Organizational Change

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It is critical for any company enterprise to have good management and to withstand developments in order to ensure success in a dynamic world where the global competition is becoming more intense (Benn, Dunphy & Griffiths, 2014). The mid-twentieth century saw efforts to apply theory to systemic reform in order to evaluate human organizations. These attempts can be debated with either a constructive or evolving argumentative approach, with the former implying that it is true and no other hypothesis is correct. To this end, I have identified the systems theory and the complexity theory, which denote active and emerging approaches respectively (Jacobs & Christe-Zeyse, 2013). The application of systems theory laid much emphasis on stability and equilibrium and the maintenance levels through controlling negative responses. Apparently, this concept holds the view that organizations always interact with the environment, which consists of relationships between stakeholders, agents, and factors beyond organizational control. However, because of the increment in the compound nature of corporate settings, the systems theory is deemed insufficient in dealing with the complexity. This has led to the emergence of the complexity theory that focuses on using instability, on equilibrium, and emerging structures and patterns. About complexity systems are regarded as self-organizing or evolving into new things. Thus this paper aims at presenting organizational change through the complexity and systems theories. It additionally underscores that appreciating these methods is a major step to corporate leaders towards responding appropriately to uncertainties of the environment. Through these methods, the application of dogmatic and emerging argumentative dimensions are explored extensively to give a clear understanding of how they are applied.

Systems Theory

The systems theory first originated from economic, biology and engineering and it studied the laws and principles across various regimes. Deductively, a system refers to a set of two or more elements where the behavior of each component affects the whole set up, and these actions are interdependent (Chryssolouris, 2013). This means that a system consists of subsystems that have interdependence and interrelationships that move towards equilibrium within larger systems. Apparently, Ludwig von Bertalanffy first advanced this concept in 1940, but it did not have relevance until in the late 1960s. To this end, the high systems theory is focused on the mechanism of operation of systems and integration of a wide variety of systems by naming and identifying the processes and patterns common to all of them. Through the application of an overarching technology, the high systems theory aims at explaining the origin, evolution, and stability of all systems and an important aspect of this theory lie on the differentiation between closed and open systems. However, because of the increment in the compound nature of organizational environments, the systems approach is deemed insufficient in dealing with the complexity.

All theories and models used in organizations applied the closed systems approach during the study of businesses, assuming that the main components of an organization are its internal features. There are differences in the concepts used by the open and closed approaches to enhancing organizational change. On the one hand, the closed systems approach considers the external environment and how the levels of its interaction with the organization as essential for success and sustainability (Bose, 2013). On the other hand, the open systems approach considers the interaction of the organization with the external environment as a major factor in the success and survivorship of the organization. Moreover, it is important to note that changes in components of the system lead to changes in other factors and the lack of coordination between the external environment and the business reduces the capacity of an organization to import enough energy for sustainability.

Complexity Theory

Complexity denotes the measure of diversity or heterogeneity in environmental and internal factors such as customers, departments, suppliers, technology, and social politics. Therefore, the complexity theory lays much emphasis on how parts at a micro-level in a sophisticated system affect emerging behavior and results (Norberg & Cumming, 2013). Additionally, the complexity theory focuses on the study of emerging order in chaotic regimes. The increment in the complexity of systems makes understanding and using information in planning and predicting results more difficult. Apparently, with time the increasing needs in the complex nature of systems demand changes because the more the complexity of a system, the more difficult it is to adapt to environmental changes. The paradigm of the complexity theory does not accommodate the notions of mechanical ontological models that function on the assumption that there are linear casualties between effects and events. Additionally, the characteristics behavioral and structural patterns in complex systems are because of the interactions in the parts of the system. Notably, complex systems are more important in determining in nature, and they undergo evolution through phases of stability that finally reaches a point where relationships are established between external and internal environments.

Therefore, systems operating near instability thresholds have a tendency of exhibiting creativity and producing new and innovative behaviors at all levels of the entire system. On the same note, this concept employs the use of entropy, which refers to moving towards more random, states where there is no further potential energy used in work or transformations by a system. Therefore, I consider the concept of equilibrium as explained in the systems theory as insufficient in describing the whole concept of complexity. Complex systems are found to have shared characteristics such as the presence of many interaction elements in their systems (Helbing & Kirman, 2013). Apparently, these items are connected to one another, and their interactions are associated with the presence of a response mechanism in the system. These interactions assist in producing linearity in the system’s dynamics, and complex systems are dissipative structures, which do not correspond to manipulations and external pressures. When these disparities occur, the organization is pushed away from equilibrium, moving the situation towards a stage of crisis that leads to the disorder of disability.


From the above discussions, it is very clear that it has become a common practice for organizations to have a competitive edge over rival companies. This is achieved through effective management and survivorship skills, and I believe this paper has adequately presented the two theoretical models. The theories of complexity and systems represent argumentative opinions on emerging and dogmatic respectively. Additionally, it is clear that these approaches are used by organizations in analyzing the feasibility and adaptability of change. Through these methods, the application of dogmatic and emerging argumentative dimensions are explored extensively to give a clear understanding of how they are applied. The theories of complexity and systems are valuable views on how organizations can equip their leaders with knowledge and understanding of appropriate means of responding and adapting to demands and uncertainties associated with global changes. Apparently, these two theories are useful in areas of management of knowledge, organizational intelligence, design, and strategies of an organization. Therefore, by using these ideas on organizational change, this paper has effectively described the complexity, dynamism, unpredictability and chaotic process involved in the transformation of an organization. I believe that the activities involved in the adoption of the change in an organization can be analyzed from theoretical frameworks of systems and complexity models. Additionally, the organizational changes discussed in this paper posit that changes are adopted and implemented on the number of interrelated causes and effects of complicated relationships. Finally, it is clear that complexity and systems models are indispensable as they have the ability to offer more opportunities from which leaders of an organization can appreciate and adequately address sophisticated dilemmas in an organizational setting.


Benn, S., Dunphy, D., & Griffiths, A. (2014). Organizational change for corporate sustainability. Routledge.

Bose, N. K. (2013). Multidimensional systems theory and applications. Springer.

Chryssolouris, G. (2013). Manufacturing systems: theory and practice. Springer Science & Business Media.

Helbing, D., & Kirman, A. (2013). Rethinking economics using complexity theory.

Jacobs, G., van Witteloostuijn, A., & Christe-Zeyse, J. (2013). A theoretical framework of organizational change. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 26(5), 772-792.

Norberg, J., & Cumming, G. S. (2013). Complexity theory for a sustainable future. Columbia University Press.

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