Contingency theory. SoS Liu Spring 2014 Per Åman. The price – performance trade-off. Fit and adaptation – structure and process. “It is not the strongest o f the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one that is most responsive to change” Charles Darwin.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one that is most responsive to change”
Two qualities: Structural fit – ability to adapt
Organizations are purposeful entities
Success is dependent upon
1. formulation of purpose (objective)
2. and delivery of the purpose (implementation)
Strategies are contingent/ dependent upon their context
Contingent upon what?
What determines strategy and structure?
Stable (little change) – unstable (dynamic, fast changing)
‘Turbulence levels’ (Ansoff 1967), Burns and Stalker (1961)
Moderately dynamic – highly dynamic (Eisenhart, 1995, 2000)
2. Technology - Diversity of task environments
Environment – Strategy - Structure
Analysis – Formulation - Implementation
Contingency – congruency – consistency (external and internal fit)
Efficiency and effectiveness
A teleological perspective
A machine metaphor
A utilitarian perspective – Darwin/2
A structural perspective – Darwin/2