The Condition of Complexity

  • Steen LeleurEmail author
Part of the Decision Engineering book series (DECENGIN)


This Chapter goes into depth with “The condition of complexity”. The focus is on the German sociologist Niklas Luhmann and his voluminous work on social theory which often makes a surprising and overwhelming impression on a newcomer to his theory. The chapter focuses on various concepts that can help establish a theoretical basis for a closer understanding of planning as related to complexity and thereby reflected in his universal theory of social systems. This theory offers a number of theoretical findings that systemic planning (SP) can make use of for the grounding of its principles and methodology. The final part of the chapter concerns companies and organisations perceived as socio-technical systems. This presentation is based on the British management theorist Ralph Stacey and concerns different types of change and their characteristics. A basic finding in this respect is the linking of strategic decision making to open-ended change and what this implies for the possibilities and limitations as related generally to long-term planning and specifically to the outline of the SP framework.


Systemic Planning System Thinking Autopoietic System Societal System Causal Framework 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of TransportTechnical University of DenmarkKgs. LyngbyDenmark

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