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. It emphasises 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 of the 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 suggests methods 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 to illustrate the importance of loosening the grip of a modernist worldview with its hope for prediction, certainty and control.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of pages: 280
Weight: 580 g
Dimensions: 240 x 168 x 23 mm
An important contribution to our understanding of complexity science and its relevance for tackling the problems being faced in todays world. * Gareth Morgan, author of Images of Organization *
Enjoyable, thought provoking, and insightful. A superb introduction to complexity science for all readers! * W. Brian Arthur, author of Complexity and the Economy and Recipient of the Lagrange Prize in Complexity Science *
In the social and physical sciences, complexity is everywhere, changing how we think and act. But how? This book provides an excellent overview both of the underlying concepts and also their implications for how we think about changein economics, organizations and international development. Highly recommended. * Duncan Green, Strategic Adviser, Oxfam GB *
Embracing Complexity takes a critical stance in relation to dominant ways of thinking about the social world. It presents complexity thinking as a way of understanding how the world works, and challenges the dominant expectation that leaders can control the evolution of the social and the organisational world. Those willing to take a critical approach will _ nd this an important book. * Ralph Stacey, Complexity and Management Group, Hertfordshire Business School *