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Classical organization theory suggests that there is “the company” and that there is “change,” and these two are in some way in opposition.  Monolithic organizations have been set up with the view that the company acquires significance through its stability.  Emphasis has been put on the hierarchical structuring, and a tendency toward “power structuring” has enabled the company to acquire inertia, or resistance to change.  this inertia has a positive side in so far as it assists the company to face the forces of degeneration and deterioration.  On the other hand, the emphasis on the hierarchic structuring of the company has inhibited the generation of ideas.  It would be nearer the truth to say that an organization should be the orderly expression of change.

An organization changes along three “spatial” dimensions: lateral, horizontal , and vertical.  Its functions become increasingly more differentiated and complex (the lateral dimension).  New systems, procedures, and understandings bring about new integrations or new orientation, and there is a tendency toward different and new wholes to be created within a company (the horizontal dimension).  The organization also changes in another dimension.  As the company grows, higher level ideas are introduced, enabling it to encompass an increasing field of phenomena (the vertical dimension).

Change can occur at many different points within the system.  The emphasis on the vertical dimension or the hierarchic structure tends to resist the influence of many of these changes.  This results in the “cataclysmic” approach to reorganization according to which a company is organized at a given time and then, through a continuing failure to adapt, it reaches a crisis, at which point a new reorganization becomes necessary and the cycle is repeated.  By regarding a company as a system open to its environment, having many dimensions, each of which is inducing change, the cataclysmic approach can be replaced by a more dynamic approach based on growth.

February 20th, 2020 ~


As in most posts on, italicization of words refers to the words of either Jiddu Krishnamurti or Albert Low.  The website writer’s words are in regular text.

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