Chaos and Transformation Theories: A Theoretical Analysis with Implications for Organization Theory and Public Management

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Authors: A. Farazmand

Publication Year: 2003


Journal: Management and Organization Review

Volume: 3

Issue: 4

Categories: Organizational Change, Crisis, Entrepreneurship, Qualitative


Chaos and transformation theories have emerged as new currencies in social sciences in general and in systems design and management, and in futuristic studies in particular. This article analyzes chaos and transformation theories in historical and contemporary perspectives, their contributions to social science in general, and organization theory and public management in particular. The notions of chaos and order, change and continuity, and uncertainty and certainty are analyzed along with the growing realization of complexity and non-linear dynamic features of modern organizations and the hard reality of a constant necessity to acquire new knowledge and learn to manage organizations with flexibility and innovation. Finally, the article addresses some of the limitations of chaos theory and outlines anumber of implications for organization theory and public management in the age of globalization.