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The dynamics of organisational response: simulating cultural change


  • Colin E. Beech
  • Rachel A. Dowty
  • William A. Wallace


The goal of this research is to develop a computer simulation that determines the point at which an organisation's culture will change when responding to disaster situations. Different organisations' cultural biases shape how they resolve accumulated response tasks and deal with the disruptions of novel tasks. Called Organizational Response Culture in Disaster Simulation (ORCiDS), the simulation is applied to four organisations, each with a different cultural bias at the outset of the disaster, to Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana. The data demonstrates how cultural biases lead to different outcomes for organisations that face similar circumstances but have very different cultural lenses for interpreting those circumstances. The importance of this research is to model organisational stability and instability to better enable managers and administrators to circumvent pitfalls associated with poor organisational response. The ultimate goal of this ongoing research is to be able predict the point at which an organisation's culture will change in times of crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Colin E. Beech & Rachel A. Dowty & William A. Wallace, 2012. "The dynamics of organisational response: simulating cultural change," International Journal of Complexity in Leadership and Management, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 2(1/2), pages 74-103.
  • Handle: RePEc:ids:ijclma:v:2:y:2012:i:1/2:p:74-103

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. George A. Marcoulides & Ronald H. Heck, 1993. "Organizational Culture and Performance: Proposing and Testing a Model," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 4(2), pages 209-225, May.
    2. Zhiang (John) Lin & Xia Zhao & Kiran M. Ismail & Kathleen M. Carley, 2006. "Organizational Design and Restructuring in Response to Crises: Lessons from Computational Modeling and Real-World Cases," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 17(5), pages 598-618, October.
    3. Dowty, Rachel A. & Wallace, William A., 2010. "Implications of organizational culture for supply chain disruption and restoration," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(1), pages 57-65, July.
    4. Ann Majchrzak & Sirkka L. Jarvenpaa & Andrea B. Hollingshead, 2007. "Coordinating Expertise Among Emergent Groups Responding to Disasters," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 18(1), pages 147-161, February.
    5. Michael Prietula & Kathleen Carley & Les Gasser (ed.), 1998. "Simulating Organizations: Computational Models of Institutions and Groups," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026266108x, December.
    6. Susanne Rippl, 2002. "Cultural theory and risk perception: a proposal for a better measurement," Journal of Risk Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(2), pages 147-165, April.
    7. Ellis, Richard J. & Thompson, Fred, 1997. "Culture and the Environment in the Pacific Northwest," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 91(4), pages 885-897, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gerlach, Lisa & Bocklisch, Thilo & Verweij, Marco, 2023. "Selfish batteries vs. benevolent optimizers," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 177(C).

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