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date: 23 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses how 1977 Chemistry Nobel Prize winner Ilya Prigogine’s theoretical insights into the dynamics of far-from-equilibrium systems in the physical sciences inform the study of social systems. The insights of Prigogine and his coworkers into the inherent unpredictability of social systems, their autonomous evolution, and their time-dependent success or failure help explain path dependence in technological evolution and the view of organizational becoming. Their observations about how stochastically emerging innovations (and mutations) become incorporated into a system’s deterministic relations, and thereby allow it to continue to evolve, find a parallel in an independently developed model in strategic management. This model distinguishes between an organization’s autonomous and induced strategy processes related to internal entrepreneurship and innovation that help it match the internal and external ecological dynamics that together determine its evolution and longevity.

Keywords: dynamics, far-from-equilibrium, inherent unpredictability, autonomous evolution, time-dependent success/failure, path dependence, organizational becoming, autonomous innovation, induced innovation, internal/external ecology

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