The Centrality of Organization Design
AbstractI am excited about this new journal focused on the subject of organization design. In my view, organization design is a central issue in the field of management. Designing an organization requires an understanding of strategy, as we pointed out some time ago (Miles & Snow, 1978). For example, if you want to be a prospector (a first-mover strategy), you have to design your firm to move quickly in new directions, which is likely to require that it be arranged so that various kinds of teams can interact across organizational units and levels. Designing an organization to follow a first-mover strategy also requires both an understanding of leadership and a commitment to the free flow of information throughout the organization. Leaders must understand how cross-functional teams pursue ideas and opportunities, and they must facilitate collaborative knowledge sharing to drive innovations that help the firm operate entrepreneurially. Because an organization is a complex, dynamic system, perhaps no other single topic is so deeply implanted at the core of management, organization theory, and organizational behavior as organization design. Moreover, organization design once was, and could be again, the topic of an ongoing dialogue between managers and academics focused on business organizations.
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