Ecosystems Everywhere, Including Human Organizations

Jan. 30, 2018

empty road and forest

Five years ago, two faculty members whom I’d never met, the late Robert Lusch (professor of marketing) and Matthew Mars (assistant professor of agricultural leadership and innovation), were looking for some ecological insights and reached out to me.

They were intrigued by whether the businesses they were studying might be structured in ways that resembled biological systems.

I had never given much thought to how the approaches I’ve developed to explore cooperative networks between plants and insects might apply to humans.

This is the sort of intellectual leap that requires collaboration among researchers with strikingly different expertise— an interdisciplinary approach that the University of Arizona has long championed.

We chose to explore one particular big idea.

Businesses and organizations, including our own university, often portray themselves as “ecosystems.”

Read the full article from Arizona Daily Star. 

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