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  • About
  • The Global ETD Search service is a free service for researchers to find electronic theses and dissertations. This service is provided by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations.
    Our metadata is collected from universities around the world. If you manage a university/consortium/country archive and want to be added, details can be found on the NDLTD website.

The emergence of self-organisation in social systems : the case of the geographic industrial clusters

Andriani, Pierpaolo January 2003 (has links)
The objective of this work is to use complexity theory to propose a new interpretation of industrial clusters. Industrial clusters constitute a specific type of econosphere, whose driving principles are self-organisation, economies of diversity and a configuration that optimises the exploration of diversity starting from the configuration of connectivity of the system. This work shows the centrality of diversity by linking complexity theory (intended as "a method for understanding diversity"') to different concepts such as power law distributions, self-organisation, autocatalytic cycles and connectivity.I propose a method to distinguish self-organising from non self-organising agglomerations, based on the correlation between self-organising dynamics and power law network theories. Self-organised criticality, rank-size rule and scale-free networks theories become three aspects indicating a common underlying pattern, i.e. the edge of chaos dynamic. I propose a general model of development of industrial clusters, based on the mutual interaction between social and economic autocatalytic cycle. Starting from Kauffman's idea(^2) on the autocatalytic properties of diversity, I illustrate how the loops of the economies of diversity are based on the expansion of systemic diversity (product of diversity and connectivity). My thesis provides a way to measure systemic diversity. In particular I introduce the distinction between modular innovation at the agent level and architectural innovation at the network level and show that the cluster constitutes an appropriate organisational form to manage the tension and dynamics of simultaneous modular and architectural innovation. The thesis is structured around two propositions: 1. Self-organising systems are closer to a power law than hierarchical systems or aggregates (collection of parts). For industrial agglomerations (SLLs), the closeness to a power law is related to the degree of self-organisation present in the agglomeration, and emerges in the agglomeration’s structural and/or behavioural properties subject to self-organising dynamic.2. Self-organising systems maximise the product of diversity times connectivity at a rate higher than hierarchical systems.

A Complexity Analysis of Two Teachers’ Learning from Professional Development: Toward an Explanatory Theory

Moore, Meredith Cromwell January 2018 (has links)
Thesis advisor: Marilyn Cochran-Smith / Professional development is widely viewed as a key lever for school change. Each year, federal and state governments pour billions of dollars into developing teachers, while researchers seek to identify which professional development programs are most effective. However, even as consensus has been growing in the research and policy communities about what constitutes high-quality professional development, teachers continue to vary greatly in what and how much they learn through such programs. There is no theory of teacher learning that explains this variation. In this dissertation—a comparative case study of two teachers from the same school who were participating in the same professional development initiative —I used complexity theory as a lens to understand teacher learning as a complex system. The intention was to develop causal explanations of teacher learning that accounted for the interactions between a particular teacher, a particular school, and a particular professional development. Data analysis revealed that whether, what, and how the teachers learned through professional development was contingent upon learning conditions that resulted from three intersecting systems: the teacher, the school, and the professional development. Although they were colleagues, the two teacher participants experienced professional development under different learning conditions, resulting in different learning outcomes; one teacher changed little, while the other ultimately transformed some of her beliefs and classroom practices. I found seven structural elements, across the three system levels, that shaped the system of teacher learning. Based on my analysis, I propose an analytic framework that can be used to analyze the conditions within and the interactions between the three systems. By offering a new means to analyze professional development through a complexity lens, this study contributes to a broader understanding of teacher learning. There are also important implications for designing and selecting professional development that will meet the needs of individual teachers in specific school contexts. / Thesis (PhD) — Boston College, 2018. / Submitted to: Boston College. Lynch School of Education. / Discipline: Teacher Education, Special Education, Curriculum and Instruction.

Complexity Theory and Physics Education Research : The Case of Student Retention in Physics and Related Degree Programmes

Forsman, Jonas January 2015 (has links)
This thesis explores the use of complexity theory in Physics Education Research as a way to examine the issue of student retention (a university’s ability to retain its students). University physics education is viewed through the concepts of nestedness and networked interactions. The work presented in this thesis covers two main aspects from a complexity theory perspective: (1) institutional action to enhance student retention; and, (2) the role of students’ in-course interaction networks. These aspects are used to reframe student retention from a complexity theory perspective, as well as to explore what implications this new perspective affords. The first aspect is addressed by conceptualizing student retention as an emergent phenomenon caused by both agent and component interaction within a complex system. A methodology is developed to illustrate a networked visualization of such a system using contemporary estimation methods. Identified limitations are discussed. To exemplify the use of simulations of complex systems, the networked system created is used to build a simulation of an “ideal” university system as well as a Virtual world for hypothesis-testing. The second aspect is divided into two sections: Firstly, an analysis of processes relating to how students’ in-course networks are created is undertaken. These networks are divided into two relevant components for student retention – the social and the academic. Analysis of these two components of the networks shows that the formation of the networks is not a result of random processes and is thus framed as a function of the core constructs of student retention research – the social and academic systems. Secondly, a case is made that students’ structural positions in the social and academic networks can be related to their grade achievement in the course.

The Complexity of labour market inequalities: Gendered subjectivity, material circumstances and young women’s aspirations

Milne, Lisa Coraline January 2007 (has links)
Research Doctorate - Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) / Gendered labour market inequalities are a key area of feminist enquiry. Current approaches to theorising labour market inequalities usually conceive agentic social action and existing social structures as opposing forces, rather than as highly complex interwoven levels of social reality, which together constitute and reconstitute labour market inequalities over time. Further, these analyses tend to privilege either the social construction of gender or the different material circumstances of women’s lives in their accounts, inadequately addressing interfaces between ‘gender’ and the ‘material’. This study attempts to integrate these facets and levels of social reality more closely, offering an alternative account of how gendered labour market inequalities may be shored up or destablised over time. It builds on innovative work outside the field of labour market studies to do so. While the key existing accounts of labour market inequalities offer quite diverse explanations for these inequalities, gendered marital power relations and child-raising responsibilities, along with gendered patterns of participation in, and outcomes from, education and paid work are prominent features of them all. To acknowledge this prior research and some of its insights, analysis of the ‘transitions’ young women are currently making in these domains is a central feature of this study. In doing so, I acknowledge the wealth of research and debate on the late modern fracturing of youth to ‘adult’ transitions, and the future social changes these imply. I further suggest that disruptions and continuities in the forms of education, work, parenting and relationships that young Australian women aspire to, along with shifts in the timing and form of these transitions, have important potential implications for the maintenance or destabilisation of existing broader labour market inequalities over time. The alternative account offered here is developed by drawing on data gathered through a mixed methods study design, incorporating qualitative interviews and survey responses from groups of high SES and low SES young Australian women. Young women’s accounts of their aspirations for parenting, partnering, education and work, are treated using discursive analysis of the interview texts and comparison of these findings with descriptive statistics generated from the survey results. Theoretically, this analysis is guided by feminist poststructuralist notions of discourse, subject positioning and subjectivity. However, these poststructuralist concepts are reconciled with a notion of socio-cultural capital as a resource, developed to allow a ‘materialist’ edge in the empirical analyses. Additionally, insights from complexity thought provide a means for this study to conceive of the relationships between macro social structures and micro social processes as co-producing the labour market inequalities that the study addresses. The thesis of this study is that the social construction of gender, the material circumstances of women’s lives, and their agentic negotiations with these, are critical and interactive features of an adequate account of the processes through which labour market inequalities are shored up or destabilised over time. I suggest that the synthesised theoretical framework developed and presented here may be highly effective for this task. The contribution of the study is therefore fourfold. Firstly, it provides a snapshot of the transitions young Australian women with different material circumstances are making into relationships and parenting, education and work. Secondly, it offers novel insights into the processes through which labour market inequalities may be maintained or not. Thirdly, it offers an integrated account of the interplay between discursive/cultural and material/economic social forces in producing these inequalities. Finally, it augments existing scholarship by introducing an innovative theoretical synthesis to the study of labour market inequalities.

Strategic Management of Navy R&D Laboratories: An Application of Complexity Theory; Director of Navy Laboratories Case Study

Gates, Robert Valentine 08 December 2003 (has links)
As part of an on-going process of centralizing control of government science and technology (S&T) after World War II, in 1966 the Navy went through a major reorganization that was intended to centralize the strategic management of the Navy laboratory system. This centralization was to be accomplished by placing the major Navy research and development activities in a single systems command - the Naval Material Command - and establishing the position of Director of Navy Laboratories. Organizational studies and reorganizations continued for the next 25 years until the Naval Material Command and the Director of Navy Laboratories were disestablished in 1985 and 1991, respectively. This dissertation is, in part, an historical study of the Navy from 1946 to 1966 that focuses on the bureaus and laboratories. It summarizes the organizational changes related to strategic management and planning of science and technology. The 1966 reorganization was a critical event because it created the first formal Navy laboratory system. It is proposed that the 1966 reorganization was not successful in centralizing the strategic management of the Navy laboratory system. Classical organization theory offers an explanation of this failure. What can complexity theory add? The overarching contribution is in recognizing that a "Navy Laboratory System" existed before one was formally established in 1966. This argument is developed by considering two specific aspects of complexity theory. First, there is the notion that strategic management of the laboratory system resulted from the complex interactions of the smaller units that comprise the system (rather than the result of organization and process choices by senior leadership). Second, there is the theory that an organization will exhibit different behaviors at different times or in different parts of the organization at the same time. This translates into the idea that at particular times and places, the formal structure was dominant in strategic management, but at other times the "emergent" organization was dominant. In fact, if power law theory is applicable, then the periods of stability (where the formal structure was dominant) ought to be more prevalent than the turbulent periods where the emergent organization was dominant in strategic management. This case is made by describing agent-based models of the Navy laboratory system at two points in time and using them to identify the expected performance characteristics of the system. Historical and organizational artifacts are then used to make the case that the postulated system existed. / Ph. D.

Complexidade de estados quânticos: o papel do entrelaçamento. / Quantum state complexity: the role of entanglement.

Borges, Yuri Cassio Campbell 19 August 2011 (has links)
O papel das medidas de complexidade tem se tornado cada vez mais claro na extensão da compreensão que se tem sobre sistemas complexos. Todavia, apesar do grande número de medidas propostas para capturar tais características em sistemas clássicos, para sistemas quânticos somente vê-se extensões da complexidade algorítmica de Kolmogorov. Assim, propõe-se neste trabalho a extensão de três medidas de complexidade pelo uso do ferramental da teoria da informação quântica para torná-las capazes de compreender a quantificação da complexidade de estados quânticos. Resultados mostram que alguns fenômenos observados em sistemas complexos clássicos estão presentes em estados bipartite e tripartite de qubits e estão intimamente ligados com a presença de entrelaçamento nos mesmos. Tanto comprovação de conceitos já conhecidos como indícios de novos fenômenos foram observados, ambos com possíveis aplicações tecnológicas. / The role of complexity measures has become increasingly clear on the extent of understanding we have of complex systems. However, despite the large number of measures proposed to capture these characteristics in classical systems, to quantum systems there are only extensions of the Kolmogorov\'s algorithmic complexity. Thus, this work proposes the extension of three measures of complexity by using the tools of quantum information theory to make them able to understand the quantification of the complexity of quantum states. Results show that some phenomena observed in classical complex systems are present in bipartite and tripartite states of qubits and are closely linked with the presence of entanglement in them. Both proof of known concepts as signs of new phenomena were observed, with possible technological applications.

As organizações e a complexidade: um estudo dos sistemas de gestão da qualidade. / The organizations and complexity: a study of the quality management systems.

Giovannini, Fabrizio 01 October 2002 (has links)
Realizou-se em estudo de múltiplos casos com o objetivo de entender como determinadas características organizacionais, baseadas em características de sistemas dinâmicos não-lineares eficazes explicadas pela Teoria da Complexidade, guardam algum tipo de relacionamento com a eficácia das organizações que as possuem e desenvolvem. Os focos do trabalho são os Sistemas de Gestão da Qualidade certificados conforme as normas ISO 9001/2. A escolha teve como motivações a possibilidade de maior controle dos efeitos dos fatores ambientais sobre os resultados de pesquisa e a transparência destes sistemas para o pesquisador. Um dos maiores desafios foi desenvolver, na revisão bibliográfica, uma interpretação da Teoria da Complexidade sob a ótica das ciências sociais, em especial da Administração. O referencial teórico consolidado através desta interpretação foi colocado à prova e foram encontrados diversos indícios de que a Teoria da Complexidade pode ser uma explicação coerente da dinâmica dos sistemas organizacionais. Mais importante ainda, não foi encontrada nenhuma evidência clara de que não o seja. Encontrar alguma racionalidade no atual ambiente de negócios é um grande desafio. Por outro lado, para poder decidir e agir, o administrador precisa de um modelo mental que lhe permita se integrar nesta realidade de forma consciente e autônoma. Este trabalho procurou mostrar que a Complexidade pode ser uma alternativa para a compreensão da dinâmica dos sistemas organizacionais e, desta forma, contribuir para a construção deste modelo mental. / A multiple case study was made with the objective of understanding how specific organizational characteristics, based on non-linear dynamic systems characteristics explained by the Complexity Theory, hold any relation with the effectiveness of the organizations that carry and develop these characteristics. The focuses of this work are Quality Management Systems certified by the ISO 9001/2 norms. The motivation of this choice where the possibility of greater control over the effects of environmental factors and the transparency of these systems for the researcher. One of the greater challenges where to develop, at the bibliographical review, an interpretation of the Complexity Theory under the view of the social sciences, especially of Management. The theoretical referee consolidated trough this interpretation was put to test and where found several clues that the Complexity Theory can be a coherent explanation of the dynamic of organizational systems. More important yet, no clear evidence was found that it is not. To find any rationality at the present business environment is a great challenge. However, to be able to decide and to act, the manager needs a mental model that allows him to integrate in this reality in a conscious and autonomous form. This work tried to show that Complexity can be an alternative for the understanding of the dynamics of organizational systems and, consequently, to contribute for the construction of this mental model.

Taking the complexity turn to steer carbon reduction policy : applying practice theory, complexity theory and cultural practices to policies addressing climate change

Twist, Benjamin Robert John January 2018 (has links)
Achieving the Scottish Government's carbon reduction targets requires not only the decarbonisation of industry and electricity generation, which is now largely underway, but also significant changes in the actions and decisions of millions of individuals, whose carbon emissions fall outside the areas which Government can control. Transport, much of it undertaken by individuals, accounts for around 20% of Scotland's carbon emissions. Policy aimed at changing individual travel behaviours will therefore become increasingly important. Commonly applied behaviour change strategies based on rational actor theory face conceptual problems and cannot overcome the lack of agency experienced by individuals buffeted by a range of influences in a complex world. Practice theory relocates the site of analysis from the individual to the social and helps to overcome these problems, but it is not clear how to deliberately change practices to achieve the carbon reductions required. Understanding practices as emergent properties of complex social systems suggests that working to alter the complex social system may lead to different emergent properties, i.e. more sustainable practices. My research explored this approach by conducting an experiment in Aberdeen that sought to influence the complex social system within which audiences travel to a large theatre in the city. Emergent properties of the system encouraged travel by private car: problems of (in)convenience and insecurity were shaping individuals' travel practices. Collaboration between actors powerful enough to affect the system - a transport provider, a local authority and the theatre itself - was needed to influence it sufficiently to bring about a change in the main travel mode from private cars to public transport. Analysis of this case identifies the need to acknowledge the relevance of complexity theory when developing carbon reduction policy. Perverse incentives encouraging public organisations to focus on their own 'direct' carbon emissions need to be replaced with a duty to collaborate with others to reduce society's overall carbon emissions. Those making policy and those implementing it will therefore need to understand and apply complexity theory, and will need highly developed skills in managing long-term collaborative projects rather than 'delivering' one-off changes. These attributes may be found in practitioners from diverse and less obvious fields, including the cultural sector.

Successful Billing Strategies in the Hospital Industry

Merritt, Samirah 01 January 2019 (has links)
Failure to collect reimbursement because of changing regulations negatively impacts hospital profitability. A multiple case study approach was used to explore the successful strategies billing managers employed to collect reimbursement for all legitimate Medicare claims. The target population for this study included 5 hospital billing managers from 3 organizations in the Northern New Jersey region. The complexity theory was used as a framework for assessing changing Medicare regulations and how the managers adapted to them. The data collection process for this study involved gathering data from participant interviews, documentation from the organizations of the participants, and government documented regulations and manuals. The logical and sequential order of data analysis for this study embraced Yin's 5-steps data analysis that includes compiling data, disassembling data, reassembling data, interpreting the data, and concluding. The successful strategies billing managers used that emerged as themes were remaining up to date with Medicare changing compliance regulations; enhancing communication with staff, multiple departments, and Medicare; and adopting a robust billing system and other systems that compliment billing. The implications of this study for social change include the potential to ensure access to patient care for benefiting families and communities through the sharing of successful strategies for Medicare claims.

Systems Thinking and Strategic Decision-Making: A Consideration of Chaos Theory

Milliner, Lloyd A, n/a January 2006 (has links)
Strategic decision-making is a fundamental process in business management as strategic decisions affect the long-term health of the organisation. However, a constantly and unpredictably changing business environment, becoming progressively more complex as time passes makes strategy formulation increasingly difficult. Shock events such as terrorist attacks, rapidly spreading communicable diseases, and unexpected business failures of large and well-established companies greatly affect organisations by making it difficult to effectively plan for the future. This thesis contributes to the strategic decision-making literature by investigating the role of shock events in a complex system, namely strategic decision-making. Using chaos/complexity theory as an intellectual platform this thesis argues that strategic decision-making is a complex, open, dynamic and non-linear system and that shock events can represent an opportunity in strategic decision-making. A number of contemporary writers are calling for more integrated models. In response this research proposes a generic and integrative framework that highlights the complexity of strategic decision-making and its processes. The research is qualitative and a single-case study approach was chosen, examining the decision-making processes in a large Australian regional airport. Data collection was triangulated, consisting mainly of in-depth interviews with executives but also included questionnaires, and quantitative and qualitative archival data. It was found that shock events influenced strategic decision-making by causing evolutionary changes in the strategic decision-making processes. In addition it was found that shock events impacted on internal drivers such as cognition and organisational culture. The shock event was perceived as an opportunity, which resulted in changing decision-making processes a change in business strategy. It was concluded that environmental perception, intuition and an opportunity-seeking culture can play an important part in strategic decision-making following a shock event.

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