Strategy as Order Emerging from Chaos: A Public Sector Experience

McMillan, Elizabeth and Carlisle, Ysanne (2007). Strategy as Order Emerging from Chaos: A Public Sector Experience. Long Range Planning, 40(6) pp. 574–593.



In 1993 Ralph Stacey contributed to an emerging debate on the usefulness of new complexity science concepts to organisations. Since then interest in the organisational applications of complexity has grown amongst both academics and practitioners. Stacey's work provided a source of ideas for a successful major strategic change intervention in a public sector organisation. Our article presents a case study of that intervention. It describes how concepts from complexity science were used and how the programme was implemented, as well as the 'transitions model' and the principles which emerged from the change programme to assist managers wanting to know how to undertake complexity inspired change.

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