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Ch8 Unfolding Logics of Change (Flux & Transformation) by Mind Map: Ch8 Unfolding Logics of Change (Flux & Transformation)
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Ch8 Unfolding Logics of Change (Flux & Transformation)

Images of Organization --Gareth Morgan "the universe is in a constant state of flux, embodying characteristics of both permanence and change." p.241

Autopoiesis (Maturana/Varela)

Chilean biologists. Varela was a student of Varela. Maturana is still alive, in his 80s, living in Chile and coming to Boston in August 2008 for a week of conversations. They developed Autopoiesis as a biological theory and clearly had reservations (p.246) about its application to social phenomenon. However, many folks have taken this living systems approach forward into organizational settings with generative results.

Problems do not come from changes in external environment

Living systems are organizationally closed systems of interactions that make reference only to themselves.


Challenges distinctions between a system and its environment.


Chaos & Complexity


Pattern is what evolves

Complex non-linear systems

e.g. organizations and ecologies

Edge of chaos

p.254 "when a system is pushed far from equilibrium"

Implications for Managing

Dialectical Opposition

p.273 Study of opposites --- Miguel: Collaboration vs competition Dealing with polarities and living within the tension between the two.

Reversion is the movement of the Tao

p.273 "I Ching"s true function was to provide a means to understand the tendencies inherent in the present"

Marxian Thinking

p.275 Capital puts people in a fundamental state of contradiction. Gain for one defines a loss for the other. p.279 "Problem solutions are constantly negated, and the process continues."

Dialectics of Management

p.280f Corporate downsizing and restructuring are not solutions to problems, they are symptoms of deeper problems. "Ultimately they are best tackled through social and political initiatives that can address the "rules of the game"." p.281 [Bifurcation points or forks in the road usually arise around key paradoxes or contradictions that block the way to a new future.] p.283 "both dimensions of the contradictions that accompany change usually have merit." It"s both/and, not either/or. "Paradox cannot be successfully resolved by eliminating one side."

Innovation as creative destruction

p.285 [Organizations must be prepared to innovate in ways that will undermine their current successes so that new forms of innovation can emerge.] Intel example: "operates on a philosophy of launching multiple projects that in effect aim to make their developing products obsolete before they hit the market."

Mutual Causality

Mutual causality -- loops, not lines

Magorah Maruyama

Contextual Analysis

Illustrate the pattern of relationships to understand a system.

Identify key patterns & system archetypes

p. 270-1 Senge Systems are often unstable because of delayed feedback and response between elements. p.272 Forms of systems only become clear in hindsight. However, the process of mapping them is a useful way to begin to see key patterns. e.g. Clusters of positive feedback loops (vicious cycles) warn of potentially unsustainable drivers in a system.

Types of Orgs

Egocentric Orgs

p.250 The concept of "organization" reinforces an egocentric view. It implies a distinct entity that is separate from its environment and has its own identity. See survival as conditioned on the preservation of a narrowly constructed identity rather than an identity that includes the system of relationships in which they are embedded.

Systemic Orgs

Morgan implies this category but doesn"t really go into depth. He seems to mean the opposite of the egocentric org:  Pays attention to the whole system as a whole; seeks an evolution of identity that desires an ever more complete understanding of wholeness; Realizes that that is a process, not an outcome, etc.


p.289 --- Miguel: What about feelings, emotions? They seem to be outside the theory. "Chaos" avoids language of "crisis" - avoids a certain perspective where pain exists.

If change is emergent, we're not in control

Powerless power is a challenging message

Negates the idea that it's possible to organize, predict and control

Can be hard to say if rules create a pattern or simply describe it



Seeks to understand the nature, source, and logic of change

Potential for managing change at a higher (causal) level

Emphasis on seeing/working with patterns in systems

Fusion of organization and environment

Organizing rules of attractor patterns hold organization-environment relations in a particular configuration

Change is self-organizing and emergent

David Bohm

Bohm was a theoretical physicist who also thought and wrote about philosophy and neurpsychology. He was part of the Manhattan Project. (b. December 20, 1917, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania - d. October 27, 1992, London)

The universe is a flowing and unbroken wholeness

Outward state of the universe at a given moment reflects its inward state.

True understanding requires understanding the generative processes that link implicate and explicate orders.


Gregory Bateson

p.246 GS Note: Edmund Husserl, the father of transformative phenomenology, is also recognized as perhaps the first person to explore "Part-Whole" theory and logic. His explorations were philosophical in nature, and they remain "confusing" to the mathematical theorists who followed him.

Wholes evolve as complete fields of relations. The pattern must be understood as a whole because the whole possesses a logic of its own -- it cannot be understood as separate interacting parts.