Complexity theory is a relatively new approach to the study of organisations, which derives from transdisciplinary developments in science. Complexity offers a frame of reference to investigate the dynamics of change and the emergence of new patterns of behaviour in organisations. A review of the growing body of research on complexity in organisations exposes a variety of understandings and methodological approaches towards change not only in organisations, but also in society in a broader perspective.
However, it is also possible to observe that among the different interpretations of complexity, there is recognition that processes of organisational change are related to learning. Therefore, we invite reflection about the contribution of the frame of reference provided by complexity theory towards our understanding of learning processes in organisations. Such reflection raises challenging questions such as:
- What does the complexity frame of reference offers in relation to classical learning theories?
- What are the dynamics of organisational environments from which learning can emerge?
- What are implications of complexity to the planning and implementation of learning strategies in organisations?
Not every discussion about learning is necessarily a discussion about education. Learning takes places in a variety contexts. Therefore, we welcome contributions either conceptually or empirically investigating learning in different sectors and organisational settings. However, we have a special interest in the contributions and implications of complexity theory to study and practice of management of educational institutions. The challenges faced by schools and universities at the beginning of the 21st century have many different dimensions. How do we prepare students for a world of uncertainty and constant change?
From an educational perspective, this raises questions about a conceptualisation informed by complexity. From an organisational perspective, there is a need for a better understanding of how educational leaders operate in contexts of unpredictability and increasing demands from different stakeholders. What is the relation between leadership and learning in schools and higher education institutions? What are the implications of the frame of reference of complexity theory to management education?
We are interested in both conceptual and empirical papers.
Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Ontological and epistemological perspectives into learning in organisations
- Practice: implications of complexity to the planning and implementation of learning strategies in organisations
- Organisational change seen through the lens of complexity
- New theoretical perspectives of leadership and management of schools at different levels and higher education institutions
- Learning and the emergence of innovative practices in education
- Innovative practices in management education
Submission of manuscripts: 1 October, 2015
Notification to authors: 10 January, 2016
Final versions due: 1 March, 2016