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"Mise en boîte" of complexity by Jan Lepoutre "Complexity and emergence - H...

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ESSEC Executive Education

2 Place de la Défense

92053 Paris La Défense

France

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Complexity and emergence - how entrepreneurs and innovators strategize in an uncertain world

If complexity needs attention from individuals and organizations, it is most likely the result of one of the main features of complex phenomena: that complexity gives us a hard time to plan. Even if we desire steering a group of individuals and/or organizations in a particular direction, when they are dependent on each other's behavior, they create interdependencies that make the behavior of the collective difficult to predict from the behavior of any single actor. While this is the reality for many individuals and organizations, entrepreneurs and innovators that aspire to create novel futures are particularly affected with this uncertainty. In this "mise en boîte", my objective is to review some of the lessons learned from entrepreneurs and innovators in dealing with this uncertainty, drawing on both examples of successes, but also failures.


Jan Lepoutre, PhD is Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Strategy at ESSEC Business School and ESSEC director of the Chaire Armand Peugeot on the Economy of Electromobility. Drawing on a multi-disciplinary background of engineering, economics and sociology, his research and teaching interests mostly deal with innovation and strategies in uncertain environments, in particular those related to complex social and environmental problems. Combining both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, his research has been published in top tier academic journals, including Academy of Management Journal, American Journal of Sociology, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Business Ethics, Small Business Economics and Technological Forecasting and Social Change. He teaches topics related to entrepreneurship, strategy and organizational behavior in various programs at ESSEC, including the Grande Ecole, BBA, Global and Executive MBA and Executive Education.

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ESSEC Executive Education

2 Place de la Défense

92053 Paris La Défense

France

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