How do organizations become created? Entrepreneurship scholars have debated this question for decades, but only recently have they been able to gain insights into the non-linear dynamics that lead to organizational emergence, through the use of the complexity sciences. Written for social science researchers, Generative Emergence summarizes these literatures, including the first comprehensive review of each of the 15 complexity science disciplines. In doing so, the book makes a bold proposal for a discipline of Emergence, and explores one of its proposed fields, namely Generative Emergence. The book begins with a detailed summary of its underlying science, dissipative structures theory, and rigorously maps the processes of order creation discovered by that science to identify a 5-phase model of order creation in entrepreneurial ventures. The second half of the book presents the findings from an experimental study that tested the model in four fast-growth ventures through a year-long, week-by-week longitudinal analysis of their processes, based on over 750 interviews and 1000 hours of on-site observation.
These data, combined with reports from over a dozen other studies, confirm the dynamics of the 5-phase model in multiple contexts. By way of conclusion, the book explores how the model of Generative Emergence could be applied to enact emergence within and across organizations.