This contribution suggests a conceptual framework for using complexity to understand human interactions in learning organizations. The particular lens adopted for this…
This contribution suggests a conceptual framework for using complexity to understand human interactions in learning organizations. The particular lens adopted for this purpose is that of the Chaos perspective. The following general concepts are described: discontinuous growth, attractors: their basins and landscapes, the chaordic properties of consciousness, connectivity, indeterminacy, dissipation and emergence, orienteering and path finding, holons and holonic capacity, dialogue, emergent leadership, and individual and organizational mind. Because all human individuals act as agents and are seen as part of the holon, this framework helps to prevent any split between different frameworks of causality. It exclusively supports the use of a transformative teleology.
In order to set the stage for this special issue, the prime concepts are defined: i.e. “chaos,” “complexity,” “learning” (individual and organizational), “learning…
In order to set the stage for this special issue, the prime concepts are defined: i.e. “chaos,” “complexity,” “learning” (individual and organizational), “learning organization,” and “chaordic enterprise”. Also, several chaos‐and‐complexity‐related definitions of learning and learning organizations are provided. Next, the guest editors' main thesis is presented, namely that the “chaordic enterprise” might be the goal state towards which a company – seen as a learning organization – might evolve, and that the framework of “chaordic systems thinking” could be used as a meta‐model to inform a learning organization which is capable of self‐organization and transformative change under hyper‐turbulent conditions. Finally, in order to illustrate the contours of a chaordic enterprise, the case of a dynamically reconfigurable, globally integrated, networked enterprise is presented.
The European Chaos and Complexity in Organizations Network (ECCON) held its Third Annual Meeting in Guimarães, Portugal, June 2003, at the very same spot where the First…
The European Chaos and Complexity in Organizations Network (ECCON) held its Third Annual Meeting in Guimarães, Portugal, June 2003, at the very same spot where the First Business Excellence conference was organized. As an outcome of that meeting, this TLO special brings together six ECCON members around the theme of “Chaordic Systems Thinking” (CST), a “new science” lens based in chaos and complexity. The CST framework will be presented, as well as some preliminary explorations into how it might inform a learning organization. Apart from the CST lens, the issue contains chaos‐and‐complexity concepts of learning and the learning organization, a dialogical conversation about the framework and some paper presenting empirical research findings.
In this concluding article the guest editors take a reflective stand with respect to this special issue of the Journal of Organizational Change Management dedicated to exploring the ways in which Chaos is made applicable to and actionable in organizations. This summation chronicles a search for common ground as well as differences between the individual contributions. In addition, we respond to a number of issues we believe to be pertinent to the advancement of Chaos as a metapraxis of organizational change, concluding with a few suggestions for future research.
In this concluding paper the guest editors reflect on the contents of this special issue, and give some suggestions for future use of the CST framework. An interesting…
In this concluding paper the guest editors reflect on the contents of this special issue, and give some suggestions for future use of the CST framework. An interesting disclosure is that in chaos‐and‐complexity research the unit of measurement is not the individual human being, but the collective (i.e. dyad, team, or group), seen as a holon. Another important observation is that human interactions – ranging from the individual to the collective levels – are the “carriers of learning” in CST. In order to guide future research with CST, ten levels of abstraction are delineated which were borrowed from research on general design theory.
Socio-Technical Systems Design has a long-standing reputation as an integral approach to organization design. One of its local brands is known as the Dutch approach to…
Socio-Technical Systems Design has a long-standing reputation as an integral approach to organization design. One of its local brands is known as the Dutch approach to Integral Organizational Renewal of the firm (IOR). Central in IOR is an attempt to integrate both business process design, organization design and work design, simultaneously.
Although applying IOR has resulted in fundamental changes in many companies, the targeted change in human behavior patterns seldom has been observed to be an efficient process. Although reasons for this inertness may be several, we conclude that the unsuccessful mental processes of internalization of the newly acquired perspectives are a major cause.
In order to explore both problems and solutions, we compare Open Systems Thinking - the foundational paradigm of IOR, with novel ‘Chaordic Systems Thinking’ (CST). We conclude that using CST as a lens will allow expansion of the theoretical scope of IOR. The hypothesis is presented that focusing more thoroughly on the so-called ‘interior’ aspects of the organization will speed up the problematic mental processes of internalization.
A decision to don the chaos lens, adopt dialogue as its primary mode of communication, and to recognize the power of the organizational mind has fundamentally and…
A decision to don the chaos lens, adopt dialogue as its primary mode of communication, and to recognize the power of the organizational mind has fundamentally and irreversibly changed the way a Dutch capital‐equipment manufacturer operates in its rapidly complexifying global marketplace. Beginning in September 1999, the focus of an ever widening circle of its membership has been on transforming itself from the inside out, that is by changing profoundly the organizational mind – the “orgmind”. Two factors make this change process particularly noteworthy: first of all, it was designed on the fly. In other words, virtually every action, activity, meeting, workshop and so on was made up as they moved along their path to the future. Second, profound change was undertaken before it was time to do so. That is, the company was “sitting pretty” enjoying a major share of the market, solid profitability as well as strong morale and employee loyalty.
The following represents an attempt to define and clarify the evolving patois of chaos using the language managers and practitioners find most familiar. The convention of…
The following represents an attempt to define and clarify the evolving patois of chaos using the language managers and practitioners find most familiar. The convention of italicizing and making bold words and phrases defined elsewhere in the glossary has been employed to facilitate the reader’s grasp of the terms.
Documents a complex responsive process of profound organizational change taking place in a Dutch capital‐equipment manufacturing firm over a two‐year period beginning in September 1999. The primary focus of the initiative was on the transformation and development of the firm’s organizational mind – its “orgmind”. Although the company had an extensive history of system renewal activities, an evaluation of a decade of organization development efforts revealed that the “exterior” aspects of the system, e.g. tasks, structures, processes, tools, technology, etc., had received the bulk of attention. In contrast, the firm’s “interior”, consisting of such imperceptible qualities as the thoughts, beliefs, feelings and images held in the “mind” of the system, had been virtually ignored.
The aim of this paper is to conceptualize employees' sustainable work abilities, or their long‐term adaptive and proactive abilities to work, farewell at work, and contribute through working. Sustainable work is defined as to promote the development in personal resources leading to sustainable work ability.
The conceptual paper distinguishes vital personal resources underlying an employee's sustainable work ability and categorizes these resources with the help of integral theory. Collaborative work crafting was outlined as a tool to promote the development of personal resources and sustainable work ability.
Sustainable work ability depends on personal resources relating to our human nature as both individual and communal beings with both interior and exterior worlds. Work crafting may create sustainable work in which existing personal resources are benefited from, developed further through learning, or translated into novel resources.
When formal job descriptions and preplanned job design do not work in post‐industrial work, traditional job design can be replaced by collaborative work crafting, which allows development in both work and employees.
The paper synthesizes different types of personal resources needed for sustainable working and outlines their development processes, rather than adds one more theory to explain some specific aspect of well‐being, development, and functioning. The paper offers one of the first definitions of sustainable work.