The four alternative viewpoints previously outlined all deal with one
aspect or another of of the dynamics of particular class of systems - non
linear and network feedback systems, the subject area of the modern science
Two fundamental dynamical properties have been identified in relating to
non linear feedback systems and network feedback systems: (1) bounded instability
and (2) spontaneous self-organization & emergent order.
BOUNDED INSTABILITY (deterministic laws):
In organizations, there are basic laws which take the form of decision roles
and scripted relationships between members of the organization. Agents in
such a system have no choice but to
move around the non linear feedback loops which these institutions constitute.
In this sense, the system in which agents operate is deterministic. Each
time an agent goes around this loop, however, that agent is free to vary,
ignore or alter the institutional arrangements - agents follow decision
roles and behavioural scripts but their rules and scripts allow freedom
Depending on the extent to which the rules or scripts are changed by agents,
stable or unstable outcomes are possible. However, when a non linear feedback
operates in a state poised at the edge of unstability, it's behavior is,
paradoxically, both stable and unstable at the same time. In one sense
specific behaviour is unstable and thus inheritantly unpredictable over
the long term, but in another sense is stable in terms of it's qualitative
structure, allowing short term outcomes to be predictable.
An example is the weather which is unpredictable in specific terms over
the long term but predictable in the sense that the weather does display
recognizable qualitative patterns of storm and sunshine.
Thia s behaviour at the edge of unstability follows a random, inherant,
unpredictable path over time, but does so within given limits (i.e. is boundedly
unstable). The most common name associated with this behaviour is edge
of chaos.The key point to this definition is that this describes specific
behaviour that is inheritantly unpredictable over the long term but nevertheless
has a recognizable pattern of structure.
Spontaneous self organization & emergent order