1Disassembling Some Traditional Views

1.1. Time and space: past, present and future

In playing with relativity theory, we end up abandoning time as an absolute reference. Does time exist in nature? Is time necessary to describe our behavior and events? And is time a continuous variable? Coincidentally, is space limited either in a small-scale or large-scale universe?

Under these conditions, what is the impact of a “time and space” concept on our current operations, such as planning, scheduling, sequencing, organizing and way of thinking? Concerning the sustainability of an enterprise, particularly in economy, what confidence level can we attach to a statement such as too big to fail?

We are, indeed, faced with a scale issue both in time and space: in big organizations, decision makers think that global structures are quite stable. Indeed, we can distinguish the structures of the organisms, with regard to the complexity of their assembly, into four categories: micro, meso, macro, chrono (in a simplified way). The higher the level of the assembly (it is the case in cosmos or cosmic structures), the more stable the system appears: a large structure seems to be more stable than a small one. By contrast, due to the huge amount of the interconnections, the larger assembly remains SIC (Sensitivity to Initial Condition) and could be highly sensitive to the action of individual elements. In industry, for instance, the entreprise (a macro system) will be sensitive to small disturbances ...

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