Nonlinear Management
Get Nonlinear Management essential facts below. View Videos or join the Nonlinear Management discussion. Add Nonlinear Management to your topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Nonlinear Management

Linear management is the application of reductionism to management problems, often relying on the ability to predict, engineer and control outcomes by manipulating the component parts of a business (organization, operation, policy, process and so on). Business process reengineering (BPR) is a popular example of linear management at work. The key defining characteristic of linear management is that order is imposed - usually from above.

However, many[who?] argue that such an approach - treating organizations as machines to be engineered in this way - simply doesn't work. Businesses are too complex and too unpredictable. The results of many BPR projects in the 1990s suggests that this argument might be correct.

Nonlinear management (NLM) is a superset of management techniques and strategies that allows order to emerge by giving organizations the space to self-organize, evolve and adapt, encompassing Agile, "evolutionary" and "lean" approaches, flextime, time banking, as well as many others. Key aspects of NLM, including holism, evolutionary design or delivery, and self-organization are diametrically opposite to linear management thinking.

Examples of nonlinear management at work


  • H. Richard Priesmeyer. ORGANIZATIONS AND CHAOS: Defining the Methods of Nonlinear Management. Quorum Books. 1992.
  • Margaret J. Wheatley. Leadership & The New Science: Discovering Order In A Chaotic World. Berrett-Koehler. 2001.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Top US Cities