ERIC Number: ED188329
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Footnotes to Organizational Change. Project Report No. 80-A6.
March, James G.
Recent studies of innovation and change in organizations have included case studies of change (and the problems associated with it), cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses of secondary data, and efforts toward developing an empirically based theory of organizational change. The present paper is in that tradition, but it is substantially more modest. It examines five footnotes to change in organizations: (1) Organizations are continually changing, routinely, easily, and responsively; but change within them cannot ordinarily be controlled arbitrarily. (2) Changes in organizations depend on a few stable processes. (3) Theories of change in organizations are primarily different ways of looking at theories of action in organizations, not distinct theories. (4) Although organizational response to environmental events is broadly adaptive and mostly routine, it occurs in a confusing world. (5) Adaptation to a changing environment involves an interplay of rationality and foolishness. The argument in these interpretations is that simple processes of adaptation produce a rich mosaic of behavior and are sometimes surprisingly sensitive to the details of the context in which they occur; but the processes themselves can be seen as quite stable and, possibly, comprehensible. (Author/IRT)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reference Materials - Bibliographies; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.; Spencer Foundation, Chicago, IL.
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Inst. for Research on Educational Finance and Governance.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (Denver, CO, January 1980). Not available in paper copy due to marginal legibility of original document.