October 31, 2007

Book Review - Managing Chaos and Complexity in Government

Managing Chaos and Complexity in Government: A New Paradigm for Managing Change, Innovation, and Organizational Renewal
L. Douglas Kiel
JF 1525 .C74 K54 1994

Kiel puts forward a new strategy for managing change in Government organizations. By studying the way that numerous government employees spent their time, he noticed both patterns and considerable unpredictability, much like those observed in the science of chaos theory. Here, he applies the same chaos theory to government organizations, arguing that it will better allow for flexibility, change, and continuous improvement. He begins with a description of government work environments today, focusing on the need for improved performance. He then depicts the changes that occur in government organizations and explains how difficult many of them are to manage. He puts forward his new view of government organizations, examining the patterns existing within the apparent chaos and suggesting how these might be managed and directed to improve organizational performance. Finally, he offers advice on how to create a "self-organizing government organization," and suggests the benefits and lessons that this offers for managers.