Title: Four types of emergence: a typology of complexity and its implications for a science of management
Authors: Benyamin B. Lichtenstein; Bill McKelvey
Addresses: College of Management, University of Massachusetts, Boston; 100 Morrissey Blvd., Boston, MA 02125, USA. ' Euromed Management School, Domaine de Luminy, BP 921, 13288 Marseille Cedex 9, France
Abstract: Complexity science has the potential to explain emergence; unfortunately most management applications of complexity rarely define emergence. We develop a typology that defines four increasingly demanding definitions of emergence, and use this typology to organise a review of the complexity literature, focusing on computational models that have been utilised by management scholars. We generate propositions addressing the value of emergence and complexity for integrating theory and practise in the field. Self-organisation and emergence offer methods for integrating a variety of management frameworks, allowing researchers to draw together some of the disparate threads of management theory and practise. An expansion of 'emergence' processes in organisations fosters adaptive bottom-up innovation and change.
Keywords: complexity science; emergence; self-organisation; typology; organisation science; heterogeneous agents; agent-based modelling; computational modelling; epistemology; social science; social structure; agent-based systems; innovation; organisational change; management science.
International Journal of Complexity in Leadership and Management, 2011 Vol.1 No.4, pp.339 - 378
Published online: 22 Oct 2014 *Full-text access for editors Full-text access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article