Editorial: Understanding ‘understanding’ (vii-x)
Peter M. Allen
Building theory about evolution of organizational change patterns (1-37)
Eleanor D. Glor
This paper explores whether something can be said about the likely evolution of organizational change patterns. It addresses such questions as (1) whether some patterns are more likely to remain constant and others are more likely to evolve into different patterns and (2) whether some patterns are likely to evolve more quickly than others. In other words, it considers whether some patterns may be more (un)stable than others. If an organizational population performing in an organizational pattern changes to a different pattern, this paper also explores the likely dynamics at work, models what the changes might be and develops hypotheses about those changes.
Developing a management decision-making model based upon a complexity perspective with reference to the Bee Algorithm (38-57)
Satyakama Paul, Hans Müller, Rika Preiser, Fernando Buarque de Lima Neto, Tshilidzi Marwala, and Philippe De Wilde
Today’s business world is characterized by a complex non-linear environment, non-hierarchical organization structures, multi-country and de-centralized operations, etc. The prominent models of decision-making that were primarily developed with the industrial economy in mind, and that viewed decision-making as a couple of linear sequential steps and “decisions given-and-decisions followed”—might not work too well. Knowledge-based economies call for developing decision-making models that represent the complexity of the present world business. Under such context, we present an alternative approach to studying management decision-making—seeking inspiration from the natural/biological systems. Bees show similar behavior in their foraging activities, as a single objective management decision-making problem. The uniqueness of the developed model lies in its ability to explain the major properties of a complex system, and the value that emergence (of a decision) brings to a company.
Exploring U.S. Coast Guard organizational preparedness through chaos and complexity theories (58-80)
The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore and generate a holistic approach using chaos and complexity theories that captured the Coast Guard’s strategic management and public policy processes to improve the organization’s preparedness for unpredictable events. The case study included rich interviews of strategic management and public policy staff members and reviews of existing Coast Guard policy and procedural documents related to strategy and public policy. The research findings identified several themes in the data that were consistent with chaos and complexity theories. The identified themes were linked through the lenses of chaos and complexity theories to develop a holistic approach to improve Coast Guard organizational preparedness. The implications of the developed approach highlight the relevance of chaos and complexity theories in the understanding of the external environment and improved inter and intra-organizational processes related to strategic management and public policy for the Coast Guard.
‘Eyes-wide-shut’: Insights from an indigenous research methodology (81-96)
Diane Ruwhiu & Virginia Cathro
This paper explores the notion of complexity as it arises in organizational research. In particular, we consider kaupapa Māori research as a transformational Indigenous methodology that not only enables research in Indigenous Māori contexts, but operates at the intersection of Western and Indigenous worlds. Our conceptualization of an Indigenous methodology incorporates complexity through paradigmatic plurality and explicitly acknowledges the characteristics of emergence and self-organization at the heart of kaupapa Māori research. The consequences are widespread not only for researchers and practitioners of organizations, but also for a perception of Indigenous business that is true to the Indigenous logics in which they are grounded and reflective of good practice. As such, our focus is on the complexity required of research if it is to reflect the views of Indigenous and mainstream simultaneously and be able to claim that it genuinely captures the diversity and dynamics of a complex society.
Developing a new type of the social and labor relations system in a time of social and economic change (97-116)
The current difficulties of the Russian economy indicate that the application of policies for the attainment of economic stabilization without regard to the historical conditions of a particular country may produce little positive effect. Consideration needs to be given not only to economic factors, such as the level of industrial development of the country, the scientific and technical potential, and the amount of economic monopolization, but also cultural factors, such as the sense of justice, historical traditions, general mentality, and the system of values. Recognizing these cultural factors, this paper proposes a theoretical base to develop a strategy for reform in social and labor relations that would be adequate to Russia’s current conditions. This paper investigates the processes of transformation of social and labor relations on the basis of logic modeling and an extended systems approach.
The algorithmic mind and what it means to solve a problem (117-124)
In a recent paper in this journal, a claim is made that the mind is not algorithmic. The supporting argument for this claim is that humans frequently solve certain problems which can supposedly not be solved by a computer. However, this argument is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of what it means to solve a problem. Here, I will argue that the provided argument for the claim that the mind is not algorithmic confuses two different meanings of the phrase “to solve a problem”: its formal meaning and its colloquial meaning. As a result, the argument is not logically consistent, and thus does not support the original claim.
Adjacent opportunities: The favorite teacher (125-127)
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