Thinking differently about strategy: comparing paradigms

Carlisle, Ysanne and McMillan, Elizabeth (2002). Thinking differently about strategy: comparing paradigms. In: 16th Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management Conference, 4-7 Dec 2002, Beechworth, Victoria , Australia.


Our paper shows that mainstream strategic thinking and research already challenges the established Newtonian-Cartesian paradigm. Newtonian thought is the customary mode of western thinking, but is that about to change? Some papers from a complexity standpoint have appeared in the mainstream journals but its precise implications and merits have yet to be systematically spelled out and debated. We aim to facilitate this debate by comparing the established Newtonian and emergent complexity paradigms, clarifying the implications of this new perspective for strategy research. We suggest that the complexity paradigm is better attuned to current strategic realities than its Newtonian-Cartesian counterpart.

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