Electronic Commerce Management Implications from Autopoietic and Complexity Theories

A. Nelson, W.H.M. Nelson III (USA), and F. Maubourguet (France)


Complexity theory, electronic commerce, autopoietics


Traditionally, management has viewed the organization as a very mechanistic, linear system characterized by a simple and predictable cause and effect. However, complexity theory brings to management an organic, nonlinear, and holistic way of viewing organizational systems. Hypothesized outcomes of this article include a better understanding of the emergent behavior of the systems within the electronic commerce model. The application of the autopoietic and complexity theories to these virtual systems may be positively related to organizational success that comes from the networked combinations of freely acting agents. Within the electronic commerce model, competitive advantages may be maximized and organizational missions may be achieved though management’s understanding and application of complexity and autopoietic theories.

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