Book Review: How Nature Works

per-bak-how-nature-worksHow Nature works is a fascinating book. I first heard of the late Per Bak and his sandpile theories when I some time back read an article by Koubatis and Schönberger (1995) on Risk management of complex critical systems. At that time I had just discovered the International Journal of Critical Infrastructure, and I was perusing their archives for articles I could use in my research on transportation vulnerability. Koubatis and Schönberger actually consider Per Bak’s “sandpile” model to be as relevant to business and society as Adam Smith’s legendary “invisible hand”. When I read that I was simply compelled to investigate more.

Self-organized systems

I looked up Per Bak on Wikipedia and was intrigued by his theories, but I put it aside as not particularly relevant to me at that time. Currently I am writing a book chapter on risks in Virtual Enterprise Networks (VENs), as described by Ken Thompson in The Networked Enterprise and it was as a background for VENs that Per Bak’s sandpile model came into my mind again. A VEN is a collection of loosely coupled businesses, self-organized and more efficient than traditional businesses, and it’s the self-organizing concept that I needed to understand more about. How nature works provided me with that understanding. Chapter 11 on economics was particularly helpful here. Actually, every economist should read that chapter. It has certainly widened my horizon.

Amazon.com

amazon.com: How Nature Works

Reference

Koubatis, A., & Schönberger, J. Y. (2005). Risk management of complex critical systems. International Journal of Critical Infrastructures, 1(2/3), 195-215.

Jan Husdal is an engineer turned researcher turned engineer again and he is now a Resilience Adviser with the Southern Region office of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (Statens vegvesen Region sør) in Arendal, Norway,

Posted in BOOKS and BOOK CHAPTERS
Tags: , , , , ,
ARTICLES and PAPERS
Catastrophic events in supply chains
catastrophic
After studying supply chain risk research for some time I have begun to realize that  much of the su[...]
Corporate Social Responsibility
corporate-social-responsibility
How far does corporate social responsibility go? While corporate social responsibility looks good on[...]
Risk Analysis of Critical Infrastructures
critical-infrastructure
The vulnerability of critical infrastructures is a recurring theme on this blog, and today's article[...]
BOOKS and BOOK CHAPTERS
Book Review: Supply Chain Risk
brindley-supply-chain-risk
This book, Supply Chain Risk, is from 2004 and edited by Clare Brindley of the Manchester Metropolit[...]
Is Dynamic Supply Chain Alignment the way of the future?
john-gattorna-supply-chain
Dynamic Supply Chain Alignment. That is the magic formula that runs like a red thread through John G[...]
Book Review: HBR on Crisis Management
hbr-crisis-management
Close calls and near misses are not unusual in the business world, but how do companies deal with th[...]
REPORTS and WHITEPAPERS
Future Value Chain Trends 2020
future-value-chains
The twelve future trends that will shape value chains and supply chain management during this decade[...]
Highway Vulnerability and Criticality Assessment
vulnerability-criticality
Transportation vulnerability and resilience have been the focus of this blog for the past two days, [...]
Will Climate Change have an impact on transportation?
climate-change-transportation
Many studies have already examined the potential impacts of climate change on broad sectors of the e[...]