Organizational adaptation is an important aspect for organizations to achieve success even when the environmental conditions keep changing from time to time. However, organizational adaptation cannot be effective when individuals within an organization cannot adapt to the changes. This is because individuals are at the core of the organization and are those responsible for implementing organizational adaptation strategies. This means that individuals must adapt to organizational changes.
Organizational adaptation on individuals or on in the individual level refers to the ability of individuals to adjust to the environmental changes within the organization. Here, adaptation does not occur on the organizational level but on the level of individual employees within the organization. When compared, adaptation on the individual level reduces risk as opposed to adaptation on the organizational level. On the individual level, accountability is more precise because it is placed on individual persons. On the organizational level, accountability is minimal because adaptation is placed on the organization as a whole and there is no one that is specifically accountable for any risk. Secondly, on the individual level, responsibilities to effect adaptation are placed on individual persons meaning that adaptation is implemented effectively in all areas of the organization reducing risks. On the organizational level, responsibility is placed on the organization as an entity meaning that there are some areas that can be ignored increasing risks of failure. Adaptation on the individual level gives employees motivation because they consider themselves important parts of the whole organization and makes them highly contributive to change minimizing risks or negligence. On the other hand, adaptation on the organizational level increases negligence because individual employees feel they have little roles to play and leave certain responsibilities for others. This increases the risk of negligence, which can be detrimental to organizational existence and success in the face of environmental changes.
Lindkvist defines organizational adaptation as a feature of project management and is the ability of an organization to be flexible and accustom to changes in the environment. He also states that it is customer oriented.
Lindkvist, L. (2008). Project organization: Exploring its adaptation properties. International journal of project management. Lindkvist used his definition in the application of organizational adaptation as he discusses how project organization features can be made conducive to make organizational adaptation customer oriented. The authors define organizational adaptation as a way through which organizations adjust to changes within and out of the organization.
Dutton, J. E., & Jackson, S. E. (1987). Categorizing strategic issues: Links to organizational action. Academy of Management Review. The authors use this definition in discussing the issues of project management and give importance to categorizing strategic issues in order to make organizational adaptation successful.
The author defines organizational adaptation as a concept of organizational change that organizations implement to effect desired changes within the organization.
Strand, R. (1983). A systems paradigm of organizational adaptations to the social environment.Academy of Management Review. The authors use the definition but add the aspect of social environment to it. The author asserts that organizational organization must be applied to the social environment and not always the physical environment.
The authors define adaptation as an organizational change tool that is used strategically to effect change when it is due.
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Armenakis, A. A., & Bedeian, A. G. (1999). Organizational change: A review of theory and research in the 1990s. Journal of management. The authors use the definition, as it is to apply it to organizational set-up and tie it to theory and research as used in organizations.The authors define adaptation as an aspect that occurs in organizational scenario and define it as an aspect of organizational change that occurs both at the strategic and operational level. The author asserts that various organizational agents within the organization carry out organizational adaptation as they learn. The author points put that not all organizational adaptation strategies are successful.
Carley, K. M. (1997). Organizational adaptation. Annals of Operations Research. The author applies this definition to organizations as she states that organizations change over time and the change is attributed to strategic re-organization that includes issues like re-organization and re-engineering. The asserts that not all types of organizational adaptation leads to desirable results as other organizational adaptation strategies could lead to organizational failure. Therefore, the issue of organizational adaptation has brought about many questions with regard to its benefit to organizations when change is inevitable. The authors define adaptation as improvisation, which entails the adjustment to change by producing a new product that can ensure organizational successful performance even in environmental changes. Examples include behavioral improvisation, artifactual improvisation and interpretive improvisation.
Miner, A.S, Bassoff, P. & Moorman, C (2001). Organizational improvisation and learning: A Field study. Administrative Science Quarterly. The authors use the exact definition on organizational set-up and introduce another aspect of adaptation unlike other authors, which entails the production of a new product in the face of change. The authors do not just look at adaptation as a process of change but a change that must introduce a new product whether behavioral, artifactual or interpretive.
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