My Photo

About This Blog

  • This BLOG has a double purpose. It aims to contribute to the discussion and development of the academic field that could be situated in between complexity theory, knowledge management, innovation and learning; in summary a more holistic and systemic approach to management. As such it reflects the activities that take place in the Euromed transversal research track on this subject. The Home Page and the Reading host this contribution. In the News and Discussion sections, this BLOG is used to animate courses in the area of “Complexity and the Networked Economy”, "Knowledge Management and Learning" and "A quantum interpreation of business".

    More about Blogs........

Associate Researcher

Pedagogical concepts



« Course outlines knowledge management and organisational learning | Main | The practice of Wiki's in the classroom »


Lauchlan M

Well, if it's that hard to *avoid* complexity (i.e. you can't open your eyes, breath, do business etc without encountering complexity) then perhaps that notion of complexity is so ubiquitous that it's trivial.

By and large, the complexity bandwagon seems over-rated to me. Of course it has some pertinent and relevant points, but as a movement it's largely a repackaging of existing insights.


I don't think the list is meant as literal; it seems to me that the point is more about how (some? most?) people don't *realize* how complex (and dynamic) the world is. I've met more people who would rather rigid categorizations and who want to see the world as such. The two party system in the US is hard for me to deal with come voting day; I agree with neither on some issues, and both on others.

Lauchlan M

Well, to say the world is complex is a different thing to advocating complexity theory. Complexity theory is a specific body of theory with specific premises. Essentially, it is saying that mainstream economists etc typically use the wrong sort of maths and theoretical frameworks for understanding dynamics in social systems. Good point. However, it is premised on the notion that any sort of math at all is useful. Obviously social systems are connected and sometimes behave in the kind of ways indicated by complexity theory - but I don't think we needed complexity theory to tell us that.

The question really is what new does complexity theory bring to the table? Is it something more than dressing up common sense insights in overly complicated language? What is its 'unique value proposition'? Could we get more mileage out of looking at the behaviour of actual social systems, an approach taken for example by political institutionalists?

The comments to this entry are closed.