SUNScholar will be down for routine maintenance from 2018-12-11 10:00 SAST.

Organisation, innovation and emergence

Chibisa, Allan Brian (2018-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : Theories of organisational innovation incorporate many ideas derived from, or related to, complexity theory. This is what sets organisational theories focused on innovation apart from mainstream management theories focused on control and coordination. However, complexity theory is treated as an inspiration, rather than a significant consideration in these theories. The thesis is an inquiry into the relevance of one of the concepts from complexity theory, namely emergence, to our understanding of innovation in an organisational context. The question explored is how the notion of emergence explain aspects of innovation. Unfortunately, even in complexity theories relying on it, the concept of emergence is often not properly explained beyond a simple definition that the emergent1 “whole is more than the sum of its parts” and can therefore not be explained by reductionist means that only focus on the constituent parts. The introduction develops the problem by relating themes common to the phenomena of management, innovation, and organised complexity. Using selected theories, the chapter shows how ideas from complexity theory became adopted by organisation and management thinkers. Chapter 2 offers an overview of extant theories of innovation and distinguishes diverse types of innovation found in the organisational context. The following theories are reviewed: Dey's enablers of innovation, Holland's complex innovation process, Chesborough's open innovation concept, Weick's social creation, and a model of diffusion of innovation. It is demonstrated how these theories were inspired by and rely on ideas from complexity science. Chapter 3 turns to emergence, the concept at the heart of complexity theory. The chapter offers an overview of Emmeche, Køppe, and Stjernfelt's ontology of levels and their attempt to give substance to the concept of emergence. To relate these ideas to organisations, it is shown how emergence operates in Polanyi's Gestalt inspired theory of knowledge. Chapter 4 considers how selected themes from emergence relate to the innovation theories described in the thesis. Finally, in Chapter 5 three possible answers are offered about how emergence can help to understand organisational innovation. Emergence is a viewpoint of the full innovation process or it can indeed be a useful prescription for how to organise in order to innovate. It may offer a metaphor or analogy for part of the innovation process. It is concluded that emergence is a useful metaphor for the creative phase of the innovative process.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Teorieë van organisatoriese innovasie bevat baie idees afkomstig van, of verwant aan, kompleksiteitsteorie. Dit is wat organisasie teorieë fokus op innovasie anders maak as die hoofstroombestuursteorieë wat op beheer en koördinasie fokus. Die kompleksiteitsteorie word egter as 'n inspirasie, eerder as 'n sentrale oorweging, in hierdie teorieë beskou. Die tesis is 'n ondersoek na die relevansie van een van die konsepte van kompleksiteitsteorie, naamlik ontvouing ("emergence"), tot ons begrip van innovasie in 'n organisatoriese konteks. Die vraag wat ondersoek word, is die mate waarin ontvouing kan help om aspekte van innovasie te verduidelik. Ongelukkig, selfs in kompleksiteitsteorieë wat daarop staatmaak, word die konsep van ontvouing dikwels nie behoorlik verduidelik nie, behalwe vir 'n eenvoudige definisie dat die ontvouende "geheel meer as die som van sy dele is" en dus nie verklaar kan word deur reduksionistiese metodes wat slegs op die samestellende dele fokus nie. Die inleiding ontwikkel die probleem deur die temas wat algemeen verband hou met die verskynsels van bestuur, innovasie en georganiseerde kompleksiteit met mekaar in verband te bring. Die hoofstuk toon die mate waartoe idees van kompleksiteitsteorie deur organisasie– en bestuursdenke oorgeneem is. Hoofstuk 2 bied 'n oorsig van bestaande teorieë van innovasie en onderskei verskillende soorte innovasie wat in die organisatoriese konteks voorkom. Die volgende teorieë word beskryf: Dey se instaatstellers van innovasie, Holland se komplekse innovasieproses, Chesborough se oop-innovasiekonsep, Weick se sosiale skepping, en 'n model van die verspreiding van innovasie. Daar word getoon hoe hierdie teorieë geïnspireer is deur en vertrou op idees uit kompleksiteitswetenskap. Hoofstuk 3 draai na ontvouing, die kernkonsep van kompleksiteitsteorie. Die hoofstuk bied 'n oorsig van Emmeche, Køppe, en Stjernfelt se ontologie van vlakke en hul poging om die konsep van ontvouing uit te bou. Om hierdie idees aan organisasies te koppel, word aangetoon hoe ontvouing in Polanyi se Gestalt-geïnspireerde kennisteorie funksioneer. Hoofstuk 4 oorweeg hoe geselekteerde temas uit ontvouing betrekking het op die innovasieteorieë wat in die tesis beskryf word. Ten slotte word in Hoofstuk 5 drie moontlike antwoorde aangevoer oor die mate waarin ontvouing kan help om innovasie in organisasies te verstaan. Ontvouing is 'n siening van die volle innoveringsproses, of dit kan inderdaad 'n nuttige voorskrif wees vir hoe om te organiseer ten einde te innoveer. Alternatiewelik kan dit 'n metafoor of analogie bied vir 'n deel van die innovasieproses. Daar word tot die gevolgtrekking gekom dat ontvouing 'n nuttige metafoor is vir die kreatiewe fase van die innoverende proses.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/103779
This item appears in the following collections: