Difference between revisions of "Chaos and Transformation Theories: A Theoretical Analysis with Implications for Organization Theory and Public Management"

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=== Abstract ===
 
=== Abstract ===
  
The article has outlined some of the limitations as well as contributions of the chaos theory and transformation theories. In addition, one of the aims of this article is to provide some contribution to organization theory and public management. The author of this article argues that chaotic events or crises challenge modern organizations to adapt to the changing environment that surrounds them, in order to be saved from their destruction. These organizations that learn, adjust, and adapt to the changing environment manage to survive and evolve, and their evolution comes through internal learning and transformation. Furthermore the author points out that chaos and transformation are well-known notions, but he states that is would be a serious mistake if we oversimplify these theories and give one single definition to them. However, he gives the following definition, which I found appealing, since I saw a clear reference to the [[Adaptive cycle]]:”The notion of chaos denotes crisis and disorder, a state of non-equilibrium, instability, turbulence, rapid or rupturing changes that scramble plans and cause unpredictability, with consequences of anxiety, fear of unknown, and triggering and tripling effects of destruction and systems breakdown”<ref name="Farazmand"> Ali Farazmand (2003). Chaos and Transformation Theories: A Theoretical Analysis with Implications for Organization Theory and Public Management.</ref>. What we can conclude from this definition is that change in an organization can either lead to the quadrant of "New Combinations" of the [[Adaptive Cycle]], in which the organization apply changes and develop new ideas in order to overcome crisis, or to the "Crisis" quadrant of the [[Adaptive Cycle]] if the changes the organization implements are rapid and overwhelming driven its by [[Excessive Curiosity]].
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The article has outlined some of the limitations as well as contributions of the chaos theory and transformation theories. In addition, one of the aims of this article is to provide some contribution to organization theory and public management. The author of this article argues that chaotic events or crises challenge modern organizations to adapt to the changing environment that surrounds them, in order to be saved from their destruction. These organizations that learn, adjust, and adapt to the changing environment manage to survive and evolve, and their evolution comes through internal learning and transformation. Furthermore the author points out that chaos and transformation are well-known notions, but he states that is would be a serious mistake if we oversimplify these theories and give one single definition to them. However, he gives the following definition, which I found appealing, since I saw a clear reference to the [[Adaptive Cycle]]:”The notion of chaos denotes crisis and disorder, a state of non-equilibrium, instability, turbulence, rapid or rupturing changes that scramble plans and cause unpredictability, with consequences of anxiety, fear of unknown, and triggering and tripling effects of destruction and systems breakdown”<ref name="Farazmand"> Ali Farazmand (2003). Chaos and Transformation Theories: A Theoretical Analysis with Implications for Organization Theory and Public Management.</ref>. What we can conclude from this definition is that change in an organization can either lead to the quadrant of "New Combinations" of the [[Adaptive Cycle]], in which the organization apply changes and develop new ideas in order to overcome crisis, or to the "Crisis" quadrant of the [[Adaptive Cycle]] if the changes the organization implements are rapid and overwhelming driven its by [[Excessive Curiosity]].
  
  

Revision as of 05:59, 4 June 2012



Author(s) - Ali Farazmand

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

Source - http://59.67.71.237:8080/gg/wenxian/en/06.pdf

Year of Publication - 2003

Abstract

The article has outlined some of the limitations as well as contributions of the chaos theory and transformation theories. In addition, one of the aims of this article is to provide some contribution to organization theory and public management. The author of this article argues that chaotic events or crises challenge modern organizations to adapt to the changing environment that surrounds them, in order to be saved from their destruction. These organizations that learn, adjust, and adapt to the changing environment manage to survive and evolve, and their evolution comes through internal learning and transformation. Furthermore the author points out that chaos and transformation are well-known notions, but he states that is would be a serious mistake if we oversimplify these theories and give one single definition to them. However, he gives the following definition, which I found appealing, since I saw a clear reference to the Adaptive Cycle:”The notion of chaos denotes crisis and disorder, a state of non-equilibrium, instability, turbulence, rapid or rupturing changes that scramble plans and cause unpredictability, with consequences of anxiety, fear of unknown, and triggering and tripling effects of destruction and systems breakdown”[1]. What we can conclude from this definition is that change in an organization can either lead to the quadrant of "New Combinations" of the Adaptive Cycle, in which the organization apply changes and develop new ideas in order to overcome crisis, or to the "Crisis" quadrant of the Adaptive Cycle if the changes the organization implements are rapid and overwhelming driven its by Excessive Curiosity.


Author(s)' Abstract

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 a number of implications for organization theory and public management in the age of globalization.


Personal Observations

Chaos theories are highly linked to the Adaptive Cycle: Chaos appears in the top-right quadrant of the Adaptive Cycle, in which the uncertainty and the complexity is high. Strategy and decision making in this quadrant could be the Inspirational strategy, in which new possibilities, strategic variables must be found since the old knowledge doesn’t work anymore and preferred outcomes are not known yet. An additional information is that the manager that is in the right quadrant in the model is change oriented, innovative, promotes creativity and curiosity among the members of the organization. Furthermore, in the lecture Information Management and Organization Change we learned that there are some Schools in the process of strategy formulation and I considered it essential to mention the two schools, Incrementalist and Chaos, in which both organization and environment are complex and chaotic. Those schools have the following characteristics:

Incrementalist school

  • Both organization and environment are complex and chaotic.
  • Flexibility should be e main characteristic of the strategy.
  • A long term strategy doesn't provide that flexibility.
  • Experimenting and learning as important in organization.
  • The manager should mobilize support inside the organization.
  • In that respect the organization can be seen as a political system in which one should try to influence the others attitude.

Chaos school

  • Both environment and organization are complex and chaotic.
  • Both environment and organization are unpredictable.
  • The organization is build on interacting groups and individuals.
  • The manager should not try to formulate a strategy. He should facilitate the interaction process in which individuals formulate their own strategy.
  • There is self-organization and partnership in the organization that leads to controlled behavior.

References

  1. Ali Farazmand (2003). Chaos and Transformation Theories: A Theoretical Analysis with Implications for Organization Theory and Public Management.