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Greiner

In: Business and Management

Submitted By yanyuxin
Words 4578
Pages 19
Mainiero, L. and Tromley, C. Developing Managerial Skills in Organizational Behavior: Exercises, Cases, and Readings (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall) (2d ed. 1994), pp. 322-329.

Evolution and Revolution as Organizations Grow
Larry E. Greiner A small research company chooses too complicated and formalized an organization structure for its young age and limited size. It flounders in rigidity and bureaucracy for several years and is finally acquired by a larger company. Key executives of a retail store chain hold on to an organization structure long after it has served its purpose, because their power is derived from this structure. The company eventually goes into bankruptcy. A large bank disciplines a "rebellious" manager who is blamed for current control problems, when the underlying cause is centralized procedures that are holding back expansion into new markets. Many younger managers subsequently leave the bank, competition moves in, and profits are still declining. The problems of these companies, like those of many others, are rooted more in past decisions than in present events or outside market dynamics. Historical forces do indeed shape the future growth of organizations. Yet management, in its haste to grow, often overlooks such critical developmental questions as: Where has our organization been? Where is it now? And what do the answers to these questions mean for where we are going? Instead, its gaze is fixed outward toward the environment and the future--as if more precise market projections will provide a new organizational identity. 1

Companies fail to see that many clues to their future success lie within their own organizations and their evolving states of development. Moreover, the inability of management to understand its organization development problems can result in a company becoming "frozen" in its present stage of evolution or,...

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