Magazine article Online

Shaping the Adaptive Organization: Landscapes, Learning and Leadership in Volatile Times

Magazine article Online

Shaping the Adaptive Organization: Landscapes, Learning and Leadership in Volatile Times

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Shaping the Adaptive Organization: Landscapes, Learning and Leadership in Volatile Times

by William E. Fulmer

ISBN: 0-8144-0546-0 Published: 2000 Pages: 294; hardcover Price: $29.95 Available from: AMACOM, American Management Association, 1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019; 212/903-8315; http://www.amanet.org.

There are a number of business books that compare biological organisms and businesses, evolution and business development, but this one takes it one step further and looks at complex adaptive systems as a more accurate model for today's businesses. The author draws upon years of business analysis and uses examples from leading high technology companies to develop his principles.

The first part of the book focuses on the scientific models, and clearly explains how business behavior should be thought of as a collection of adaptations, alliances, and rule-following. In essence, complex adaptive systems are composed of agents (an individual, a division, or an entire company), and agents follow a known set of behavior patterns. However, their own actions and reactions to other agents and external environmental stimuli may change the set of rules, or their response to them. Thus the system depends on prediction, feedback, and adaptability. …

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