Adaptive Organizational Resilience: An Evolutionary Perspective

Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 28, pp.33-40. (2017)

19 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2017

See all articles by Ian P. McCarthy

Ian P. McCarthy

Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Beedie School of Business

Mark Collard

Simon Fraser University (SFU)

Michael Johnson

Simon Fraser University (SFU), Beedie School of Business, Students

Date Written: September 5, 2017

Abstract

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

McCarthy, Ian P. and Collard, Mark and Johnson, Michael, Adaptive Organizational Resilience: An Evolutionary Perspective (September 5, 2017). Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 28, pp.33-40. (2017), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3032831

Ian P. McCarthy (Contact Author)

Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Beedie School of Business ( email )

8888 University Drive
Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6
Canada

Mark Collard

Simon Fraser University (SFU) ( email )

8888 University Drive
Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6
Canada

Michael Johnson

Simon Fraser University (SFU), Beedie School of Business, Students ( email )

Burnaby, British Columbia
Canada

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