Complexity of management essay - reflective paper topics









complexity of management essay

complexity of management essayComplexity of management essay -complicated; characteristics of a complex system; interaction; dynamic; adaptation; mechanisms; self-organized criticality; dissipative structures; emergence; and complex adaptive systems.[1] In the complexity sciences, the term “complex” does not mean the same as “complicated.” A system is complicated if each of its individual components or constituents can be described (even if there is a huge number of them).This section will provide additional historical context, review some of key insights of the field and briefly present six prominent frameworks by these researchers.Prigogine (1997), however identified dissipative structures that do not result in deterioration, but an increase in order with the release of energy. For some time it demonstrates little change (no new order).Once the oil reaches what Prigogine (1997) called a “far-from-equilibrium” point – in which the energy builds to an unstable level – the oil molecules release energy, break the tension, and shift into a gentle boiling roll.However, nine main, interrelated research strands form the lineage of its contemporary expression.The Knowledge Era is characterized by the forces of globalization, technology, deregulation and democratization collectively creating a new competitive landscape.In essence, complexity theory is about (1) the interaction dynamics amongst multiple, networked agents, and (2) how emergent events – such as creativity, learning, or adaptability – arise from these interactions (Marion, 2008).Correlation brings about bonding and , which is the second mechanism.As opposed to criticality, dissipative structures can be influenced by external agents, like leaders and environmental pressures.Adaptation arises at two levels, the individual and the aggregate.For example, deviant behavior like looting can be autocatalyzed by rioting behavior. This mechanism is experienced as a sudden shift in dynamic states.Leaders must therefore foster the conditions that develop that organizational capacity, focusing on understanding the patterns of complexity and manipulating the situations of complexity more than results.It is the dynamic actions of mechanisms that generate it, rather than the constant, predictable effect of variables.The core issues within such a leadership paradigm have then become motivating workers regarding task objectives, ensuring their efficient and effective production, and inspiring their commitment and alignment to organizational objectives (Bass & Riggio, 2006; Zaccaro & Klimoski, 2001, as cited in Uhl-Bien, et al., 2007).When change occurs, it is these mechanisms at work.These changes are different than those which arise through steady, step-by-step trajectories from known beginnings through predictable outcomes.Much leadership theory is based in a bureaucratic framework representational of the industrial age in which it was developed.The science of complexity theory concerns the study of complexly interacting systems (Marion & Uhl-Bien, 2001).Rather, it is attributable to the capacity of the organization to be productive in mostly unknown, future states.As a result, much of leadership theory focuses on how leaders, amidst formal and hierarchical organizational structures, can better influence others toward desired goals.complexity of management essayThe brain, for example, is a complex system (Cilliers, 1998 cited in Uhl-Bien & Marion, 2009).Lewin and Regine (2003, as cited in Panzar, 2009) agree with this overall description of the new type of leadership required.These emergent shifts are not “caused”, but rather happen due to the dynamic, random movements within complex systems.Self-organized criticality refers to instances in which a minor event can lead to chaos, driving large interactive systems to a critical state (Kan & Bak, 1991).Due to the constant fluctuations and changes of external conditions and connected systems, complex systems are not predictable, although they may seem ordered and predictable in retrospect.The article also discusses two key limitations to complexity theory: the need to supplement it with other epistemologies and leadership approaches, and the importance of recognizing that its sustained execution likely requires a developmentally mature meaning-making system.Emergence arises through interaction and energic pressure as opposed to the actions of any lone individual.In the 1990s, researchers drew from complexity theory studies in physics, chemistry, biology, and computer science to cultivate novel insights about their fields.Complexity theory has been defined the “study of behaviour of large collections of…simple, interacting units, endowed with the potential to evolve with time” (Coveney, 2003).Complexity theorists inquire into how such systems engage with each other, adapt, and influence things like emergence, innovation, and fitness (Marion & Uhl-Bien, 2001).This article offers an overview of the complexity leadership literature.Such systems are dynamic, with a whole greater than the sum of its parts.The fundamental concept underlying complexity leadership is that, under conditions of knowledge production, informal network dynamics should be – and not suppressed or aligned (Uhl-Bien, et al., 2007).An overview of the complexity leadership literature is provided.Complex mechanisms are emergent behavior patterns, universally available, that enable a dynamic mix of causal chains and agents.They occur as these complex systems are randomly exploring and come within range of – and “fall” into – a complex attractor.Each of these traditions offers core constructs that are essential to the overall theory. A full review of complexity theory is beyond the scope of this article, but the following key concepts are explained below, as they are instrumental for understanding complexity leadership: complex vs.The first section of this article briefly describes the history and lineage of complexity theory and defines some of the important concepts from it that are applied in the field of complexity leadership.Criticality cannot be influenced by external agents, such as leaders or environmental pressures.Nonetheless, over the past decade, a group of researchers have focused on reframing and advancing the field of leadership through the use of the complexity sciences (Goldstein, Hazy, & Lichtenstein, 2010; Hazy, Goldstein, & Lichtenstein, 2007; Lichtenstein & Plowman, 2009; Lichtenstein, et al., 2006; Marion & Uhl-Bien, 2001; Mc Kelvey, 2008; Mc Millan, 2008; Plowman & Duchon, 2008; Stacey, 1996, 2007, 2010; Stacey, Griffm, & Shaw, 2000; Uhl-Bien & Marion, 2008). complexity of management essay In general, mechanisms are processes that result in given outcomes (Hëdstrom & Swedberg, 1998, as cited in Marion, 2008).While there is global stability and resilience within complex systems and complex behavior, they are fundamentally defined by change.Dissipative structures are the order that emerges from the dissipation of energy.Other examples of complex systems that generate emergent properties due to being richly interactive, nonlinearly dynamic, and unpredictable are the Brazilian rainforest, natural language, and social systems (Cilliers, 1998; Snowden & Boone, 2007; Uhl-Bien & Marion, 2009).The term complexity is meant to impart the sense of deep interconnectedness and dynamic interaction that results in emergence within and across complex adaptive systems (described below).The structures, dynamic behaviors, and patterns that arise from these complex interactions become unrecognizable when perceived as linear combinations of the initial actors.An aspect of complexity theory is to identify and describe complex mechanisms and the patterns that arise from their interaction. First, arises through the interaction of agents as they share part of themselves (technically called their “resonance”, but loosely can be understood as their worldview, assumptions, beliefs, preferences, etc.).Individual adaptations amongst agents in a system can interact with each other, resulting in compromises that simultaneously serve the individual and the collective, thus forming aggregate adaptation.As such, no forecasting or prediction of their behavior can be made.These interactive behaviors and outcomes ultimately create feedback loops with each other, leading to effects becoming causes and influence arising from extensive chains of effect. Rather, it concerns a dynamic process that consistently changes its elements and brings forth new things in a process called emergence (described below).Complexity leadership is proposed as a framework for leadership in the fast-paced, volatile, and uncertain context of the Knowledge Era (Marion & Uhl-Bien, 2001).It is, its various proponents contend, a needed upgrade to leadership theory to reflect our shift out of the Industrial Era (Uhl-Bien, et al., 2007).Successful long-term strategies are those that emerge from the continuous, complex interactions among people.Complexity theorists study the “patterns of dynamic mechanisms that emerge from the adaptive interactions of many agents” (Marion, 2008, p. When sentient agents (like humans in an organization) interact, they change due to the influence of relationships, interdependent behaviors, and the emergence of subsets of agents that engage one another interdependently.The field of studying leadership through the perspective of complexity is young (Panzar, 2009).Complexity theory developed out of myriad sources, many of which arose during World War II.This is due to the fact that individual elements and the system itself constrain one another over time.The traditional bureaucratic mindset that has developed as a result of this paradigm has demonstrated limited effectiveness with the rise of the Knowledge Era and the complexities of the modern world (Lichtenstein, et al., 2006).631), complexity leadership is about leadership “ complex adaptive systems, or CAS” (Cilliers, 1998; Holland, 1995; Langston, 1986; Marion, 1999).Such mutually constraining behavior is different than in ordered systems in which the system constrains the elements, or in chaotic systems which have no constraints. complexity of management essay Adaptation refers to a complex system’s ability to strategically change or adjust in response to individual or systemic pressures.While the entire theory is more complex than this, this definition is useful as it encompasses three fundamental characteristics of complex systems: they involve interacting units, are dynamic, and are adaptive.The creation of order is normally associated with increased energy.Complexity theorists essentially frame organizations as complex adaptive systems that are composed of heterogeneous agents that interact and affect each other, and in the process generate novel behavior for the whole system (Marion & Uhl-Bien, 2001).It is not possible to impose solutions or order upon them; rather, such novel forms arise from the circumstances within them (called discussed below).As a result, leaders need to stop trying to control individual outcomes and instead shift their focus to the interactions with the intention to create the healthy conditions for people to self-organize around relevant issues.This includes the assumption that goals are rationally conceived and that the achievement of these goals should be done through structured managerial practices.The complex adaptive system (CAS) is a very important element in both complexity science and complexity leadership theory. According to two prominent researchers (Uhl-Bien & Marion, 2009, p.In such an environment, learning and innovation are vital for competitive advantage (Halal & Taylor, 1999; Prusak, 1996, as cited in Uhl-Bien, et al., 2007), and control is arguably not possible or sustainable.Marion and Uhl-Bien (2001) contend that leadership success is not dependent upon the charisma, strategic insight, or individual power of any given leader.This if followed by a summary of the core concepts of complexity leadership and a review of six complexity leadership frameworks.The conclusion is that complexity leadership offers a fresh and important way of perceiving and engaging in the management of complex organizational behavior, one which may help leaders to address the most pressing and complex social, economic, and environmental challenges faced globally today.Specific recommendations are discussed below for how to do this.Rather than focusing on top-down control and alignment, complexity leadership theorists argue that leaders should temper their attempts to control organizations and futures and instead focus on developing their ability to influence organizational behavior so as to increase the chances of productive futures (Marion & Uhl-Bien, 2001).Within complex, interacting systems of many agents, it represents sudden, unexpected shifts in structure or behavior.Aggregation represents the clustering of multiple agents due to the development of shared or interdependent resonances. These are emergent structures and beliefs that catalyze or accelerate other mechanisms.To understand complexity leadership requires knowledge of the fundamentals of complexity theory.The article continues with an overview of guidelines for putting complexity leadership theory into practice, and concludes with a discussion of two key limitations to its application.For example, computers or jumbo jets are complicated systems.An extreme example is the demise of the Soviet Union; another would be the transition of water from liquid to solid. Self-organized criticality (Bak & Tang, 1989; Kan & Bak, 1991) and far-from-equilibrium dissipation (Prigogine, 1997) are two causative mechanisms that lead to nonlinear emergence. complexity of management essay Prigogine (1997), however identified dissipative structures that do not result in deterioration, but an increase in order with the release of energy. For some time it demonstrates little change (no new order). complexity of management essay

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