Throughout 2021, the Strategy Group is hosting a series of invited talks that explore new developments in scholarship at the intersection of Strategy, Organization Studies, and Complexity.

Previous events

Webinar: Critical Systems Thinking and the Management of Complexity

March 2021

Speaker: Professor Michael C Jackson (University of Hull)

This talk discusses the nature of complexity, the development of systems thinking, the emergence of critical systems thinking, and how to conduct interventions on the basis of critical systems practice. The world has become increasingly networked and unpredictable. Leaders of international bodies such as the UN, OECD, UNESCO and WHO, and of major business, public sector, charitable, and professional organizations, have all declared systems thinking an essential leadership skill for managing the complexity of the interrelated economic, social, and environmental issues they face.

Systems thinkers have developed different methodologies attuned to different aspects of complexity; examples being systems engineering, system dynamics, organizational cybernetics, and soft systems thinking. Critical systems thinking helps us to understand the relative strengths and weaknesses of these systems approaches in dealing with different aspects of complexity. It recommends using systems methodologies, models, and methods in informed combinations when confronted by complexity.

Webinar: Complexity, Process Metaphysics and the Practice of Strategic Wayfinding

February 2021

Speaker: Professor Robert Chia (University of Glasgow)

Instead of a priori relying on elegant strategic models and elaborate strategic plans to direct strategic action, Strategic Wayfinding begins with direct intense engagement with actual goings-on occurring at the coal-face of the organization/environment nexus.  In times of unprecedented turbulence, Strategic Wayfinding better equips an organization with the ability to negotiate the radical uncertainty of events such as the current pandemic to secure its continued survival and growth.

Webinar: Strategic Context Determination as an Underexplored Area in Strategy Process and Practice Research

January 2021

Speaker: Professor Robert Burgelman (Stanford University)

Strategic context determination is an emergent part of the strategy-making process activated by key actors in organizations to resolve the indeterminacy that exists between newly emerging autonomous strategic initiatives and the corporate strategy in force at a particular moment in time. Strategic context determination processes are an important part of the means by which organizations are able to evolve through a process of “becoming,” closely related to complexity theory and adaptation at the edge-of-chaos views of organizational evolution. Further research on strategic context determination processes may shed additional light on the determinants of the cycle time of strategic change and corporate innovation and renewal.

This webinar was not recorded.