Surprise, surprise, surprise! A complexity science view of the unexpected

Reuben R. McDaniel, Michelle E. Jordan, Brigitte F. Fleeman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Surprise can emanate from two sources: lack of sufficient information or knowledge and the basic dynamics of complex adaptive systems. The authors expand the traditional view of surprise with a complexity perspective that makes it possible to ask new questions and to consider new ways of understanding the world around us. They discuss creativity and learning as two strategies for capitalizing on the surprises that confront organizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)266-278
Number of pages13
JournalHealth care management review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003


  • Complexity
  • Surprise
  • Uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Health Policy
  • Strategy and Management


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