Complexity and emergence (the appearance and impact of the new) can be the bane of managers and their organizations. Both complexity and emergence threaten to upset adherence to predefined categories, which supposedly allows for efficiency. Indeed, ...
traditional management thinking focuses on a retrospective coherence where ideas and events are assigned to categories, the categories are labeled, and outliers are treated as statistical deviants. The study of how such attributed (retrospective) sense-making breaks down in and around organizations is the focus of social complexity theory. Coherence in the Midst of Complexity discusses the social complexity approach, where dialogue and stories allow for the degrees of freedom needed for the opportunities of emergence to take root. The book focuses on the experience of coherence and how such experiential lessons differ from the establishment and maintenance of categories and labels. The authors offer a four-fold logic for discussing experiential coherence and the embrace of emergence in organizations of all sizes.