A Scale-Free Theory of Emergence: Four Sequences of Emergence Within, Of, and Across Organizations
Emergence – the “coming into being” of new processes, structures and entities – is a consequential phenomenon that management scholars have been exploring since Babbage (1832) described the emergence of a division of labor, and Weber (1947) explained the emergence of bureaucratic hierarchy. Emergence is important and unique not only because it occurs at multiple levels within and across organizations, but also because emergence is the process that creates new “levels” of organizing (McKelvey & Lichtenstein, 2007).
Lichtenstein, Benyamin B., "A Scale-Free Theory of Emergence: Four Sequences of Emergence Within, Of, and Across Organizations" (2008). College of Management Working Papers and Reports. 15.
Working Paper #1038.
Submission to the Organization Science Winter Conference, 2008.