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Title:An empirical test of the causes and consequences of organizational change
Author(s):Gautam, Kanak Singh
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Whetten, David Allred
Department / Program:Business Administration
Discipline:Business Administration
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Business Administration, General
Business Administration, Management
Abstract:This study is an inquiry into the nature of frequently-occurring changes in organizations viz. "continuous" changes. Organization theorists have little theoretical understanding of "continuous change" since they are overly concerned with large systemic changes. The present study redresses this imbalance. The example of continuous change used here is change in functional resource allocations (e.g. changes in advertising allocations, working capital allocations etc.).
The basic theoretical framework is the familiar adaptation/inertia argument, but is expanded to include both the cause and consequence of change. The expanded framework is based on two questions: (1) To what extent is change occasioned by performance decline as against internal and external constraints? (2) To what extent does change affect or fail to affect future performance? This leads to a four-fold typology of rational change, indeterminate change, entrepreneurial change and inertial change, which is empirically tested in a sample of declining organizations. Declining organizations are chosen since issues of inertia and adaptation can only be satisfactorily examined in conditions of financial downturn, not growth.
The results suggest that organizations are part-adaptive and part-inertial in making continuous changes. For instance, they are adaptive in relation to change in working capital, but inertia-ridden in changing fixed-capital allocations. A continuum of "entrenchment" is suggested, which differs for different types of change depending on their degree of resource-intensiveness, external sourcing and planning horizon. On the whole, organizations seem to make the easier changes more than the difficult changes. However, organizational leaders may have less discretion in dealing with "entrenchment" due to a variety of environmental factors.
Issue Date:1992
Rights Information:Copyright 1992 Gautam, Kanak Singh
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9305533
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9305533

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