Date of this Version
Academy of Management Review 2012. Vol. 37, No. 4, pp. 689-708. http://dx.doi.org/! 0.5465/amr.2010.0424
Our model of emergent organizational capacity for compassion proposes that organizations can develop the capacity for compassion without formal direction. Relying on a framework from complexity science, we describe how the system conditions of agent diversity, interdependent roles, and social interactions enhance the likelihood of self-organizing around an individual response to a pain trigger. When agents then modify their roles to incorporate compassionate responding, their interactions amplify responses, changing the system, and a new order emerges: organizational capacity for compassion. In this new order the organization's structure, culture, routines, and scanning mechanisms incorporate compassionate responding and can influence future responses to pain triggers.