Further to Elias’ post entitled, “Programme management should work beyond influencing or contributing to impact“; I was recently sent the following paper which I thought may be of interest to others. The paper speaks very much to what we try to do in SMIP and what we’re working towards.

To access the paper, click on the link:mowles-et-al-complexity-and-devman

WHAT CONTRIBUTION CAN INSIGHTS FROM THE COMPLEXITY SCIENCES MAKE TO THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT?
CHRIS MOWLES*, RALPH STACEY and DOUGLAS GRIFFIN
University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK
Abstract: This paper offers a critique of existing ways of understanding management practice in International Non-Government Organisations (INGOs) and compares and contrasts these with insights drawn from the complexity sciences. The authors put forward a more radical interpretation of complexity theory as it might be taken up in organisations rather than suggesting that it can be accommodated with existing theories based in systems thinking. They suggest that understanding the process of organising as contingent, paradoxical and experiential could profoundly refocus the attention of managers and practitioners alike and lead to an intensifying of practice as more consciously political. In being more open to others, including their partners and beneficiaries, staff in INGOs may be more ready to change themselves and their ideas. At the same time, the authors point out the existing dynamics of current practice
and the way it perpetuates itself, no matter how problematic.

Copyright # 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Keywords: complexity; management practice; systems thinking; paradox; social

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