Organizational Buffering: Managing Boundaries and Cores
Organization Studies, 26, 37-61
25 Pages Posted: 8 May 2016
Date Written: 2005
Organizations generally are more innovative, relevant, and responsive when they are exposed to market influences, yet they must regulate or limit the impact of outside influences to operate efficiently. This dynamic organization–environment tension has inspired the creation of several models of organizational buffering which delineate the systematic exposure and insulation of organizations from environmental uncertainty. We review three buffering paradigms — core, minimalist, and dispersed — and attempt to synthesize a model which weaves these perspectives together. The key to understanding functional and dysfunctional buffering lies with the organization’s requisite variety and continuous or discontinuous environmental change.
Keywords: Buffering, buffers, requisite variety, environmental uncertainty, organizational boundary
JEL Classification: D21, L14, L19, L22, L23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation