The Rise of Emergent Organizations
Beth Comstock

From a (social) complexity-based research perspective (in my case: sociocybernetics / sociological systems theory, and CAS), the use of the adjectives “adaptive” and “emergent” (at least as “social emergence”) doesn´t make much sense in this context.
Why? Each and every org, even the most traditional and the most bureaucratic one, “is” (or rather: can be interpreted / observed as) social emergent and adapted. Without those characteristics, (human) orgs as complex systems wouldn´t exist at all. 
Consequently, an “Emergent Era” doesn´t make sense either because “social emergence” and “social adaptation processes” have been characteristics of the social dimension and the social evolution right from the start. Otherwise, we´d have to deal with social orgs that would have developed apart from “social evolution” (in a scientific, i.e. non-teleological sense) altogether!
It seems a main prob of this article is the “spiritual” background (of Laloux / Wilber) that uses science-related concepts such as “complex adaptive systems”, “evolution”, “emergence”, etc. in a pseudo-scientific way. And this leads right to “conceptual chaos”: “evolutionary or emergent orgs”, evolution-as-teleology, yada yada yada.

In sum: 
It would be better to speak of “(hierarchically) flat” (instead of emergent) orgs being better adapted too VUCA environments while dropping the reference to “(social) complexity” research altogether. 
If the background approach is “spiritual” (teleology of mind states, bla bla), it should be declared as such. In other words (and this applies esp. to Laloux` book “Reinventing organizations”!): Resorting to “scientific concepts” (evolution, complexity, emergence etc.) and misusing them in a pseudo-scientific way is definitely “not” the way to go…

Like what you read? Give Peter Bormann a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.