DOI: 10.5176/2251-1970_BizStrategy17.07

Authors:  Henrik B.

Abstract: Traditional organizational theory tends to point out that organizational development follows a certain pattern where the structure of the company is said to become ever more bureaucratic. However, in a world where all companies and industries are faced with disruption, bureaucratic organizations neglect to support a disruptive strategy. By demonstrating the existence of another development path, this paper attempts, from a theoretical point of view, to give a new and a more nuanced perspective on organizational development in a disruptive world. This new path is supportive in a disruptive world. The aim of the paper is to answer the following research question: How can companies manage processes of organizational development and structures to avoid the bureaucracy and potential crises of the traditional approach in a disruptive world? This research question is important because organizations must be more flexible and adaptive and must improve their communication with the community and the crowd of the company, as this is a prerequisite for a company in a disruptive world. When companies use the traditional development path only, their main focus is on exploiting existing possibilities and not on exploring new ones. The primary contribution of this paper is an alternative view outlining how companies can develop internally and change without expanding their bureaucratic structure. This view will allow companies to remain organic and retain their competitive edge in the disruptive world. This article also proposes how a company can switch from a traditional to an alternative way of developing its organization. In doing so, the article outlines potential problems in connection with this transition. Hence, companies are here presented with a novel competitive strategy which comprises internal demands for bureaucracy, but which at the same time, via its organic organizational structure, includes the external demands of today’s knowledge society, i.e. exploring new opportunities. The answer to this research question will primarily be sought in the theories of organizational evolution and revolution in theories on organizational development [1], [2] and [3].



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