ABSTRACT 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.
Journal of Management Studies – Wiley
Published: Apr 1, 1982
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