Embracing Complexity: Strategic Perspectives for an Age of Turbulence

Hardcover | August 30, 2015

byJean G. Boulton, Peter M. Allen, Cliff Bowman

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The book describes what it means to say the world is complex and explores what that means for managers, policy makers and individuals.The first part of the book is about the theory and ideas of complexity. This is explained in a way that is thorough but not mathematical. It compares differing approaches, and also provides a historical perspective, showing how such thinking has been around since the beginning of civilisation. Itemphasises the difference between a complexity worldview and the dominant mechanical worldview that underpins much of current management practice. It defines the complexity worldview as recognising the world is interconnected, shaped by history and the particularities of context. The comparison ofthe differing approaches to modelling complexity is unique in its depth and accessibility. The second part of the book uses this lens of complexity to explore issues in the fields of management, strategy, economics, and international development. It also explores how to facilitate others to recognise the implications of adopting a complex rather than a mechanical worldview and suggestsmethods of research to explore systemic, path-dependent emergent aspects of situations. The authors of this book span both science and management, academia and practice, thus the explanations of science are authoritative and yet the examples of changing how you live and work in the world are real and accessible. The aim of the book is to bring alive what complexity is all about and toillustrate the importance of loosening the grip of a modernist worldview with its hope for prediction, certainty and control.

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The book describes what it means to say the world is complex and explores what that means for managers, policy makers and individuals.The first part of the book is about the theory and ideas of complexity. This is explained in a way that is thorough but not mathematical. It compares differing approaches, and also provides a historical ...

Jean Boulton is a director, strategy consultant and part-time academic at both Bath and Cranfield universities. She teaches, consults, researches and writes about the implications of complexity thinking to management, research and policy development. She has been Chair of Sustain Ltd, Chair of Social Action for Health, a non-executive ...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.91 inPublished:August 30, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199565252

ISBN - 13:9780199565252

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Table of Contents

Embracing Complexity1. Introduction2. The Nature of a Complex World3. Unpacking Complexity4. Have We Thought Like This Before?5. The Complexity of Complexity Theories6. Complexity and the Social World7. Complexity and Management8. Complexity and Strategy9. Complexity and International Development10. Complexity and Economics11. Final reflections: what we hope you take away from this book