Adaptive Systems and Strategic Management Approach

A Short Overview

Essay, 2020

9 Pages




An adaptive system is a set of interacting or interdependent entities that form an integrated whole that are capable of responding to environmental changes or changes in interacting parts in a manner analogous to either continuous physiological homeostasis or evolutionary adaptation to biology. Feedback loops are a key feature of adaptive systems such as ecosystems and individual organisms; or in the human world, communities, organizations, and families.

Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) is a term invented by the Netherlands (1975) to describe 'nonlinear systems' whose behavior is determined by the interaction of its adaptive parts. The many parts that make up the structure and the level of interaction that exists between these parts are the key differentiating features of a complex system. The complexity of the system stems from the collective control exercised over all the components. Although each part is governed by a set of simple rules, interactions between parts give rise to complex behavioral patterns (Kurtz and Snowden, 2003). In the absence of a central management unit, it is difficult to determine whether any part is applicable to the whole operation.

First of all, this is because the uncertain effects of changes on one side affect other parts and everything. An interesting manifestation of a complex system structure is that the non-optimal behavior of some parts may be the only means to optimize all behaviors (Kurtz & Snowden, 2003).In an increasingly complex business environment, industries need to regularly re-evaluate their strategic choices. Faced with increasing global uncertainty and confusing complexity, the question arises of how to manage these problems. Strategic planning attempts to provide companies with the tools they need to effectively prepare for permanent environmental change (Kiliko, Atandi, Zachary & Grant, 2003).

However, “given the increasing speed of change in our environment and its uncertainty, both problems and their solutions have life expectancy (Ackoff, 1991). Faced with such realities, the concept of strategic thinking emerges to fill the gaps and overcome the constraints that have been shown to exist in strategic planning and strategic management. For these reasons, there is a greater need for decision-making systems that can learn quickly and adapt than to optimize systems that cannot (Weissenberger-Eibl, Almeida & Seus, 2019). Thus, the purpose of this work is to investigate how adaptive systems exist in my company's strategic management approach. The framework and tools may include: approaches to strategic thinking, new ways of thinking about strategy, modeling complexity, and a practice perspective.

2.0 Discussion

Approaches to Strategic Thinking

Approaches to strategic thinking have changed in the past few decades, from the previous perspective where the contribution of human agency was not considered as part of strategy (Jarzabkowski, Balogun & Seidl, 2007). They further explain that the most important concept of strategy had been the bureaucratic, top-down formulation that focused only on top managers in organizations.

Based on that perspective, strategy could simply be defined as the activities induced by certain strategic practices. But this definition lacks the necessary integration of human action as part of the strategy. In recent years, a renewed understanding of strategy has allowed people to fit the actions and interactions of people in strategizing, which means strategizing means of doing the strategy. Jarzabkowski et al., (2007), adapted a 'humanized' definition of strategy from Jarzabkowski (2005), as 'socially accomplished activity, constructed through the actions, interactions and negotiations of multiple actors and the situational practices on which they draw'.

Human action as part of strategy process can be discussed through the theory of practice because Whittington (2006) highlights three elements of the theory; practice, practices and practitioners. Reckwitz (2002) proposed the respective definitions of the aforementioned elements as follows; First, praxis is "an emphatic term to describe the entirety of human action" (p. 249), practices are defined as "routine types of behavior that consist of various elements, interconnected: forms of physical activity, forms of mental activity, 'things' and their uses, a background knowledge in the form of understanding, know-how, states of emotion and motivational knowledge' (Reckwitz, 2002), and, finally, practitioners are the actors; those individuals who approach to practices to deal with.

According to Jarzabkowski and Spee (2009), Strategy-as-Practice studies the inter-relationship of practitioners (people) with practice and practice. Practitioners apply the practices that apply their knowledge, actions, behaviors and emotions according to what they have learned or experienced in the past, while adapting them all to specific conditions of their social and economic environments. Practitioners can be from within an organization or from outside, they can function as individuals or in groups, and therefore practitioners are divided into three categories; internal persons; internal aggregate practitioners; and external aggregate actors. Jarzabkowski et al., (2009) further elaborates that employees at other organizational levels other than top managers should also be considered as strategic practitioners, because of their significant contribution to survival and performance at the macro level of organizations.

Strategies can be formed at various organizational levels; that the process of strategy formation can be top-down (conscious) or bottom-up (emerging), depending on the need of the organization to make the environmental changes Andersen (2000). Cardoso and Lavarda, (2011) agree that strategy formation is shaped by actors' perceptions of the environment; that it can be formed as conscious (top-down) as emerging (bottom-up), and can be operationalized at various organizational levels.

The dimension presented by Whittington et al. (2002) grouped the strategy into four perspectives: classical, evolutionary, procedural and systemic. The classic way, would be the oldest and most influential, takes into account an extreme rationalism, translated into a planning that would gain control over an external environment. Operate a typical separation between hands and brains, between strategy and execution, between thoughts and reality.

The evolutionary approach that flirts with Darwinian logic replaces the biological environment with the organizational. Thus, it considers the possibility that different species are located in the same extract of the organizational population but compete for the same resources. Because of this, institutions have to make experiences with small initiatives that need to be implemented or rejected. It is a matter of adjusting and flourishing if not adjusting and dying.

Process approach emphasizes the contingencial, concern and incomplete way of organizational reality. It thinks that one cannot understand all the possibilities inherent in the action and the limited rationality of managers. Thus, strategy appears restless, as it deals with the internal and external contingencies of organizational quotidian. In this way, decisions are incremental and can look for improvement, but it is always believed on trial and error, and the risk taken can be tackled in creative and innovative ways, such as failure, related to the initial goals.

Complexity Perspective

Complexity is caused by the interaction, interference and interaction between systems and other systems, including the system and their environment (Mitten-Kelly, 1998). The effort comes from the interaction between individuals within the system (as well as human agency) and other objects and ideas. One fact about the complexity that can be considered from the word "complexity" is that there is no single dominant concept that defines it correctly. According to Mitten-Kelly et al., (1998), various complex sciences (such as evolution, chemistry, computer simulation, etc.) generate many different 'complex theories'.

Mitleton-Kelly et al., (1998) opined when a system is forced out of equilibrium, but dies at equilibrium. The explanation for this is that systems will be forced to look for other options to compensate for change until new systems and systems are discovered. It also applies to human systems that deviate from conventional methods, and experts try alternative ways to find alternatives to their goals. Although it is desirable and useful to operate at a reasonable distance - the system can be completely unstable when driving too far from a good location (Mitten-Kelly, 1998).

When a complex system is in equilibrium, it becomes more sensitive to environmental changes, whereby a minute disturbance can break down the structure of the old system and replace it with a new one (Gunaratne, 2003). So it doesn't happen very often. Matech and Ben, (2013) developed a comprehensive eight-step process model that begins to solve complex problems, then begins to recognize complex problems, and then participates in, and creates, the conceptual model, creative theory and decision-making. Working The last two steps are the solution step or the relationship and the solution in action. The solution is continuously filtered through the frequency of those steps (Meetfeld and Ben, 2013).

Gintis (2006), identifies complex behavioral economics as compared to the Nicholas economics. First, the complex economy is thermodynamically open and generally the opposite of the equitable, volatile, polar economy. Second, those who run the complex economy have limited information about their experiences and do not incur significant costs for information processing, but rely on unsuccessful efficacy to adapt to complex situations, while neocortical economic agents are excellent. Information you can get at no cost.

Thirdly, there is a complex network of agents with limited data resources and a complex network of economic agents involved in saving information processing costs. Agents in a complex economy are involved in overlapping networks that have limited information and face significant data processing costs. Fourthly, macro-level properties are a property of complex systems that require micro-level behaviors and behaviors to be urgent. This means that the properties of a complex system cannot be obtained directly from the properties of different entities. On the Walsh economy, all macro features can be found in the analysis of micro features. Lastly, evolution: The evolution and development of complex systems in terms of structure and complexity has been brought to the fore by identifying, selecting and highlighting, while nucleic systems remain intact and balanced.

In practice, few scholars clearly represent the concept of CAS. However, it all implies that the CAS is composed of agents that interact with CAS. Holland (1995) draws from the interplay of agents that evolve from time to time and form an independent CSA. The CAS is made up of three main components: (1) different entities or agents that relate to one another, (2) relationships and (3) context. The CAS is the basic building blocks of the CAS (Deli 1997). They have the nature of planning and the nature of planning in which each agent chooses to interact with other entities and the environment. Relationships represent relationships: relationships between agents and agents or relationships with the environment. Locations are where the agents live.

Complex Adaptive Systems: Modelling Complexity

Mitleton- song (1998) defines the organizational complexity of such a connection among all people who have ideas and objects, as well as interpersonal relationships and the effects of / and between institutions (systems) in their environment. All adaptive systems (CAS) can be examined as part of the labor leader's skills, skills, showing a comprehensive framework of the administrative management, administration and management enabling developer (UHL, bien, Marcus & McKelvey, 2007).

In the sixties, Tom philosophy maps of imaginary form racially segregated countries, in order to understand "the systemic behavioral decisions in one single event that is unintended, unexpected and unwelcome" (Ramalingam, 2013). The agency are not predictive models, but they offer some question as to explore takes place in space (Casella, and at Tongeren Nikolic, 2015). In order to come up with a model provides useful as insights on identifying problems and then determine whether significant model starts reasons, rules, laws, actions, and developer information flow, according to the real world. Easier rules or institutions that are counterfeit, manage, and how they interact with each other and with agents in the environment (Ghorbani, 2013).


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Adaptive Systems and Strategic Management Approach
A Short Overview
Accounting and Finance
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adaptive, systems, strategic, management, approach, short, overview
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Olawale Sanni (Author), 2020, Adaptive Systems and Strategic Management Approach, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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