The Formless Void as Organizational Template

Harle, T., The Formless Void as Organizational Template. Journal of Management, Spirituality and Religion. 9(1), pp1-3-121.

Abstract. This article examines the first creation story in the Book of Genesis from the perspective of complexity theory. Traditional views of this narrative conceive of a deity harnessing chaos to create order. They reflect a loathing of chaos and a desire for control: a Newtonian worldview of cause and effect. It is an approach we see repeated in contemporary organizations. However, a radically different perspective sees the formless void as opening up the possibility of emergence and self-organization. This approach is used to prompt interaction both with the Judaeo-Christian tradition and organization studies. Four particular leadership challenges are examined: notions of control, attitudes to change, co-creating an environment for self-organization, and using emergence in relation to values. A concluding section highlights the importance of consistency in leadership to promote emergence.

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