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Organizational life cycle models: a design perspective

Luigi Mosca (), Martina Gianecchini () and Diego Campagnolo ()
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Luigi Mosca: Imperial College London
Diego Campagnolo: University of Padova and ICRIOS Bocconi University

Journal of Organization Design, 2021, vol. 10, issue 1, 3-18

Abstract: Abstract New competitive and environmental challenges have fostered renewed attention towards organizational design. This scenario calls for a significant return to organizational design studies that embrace a holistic approach, especially those focusing on the simultaneous interaction of multiple design elements. Organizational life cycle (OLC) models provide a fitting response to this call. In this paper, we review the organizational design characteristics of five seminal OLC models. We show that according to these OLC models, growth in size—which is described as unavoidable—generates business issues that firms are forced to solve by adopting only one possible organizational configuration, here following a deterministic organizational approach. We challenge this approach and propose conceiving of OLC as an evolutionary process, which calls for a variety of equifinal organizational solutions. We conclude by proposing future research avenues.

Keywords: Organizational life cycle; Organizational design; Vertical differentiation; Horizontal differentiation; Centralization (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1186/s41469-021-00090-7

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