An Organization on the Edge of Chaos: The Origins of the Metaphor and its Impact on the Theory and Practice of Strategic Management

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Abstract

The notion “edge of chaos” coined in complex systems studies has become apart of the vocabulary of modern management theory and practice. This utterance is especially significant since it has been applied in management as a metaphor associated with innovativeness and creativity. The aim of the paper is to study what are the consequences of the fact that this term is applied in management as a dead metaphor, i.e. it is decoupled from its initial meaning. A deepened analysis of the interpretations and misinterpretations of the term “organization on the edge of chaos” applied in strategic management is presented.

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