In the social business context I consider the most significant approach to be Stafford Beer‘s Viable Systems Model (VSM). The VSM has two central concepts. One is the concept of feedback, which enables an organization to constantly learn and adjust to experience and to new variables in its environment. The other is that the organizational pattern is fractal.
Networks support communication across channels you didn’t predict in advance. They cross any organizational unit you might have defined – even following the VSM. For all these reasons networks are great sources of innovation – and that innovation is emergent.