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With its roots in physics, a new concept of chaos was introduced by Lorenz and other scientists during the last 60s - 70s.
The distinctive character of a dynamic chaotic systems is based on its extreme sensitivity. Systems are always mutable and never return to their previous status.
The concept of chaos is obviously partly old (remember, for instance, the Eraclito aphorism of the river of time).
The theory of chaos relies upon the holistic nature of non-linear dynamic.
In a system there is in fact a process of nesting a part in a successive whole that is also part of a more encompassing whole. This property makes it possible that a change in any part affects other parts and the whole, as well as vice versa. What is a minor change here can become a relevant modification there and on the whole (see the Lorenzís butterfly effect presented in 1972). In this process there is not a deterministic cause-effect direction but an intertwined dynamics of mutual influence: the cause becomes an effect while the effect becomes a cause. Within this dynamics it becomes useless and meaningless to identify both of them in a separate way.
Together with the theory of complexity, that of chaos has strongly influenced many disciplines. For instance, the notion of fractal geography, introduced by Mandelbrot, is now applied (along with holonic, hologram etc.) in the analysis of organisational systems, institutions, power, political and social organisms (e.g. subsidiarity, federalism, shamrock and virtual organisation, etc.) and has evident reflections in corporate culture.