Perspectives on Organizational Change – Systems and Complexity Theories

It is becoming increasingly important for organizations to gain competitive advantage by being able to manage and survive change. This paper presents two theoretical paradigms (systems and complexity theories) through which organizational change processes can be fruitfully examined. Systems and complexity theories are two valuable perspectives that can equip organizational leaders with the requisite knowledge and understanding of how to respond and adapt to the uncertainties and demands of global change. These two paradigms are particularly useful in the areas of organizational intelligence, organizational design, knowledge management, and corporate strategy, to mention but a few.

By using theories of organizational change, this paper attempts to describe the complex, dynamic, unpredictable and sometimes chaotic process of organizational transformation. Organizational change activities can be successfully examined from complexity and systems theories framework. The organizational change paradigms discussed in the paper suggest that changes are produced on the basis of a number of interconnected causes and effects whose relationships are complicated to conceive of from an analytical framework based on linearity. Systems and complexity models can offer more promising avenues from which organizational leaders can appreciate and address complex organizational dilemmas.


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder 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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