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Discrete Dynamics in Nature and Society
Volume 5 (2000), Issue 1, Pages 53-57

Self-organization through decoupling

Department of Economics, University of Mumbai, Vidyanagari, Mumbai 400 098, India

Received 19 January 2000

Copyright © 2000 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In one line of research, the transition from Fordism to flexible specialisation is explained by the infeasibility of a mode of regulation that relied on central controls. According to another explanation, which we favour, the disintegration of vertically integrated production is unpredictable. The concept of self-organization is often recommended to model the transition from hierarchical organizational forms to flatter structures. Formally, a conditionally stable nonlinear system of differential equations is examined. In the first thesis, the characteristic roots with positive real parts play the role of ‘order’ parameters which can become unstable modes. The rest of the variables refer to stable modes. The strategy is to show that the stable modes can be expressed in terms of the unstable modes so that the former can be eliminated from the system. On the other hand, we provide a theorem showing that a coupled set of differential equations can become uncoupled and vice versa as an argument in favour of the second thesis. The path of evolution can turn both ways.