Learning in complex adaptive organisations

School of the Arts, Singapore
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Conference Website Abstracts and Papers, 2015, pp. 1 - 20
Issue Date:
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The globalised economy is characterised by constant change and an increased imperative to work across networks within and between organisations (Drucker, 1988; Sargut & McGrath, 2011). In this context, where change is regarded as continuous, the ability to learn and adapt is critical (Hislop, Bosley, Coombs, & Holland, 2014). This paper takes up complexity, specifically complex adaptive systems, in order to investigate individual experiences of learning at work in this environment. Complexity is increasingly being used to frame studies of organisations and organisational learning (Desai, 2010; Fenwick, 2012a; Stacey, 2003). In this paper, I outline complex adaptive organisations as interconnected networks of individuals and communities that adapt through the actors’ interactions within and outside of the organisation. Describing organisations in this way provides greater opportunities to look at learning as both part of a system and an activity of individuals which is shaped by that system.
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