MGMT 8007M:Week 11: Evolutionary Systems Essay Assignment Paper

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MGMT 8007M:Week 11: Evolutionary Systems Essay Assignment Paper

MGMT 8007M: Complexity and Applied Systems Thinking | Week 11

Wealth creation is the product of a simple but profoundly powerful, three-step formula—differentiation, select, and amplify—the formula of evolution.

—Beinhocker (2006b)

Elaboration is one of three identified mechanisms of evolution, which we will cover this week. The other two mechanisms of evolution, self-organization and fractionating, are beyond the scope of this class. Elaboration evolution follows the general evolutionary cycle of reproduction or replication with variation, selection, and amplification. Innovation or experimentation are key concepts to generate variety. The marketplace is the selective process in the business world: There are many companies, products, and services started or developed each year, but only some of them are successful. Why are some products and services successful and others fail? Why do some organizations succeed and others fail? What is the statistical distribution (recall the article “Network Laws” by Denning, 2004) of those organizations, products, and services that succeed? These are some of the questions to be explored this week. Once something is selected for fitness, it has an opportunity to survive, grow, and thrive to reproduce or replicate.

Historically, social change occurs as we develop better technology (products and services), economies (jobs, the market, companies…), governments (democracy, services, …), military (self-defense), education (universal, higher education, research, and so on), or healthcare (eradication of some diseases, better nutrition, exercises, prevention, and so on). We develop better tools and they, in turn, shape us.

This week, you explore principles and concepts in the emergent field of evolutionary systems. Readings and assignments provide the opportunity to apply these concepts to leadership and management.

Learning Objectives

This week, you will:

  • Analyze the relationship between elaboration evolution and social change
  • Summarize organizational structure using systems thinking
  • Evaluate organizations using systems thinking
  • Summarize organizational structure using systems thinking
  • Evaluate organizations using systems thinking

Skills

You will develop the following skills:

  • Evolutionary thinking

Learning Resources

Note: To access this week’s recommended library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Recommended Readings

Beinhocker, E. D. (2011). Evolution as computation: Integrating self-organization with generalized Darwinism. Journal of Institutional Economics, 7(3), 393-423.

Fichter, L. S., Pyle, E. J., & Whitmeyer, S. J. (2010a). Expanding evolutionary theory beyond Darwinism with elaborating, self-organizing, and fractionating complex evolutionary systems. Journal of Geoscience Education, 58(2), 58–64.

Fichter, L. S., Pyle, E. J., & Whitmeyer, S. J. (2010b). Strategies and rubrics for teaching chaos and complex systems theories as elaborating, self-organizing, and fractionating evolutionary systems. Journal of Geoscience Education, 58(2), 65–85.

Hodgson, G. M., & Knudsen, T. (2004). The firm as an interactor: Firms as vehicles for habits and routines. Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 14(3), 281–307.

Sargut, G., & McGrath, R. G. (2011). Learning to live with complexity. Harvard Business Review, 89(9), 68–76. Retrieved from https://hbsp.harvard.edu/tu/e293d8e7

Document: Change Matrix (Word document)

Recommended Media

Laureate Education (Producer). (2014b). Mechanics of individual and group decision making: A preview. [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 2 minutes

Nikolic, I. (2010). Complex adaptive systems [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jS0zj_dYeBE

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 16 minutes.

Change, especially technological change, is accelerating, which, in turn, affects our culture, economy, environment, language, organizations, and politics. For example, over the last 2 decades, music, video, and photography have been digitized, and entire industries such as consumer electronics, entertainment, media, and others have been transformed. On the horizon, books, education, magazines, and newspapers are being digitized as well; so is biology. How can you channel accelerating change in technology to improve our social condition?

To prepare for this Discussion, think about the concept and processes of elaborating evolution and how industries, societies, and cultures evolve amid change and complexity. Consider the influence this concept might have on social change. Think of this Discussion as a classroom presentation, wherein you post your ideas and respond to questions.

By Day 3

Initial Post

Post an analysis of an organization you are familiar with focusing on the relationship between elaboration evolution and social change.

Hints

  • Start with a brief analysis of your selected organization’s structure, describing it in systems terms and evaluating its effectiveness.
  • Discuss how elaborating evolution helps explain social change.
  • Explain how elaborating evolutionary systems might inform you, as a leader or manager, to enact positive social change.
  • Include an appropriate level of detail in your explanation to illustrate your proposition and support it with references to the literature.

By Day 5

Responses to your Colleagues

Respond to two colleagues’ posts by adding to your colleagues’ ideas or positing a different perspective to your colleagues’ ideas.

Note: Include proper APA citations to support all statements by referencing sources from relevant peer-reviewed articles published within the last 5 years.

 

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