelligence, energy and matter provide value in a dynamic co‐evolving context; provide leadership, not control, with clear and consistent venture‐wide vision that guides empowered individual agent decision making; institute tiered situationally‐aware decision making in both time and place; address factors (material and non‐material) contributing to solution success; provide for rapidly changing context and the co‐evolutionary ventures, including unexpected users, uses, and implementations.

Originality/value

A complex venture conceptual model informs the architecting and systems engineering acquisition practices for this new solution category.

Details

VINE, vol. 37 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-5728

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Article
Publication date: 27 June 2018

Johan Kask and Frans Prenkert

Retail has evolved over the past century alongside megatrends such as urbanization, consumerism and digitalization. To contribute to existing knowledge on patterns of…

Abstract

Purpose

Retail has evolved over the past century alongside megatrends such as urbanization, consumerism and digitalization. To contribute to existing knowledge on patterns of retail form evolution, the purpose of this paper is to investigate when and how novel retail forms have evolved in the Swedish sporting goods market.

Design/methodology/approach

An evolutionary approach that encompasses population thinking is used to interpret the history of sporting goods retailing in Sweden from the interwar era onwards. Drawing on archival data and interviews, the focus in the historical analysis is on the evolution of retail form variation in terms of size, strategy, product range and retail channel (online/offline).

Findings

The paper suggests that evolutionary mechanisms cumulatively have changed the sports retail population from a rather homogenous set of smaller generalist stores toward a larger variety and specialization in mainly two directions: one trajectory toward small and service-focused niche specialists and the other toward high-volume sales outlets.

Originality/value

The paper provides a detailed empirical account of sports retail history in Sweden and an application of theoretical concepts contributing to an integrated investigation of empirical issues and theoretical positions. It concludes that being able to attain “closures” – finding ways to close off a section of the market and avoid direct competition – has historically been a crucial capability for individual retailers to thrive.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

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Article
Publication date: 21 December 2020

Benliang Xu, Zuchao Zhu, Zhe Lin and Dongrui Wang

The study aims to decrease the effect of solid particles on a butterfly valve, which will cause seal failure and leakage, providing a reference for anti-wear design.

Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to decrease the effect of solid particles on a butterfly valve, which will cause seal failure and leakage, providing a reference for anti-wear design.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, computational fluid dynamics discrete element method (CFD-DEM) simulation was conducted to study the solid–liquid two-phase flow characteristics and erosion characteristics of a butterfly valve with a different opening.

Findings

Abrasion at 10% opening is affected by high-speed jets in upper and lower parts of the pipeline, where the erosion is intense. The impact of the jet on the upper part of 20% opening begins to weaken. With the top backflow vortex disappearing, the effect of lower jet is enhanced. Meanwhile, the bottom backflow vortex phenomenon is obvious, and the abrasion position moves downward. At 30% opening, the velocity is further weakened, and the circulation effect of lower flow channel is more obvious than that of the upper one.

Originality/value

It is the first time to use DEM to investigate the two-phase flow and erosion characteristics at a small opening of a butterfly valve, considering the effect of inter-particle collision. Therefore, this study carries on the thorough analysis and discussion. At the same opening degree, with increasing of the particle size, the abrasion of valve frontal surface increases when the size is less than 150 µm and decreases when it is greater than 150 µm. For the valve backflow surface, this boundary value becomes 200 µm.

Peer review

The peer review history for this article is available at: https://publons.com/publon/10.1108/ILT-07-2020-0264/

Details

Industrial Lubrication and Tribology, vol. 73 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0036-8792

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Article
Publication date: 25 May 2012

Alistair R. Anderson, Sarah Drakopoulou Dodd and Sarah L. Jack

The purpose of this paper is to consider why entrepreneurship theorising has become fragmented and how the research problem might be resolved.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consider why entrepreneurship theorising has become fragmented and how the research problem might be resolved.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors first examine how entrepreneurial constructs reflect only part of what we “mean” by the construct to argue that we use different social constructions. This explains why theories are fragmented. But the authors then ask how we might use and reconcile this diversity, pointing to the utility of the constructs as part of a complex whole. The authors discuss entrepreneurship as a complex adaptive system showing how connections and relatedness help explain the power of entrepreneurship to use and adapt to change.

Research implications

The authors' proposition of entrepreneurial endeavours as a complex adaptive system provides a fresh theoretical platform to examine aspects of entrepreneurship and improve theorising.

Practical implications

The authors argue that this idea of connecting can also be used at the level of practice – how the connections that entrepreneurs use may help to explain some of what goes on in entrepreneurial practice.

Originality/value

The paper's contribution is a relatively novel way of connecting diverse theorising.

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Article
Publication date: 27 May 2014

Rainald Lohner, Dominic Britto, Alexander Michailski and Eberhard Haug

During a routine benchmarking and scalability study of CFD codes for typical large-scale wind engineering runs, it was observed that the resulting loads for buildings…

Abstract

Purpose

During a routine benchmarking and scalability study of CFD codes for typical large-scale wind engineering runs, it was observed that the resulting loads for buildings varied considerably with the number of parallel processors employed. The differences remained very small at the beginning of a typical run, and then grew progressively to a state of total dissimilitude. A “butterfly-effect” for such flows was suspected and later confirmed. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

A series of numerical experiments was conducted for massively separated flows. The same geometry – a cube in front of an umbrella – was used to obtain the flowfields using different grids, different numbers of domains/processors, slightly different inflow conditions and different codes.

Findings

In all of these cases the differences remained very small at the beginning of a typical run, they then grew progressively to a state of total dissimilitude. While the mean and maximum loads remained similar, the actual (deterministic) instantiations were completely different. The authors therefore suspect that for flows of this kind a “butterfly effect” is present, whereby even very small (roundoff) errors can have a pronounced effect on the actual deterministic instantiation of a flowfield.

Research limitations/implications

This implies that for flows of this kind the CFD runs have to be carried out to much larger times than formerly expected (and done) in order to obtain statistically relevant ensembles.

Practical implications

For practical calculations this implies running to much larger times in order to reach statistically relevant ensembles, with the associated much higher CPU time requirements.

Originality/value

This is the first time such a finding has been reported in the numerical wind engineering context.

Details

Engineering Computations, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-4401

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Book part
Publication date: 18 October 2016

Linne Marie Lauesen

Most corporations consider their stakeholders to be those, who can be defined in a relatively narrow periphery. Customers, workers, investors, authorities, neighbours…

Abstract

Most corporations consider their stakeholders to be those, who can be defined in a relatively narrow periphery. Customers, workers, investors, authorities, neighbours, suppliers and various interest groups, for instance NGOs. However, during the last decades, phenomena such as the financial crisis, the global warming, the disasters of global consumerism in terms of the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in the fashion industry, are examples of how the stakeholder concept cannot continue to be defined as narrow as corporations usually does. The butterfly effect of globalism has shown to be – yes, global. Even the smallest company, the single consumer and the tiniest decision made by anyone may in the future – perhaps even tomorrow – affect stakeholders, we didn’t know existed. The future generation is also to be considered as stakeholders, which decisions made today may affect. Companies, consumers, everyday people including children already know this even from the first day at school if not before. What we need is not knowledge about these phenomena – it is how to think globally when we decide locally: in companies, in daily households, in education of our future generations.

This chapter discusses how to revise the stakeholder concept according to corporate responsibility, company stakeholding and globalism. It points to shortcomings in various global trade systems such as banking, fashion and IT markets, and through these it suggests and discusses a new way of defining the stakeholder concept in a globalised and future perspective considering using the RESIST-model against ‘business-as-usual’ based on the butterfly effect of the smallest decision.

Details

Corporate Responsibility and Stakeholding
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-626-0

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