In chaos theory a complexor is mathematically equivalent to a chaotic attractor. The word was coined by Marcial Losada (Losada & Heaphy, 2004), derived from the words "complex order".

A complexor is generated by a set of deterministic nonlinear equations that has at least one positive Lyapunov exponent. A complexor is not a disordered structure. On the contrary, its configuration reveals a complex order that is manifested by its fractal nature. The dynamics of a complexor in phase space reveal trajectories that never repeat themselves. Losada found that these trajectories reflect the creativity and innovation that characterize high performance teams (Losada & Heaphy, 2004). Low performance teams have trajectories in phase space that approach the limiting dynamics of point attractors.

In laymans terms, a complexor is an unusual equation in which the graph forms an ever changing but highly ordered structure, which repeats in a slightly different form over the range of the equation. It was discovered during analysis of highly creative groups, which, much like the equation itself, have a particular style of operation but continually renew and reinvent themselves (Losada, 1999).


  • Losada, M. and Heaphy, E. (2004). The role of positivity and connectivity in the performance of business teams: A nonlinear dynamics model. American Behavioral Scientist, 47 (6), pp. 740-765.[1]
  • Losada, M. (1999). The complex dynamics of high performance teams. Mathematical and Computer Modelling, 30 (9-10), 179-192.

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