Harnessing Complexity (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Basic Books, Aug 1, 2008 - BUSINESS & ECONOMICS - 208 pages
4 Reviews
Harnessing Complexity will be indispensable to anyone who wants to better comprehend how people and organizations can adapt effectively in the information age. This book is a step-by-step guide to understanding the processes of variation, interaction, and selection that are at work in all organizations. The authors show how to use their own paradigm of "bottom up" management, the Complex Adaptive System-whether in science, public policy, or private commerce. This simple model of how people work together will change forever how we think about getting things done in a group."Harnessing Complexity distills the managerial essence of current research on complexity.A very valuable contribution to the emerging theory of competition and competitive advantage."-C.K. Prahalad, University of Michigan, coauthor of Competing for the Future"A brilliant exposition that demystifies both the theory and use of Complex Adaptive Systems."-John Seely Brown, Xerox Corporation and Palo Alto Research Center
  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JohnCR437 - LibraryThing

I stumbled onto this book many years ago while browsing the bookshelves of an independent bookstore in Monterrey CA. Its concepts were so general but struck me as universal. I knew the information was ... Read full review

Review: Harnessing Complexity

User Review  - Mark Lacy - Goodreads

Important systematic description of what agent-based modeling is all about in studying complex systems. Read full review

Contents

Introduction
xix
Introduction to the Framework
1
The Difficulty of Prediction
9
Complexity Research
13
The Design of Organizations and Strategies
18
The Information Revolution
21
Complexity and Information
23
Adaptation and Information
25
Internal Methods of Changing Interaction Patterns
84
Following a Signal
91
Tags in the Prisoners Dilemma
93
Forming Boundaries
99
Separating Time Scales
101
Redistributing Stress
102
Modes of Failure in Information Systems
104
Organizing Routines
111

Complexity as a Way of Thinking
26
Variation
30
Altering the Frequencies of Types
36
Endogenous Copying Mechanisms
38
Recombining Mechanisms
39
Exploration Versus Exploitation
41
Military Personnel Systems
43
Whether to Encourage Variety
48
Linux Software Development
50
ExtinctionThe Vanishing of Types
56
Interaction
60
Social Capital
62
How Interaction Works
66
Physical and Conceptual
71
Combating the AIDS Virus Part 1
73
External Methods of Changing Interaction Patterns
76
Barriers to Movement in Conceptual Spaces
78
Semipermeable Barriers
79
Combating the AIDS Virus Part 2
81
Activation in Sequence or in Parallel
82
Restructuring of Physical and Conceptual Spaces
113
Selection
115
Defining Criteria of Success
117
Prize Competitions
122
Determining the Level of Selection
126
Selection of Strategies
129
Attributing Credit for Success and Failure
134
Military Simulation
141
Creating New Agents or Strategies
143
The Key Role of Copying
144
Detailed Differences Among Generic Copying Processes
145
Exercising Visible Leadership
146
Conclusion
150
How the Elements Form a Coherent Framework
151
What a User of the Framework Asks
152
What a User of the Framework Can Do
153
What May Come of This Approach
156
References
159
Index
171
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Robert Axelrod is Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the University of Michigan. A MacArthur Prize Fellow, he is a leading expert on game theory, artificial intelligence, evolutionary biology, mathematical modeling, and complexity theory. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Michael D. Cohen, Professor of Information and Public Policy at the University of Michigan, has served as an External Faculty Member of the Santa Fe Institute and as a long-term consultant at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center.

Bibliographic information