Department of Management


Date of this Version



Journal of Management Studies, Volume 39, Issue 2 (March 2002), pages 189–206; doi: 10.1111/1467-6486.00288


Copyright © 2002 Blackwell Publishers Ltd. Used by permission.


This paper adopts a view of organizations as complex adaptive systems and makes a case for making organizations more complex internally through the use of a fairly simple managerial rule—using participative decision making. Participation in decision making enhances connectivity in organizations, which in turn, gives the organization the opportunity to self-organize and co-evolve in more effective ways than when there is minimal connectivity (i.e., autocracy). The paper uses a specific body of research to support the arguments about why participation can benefit the practice of management in modern organizations.