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Fostering Creative Transformations in Organizations with Chaos

Fostering Creative Transformations in Organizations with Chaos
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Author(s): Robert Pryor (Australian Catholic University, Australia) and Jim Bright (Australian Catholic University, Australia)
Copyright: 2015
Pages: 20
Source title: Economics: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Information Resources Management Association (USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8468-3.ch036


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This chapter introduces the Chaos Theory of Careers (Pryor & Bright, 2003b, 2011) as applied to organizational behavior. The authors argue that organizations and the people within them can be usefully thought of as complex dynamical open systems – or strange attractors. From this perspective, organizational behavior can be understood in chaos terms such as attractors, fractal patterns, non- linearity, emergence, and phase shifts. Understanding organizations in dynamic terms provides a coherent picture of the inherent uncertainty and change that organizations face. This, in turn, has implications for management models that need to move from command, control, and predict, to facilitation and disruption of closed system processes. The difference between organizational anarchy and a principled chaos-based approach are highlighted. A model of organizational and personal creativity is presented and linked to concepts such as fractal behavior, career development and the re-thinking of traditional goal-centered approaches to management and change. For organizations to thrive in a world that is inevitably complex, uncertain, and changing, the authors argue that the Chaos Theory of Careers provides a coherent management framework and suggests approaches that will foster the development of a creative and flexible organization to meet these contemporary challenges.

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