Implications of Complexity Theory for Organizational Design


  • Surendra Dixit Oust Labs, Bangalore – 560034, Karnataka
  • K. Sankaran Justice K. S. Hegde Institute of Management, Nitte – 574110, Karnataka



Adaptive Systems, Complexity Theory, De-centered Organizations, Emergent Organizations, Self-regulation


The business world is experiencing change at an unprecedented rate and this state of turbulence is characterized by heightened volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, popularly called VUCA. Organizations are not only bracing to take on the challenges posed by this environment, but are also evolving new practices that can help them thrive in these times. These new practices, however are a definite departure from existing, established organization principles. In this paper, we take a critical look at these existing principles of management as articulated by Urwick and propose that Complexity Theory shows the promise to enable us to come up with new principles that are attuned to the practices of today's successful organizations. We further substantiate this perspective with the help of two short case studies.


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How to Cite

Dixit, S., & Sankaran, K. (2020). Implications of Complexity Theory for Organizational Design. Nitte Management Review, 13(1&2), 25–36.–2020/v13i1&2/26372