Complexity Research Group

Kevin Dooley: Mandelbrot Monday - Flickr - CC BY 2.0

What is complexity research?

The Complexity Research Group is a multidisciplinary top research group focusing on the study and analysis of complex and wicked social phenomena.  

The group's major objective is to bring together, strengthen and expand complexity research that responds to the multi-level challenges of modern society. Challenges related to the constant need for change in systems, structures and operating models and the different effects of phenomena brought about by changes.

In complexity sciences, phenomena, things or problems are considered complex when their systems are tightly intertwined and affect each other’s functioning. Thus, complexity does not mean complication, but interdependence and intertwining.

In summary, it can be said that complexity research seeks to understand the intertwining of things and events and the resulting surprising and unpredictable cumulative effects.

Currently, key research topics of the group are:

  • Understanding the meaning of a complex world
  • Systemic models of societal decision-making and control
  • Innovation and value creation at different levels of society
  • Social and healthcare ecosystems, services and management
  • Preparation of foresight information and risk analyses to support decision-making

The Complexity Research Group is an open playing field for researchers, managers and developers, where the aim is to jointly develop complexity research and create strong collaborative relationships between different disciplines, organisations and individuals. The research group is headed by Research Director Petri Uusikylä.

Podcast

A podcast introducing complexity thinking

Keva, a public sector employment pension insurer, launched a podcast series in cooperation with the University of Vaasa, the aim of which is to make complexity thinking known. The first episode of the podcast was recorded in November 2016. Now the podcast has reached its third season. In the discussion series, actors in different fields discuss how complexity thinking works in practice, for example in management, supervisory work and organisational development. Most of the podcast episodes are in Finnish, but we have also published in English.

Listen to an episode in English: The organisation's actions in serious crisis situations

The podcast features Stig Johannessen, Professor, Nord University and Oslo Metropolitan University (Norway).

Publications

Arvostustalous

Arvostustalous

Society as an Interaction Space

Society as an Interaction Space

Johtaminen kompleksisessa maailmassa

Johtaminen kompleksisessa maailmassa

Research projects

Research group members

Petri Uusikylä
Petri Uusikylä
Research Manager

School of Management, Social and Health Management

  • firstname.lastname@univaasa.fi (normalise scandinavian characters)
Harri Jalonen
Harri Jalonen
Professor

School of Management, Social and Health Management

  • firstname.lastname@univaasa.fi
  • +358 29 449 8596
  • Fabriikki F320
Petri Virtanen
Petri Virtanen
Professor

School of Management, Social and Health Management

  • firstname.lastname@univaasa.fi
Pirkko Vartiainen
Pirkko Vartiainen
Professor

School of Management, Social and Health Management

  • firstname.lastname@univaasa.fi
  • +358 29 449 8349
  • Fabriikki F320
Harri Raisio
Harri Raisio
University Lecturer

School of Management, Social and Health Management

  • firstname.lastname@univaasa.fi
  • +358 29 449 8589
  • Fabriikki F324
Hanna-Kaisa Pernaa
Hanna-Kaisa Pernaa
Assistant Professor

School of Management, Social and Health Management

  • firstname.lastname@univaasa.fi
  • +358 29 449 8236
  • Fabriikki F321
Juha Lindell
Juha Lindell
University Lecturer

School of Management, Social and Health Management

  • firstname.lastname@univaasa.fi
  • +358 29 449 8380
  • Fabriikki F322
Niklas Lundström
Niklas Lundström
Assistant Professor

School of Management, Social and Health Management

  • firstname.lastname@univaasa.fi (normalise scandinavian characters)
  • +358 29 449 8381
  • Fabriikki F312
Jessica Nygård
Jessica Nygård
Doctoral Student

School of Management, Social and Health Management

  • firstname.lastname@univaasa.fi (normalise scandinavian characters)
  • Fabriikki F338

National Complexity Network

The complexity network consists of managers, researchers and developers interested in complexity thinking. It includes actors from the public, private and third sectors. The operation of the national network is self-organising and informal. No one actually leads the network, but anyone can join in and, for example, invite network members to visit their organisation to address a current complex issue. For more information on the operation of the complexity network and joining the network, please contact Hanna-Kaisa Pernaa.