Chaordic Organization

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What is a Chaordic Organization? Meaning.

A Chaordic Organization is a system of organization that exhibits characteristics of both chaos and order but is dominated by neither.


The word ‘chaord’ (pronounced kay-ord) was first used by founder and former CEO of VISA International, Dee Hock. It is created by blending the first syllables from the words chaos and order.


In his book Birth of the Chaotic Age (1999), Hock defines chaord in the following way:

"any self-organizing, self governing, adaptive, nonlinear, complex organism, organization, community or system, whether physical, biological or social, the behavior of which harmoniously blends characteristics of both chaos and order".


In Hock's view, today’s organizations are based on compelled behavior, or tyranny. The organizations of the future—chaordic organizations—will embody community, based on shared purpose calling to the higher aspirations of people.


As applied to business, this can be thought of as “an organization that harmoniously blends characteristics of competition and cooperation; or from the perspective of education, an organization that seamlessly blends theoretical and experiential learning.


Chaordic organizations do not fear change or innovation. They are, by their very nature, supremely adaptive. They also tend to be inclusive, multi-centric, and distributive and, ultimately, strongly cohesive due to their unshakable focus on common purpose and core principles.


A chaordic organization is formed by attending to six elements in the following order: Purpose, Principles, People, Concept, Structure, and Practice.



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Compare with: Chaordic Leadership  |  Organic Organization  |  Learning Organization  |  Chaos Theory  |  Catastrophe Theory  |  Twelve Principles of the Network Economy  |  Change Phases  |  Organization Chart  |  Causal Model of Organizational Performance and Change  |  Dialectical Inquiry  |  Centralization and Decentralization

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