Essay on Margaret J. Wheatley's Leadership and the New Science: A Review

Words: 1254
Pages: 6

Professor Thomas Traub
Chandana Nambiar
MGMT 740.02- Organizational behavior and leadership
Assignment 2
21st April 2015


The book talks about both new and monumental challenge to organizations to think and change how they view organizational structure, leadership and individuals. A new world is being born; we live in a time of change, chaos; rich in potential for new possibilities, which builds new possibilities for organizations to grow. New science in leadership is the discovery in chaos theory and quantum physics that is changing our understanding of how organizations function. It shows us a world where “chaos” is a naturally occurring event, which can happen on a regular basis, where “order” or a procedure to-do exists for free.

The author, Margaret Wheatley explains how to move with greater certainty into the new forms of organizations that are taking shape. She uses recent breakthroughs in biology, chemistry and quantum physics to describe a fresh point of view on business management and organizations.

“In chemistry, certain chemical systems reorganize themselves into a greater order when they face changes in their environment.” Margaret Wheatley. In the old models of systems and organizations, any change in the organization was assumed to be troublesome and it meant raising a red flag as a sign of warning for down fall or decline of the entire organizational system. Ilya Prigogine demonstrated that any open system has the capacity to respond to change and disorder by reorganizing itself at a higher level of organization. Disorder chaos and change are important players, which lead organizations to form a new order and puts members into new positions and to form a new structure in the organization. As we move out of the new machine model, which deals with the solid structure of life and looks into the dynamics of real life. We start to look at a new world with a new way of understanding fluctuations, disorder and change. New Science has emerged and has crept not only into our every day life and discipline but also in organizations and organizational theory. The new concept of Organizational behavior has grown out of the machine model into the most fluid, organic structure, which is boundless and seamless. We can overcome organizational events like chaos, change, information overload if people start to recognize organizations as whole systems, as learning organizations, where the members have the capacity to re-organize and self organize.

The author calls a stream as the most beautiful structure, which she can closely relate to a structure that can sustain its identity over time and yet is not locked rigidly into any one physical form. The stream can easily adapt, create new structures and change its configurations with the given environment; it’s the water’s need to flow, which makes it all happen. Streams don’t have a fixed reaction to everything, they respond differently, which helps them to create great structures like the Grand Canyons everywhere. Rivers find many ways to gather into the ocean; similarly an organization, which is free and has that kind of faith, can touch the stars and achieve great goals and heights. Organizations are built by us and can only survive if they are structured in a smart and crafty manner, which cannot be destroyed by changes, chaos or disasters. The foundation has to be built strong enough to handle uncertain events with sparkling confidence. It is important to build systems with are effective, efficient and have great scope for capacity and diversity. To create an order, which leads to success, fluctuations and changes are essential.

Sir Isaac Newton described the universe as a seductive place. As time passed, people evolved, grew smart and formed machines. We accepted a regular life, a monotonous duty of everyday being. We organized our work based on our old belief. Most organizations are