Profound and secular transformation of business and society into the 21st-century society of complexity. What exactly this transformation entails is described in my 1990 book entitled “Krisengefahren in der Weltwirtschaft” (“Risks of Crises in the Global Economy”), and ever since then on a regular basis in my monthly management letters. I explicitly use the term in my 1997 book on corporate governance entitled “Wirksame Unternehmensaufsicht” (“Effective Corporate Governance”), where I dedicated a chapter to the dimensions of the ongoing metamorphosis of business and society, which was already recognizable, and on that basis presented suggestions for right and good governance.

The term “Great Transformation” was first used in 1944 by the Hungaro-Austrian economic sociologist Karl Polanyi, in a similar sense but referring to a completely different era and to different manifestations, in particular the spread of market economics and the nation state. Also, Peter F. Drucker used the term “transformation” in the headline of the introduction to his 1993 book “Post Capitalist Society,” where he sketches out, among other things, the great lines of development of capitalism to the knowledge society and from the nation state to the transnational mega-state.

By choosing this term, Malik integrating some of its previous meanings to describe the generalized concept of a fundamental transformation process for the 21st century. – a process characterized, among other things, by proliferating complexity, the emergency of globally interconnected systems and the dynamics of a self-accelerating change. As a result, we are facing historically new challenges. Mastering them will require radically innovative bionic forms of organization, cybernetic systems for management, governance and leadership, and social technologies of no less than revolutionary effectiveness.

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