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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2004

Frans M. van Eijnatten

This contribution suggests a conceptual framework for using complexity to understand human interactions in learning organizations. The particular lens adopted for this…

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Abstract

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.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 11 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2004

Frans M. van Eijnatten and Goran D. Putnik

In order to set the stage for this special issue, the prime concepts are defined: i.e. “chaos,” “complexity,” “learning” (individual and organizational), “learning…

4739

Abstract

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.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 11 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2004

Frans M. van Eijnatten and Goran D. Putnik

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…

2093

Abstract

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.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 11 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 2002

Laurie A. Fitzgerald and Frans M. van Eijnatten

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…

8424

Abstract

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.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2004

Goran D. Putnik and Frans M. van Eijnatten

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…

1513

Abstract

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.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 11 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 8 November 2001

Frans M van Eijnatten

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…

Abstract

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.

Details

Research in Organizational Change and Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-125-5

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2003

Frans M. van Eijnatten, Maarten C. van Galen and Laurie A. Fitzgerald

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…

931

Abstract

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.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 10 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 2002

Laurie A. Fitzgerald and Frans M. van Eijnatten

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…

1252

Abstract

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.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 2002

Frans M. van Eijnatten and Maarten van Galen

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…

1369

Abstract

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.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 31 August 2010

Mari Kira, Frans M. van Eijnatten and David B. Balkin

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…

4575

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Practical implications

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.

Originality/value

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.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 23 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

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