Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Paper: Complexity science and spread

Well, the best bit about this paper for me is the introduction of the terms SUS - scale up and spread!  It focuses on self organisation (complexity science principle) and how the complexity of healthcare and all the interactions are part of the problem of SUS programs.

Now, I'm biased and I'm with Ralph Stacey who says that when we think we can "control" or "use" self organisation then we are operating with a mindset not much different from Taylorism (see his work on complex responsive processes which superceded complex adaptive systems around 2001).

Whilst using insights from complexity science is useful, it is just that - an insight. When it comes to moving on to a more practical thought about - "so what do we do now", CAS and Complexity Science as such, falls flat.  There is a well trodden, pragmatic and practical systems theory and modelling that would be helpful in understanding interdependences - "Systems Thinking". Unfortunately it requires a bit of effort to grasp and seems not to have the cachet of "complexity science". Shame.

Soc Sci Med. 2012 Jul 4. [Epub ahead of print]
How complexity science can inform scale-up and spread in health care: Understanding the role of self-organization in variation across local contexts.
Lanham HJLeykum LKTaylor BSMcCannon CJLindberg CLester RT.

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