Organizations as Complex Systems

Abstract

Organizations or companies are systems that possess self-organizing, adaptive, and evolutive capacity. Since they are open systems, they are systems away from equilibrium; that is to say, there is a constant flow of information coming from and towards them; therefore, it is possible to study organizations as complex systems. Currently, the constant flow of information from and towards the companies is mainly given by digital media or Social Media; therefore, organizations require a professional figure with the required skills and tools that allow them to manage such information. However, there is not such an academic profile that possess the tools for the management of the constant flow of information, and there is not even a figure that can translate information based on data into decisions and actions. This article raises the hypothesis of the organization as a complex system, builds an adaptive organizational structure, and finally describes the need to create a professional profile that possesses the tools that enable organizations to manage the constant flow of information received from social media, in order to keep the organizations in a transitional state between stability and instability, that is, at the edge of chaos.

https://doi.org/10.15174/au.2019.2111
PDF (Español (España))

References

Albert, R., & Barabási, A. L. (2002). Statistical mechanics of complex networks. Reviews of modern physics, 74(1), 47.

Anderson, P. (1999). Perspective: Complexity theory and organization science. Organization science, 10(3), 216-232.

Bakshy, E., Rosenn, I., Marlow, C., & Adamic, L. (2012, April). The role of social networks in information diffusion. In Proceedings of the 21st international conference on World Wide Web (pp. 519-528). ACM.

Bar-Yam, Y. (1997). Dynamics of complex systems (Vol. 213). Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

Boulding, K. E. (1956). General systems theory—the skeleton of science. Management science, 2(3), 197-208.

Brown, G., Lawrence, T. B., & Robinson, S. L. (2005). Territoriality in organizations. Academy of Management Review, 30(3), 577-594.

Castelló Martínez, A. (2010). Una nueva figura profesional: el Community Manager. Sistemas y Procesos de la Publicidad y las Relaciones Públicas.

Castelló Martínez, A. (2012). El Community Manager. El Community Manager.

Cilliers, P. (2005). Complexity, deconstruction and relativism. Theory, Culture & Society, 22(5), 255-267.

Cilliers, P., & Spurrett, D. (1999). Complexity and post-modernism: Understanding complex systems. South African Journal of Philosophy, 18(2), 258-274.

Cobos, T. L. (2011). Y surge el Community Manager. Razón y palabra, 16(75).

Dehmer, M., & Emmert-Streib, F. (Eds.). (2009). Analysis of complex networks: from biology to linguistics. John Wiley & Sons.

Dominguez, D. C. (2010). Las Redes Sociales. Tipología, uso y consumo de las redes 2.0 en la sociedad digital actual/The social webs. typology, use and consumption of the webs 2.0 in today's digital society. Documentación de las Ciencias de la Información, 33, 45.

Girvan, M., & Newman, M. E. (2002). Community structure in social and biological networks. Proceedings of the national academy of sciences, 99(12), 7821-7826.

King, D. L. (2015). Social media teams. Library Technology Reports, 51(1), 22-25.

Lancichinetti, A., Fortunato, S., & Kertész, J. (2009). Detecting the overlapping and hierarchical community structure in complex networks. New Journal of Physics, 11(3), 033015.

Leiva-Aguilera, J. (2010). Comunicación en la empresa y apertura del perfil profesional de los documentalistas. El profesional de la información, 19(2), 117-121.

Llano, J. C. M. (2013). La guía del Community Manager. Estrategia, táctica y herramientas. Anaya Multimedia.

Lovejoy, K., & Saxton, G. D. (2012). Information, community, and action: How nonprofit organizations use social media. Journal of Computer‐Mediated Communication, 17(3), 337-353.

Marquina-Arenas, J. (2012). Plan social media y community manager (Vol. 12). Editorial UOC.

Messner, M., Linke, M., & Eford, A. (2011). Shoveling tweets: An analysis of the microblogging engagement of traditional news organizations. Editors’ Note, 74.

Molina, M. M. (2014). El gran libro del community manager: técnicas y herramientas para sacarle partido a las redes sociales y triunfar en social media. Grupo Planeta (GBS).

Newman, M. E. (2001). The structure of scientific collaboration networks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 98(2), 404-409.

Newman, M. E. (2004). Detecting community structure in networks. The European Physical Journal B-Condensed Matter and Complex Systems, 38(2), 321-330.

Newman, M. E. (2006). Modularity and community structure in networks. Proceedings of the national academy of sciences, 103(23), 8577-8582.

Newman, M., Barabasi, A. L., & Watts, D. J. (2011). The structure and dynamics of networks. Princeton University Press.

Pei Lyn Grace, T. (2009). Wikis as a knowledge management tool. Journal of knowledge management, 13(4), 64-74.

Ramos, A. G. (1981). The new science of organizations: A reconceptualization of the wealth of nations. University of Toronto Press.

Safko, L. (2010). The social media bible: tactics, tools, and strategies for business success. John Wiley & Sons.

Tsai, F. S., & Luk Chan, K. (2010). Redundancy and novelty mining in the business blogosphere. The Learning Organization, 17(6), 490-499.

Wang, X. F., & Chen, G. (2003). Complex networks: small-world, scale-free and beyond. IEEE circuits and systems magazine, 3(1), 6-20.

Waters, R. D., & Jones, P. M. (2011). Using video to build an organization's identity and brand: A content analysis of nonprofit organizations' YouTube videos. Journal of Nonprofit & Public Sector Marketing, 23(3), 248-268.

Watts, D. J. (2003). Unraveling the mysteries of the connected age. The Chronicle of Higher Education, B7-B9.

Wolfram, S. (1985). Complex systems theory. Princeton: The Institute for Advanced Study.