Exploring the use of complexity approaches in strategic management by the KwaZulu-Natal department of education.
Mpungose, Nkosinathi Petros.
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Finding ways to deal with complex situations has been a long issue of interest by researchers and scholars alike. Researchers and scholars have provided the strategy community with an insightful understanding of the phenomenon of complexity. The traditional understanding of complexity in strategic management, mainly coming from the design school of strategy, has given way to modern complexity perspectives. These perspectives are from Chaos Theory, Dissipative Structures and Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS). Complexity sciences seek to look at the challenges associated with knowing and understanding the unknowable by focusing on the interactions in complex systems. The properties of complex systems in turn provide lessons that can be transferred to the field of strategic management in a form of approaches to deal with complexity. The CAS metaphor will be used as a model to contrast the approaches in current use by the organisation of study in strategic management. Insights from studies on complex systems points to a need for constant exploratory studies in organisations to determine how well organisations are responding to complexity. The aim of this study is to explore approaches that inform thinking and management practices in strategic management by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education (department) in view of complexity - increasing difficulties to understand the world. Firstly, results of the study are intended to contribute to understanding how insights arising from the study of complex systems, in the world, are being used to rethink and design government departments – public sector organisations - systems and strategic approaches, so that they are more flexible, adaptable and able to respond efficiently and effectively to changes in larger environment. Secondly, where the study finds that the current complexity approaches of the department are not informed by the latest thinking on complexity, recommendations are made on ways the department can improve its approaches.
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