Chapter 2: An Introduction to Complexity Theory – Some Insights
2.1 INTRODUCTION AND SOME INSIGHTS FROM COMPLEXITY THEORY This chapter is based on practical work undertaken as part of an ESRC1funded study on complexity theory and corporate governance frameworks. The study included in-depth interviews with a wide cross-section of employees in one global organization (to be referred to as company Z) and with the following organizations which make up part of the corporate governance social ecosystem in the UK: Trades Union Congress (TUC), Financial Reporting Council (FRC), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Her Majesty’s Treasury (HMT), State Street Global Advisors (SSgA), Financial Services Authority (FSA), the London Stock Exchange and several fund management companies. The findings were validated at several workshops with representatives from company Z and from all the stakeholders interviewed, as well as other stakeholders who had a direct interest in corporate governance, but had not been interviewed. All human systems and institutions are complex in the sense that they are multidimensional with social, cultural, political, physical, technical, economic and other dimensions which interact and influence each other. They are able to adapt to and co-evolve with changing conditions and are able to create new order. In a corporate governance context, new order may take the form of new rules, regulations, corporate governance frameworks, or a new culture; it may also include the creation of enabling environments that facilitate good corporate governance within individual organizations as well as industries and economies. Complexity theory therefore studies social systems holistically; it does not focus exclusively on one aspect such...
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