Adaptive Organizational Resilience: An Evolutionary Perspective
Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 28, pp.33-40. (2017)
19 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2017
Date Written: September 5, 2017
In this paper, we introduce a novel way of understanding organizational resilience. We suggest that organizational resilience can be profitably viewed as an evolutionary process in which organizations adapt their configurations in response to changes in two external conditions — disturbance and munificence. Focusing on the contexts of manufacturing and operations management, we begin by explaining the concepts of organizational configuration and resilience. We then present a framework that views resilience-driven configuration change as an evolutionary process of variation, selection, and retention for a population of firms. The final component of this framework is the use of the cladistic method of classification to develop a hypothesis of the branching order of configuration change. We conclude the paper by presenting a typology that shows how different levels of munificence and disturbance combine to produce two types of adaptive resilience (cladogenetic and anagenetic) and one type of non-adaptive resilience (inertia). We also explain how phylograms can be used to indicate the amount of time separating different organizational configurations.
Keywords: manufacturing, operations management, configurations, evolution, cladistic, phylogenetic, automotive, disturbance, munificence
JEL Classification: M
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation