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SCOPE and Aims

The emerging theory of complex systems research has resulted in a growing movement to reinvigorate management. Theory, research, practice, and education can all benefit by adopting a more dynamic, systemic, cognitive, and holistic approach to the management process. As interest in the study of complex systems has grown, a new vocabulary is emerging to describe discoveries about wide-ranging and fundamental phenomena. Complexity theory research has allowed for new insights into many phenomena and for the development of new manners of discussing issues regarding management and organizations.

A shared language based on the insights of complexity can have an important role in a management context. The use of complexity theory metaphors can change the way managers think about the problems they face. Instead of competing in a game or a war, managers of a complexity thinking enterprise are trying to find their way on an ever changing, ever turbulent landscape. Such a conception of their organizations' basic task can, in turn, change the day-to-day decisions made by management.

The most productive applications of complexity insights have to do with new possibilities for innovation in organizations. These possibilities require new ways of thinking, but old models of thinking persist long after they are productive. New ways of thinking don't just happen; they require new models which have to be learned. E:CO is dedicated to helping both practicing managers and academics acquire, understand and examine these new mental models.

E:CO publishes articles of a qualitative and quantitative nature relating complex systems, sensemaking, psychology, philosophy, semiotics, and cognitive science to the management of organizations both public and private.

The readers of E:CO are managers, academics, consultants, and others interested in the possibility of applying the insights of the science of complex systems to day-to-day management and leadership problems.


  • To further develop and extend the concepts, applications, and research in management and leadership practice;
  • To enlarge the domain of management theory, issues, and research beyond those currently recognized by mainstream academia and practice;
  • To use complex systems perspectives, theory, and research to integrate multiple perspectives in management theory, research, practice, and education;
  • To develop linkages between complex systems perspectives, theory, and research and other perspectives in management;
  • To consider new institutional practices that can help to reconnect management theory and management practice, and;
  • To discuss alternative approaches to management and leadership education and practice suggested by the more dynamic, systemic, cognitive, and holistic view of the management process derived from complex systems perspectives, theory, and research.

Article Topics:

  • Understanding complexity and complex adaptive systems, such as the economy, business, and the marketplace;
  • Developing techniques for organizations to examine their models, metaphors, and beliefs, and to adapt new ones as conditions change;
  • Creating strategies for businesses to interact with the unexpected, accidental, and ambiguous in their environments;
  • Resolving the needs for both stability and creativity, and the institutional tensions between "authorized" and "innovative";
  • Applications of psychology, philosophy, semiotics, or cognitive science to the management of organizations;
  • Complex systems implications for business process and strategy;
  • The development of new organizational forms;
  • The development of new patterns of work;
  • Managerial cognition;
  • Knowledge management, and;
  • Organizational learning.