Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS)
This paper considers an organization as an adaptive system that should match with the complexity of its surrounding. In my organization, employees continued complaining about difficulties of coordination between departments and consequently several other activities within the company. As stated in the previous literature synthesis, this is a kind of workplace problem that emerges after organization starts its operations. This happens due to changes in technology and other managerial aspects in the workplace. Considering the concept of competing values framework in most successful organizations, complex situations should be solved using complex tools meaning that the CEO has to be keen in order to incorporate challenges into the organization culture since not all complexities can be eliminated.
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In this case, the workplace issue was CEO’s slow decision making for example situations when actions have to be taken on customers’ complaints. In any organization, customers are considered to be the pillars of company’s success. Stacy (2011) recognizes that decline in customer base is a clear indication of a firm’s negative growth. This major problem was accompanied by some other minor issues that can be traced at customers’ dissatisfaction through reduced returns. That may happen due to disloyal customers preferring competitor’s products and services. In order to deal with such a problem in the workplace, Anderson (1999) recognizes two modes of adaptation to such complex environment namely; complexity absorption and complexity reduction. He notes that complexity absorption creates choices and risk controlling techniques through alliances. On the other hand, complexity reduction acts directly after it has comprehended. Simon (1962) recognizes that there are other organizational information spaces, also called I-Space approach to the two models mention above. They include abstraction, codification, and diffusion of information as attribute in the organization’s culture. Abstraction refers to reduction in the total amount of data to be assigned for particular phenomenon. Codification on theother hand entails giving form to a particular phenomenon by assigning it data (Simon, 1962). Lastly, a diffusion aspect occurs when information is spread through population of data dispensation agents. Simon (1962) recognizes the strength and structure of algorithmic information complexity in a manner that equates it levels of abstraction and codification. Fabric of information diffusion is only realized through identification of system sections and the richness of cross coupling.
Analysis as well as its practical application can be used to enable the CEO of this company make quick and rational decisions that will consequently enhance timely and appropriate response to consumers complaints and thus, retain them in the organization. Unlike the times when there was no a lot of competitors and an organization had no haste in making decisions, today’s organization have to adapt a system of timely and right decision. Therefore, CEO will have to incorporate any of the four approaches with the right mode of complex theory mentioned in the previous paragraph (Strogat, 2004).
Maguire (2006) recognizes that a choice has to be made between maintaining the norm of complexity reduction and adopting a mechanism of complexity adoption that is more appropriate with the current situation of several competitors who are quick in decision making. These policies are examined coupled with their merits and demerits in order to determine the most appropriate and convenient in arriving at timely decisions to solve this workplace problem.
The other issue concerns the CEO’s poor planning and strategy development in the workplace. With this problem, there is a vital need for different and holistic paradigms to run and ensure consistency in response to the changing and complex environment for community, business, and individuals. According to Haynes and Price (2004), when future research is joined with workplace theory, there can be better comprehension of the complex and dynamic nature of the workplace. This investigation contributes to knowledge by showing the way futures studies can asssist the CEO think, plan, talk, and act creatively to offer better workplace strategies (Strogat, 2004). The model also offers another contribution to knowledge and growth of future oriented framework which can be applied in the workplace in demonstrating how the CEO can use futures studies in such a situation. Anderson (1999) acknowledges that the workplace of today is different from the past and it will continue changing even in future. The change is attributed not only to the external forces like economic, societal, demographic, technological and environmental but also to the internal institutional trends and real estate industry change.
In his video, West (2011) recognizes that the workplace of yesterday has been replaced by the networked office, which seems to be the best concept for a company in today’s changing and complex environment. According to Maguire (2006), there are other alternative current space concepts that can be incorporated in the networked office such as distributed, sustainable, and collaborative workplace. Therefore, for this and other similar CEOs and managers, Stacy (2011) indicates that the same office will be there in future, but it will different because cities and virtual environments will be the agenda for the day. When such managers embrace the futures theory, it will be easy to adapt to the ever changing complexities in the workplace environment.
In conclusion, there are various approaches and models that deal with complex adaptive systems. Depending on the situation to be addressed, the use of the right theory or model can prove essential in assisting managers comfortably adapt to changes that occur in the organizational dynamics and complexities. This paper has addressed two models in the first scenario and the future theory in the second scenario. These can be applied in organizations facing complexities in order to enhance effectiveness of operations. It is clear that many organizations face the problem of diversity among employees and those at the management level. However, the complexities can be solved by incorporating complex tools at the same time.
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