International Scientific Journal of Methods and Models of Complexity


An Interdisciplinary Journal for Research of Complexity

A continuation of the Dutch Journal Tijdschrift voor Informatica en Modelbouw

Published on Internet by SISWO

ISSN- 0928-3137



   June 2002


 Special on Chaos Theory



The June 2002 issue of the ‘International Scientific Journal of Methods and Models of Complexity’ is a special issue on Chaos Theory, more specific Chaos Theory applied to the Social Sciences. Although introduced already in the early nineties in the Social Sciences (Dijkum, van & DeTombe, 1992), the ideas of Chaos Theory have been scarcely applied up to now. Right from the start the ideas of Chaos Theory were creatively applied to all kinds of situations. Some scientists applied thoroughly thought over concepts to real life problems, some scientist and practitioners applied it as free creative ideas, which might bring up new views towards real life problems. The way Chaos Theory is applied in the Social Sciences still shows that the ideas of Chaos Theory are not yet clearly crystallized in this field. Chaos Theory still functions in the Social Sciences as a container theory from which each scientist can use the ideas and concepts that suits her or him. This is shown by the fact that the different words point to the same concepts and the same words point to different concepts. Practitioners tend to popularize the ideas of the Chaos Theory in a way often not approved by theoretical scientist.

Interdisciplinary integration of ideas and theories has been shown to be a fruitful way of extending the knowledge of a discipline. Modeling Complexity, including the complexity of real life problems, is difficult and need all effort and help that science can offer. Not only by applying the disciplinary knowledge but also by applying interdisciplinary knowledge (DeTombe, Dorien J. & Cor van Dijkum, 1996; DeTombe, 2001).

The latter providing a good extension of now-a days scientific knowledge, however, only if applied in the right way.


Using the ideas of Chaos Theory applied to the Social Sciences in handling real life complex problems is a fruitful way in trying to extend the knowledge of the world. Using theoretical ideas from another field of science can be very fruitful and functions as an eye opener. It really can bring disciplinary knowledge a step further. However, this should be done carefully taken into consideration all the consequences of the use of the theory, avoiding misconceptions and confusion. In this way the application of the ideas of the Chaos Theory to the Social Sciences is still in its infancy.


In this special issue on Chaos Theory we publish three articles of scientists each with a different use of the ideas of Chaos Theory applied to real life problems.


Dr. Jorgen A. Jensen of the Danish University of Education, Denmark, and dr. Ole E. Rasmussen of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, described in their article ‘Types of problem solving activity in a complex environment: Steps towards modeling by a cuspcatastrophe’ a thorough scientific research in which they use concepts of Chaos Theory for training students in Denmark with a simulation model for entrepreneur tasks. The students learn these complex tasks in a dynamic task environment. Jensen & Rasmussen use the concept of catastrophe theory, which describes bifurcation systems not yet moved into chaos. The focus of the article is on testing the simulation model for training.


Dr. Tomas Backström of the National Institute for Working Life and Dr Peter Ladan of Ericsson Telecom AB, both of  Stockholm, Sweden extend in their theoretical article ‘Knowledge Matrix – a transformative organization’ the knowledge of applying the ideas of Chaos Theory to an other discipline in a scientific responsible way by discussing the question under which circumstances an organization can be an transformative organization. Based on the idea that complex adaptive systems prove that complex behavior is only possible at the edge of chaos, Backström & Ladan say that a organization can be a transformative organization when it is on the edge of chaos. However to be a fruitful transformation the organization must meet at least three conditions: first equilibrium between organization memory and the dynamical creative behavior of the members, second most members should go in the same direction and third managers should give room to these processes.

Backström & Ladan interviewed middle-managers of the organization studied in order to see whether this particular organization meet the conditions of a transformative organization. The organization studied not meet the conditions of a transformative organization.


Dr. Frans M. van Eijnaten  & drs. Maarten C. van Galen both of the Technical University of  Eindhoven, The Netherlands, have a creative view on Chaos Theory in their article: ‘The Dolphin Attractor. Dialogue for Emergent New order in a Dutch Manufacturing Firm’. They apply in an artistic way the ideas of Chaos Theory on management strategy. They describe in their article the results of workshops applying the ideas of Chaos Theory on the strategy of a Dutch manufacturing firm. In their article Eijnatten & Van Galen use metaphors of fishes. The strategy of the Carp: avoiding and compromising. The strategy of the Shark: win again any costs. The strategy of the Dolphin, win-win strategy. Eijnatten  & Van Galen argue in favor of a win-win strategy calling this the Dolphin approach.


The editors of the Journal ISJ M&MC thank the reviewers for their advice to improve the articles.



Dijkum, van, C. & D. J. de Tombe (red.) (1992) Gamma Chaos. Onzekerheid en orde in de menswetenschappen. Bloemendaal: Aramith uitgevers, 173 pp. ISBN 90-68341057

DeTombe, Dorien J. & Cor van Dijkum (Eds.) (1996) Analyzing Societal Problems. A Methodological Approach. Mering: Rainer Hampp Verlag, 300 pp. ISBN 3-87988-189-8

DeTombe, Dorien J. (Guest Editor) (2001) Feature Issue: Complex Societal Problems, European Journal of Operation Research; D.J. Slowinski, R. Teghem, J. Wallenius, J. (Eds). Vol. 128-2, January 16, 2001, Elsevier, North-Holland, Amsterdam, ISSN 0377-2217, pp.227-401


About the Journal ISJ M&MC


The ‘International Scientific Journal of Methods and Models of Complexity’ deals with the question how complex real life problems can be analyzed and handled with scientific methods and models. Because such problems most of the time cannot be handled by one discipline, the journal is interdisciplinary. Contributions may come from the social and natural sciences that practice interdisciplinary research of complex problems. In the past articles are published with topics as 'Policy making for complex problems', 'Participative Model building in Healthcare', 'Complex System Theory for Analysis of Locomotion', 'Non Linear Models for Economy', 'From Information to Communication', 'Logistic Modeling for Complex Situations', 'Computer Simulation of Chaos and Order', 'Evaluation of Future Predictions'.


The publication of the International Scientific Journal of Methods and Models of Complexity will be four times a year. Two referees will review the submitted articles, and on their advice the editors will decide about the publication. From time to time a special edition on a theme will be published.


This journal is supported by:


The Dutch research Group on Simulation*

The Dutch research group on Methodology for Complex Societal Problems*

The Dutch research group on Socio-Cybernetics*

The Dutch Institute for Social Science Research (SISWO)

The International Research Group of ‘'Methodology of Complex Societal Problems' of the 'European Federation of Operational Research Science'.


Chief Editors:   Dr. C van Dijkum, Department of Methodology and Statistics, Utrecht University, the Netherlands

Dr. D. J. DeTombe, Euro Chair Operational Research Group Complex Societal Problems, the Netherlands


Articles can be send by  E-mail (MS Word or pdf format) to:

Dr. C van Dijkum, Department of Methodology and Statistics, Heidelberglaan 2

PO Box 80.140, 3508 TC, Utrecht University,  The Netherlands, Europe


 or to

Dr. Dorien  DeTombe

Chair International Research Society on Methodology of Societal Complexity

P.O. Box. 3286, 1001 AB Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Europe

Tel: +31 20 6927526




*All groups of the ‘Dutch Association of Researchers of Methodology of the Social Sciences’ (NOSMO)






Ó Dorien J. DeTombe, All rights reserved, update Oktober 2005