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In Search of Elegance: Making the Complex Simple

Clancy, Thomas R. MBA, PhD, RN

JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration: December 2009 - Volume 39 - Issue 12 - p 507-510
doi: 10.1097/NNA.0b013e3181c180af
Departments: Managing Organizational Complexity

As systems evolve over time, their natural tendency is to become increasingly more complex. Studies in the field of complex systems have generated new perspectives on management in social organizations such as hospitals. Much of this research appears as a natural extension of the cross-disciplinary field of systems theory. This article is the 11th in a series of articles applying complex systems science to the traditional management concepts of planning, organizing, directing, coordinating, and controlling. This article focuses on the idea of elegance and how it can be applied in solving complex problems.

Author Affiliation: Clinical Professor, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

Correspondence: School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, 5-140 Weaver-Densford Hall, 308 Harvard St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.