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Wednesday, July 12 • 14:30 - 15:00
3107 Grounding Transformation in Articulation

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The advent of digital transformation invading all societal and economic systems requires to re-consider the generative nature of socio-technical system design. Transformation needs to be studied, in particular how links are continuously explored and accelerated between existing as well new systems. The accelerated production of relations does not only substantiate system thinking, but also characterizes the fundamental nature of digital production systems.

As digital transformations are complex, some scholars have already called for a system science approach to deal with. Thereby, traditional cognitive or top-down approaches to regulate or control dynamic processes are seen as ‘last resort’. Evolving complex systems bear systemic challenges, which are wicked due to their social or cultural nature and incomplete, contradictory, interconnected, and changing requirements that are often difficult to recognize.

Bringing together complexity and wicked problems theories to understand how individual organizations and change agents can better influence large system change. We have developed a framework that helps to understand and cope with system interventions while taking the perspective of individual agents for change in organizations. Consequently, we do not only need to put forward theoretical understanding of transformation and change management by positioning the organization in the context of a broader system, but also need to define its role in creating change based on articulation of individual stakeholders. Individually informed articulation (e.g., on underlying principles for certain behavior patterns) is likely to facilitate addressing the nature of wicked problems by setting informed relations between individual systems and the large systems where they are embedded.

In articulation the relation of individuals as change agents and their relations to organizations and society in transformational change are considered. Sharing relational background knowledge and developing relations allow creating transformations that can be substantial and lead to emergence system behavior due to that change. In the presented samples stemming from organizational development, the essential role of individuals in a situated while cognitive transformation process becomes evident. In contrast to behavioral manipulation, cognitive transformation acts in a subjective environment. It can be experienced by everyone in the same situational context. Transformations are achieved to giving situations a different meaning than before.

Wednesday July 12, 2017 14:30 - 15:00