Editorial: Plato and Aristotle (vii-x)
Identifying and analyzing interdependencies in the process of urban infrastructure provision: A qualitative multiple embedded case study in Iran (1-14)
Saeid Yazdani & Mohammad Mehdi Azizi
This paper addresses an important aspect of urban infrastructure provision, which is the interdependencies between agencies involved in the process of provision of these critical urban systems. In order to identify these interdependencies, a qualitative multiple embedded case study, comprising the process of urban infrastructure provision for four new residential sites in Iran, was designed and conducted. The unit of analysis was the process of provision of different kinds of urban infrastructure systems, including water supply system, piping gas network, sanitation sewage system, electric power grid, telecommunication network, and transportation system network. The findings indicate that there are various kinds of interdependencies between agencies involved in the process, which can be classified into three main categories, namely, site selection interdependencies, designing interdependencies, and implementation interdependencies. Identifying these interdependencies provides a guide for decision-makers to consider the potentials and limitations of urban infrastructure systems in planning for new housing development areas.
Coordination in a tourism ecosystem: Methods to tackle wicked problems (15-34)
Robert Ogulin, Willem Selen & Luke Houghton
Integrating complex business networks in Tourism is a wicked problem. Many different business owners have various goals and management approaches. A tourist network is often managed through coordination and partnerships because the sheer complexity of trying to be competitive makes little sense when so many businesses have a common goal. In this paper we explore how thinking in network terms in tourist business networks actually sheds light on how to manage wicked problems in general. In particular, we focus on how the network approach to managing complex networks in business may produce leverage points for synthesising managerial tension points between partners and thereby facilitate innovation systems. We argue that the network approach may shed light on how to build platforms for gaining traction and synthesis in wicked problems. We conclude with suggestions for future research.
On the dynamic structure of complex networks (35-51)
Kurt Richardson & Andrew Tait
Understanding the structure of complex networks and uncovering the properties of their constituents has been for many decades at the center of study of several fundamental sciences, such as discrete mathematics and graph theory. In the past decade there has been an explosion of interest in complex network data, especially in the fields of biological and social networks. Given the large scale and interconnected nature of these types of networks there is a need for tools that enable us to make sense of these structures. In this paper we explore how, for a given network, there are a range of emergent dynamic structures that support the different behaviors exhibited by the network’s various state space attractors. For the purpose of our presentation we use a selected Boolean Network, calculate a variety of structural and dynamic parameters, explore the various dynamic structures that are associated with it, and consider the activities (Shannon entropy) associated with each of the network’s nodes when in certain modes/attractors. This work is a follow-up to past work looking at the relationship between form and function in complex systems, and we hope that such explorations will enable us to develop robust complexity-informed tools to support the wealth of tools associated with Network Theory, with particular emphasis on network dynamics.
Anarchy and complexity (52-73)
Carlos Maldonado & Nathalie Mezza-Garcia
This paper draws a philosophical parallel between the characteristics of anarchism with the sciences of complexity. The absence—αν, an—of a ruling principle—arche, άρχή—is the conditio sine qua non, it is claimed, for a further search for ground and fundament. The most basic features common to both anarchism and complexity are the absence or critique to control as well as the importance of self-organization. Embracing the theory of complexity inevitably leads towards the acceptance of anarchy. A spirit of anarchy pervades complexity science even if: a) it has not been explicitly thematized, or b) it has not been the explicit concern of researchers and scholars working in the field.
Consciousness and emergence: An introduction to Roger Sperry’s Emergentism (74-87)
Roger Sperry (with an introduction by Jeffrey Goldstein)
The dream as a product of an emergent process (88-96)
Thoughts, feelings and images that come to mind while asleep may come from recent or distant memories, fragments of both recent and distant memories, from salient day emotion, from imagination or maybe even randomly. But we still don’t know how dreams form from these ruminations of the mind or random activations. This paper hypothesizes that dreams form through the process of emergence. The dream as an emergent product creates a story that is largely unpredictable even when knowing individual content. Emergence of a dream implies qualitative novelty in that the dream’s story transcends its individual memories and images. When a dream forms, meaning that may have resided in individual elements is transcended into a functional story providing the dreamer with new or modified situations and people. Functionality comes only after the disparate elements form into a dream where a story and an experience emerge. Core functionality comes from emergence of a dream, and is thus independent of the specific content of the dream even if the specific content provides additional meaning for the dreamer.
The soldier: My decisive moment in Afghanistan (97-111)
‘The Soldier’ is a critical reflection on a decisive moment. It was initially submitted as an assignment to meet one of the requirements of an MBA course in managerial decision making. Previous research has discussed the design of this course, and has analysed more than 150 assignments for indicators that the course empowered students. In contrast, the current research provides an in-depth analysis of a single assignment. The nature of student learning is discussed at some length, along with the value obtained from critical reflection.
Adjacent opportunities: 2nd order economics (112-114)