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Understanding change in organizations in a far-from-equilibrium world*
Volume: 9, Issue 3
This paper addresses the issue of change in organizations in the new conditions of the contemporary world. We argue that linear theories and models still dominant in organizational sciences are inadequate to understand different modalities of change today. We deploy Prigogine’s concept of far-from-equilibrium dynamics, Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, and Zadeh’s fuzzy logic, to develop more complex and adequate ideas of change in organizations. We show the value of these ideas for organization studies and theories of the “postmodern” world, illustrating their explanatory power by analyzing aspects of the success and failure of Enron, as a case study of organizational change in a chaotic world.