Essay on Organizations as Complex Systems

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  959 Words
Date:  2022-07-04


A complex system refers to a system made of several components which interact with one another. The interaction makes the basis of the interdependence among them. Complexity science, which is a study of such systems, associates organizations with this given concept. Evolution is a considerable behavioral aspect of every organization based on the constant changes that the given firms undergo as they embrace the dynamic nature of the world and the various societies. According to Apevalova (2015), organizations are therefore systems having many parts which interact with each other to produce significant behavior; the behavior is so complex that it cannot be explained easily based on interactions among individual constituents. According to Armano and Javarone (2013), it, therefore, follows that an effective analysis of the concept, complex systems, is important in understanding organizations.

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"Complex Systems" and Understanding Organizations

Askari-Sichani and Jalili (2013) argued that the concept can be used to understand why organizations exhibit intrinsic behaviors which are rather difficult to model. This subsequently develops the sense behind the relationships, dependencies, and any other applicable forms of interactions between organizational parts or the organization in question and its environment. Boomsma and O'Dwyer (2018) added that the interactions on which an organization depends develop from the inevitable relationships, like emergence, nonlinearity, spontaneous order adaptation, and the feedback loops. According to Bossomaier, Barnett and Harre (2013), organizations can, therefore, be seen as a complex system since they share the characteristics of complexities with the "complex systems."

Chenhall (2015) observed that the study of the concept under complexity science shows how the emergent behavior occurs in organizations. This is derived from the aspect of emergence in an organizational culture. The individual elements of the system constituents need to interact, which further lead to the emergence of behavior. According to Chen (2015), it occurs in organizations allowing the behaviors emerge at the level of the complex system as a whole. This explains why an organization as a complex system, has what its constituent parts lack. However the value of the constituents adds up to the whole being of the system (Zakic, Grozdanic & Kovacevic, 2015). Nevertheless, according to Gershenson and Niazi (2013), deriving the order behavior requires more than aggregating features at the individual element levels. The whole system is more valuable; therefore, it is not comparable with the sum of the parts (Harder and Polani, 2013). This clarifies why the evaluation of an organization needs to disregard what the individual parts contribute for the same (Hernandez-Lemus and Siqueiros-Garcia, 2013).

Le Fur (2013) argued that complex systems just like pertinent organizations embrace and show the dynamics of non-linearity. It is common characteristics of most firms whereby the movements and adjustments occur across different degrees of stability; for instance, it can move from degree of high of stability to a very unstable behavior (Niazi, 2013). It may occur as a form of revolution which is not based on any specific standard as long the important parts of the given organizational system contribute to the interdependency interaction. Polishchuk and Polishchuk (2013) argued that this is currently a common phenomenon in the organizations as the concept of complexities is increasingly being incorporated in the organizational culture. Thompson, Fazio, Kustra, Patrick and Stanley (2016) and Znamenskij (2013) argued that the organizations are growing more complex following the unpredictable change of the system perspectives as a matter of the dynamics.


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