The application of chaos theory to the management of change in organizations: A theory of humility: Metaphor or reality? [Elaine Scott, ISSS 1998 Paper Session, July 22/98]

[Paper session, July 22/98, 2:20 p.m.]

Elaine Scott, first year Ph.D. student at City University Business School, London

Interested in chaos theory, first needs to figure out if chaos theory applies.

Mechanistic thinking leads to failure, then often change in management.

Stacey claims that changes in business performance may be unstable not only due to the environment, but possibly the structure, which produces feedback.

Theory of humility:

Previous uses of metaphor: Is chaos theory a metaphor, or real? Ecological process focuses on evolutionary perspective, Darwinism. Other metaphors include playing games, organisms.

Chaos as natural system, applied to organizations.

Epistemological perspective: Conclusion: both metaphorical and literal.


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