Organizations and Environments
When Organizations and Environments was originally issued in 1979, it increased interest in evolutionary explanations of organizational change. Since then, scholars and practitioners have widely cited the book for its innovative answer to this question: Under what conditions do organizations change?
Aldrich achieves theoretical integration across 13 chapters by using an evolutionary model that captures the essential features of relations between organizations and their environments. This model explains organizational change by focusing on the processes of variation, selection, retention, and struggle. The "environment," as conceived by Aldrich, does not refer simply to elements "out there"—beyond a set of focal organizations—but rather to concentrations of resources, power, political domination, and most concretely, other organizations.
Scholars using Aldrich's model have examined the societal context within which founders create organizations and whether those organizations survive or fail, rise to prominence, or sink into obscurity.
A preface to the reprinted edition frames the utility of this classic for tomorrow's researchers and businesspeople.
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Opening Up the Bureaucratic Model of Organizations
Sources of Change
THE POPULATION ECOLOGY MODEL
Variation Selection Retention
A Methodological Issue
The Environment as Resource Controller
Constraints on the Viability of New Forms
PERSISTENCE AND TRANSFORMATION OF ORGANIZATIONS
BOUNDARIES AND ORGANIZATIONAL RESPONSIVENESS
Member Autonomy and Organizational Responsiveness
Using Multiple Dimensions in Understanding Selection
Loose Coupling and Hierarchy
Error Chance and Creativity
Innovation and Variability
What Is Being Selected?
Environments as Information Flows
Limits to Strategic Choice
Environmental variability and Niche Generation
action sets adaptive administrators agencies Aldrich analysis argued authorities barriers to entry behavior boundary roles bureaucratic chapter characteristics clients communication competition complex concept conflict conglomerate mergers constraints corporate interlocks corporations decision differentiation diffusion of innovations directors economic effect elites environmental selection environments example exit external firms forces formalization ganizations goals groups Hirschman impact important increasing industry innovations interest interlocks internal interorganizational relations labor limited loose coupling major ment mergers natural selection model NCAA niche oligopoly organiza organization's organizational change organizational forms participants percent persons perspective Pfeffer political population ecology model position potential pressures problems product differentiation programs resource dependence retention sector selection criteria Selznick social societies sociology sources stability strategies Street law survival theorists tion tional transformation types uncertainty United units of selection variability variation voluntary associations YMCA