2.4 Complex Systems: Transformation, sustainability and hybrid organizations in the post Covid era - a Systems and Cybernetic future

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  The current epidemic and economic crises need to be faced with organizations that draw on different and often conflicting elements...

  The current epidemic and economic crises need to be faced with organizations that draw on different and often conflicting elements in terms of forms, in order to accommodate multiple instances deriving from concurrent stakeholders. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals contained in the 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development represent a clear example of manifold demands requiring new forms of organizational action able to improve health, education, cultural, environmental growth, while reducing inequality, and spurring economic development. Encountered with such variety, in recent years organizational and managerial discourses have been dominated by the notion of hybridization.

  This session aims at discussing the new integrative “hybrid organizational forms” with a focus on the protean nature of systems with its emerging, unpredictable, dynamic, non-linear evolutionary paths due to the challenges posed by the COVID 19 epidemic.

Three main socio-economic changes are likely to challenge the near future:

  1. processes towards reducing inequalities (wealth, access to healthcare, gender issue, digital divide, human conditions, ethnic groups) and, consequently, possibly resource-constrained at the bottom of the pyramid;

  2. environmental and health crisis;

  3. democracy crisis.


  In this session we aim to analyze this “organizational hybridization phenomenon” interpreted as innovative organizational paradigms, through which we expect achieving sustainable development and value for the new Post Covid society.

Change and innovation towards these integrative organizations offer insights that can be revised with reference to cybernetic systems, self-organization, dissipative structures, coevolution, learning, crisis and catastrophes, highlighting the evolution of a social system in a Popperian logic.

Discussion points

  • The relationship between contextual and structural dimensions of “hybrid organizations” and the sustainability of their economic and social outcomes, by proposing an integrative framework reconciling different existing perspectives

  • Attention to the tensions and possible conflicts between different analytic levels, such as between “hybrid organizational forms” and individuals’ identity.

  • Role of change, innovation and creativity in current trends of organizations and society (social innovation, Industry 4.0, sustainable and socially responsible society, etc.);

  • Governance and management in current epochs of change and innovation in “hybrid organization”.

  • Cybernetic and systemic principles and approaches for “hybrid organizational governance” and change.

  • Soft Systems Inquiry