The Evolution of Organizations: From Bureaucracy to Intelligent Complex Adaptive Systems

Organizations are considered systems with internal structures that mediate roles and relationships among people who work toward some identifiable objective. These “key success factors” determine the organization’s ability to meet its objectives while operating within some influential environment. This external environment may be characterized by non-linearity, complexity, rate of change, and frequently unpredictable external forces that are political, sociological, economic and technological in nature. Organizations often exist at the pleasure of their environment and the boundary between the organization and its environment is almost always porous, flexible and foggy. A common thread throughout this paper will be how organizations have made use of knowledge and one of its offspring, technology, to survive during their hour on the stage of history. It is our thesis that organizations are created to meet local objectives (though these local objectives may have a global nature) and intended to match their environment in a manner that increases their chances of success. In doing this, organizations create certain internal structures and cultural, leadership and management characteristics that provide the ability to effectively interact with their environment and achieve desired goals.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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