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Exploring the nature of nonlinear organizational change
Volume: 6, Issue 3
The notion of nonlinear change, the most recent addition to the lexicon of change types, emerged as a logical extension of viewing organizations as complex adaptive social systems. As such it may be nothing other than a ?label? following a rich tradition of poorly conceptualized change concepts, yet may also contain the promise of improved explanatory power with regard to organizational change dynamics. This paper explores the theory of nonlinear change with particular reference to macro-scale and micro-scale change processes and tests its application with a ?bank run? or ?run-on-deposits? in a case organization. The retrospective analysis of newspaper reports covering a period of 18 months echoes the theoretical fundamentals of nonlinear change and highlights the central role of human affect as a catalyzing source of nonlinear change, the importance of ?field? (context), and the need for changed managerial approaches to minimize the catastrophic impact of nonlinear change.