Coherence in the Midst of Complexity: Advances in Social Complexity Theory

Hardcover | December 15, 2011

byHugo Letiche, Michael Lissack, Ron Schultz

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Complexity and emergence (the appearance and impact of the new) can be the bane of managers and their organizations.  Both complexity and emergence threaten to upset adherence to predefined categories, which supposedly allows for efficiency.  Indeed, traditional management thinking focuses on a retrospective coherence where ideas and events are assigned to categories, the categories are labeled, and outliers are treated as statistical deviants.  The study of how such attributed (retrospective) sense-making breaks down in and around organizations is the focus of social complexity theory. Coherence in the Midst of Complexity discusses the social complexity approach, where dialogue and stories allow for the degrees of freedom needed for the opportunities of emergence to take root.   The book focuses on the experience of coherence and how such experiential lessons differ from the establishment and maintenance of categories and labels.   The authors offer a four-fold logic for discussing experiential coherence and the embrace of emergence in organizations of all sizes.

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Complexity and emergence (the appearance and impact of the new) can be the bane of managers and their organizations.  Both complexity and emergence threaten to upset adherence to predefined categories, which supposedly allows for efficiency.  Indeed, traditional management thinking focuses on a retrospective coherence where ideas and e...

Hugo Letiche : Hugo Letiche is research professor at the Universiteit voor Humanistiek (Utrecht, The Netherlands) where he has directed the mid-career practitioner program. He studied at University of Chicago, (BA), Leiden University (Drs) and VU Amsterdam (PhD.) He has been part-time/external professor at Lancaster, Keele, Durham, Es...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:308 pages, 9.45 × 5.65 × 0.88 inPublished:December 15, 2011Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:023033850X

ISBN - 13:9780230338500

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Table of Contents

Introduction* Miracles and Nasty Surprises* 1 The Failure of Models & Labels; the Success of Experience & Emergence* 2 Two Kinds of Coherence - Ascribed and Emergent * 3 Models, Homologies & Simulacra * 4 The Ascribed Coherence of Thagard and Weick * 5 Coherence and Business Success * 6 Emergence, Coherence & Narrative * 7 Affordances and Organization * 8 Homology: Sense-Making revisited * 9 But Experience is Different * 10 Complexity tools: the Semiotic Square & Homology * Steps to Implementation

Editorial Reviews

"Every manager should read this book and take it to heart." Ian I. Mitroff, Professor Emeritus at the Marshall School of Business and the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California.