Conceptualizing complex meaning systems : the case of management fads

Corfield, Wendy Lea (2006) Conceptualizing complex meaning systems : the case of management fads. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


The thesis is an attempt to apply complex systems thinking to the problem of meaning. It is in two parts. Part 1, Chapter 1 introduces the research agenda and overviews the thesis. Chapter 2 establishes the value of adopting a systems approach to the problem of meaning. The next chapter introduces key concepts of complex systems theory as they apply to sociocultural phenomena, and the last chapter in Part 1 reviews three theories of complex meaning systems (Donald Campbell, Jay Lemke, and Paul Cilliers) from which a preliminary model and agenda for theorising complex meaning systems is proposed. Part 2 of the thesis investigates the phenomena of management fads, applying the models of complex meaning systems formulated in Part 1. No primary empirical work is attempted; rather an analytical engagement is conducted using secondary literature on what we know about such fads. The literature, both primary and secondary, is reviewed and critiqued. The final chapters exemplify the problem of meaning using the theory building and agenda setting from Part 1. The concluding chapter reflects on the adequacy of a complex systems approach to meaning, critiques the process of the thesis and comments upon its contribution.

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ID Code: 16535
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Hearn, Gregory
Keywords: meaning, philosophy, complex systems, management fads, management gurus, decision making, emergence, epistemology, ontology
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Department: Faculty of Creative Industries
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Wendy Lea Corfield
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 04:05
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2017 14:41

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