Call for papers


Int. J. of Complexity in Leadership and Management


Special Issue on: "Complex Adaptive Systems and Their Dilemmas in the 21st Century: A Critical Perspective of Our Times"


Guest Editors:
Dr. Mark Esposito, Grenoble School of Management/Harvard University Extension School, France
Dr. Ayesha Khalid, Harvard Medical School, USA


This special issue will bring together the thoughts and analyses of scholars and practitioners from a range of disciplines and cultural backgrounds to address the question of what the dilemmas that our populations currently face in the 21st century are, characterised by an increasingly complex world.


Complexity management has been used, in recent years, as a new emerging field of study, generally known as complexity theory and management, whose primary focus of analysis is the behaviour over time of certain kinds of complex systems which are not part of traditionally explained concepts.


Complexity's foundations are generically called “unknowability” and “unpredictability”, in contrast to the quantitative nature of most of business disciplines today and the consequent measurements of performance. Complexity management does not try to understand the linearity of the system; on the contrary, it looks at nonlinear relationships while looking at the role of self-organisation, emergence and co-evolution, just to name the basic dimensions. These very same concepts critically challenge the most traditional constructs of management by looking at examples of new paradigms of thought and by proving the fallibility of highly controlled practices, mainly nurtured by what is called the “illusion of control”.


While using systemic thinking and theory as the instruments to map and interpret complexity over time and outside of cause and effect, the success of complexity management in the business discipline represents a strategic opportunity that individuals and organisations can cultivate, in an inevitably and increasingly complex business landscape.


The issue will carry revised and substantially extended versions of selected papers from Harvard Summer School 2012, but we also strongly encourage researchers unable to participate in the event to submit papers for this call.


Subject Coverage


Suitable topics include but are not limited to:

  • New theoretical understandings of complexity in leadership and management and its associated issues and strategies, with a focus on the applications of the systems
  • Systems thinking and models of learning organisations in the business world
  • Qualitative research in complexity in leadership and management practices
  • Case studies of complexity in leadership and management practices in all types of human organisations; personal and professional dilemmas, related to complexity
  • Complex adaptive dynamics associated with new leadership and management thinking and dynamics of strategy that can help to understand the interaction of the elements of the systems
  • Leadership and management issues related to the complexity of a particular sector or activity (e.g. education, governance)
  • Any other associated new knowledge and findings


Notes for Prospective Authors


Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. (N.B. Conference papers may only be submitted if the paper was not originally copyrighted and if it has been completely re-written).


All papers are refereed through a peer review process. A guide for authors, sample copies and other relevant information for submitting papers are available on the Author Guidelines page.


Important Dates


Submission deadline: 30 December, 2012


Editors and Notes


You may send one copy in the form of an MS Word file attached to an e-mail (details in Author Guidelines) to the following:


Dr. Mark Esposito
Grenoble School of Management/Harvard University Extension School
12 Rue Pierre Sémard
38000 Grenoble


Please include in your submission the title of the Special Issue, the title of the Journal and the name of the Guest Editor