Although complexity makes up the very fabric of our daily lives and has been more or less addressed in a wide variety of knowledge fields, the approaches developed in the Natural Sciences and the results obtained over the past century have not yet permeated Management Sciences very much.
The main features of the phenomena that the Natural Sciences deal with are: non-linear behavior, self-organization and chaos. They are analyzed with the framing of what is called “systems thinking”, popularized by the mindset pertaining to cybernetics. All pioneers in systems thinking either had direct or indirect connections with Biology, which is the discipline considered complex par excellence by the public.
When applying these concepts to Operations Management Systems and modeling organizations by BDI (Beliefs, Desires, Intentions) agents, the lack of predictability in the conduct of change management that is prone to bifurcations (tipping points) in terms of organizational structures and in forecasting future activities, reveals them to be ingrained in the interplay of complexity and chaos.
1. Complexity and Systems Thinking.
2. Agent-based Modeling of Human Organizations.
3. Complexity and Chaos.
Appendix 1. Notions of Graph Theory for Analyzing Social Networks.
Appendix 2. Time Series Analysis with a View to Deterministic Chaos.
Jean-Pierre Briffaut holds a Doctorate in Physics from Paris University in France. He is a retired Professor of Operations Management at Institut Mines-Télécom and a Member of the Institut Fredrick Bull, where he currently leads a working group on the Complexity of Systems of Systems (SoS).
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