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Taking Advantage of EmergenceProductively Innovating in Complex Innovation Systems$
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Deborah Dougherty

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198725299

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198725299.001.0001

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Integrating Subsystems into an Infrastructure for Taking Advantage of Emergence

Integrating Subsystems into an Infrastructure for Taking Advantage of Emergence

(p.143) 7 Integrating Subsystems into an Infrastructure for Taking Advantage of Emergence
Taking Advantage of Emergence

Deborah Dougherty

Oxford University Press

Taking advantage of emergence refers to grabbing fragmented and noisy information that abounds in complex systems, configuring these bits into potential solutions for actual, concrete problems, and using these configurations to learn about what might work or not, what else seems relevant, and how to reframe understandings to accumulate more noisy bits of information into better and better solutions. My framework for taking advantage of emergence develops an infrastructure of four entangled subsystems for innovating new products, new processes, news strategies and new governing structures. Working on all four subsystems of innovation simultaneously and adapting to feedback about the work in other subsystems leads to a distributed system for learning and doing. The four subsystems explain what to do to take advantage of emergence, and heedful interrelating with heterarchical organizing explain how to do it. We know a lot of this already. Let’s get on with taking advantage of emergence.

Keywords:   Integration, safety, risk, distributed learning, social, emergence, infrastructure

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