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Organic describes forms, methods and patterns found in living systems such as the organisation of cells, to populations, communities, and ecosystems.

Typically organic models stress the interdependence of the component parts, as well as their differentiation. Other properties of organic models include:

  • the growth, life or development cycle
  • the ability to adapt, learn, and evolve
  • emergent behaviour or emergent properties
  • steady change or growth, as opposed to instant change
  • regulatory feedback
  • composed of heterogeneous (diverse) parts

Organic models are used especially in the design of artificial systems, and the description of social systems and constructs.


Organic psychiatry also known as biological psychiatry

In the social sciences, the organic model has been drawn upon for ideas such as organic solidarity, organic society and organic unity. Carl Ritter forwarded the idea of Lebensraum through the concept of an organic, growing state.

In economics and business, organic growth refers to market growth that has happened gradually, and not through a sudden buyout or acquisition. An organic organisation is one which is flexible and has a flat structure, or one of minimal height.

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