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Evolution And Revolution: A Quantum View Of Structural Change In Organizations


  • Danny Miller


There may be hidden costs in making prompt incremental and piecemeal changes to organizational structure to cope with a new strategy or environment. We shall argue that changeless stable intervals punctuated by infrequent but revolutionary periods of ‘quantum’or multifaceted structural change may sometimes be the most economical strategy. Incremental structural changes may create severe and costly disharmonies as they destroy an integral structural configuration. These costs might outweigh the benefits of adapting structure to changes in strategy and environment. Because such costs may be high it might be necessary to delay changing until they can be justified. Such delays can require subsequent revolutionary structural changes. The applicability of this view of change for different contexts will be discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Danny Miller, 1982. "Evolution And Revolution: A Quantum View Of Structural Change In Organizations," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(2), pages 131-151, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:19:y:1982:i:2:p:131-151
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6486.1982.tb00064.x

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    3. Orlikowski, Wanda J. (Wanda Janina), 1995. "Improvising organizational transformation over time : a situated change perspective," Working papers 3865-95., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    4. Lionel Touchais, 2006. "Le contrôle de gestion dans une dynamique de changement : Définition d'un cadre d'analyse," Post-Print halshs-00558383, HAL.
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    8. Goutam Sengupta, 2007. "Strategies for Transformation of Work Culture in West Bengal: A Study of Some Recently Acquired Industrial Units of West Bengal," Management and Labour Studies, XLRI Jamshedpur, School of Business Management & Human Resources, vol. 32(1), pages 22-52, February.
    9. Stéphane J. G. Girod & Richard Whittington, 2015. "Change Escalation Processes and Complex Adaptive Systems: From Incremental Reconfigurations to Discontinuous Restructuring," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 26(5), pages 1520-1535, October.
    10. Rant Melita Balas & Černe Simone Korenjak, 2017. "How to Successfully Internationalize SMEs from the CEE Region: The Role of Strategies of Differentiation and Education," Journal of Management and Business Administration. Central Europe, Sciendo, vol. 25(4), pages 2-27, December.
    11. Li, Sali & Tallman, Stephen B. & Ferreira, Manuel P., 2005. "Developing the eclectic paradigm as a model of global strategy: An application to the impact of the Sep. 11 terrorist attacks on MNE performance levels," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 479-496, December.
    12. Goll Irene & Rasheed Abdul A., 2011. "Environmental Jolts, Clocks, and Strategic Change in the U.S. Airline Industry: The Effects of Deregulation and the 9/11/2001 Terrorist Attacks," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 13(4), pages 1-37, December.
    13. John Hendry, 2003. "The Structure and Significance of Strategic Episodes: Social Systems Theory and the Routine Practices of Strategic Change," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 175-196, January.
    14. Yudhi Herliansyah, 2018. "Change of Management Accounting Practices," International Journal of Economics & Business Administration (IJEBA), International Journal of Economics & Business Administration (IJEBA), vol. 0(4), pages 3-13.
    15. Haridimos Tsoukas & Robert Chia, 2002. "On Organizational Becoming: Rethinking Organizational Change," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 13(5), pages 567-582, October.
    16. Christophe Herriau & Lionel Touchais, 2012. "Changement et système de contrôle : une perspective dynamique," Post-Print hal-03135230, HAL.
    17. Samina Karim & Aseem Kaul, 2015. "Structural Recombination and Innovation: Unlocking Intraorganizational Knowledge Synergy Through Structural Change," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 26(2), pages 439-455, April.
    18. W. Alan Randolph & Harry J. Sapienza & Mary Anne Watson, 1991. "Technology-Structure Fit and Performance in Small Businesses: An Examination of the Moderating Effects of Organizational States," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 16(1), pages 27-42, October.

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