Organizations and Environments

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Stanford University Press, 2008 - Business & Economics - 384 pages
2 Reviews
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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Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
Opening Up the Bureaucratic Model of Organizations
13
Sources of Change
18
THE POPULATION ECOLOGY MODEL
26
Variation Selection Retention
33
A Methodological Issue
51
Methodological Implications
58
The Environment as Resource Controller
61
Constraints on the Viability of New Forms
183
PERSISTENCE AND TRANSFORMATION OF ORGANIZATIONS
189
Individual Organizations
197
Single Organizations
203
Summary
218
BOUNDARIES AND ORGANIZATIONAL RESPONSIVENESS
219
Member Autonomy and Organizational Responsiveness
232
Summary
242

Using Multiple Dimensions in Understanding Selection
70
Loose Coupling and Hierarchy
76
Error Chance and Creativity
86
Innovation and Variability
97
Summary
105
What Is Being Selected?
108
Environments as Information Flows
122
An Example
132
Limits to Strategic Choice
149
Summary
159
Environmental variability and Niche Generation
172
Summary
263
Dimensions of Interorganizational Relations
273
Interorganizational Relations at the Population Level
279
Summary
290
Action Set Formation
316
ORGANIZATIONAL NETWORKS AND ECONOMIC POWER
323
Networks and Economic Power
340
Summary
349
Index
377
Copyright

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References to this book

Images of Organization
Gareth Morgan
No preview available - 2006
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About the author (2008)

Howard E. Aldrich is Professor of Sociology and Adjunct Professor of Management in the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

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