Emergent management learning in dynamic learning networks

  • Walter Baets


The idea that many simple, non-linear deterministic systems can behave in an apparently unpredictable and chaotic manner is not new. It was first introduced by the great French mathematician Henri Poincaré. Other early pioneering work in the field of chaotic dynamics is found in the mathematical literature by scientists such as, amongst others, Birkhoff, Levenson and Kolmogorov. More recently, Noble prizes, to Prigogine and Kauffman, have been awarded in this field of research. One of the difficulties for management theory and practice engaging with complexity theory lies in its attachment to causality.

Complexity as an emergent organisational paradigm in the knowledge based economy primarily questions the concept of causality. Despite relativity and quantum mechanics, most physics (and certainly all managerial thinking) is still Newtonian, based on a fixed space-time frame. In the meantime, further developments have taken place in the area of biology (such as the concept of Sheldrake’s morphogenetic fields) and mind/body medicine that all seem to point to a federating idea of a quantum interpretation of social phenomena (non-locality, synchronicity and entanglement). Could a-causality form the basis for a quantum ontology of complex systems?


Personal Development Sustainable Performance Workplace Learning Management Competency Collaborative Tool 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag US 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Euromed Marseille, Ecole de ManagementAssociate Dean for Innovation and Social ResponsibilityDomaine de LuminyFR

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