Organisational Ossification and Management Theory

Modern organisations exist in an increasing system of flux, where informational and financial flows are eroding competitive advantages, companies transform and metastasise into governmental functionaries and new forms of financial[1], knowledge[2], technological[3] and cultural[4] systems are on the horizon. Organisational culture is moving from an “instrumental view” to a “sacred view”[5], and with this new forms and leadership/managerial mechanisms will come forth. The factors that primarily affect what leadership styles are chosen in organisations are the attempt to combat organisational ossification i.e. the attempt to prevent their organisation from becoming unable to adapt to changes in the systems they work within, maintaining the value and loyalty that their stakeholders put into it. By implementing an organisational culture and methods of motivation that create an administration that is adaptive and open to change, leadership styles are influenced and created that allow an organisation to be agile. By looking at the Situational Leadership Model I analyse the four quadrants that define it, I show how the contextual nature of managerial administration attempts to combat ossification and maintain stability and implant adaptivity.

Taking Peter Senge’s definition of what a good organisation consists of, he sees it as containing: systems thinking – recognising an organisation as an interdependent entity rather than a series of parts; personal mastery – motivational factors that encourage constant learning and the development of personal visions; mental models – the assumptions and images by which organisations and their members perceive the world; shared vision – the organisation’s perspective that shapes how its members function and attain individual and collective goals; team learning – the ability for dialogue/communication to create an environment where knowledge is shared and problems/bottlenecks are dealt with[6].

Each leadership style takes different aspects of these organisational characteristics, ultimately contributing toward the main purpose of any organisation: achieving value for its members and those who invest something within it. It is “the creation of conditions such that the members of the organization can achieve their own goals best by directing their efforts toward the success of the enterprise”[7]. These goals are the constraints or parameters by which organisational culture, shared visions and mental models are developed. They are developed for the purpose of meeting their proscribed values and their stakeholder’s interests. They “reflect virtually all the inducements and contributions important to various classes of participants”[8]. Leadership styles here develop from these constraints. Thus a directing style of leadership develops in organisational situations where goals are clear and direct, and where deadlines for projects and the bottom line are considerably important, while a supporting style is suited toward an organisation whose goals are more fluid and open to questioning by team members, where projects are ongoing and subject to adaptation and change. The aim in meeting these various classes of participants in either leadership style is to maximise value and minimise failure.

One can see that leadership styles are contextual as they are dependent upon organisational information and culture that create a “selection among alternative possibilities”[9]. However leadership styles also shape that information and/or culture. Leadership then is a bidirectional signal (or series of signals) that influence and is influenced by the surrounding organisation’s values, commitments and goals. “Different positions require different product configurations, different equipment, different employee behaviour, different skills, and different management systems. Many trade-offs reflect inflexibilities in machinery, people, or systems”[10]. It is in identifying the organisational purpose and what the team/individual needs are that distinct leadership styles emerge, being contingent upon what/whom they have at their disposal.

This is how organisational culture emerges, as a co-produced element of leadership styles and the tools available to organisations and managers. “The challenge of creating new forms of organization and management is very much a challenge of cultural change. It is a challenge of transforming the mind-sets, visions, paradigms, images, metaphors, beliefs, and shared meanings that sustain existing business realities and of creating a detailed language and code of behavior through which the desired new reality can be lived on a daily basis. Viewed in this way, the creation of a particular corporate culture is not just about inventing new slogans or acquiring a new leader. It is about inventing what amounts to a new way of life”[11], through which teams and managers can emerge that push this culture forward to meet challenges and adapt to situational changes. Organisational culture is the enactment of parameters through which communication, learning and management are structured. It is the ethos of what organisations will do to attain particular ends and maintain their support-base/stakeholder loyalty and/or competitive advantage.

One of the main contextual features of an organisation’s culture is its balance between explicit and tacit knowledge. Explicit knowledge is akin to a process factory that defines the organisation’s values and how they are to be achieved, such as a constitution or process manual. Tacit knowledge is like an adaptive nervous system interpreting different stimuli. Explicit knowledge guides tacit knowledge but tacit knowledge is what makes a system work. Tacit knowledge recognises the bottlenecks of a system and creates workable solutions through individual/team methods of practice in an organisation i.e. knowing who to contact when there is a problem, or how to make a particular process work efficiently in given constraints. Linking these methods of knowledge gathering and working with leadership styles, we can begin to pinpoint the contexts through which leadership emerges.

“Working from the premise that knowledge is inherently personal and will largely remain tacit, the tacit knowledge approach typically holds that the dissemination of knowledge in an organization can best be accomplished by the transfer of people as ‘knowledge carriers’ from one part of an organization to another. Further, this view believes that learning in an organization occurs when individuals come together under circumstances that encourage them to share their ideas and (hopefully) to develop new insights together that will lead to the creation of new knowledge”[12]. This describes the supportive method of leadership, where individual knowledge is articulated and integrated into the organisation’s methods of work. Supportive leadership is about coaxing information from individual team members so as to best exploit it for the organisation’s purposes. The delegating method is also applicable here, as the individual knowledge of each team member is integrated into a common plan. Team members are given significant autonomy, with their direction being guided by ambiguous or loosely defined parameters. Toyota do this when training new employees by delegating a set of 200-300 employees in a new factory to work for a period of time in an existing factory, thereby gaining the skills and knowledge necessary to understand their supply chain and production methods and thus supporting their ability to work as part of the organisation[13]. This is an organisational culture that encourages self-critique, autonomy and interdependence rather than managerial diktat, emphasising team learning that is defined by loose constraints to work within.

“Working from the premise that important forms of knowledge can be made explicit, the explicit knowledge approach also believes that formal organizational processes can be used to help individuals articulate the knowledge they have to create knowledge assets. The explicit knowledge approach also believes that explicit knowledge assets can then be disseminated within an organization through documents, drawings, standard operating procedures, manuals of best practice, and the like”[14]. Explicit knowledge is the quantification of knowledge that is fully within managerial and organisational control. In contrast to tacit knowledge, explicit knowledge documents, categorises and centralises knowledge so there are standard working practices that are learnt by team members across the organisation. As an example, “GE Fanuc Automation, one of the world’s leading industrial automation firms, develops design methodologies that are applied in the design of new kinds of components for their factory automation systems. In effect, instead of leaving it up to each engineer in the firm to devise a design solution for each new component needed, GE Fanuc’s engineers work together to create detailed design methodologies for each type of component the firm uses. These design methodologies are then encoded in software and computerized so that the design of new component variations can be automated”[15]. In this example GE Fanuc provide minimal autonomy, instead directing the design phase through a corps of engineers and then encoding it so as to minimise divergence from the initial design. Autonomy and creativity are minimised, with automated procedures and clear parameters being set in place.

Explicit knowledge is then more closely related to a directing method of leadership. This is the case with GE Fanuc who proscribe an automated process that limits autonomy in lieu of adaptive or creative work. However with GE Fanuc we also see an element of the coaching method as they provide the space (however limited) for their engineers to develop their design methodologies. Toyota in their production methods take a similar managerial position, fully proscribing a set of methods and rules through which workers are able to analyse their workspace and recognise failures, combining degrees of work-team autonomy with central managerial direction by setting the explicit rules and relying on the tacit knowledge of team-members to show where activities are inefficient and rules need modifying.

“In the 1990s, Motorola was the global leader in the market for pagers. To maintain this leadership position, Motorola introduced new generations of pager designs every 12-15 months. Each new pager generation was designed to offer more advanced features and options for customization than the preceding generation.3 In addition, a new factory with higher-speed, more flexible assembly lines was designed and built to produce each new generation of pager. To sustain this high rate of product and process development, Motorola formed teams of product and factory designers to design each new generation of pager and factory. At the beginning of their project, each new team of designers received a manual of design methods and techniques from the team that had developed the previous generation of pager and factory. The new team would then have three deliverables at the end of their project: (i) an improved and more configurable next-generation pager design, (ii) the design of a more efficient and flexible assembly line for the factory that would produce the new pager, and (iii) an improved design manual that incorporated the design knowledge provided to the team in the manual it received — plus the new and improved design methods that the team had developed to meet the product and production goals for its project. This manual would then be passed on to the next design team given the task of developing the next generation of pager and its factory. In this way, Motorola sought to make explicit and capture the knowledge developed by its engineers during each project and to systematically leverage that knowledge in launching the work of the next project team”[16]. In the case of Motorola, this directing method is more obvious as the central leadership of the company hold significant control of the design process as they build their processes linearly through various design teams that are given strict parameters around which they must meet specified goals.

Looking at these various examples that point toward different leadership methods on the situational leadership scale, the factors that influence leadership depend on the organisational culture leaders and managers find themselves within. The organisations I’ve mentioned exist in competitive environments where the bottom line is extremely important. The ability to gain an advantage in this environment is fundamental to maintaining their goals and meeting their stakeholder’s expectations. This then shapes the enveloping organisational culture, as each company attempts to gain an advantage through their values and goals. Leaders in these contexts develop leadership styles that both reflect and build upon this culture, attempting to develop explicit methods of knowledge in the case of coaching and directing styles or autonomous tacit methods of knowledge in the case of supporting and delegating. In every instance these leadership styles attempt to move beyond organisational ossification and mismanagement. “A company can outperform rivals only if it can establish a difference that it can preserve”[17].

The main variable at play within this organisational diversity is the desire or capability to combine tacit knowledge (that within and between members of an organisation) and explicit knowledge (that which is controlled by an organisation) so as to prevent that information and communication from either escaping the organisation or being mis- or disused, leading to dissatisfaction and a lack of motivation. Leadership is the methods through which these are combined and then effectively utilised.

The 4 leadership styles produce and are influenced by the overriding factors of motivation in an organisation’s wider culture. Looking at the delegating and directing styles in particular, we can see how they influence and affect individual and team behaviours. The directing style creates motivational factors that are strongly focused on central direction with an assumption of knowledge. In other words, looking at the Motorola example, each team member has the basic tools to do their job and their tasks are set centrally by management. Here motivation comes from having a strong organisational culture that emphasises the reasons for doing something and the rewards it will bring (job promotions, increasing profit and dividends, better reputation, etc.) at the expense of personal goals and autonomy. Shared vision as defined by Senge is key here, while independence and team learning/communication are underemphasised.

The delegating style prises personal mastery and team learning above that of centralised direction. Here greater autonomy is given to individuals and groups within an organisation with greater trust given to them. Compared to the explicit knowledge that helps define the directing style, delegation inclines toward a trust in the implicit knowledge of an organisation’s members, preferring widespread, decentralised communication between units rather than the top-down approach of directing.

“Thus, the idea of integrating the needs of individuals and organizations became a powerful force. Organizational psychologists like Chris Argyris, Frederick Herzberg, and Douglas McGregor began to show how bureaucratic structures, leadership styles, and work organization generally could be modified to create ‘enriched,’ motivating jobs that would encourage people to exercise their capacities for self-control and creativity. Under their influence, alternatives to bureaucratic organization began to emerge.

Particular attention was focused on the idea of making employees feel more useful and important by giving them meaningful jobs and by giving as much autonomy, responsibility, and recognition as possible as a means of getting them involved in their work. Job enrichment, combined with a more participative, democratic, and employee-centered style of leadership, arose as an alternative to the excessively narrow, authoritarian, and dehumanizing work orientation generated by scientific management and classical management theory.

Developed in countless ways, these ideas provided a powerful framework for the development of what is now known as human resource management. Employees were to be seen as valuable resources that could contribute in rich and varied ways to an organization’s activities if given an appropriate chance. Maslow’s theory suggested a whole repertoire of means through which employees could be motivated at all levels of the need hierarchy. Much of this theorizing has proved extremely attractive in management circles, for it offered the possibility of motivating employees through “higher level” needs in a way that could increase involvement and commitment without paying them anymore money”[18]. The delegating method therefore relies on implicit trust both vertically and horizontally, trusting that organisational communication can be autonomously configured and that when problems arise the spontaneous actions of teams working in an open system can recognise faults and initiate a corrective course, as is the case with JIT supply chains and lean manufacturing outfits.

Regarding motivational factors, the directing and delegating styles can be seen as falling between McGregor’s theories x and y respectively. Theory X sees work as a necessary evil and therefore to encourage people to work they should be “directed” or “coerced”. It assumes that security in one’s work is an overriding concern and that the economistic side of work (pay, benefits) are motivational drivers rather than more abstract concepts of autonomy and personal goals[19]. Theory Y prises autonomy, mastery and “the capacity to exercise a relatively high degree of imagination, ingenuity, and creativity in the solution of organizational problems”[20]. Delegating in this sense is more about providing loose parameters through which individuals and teams achieve organisational goals and learn from mistakes. It is the attempt to ingrain higher order effects of autonomy and status beyond the carrot-and-stick approach of job security and pay grades.

The directing and delegating styles are comparable to other leadership models in their strengths and weaknesses. Looking at the autocratic, democratic, laissez faire leadership matrix, we can see similarities[21]. The directing style is similar to an autocratic style of leadership, as it is reliant on supervision through orders and instructions with a minimisation of team autonomy. Here the individual element is emphasised as one member of a contiguous organisation when it comes to communication and training, rather than part of any number of semi-autonomous teams. The strengths here are supervised development that explicitly falls within the organisation’s remit and clear directions being given over what values and projects should be worked on and/or developed. However weaknesses emerge with the lack of autonomy given to both individuals and groups giving way to defiance, minimal trust, reliance on leaders over team members and an ossified culture that encourages conformity over questioning.

One of the main weaknesses in the directing style is the capacity to centralise decision-making, assuming that being in a superior position provides greater oversight over the organisation. In doing this, “he does not always realise that by concentrating the entire function of decision in himself, he is multiplying his work, and making the subordinate superfluous”[22]. This then effects motivation, as the subordinate’s role is reduced and becomes less meaningful in the wider organisation. In theory x motivation, this can make their role vulnerable to cutbacks. In theory y, it diminishes responsibility and autonomy, removing meaning from one’s work. Further, it creates a significant organisational weakness as one person with this level of responsibility is a bottleneck, as important decisions must go through them directly, and they hold a level of knowledge that if it were to go would make the organisation’s workings much more difficult. This level of centralisation creates a significant means through which organisational ossification and failure can creep in.

The delegating style mixes elements of the democratic with laissez faire leadership. There is an emphasis on self-sufficiency in a loose set of organisational constraints, a confidence in team members, freedom to choose and a large degree of freedom/autonomy. However it can also lead to a lack of clear responsibility, a fragmented organisational culture as independent groups compete amongst themselves to the detriment of wider goals, negative feedback loops as hands-off management fails to recognise problems arising and allows them to fester without intervention, and a lack of clarity regarding goals and projects.

There is also an effect on communication, as both styles present two different methods of communicating within their organisation. The directing style presents clear direction of what is wanted and how it is to be done via “charters, organization charts, policy and procedure manuals”, all of which inculcate explicit knowledge and maintain strong central control over the processes of work and decision-making. This emphasises manager-to-individual communication, removing teams from the equation. The delegating style emphasises more informal channels of communication between teams/groups and up the hierarchical chain. Here “contracts and other legal self-structuring mechanisms were not present or at least emphasized. In their place there is an extended process of mutual exploration based on reputation and early cooperation followed by trust building and expectation clarification that laid the groundwork for operational and strategic integration”[23]. These informal methods help create an institutional environment of autonomy, where affiliated elements in a system (both individuals and teams) are given equal weighting alongside managerial control when it comes to decision-making, organisational policy-setting and patterns of work.

On the flip side directing methods of communication limit the ability for problems to be identified or dealt with by individual team members (for fear of reprisals for criticising the leadership), and create situations where team members see everything through the prism of their role, “not the purpose of the greater enterprise in which they take part”[24]. Delegating methods of communication can create unclear goals and a lack of direction, with teams instead pursuing their own ideas and simply communicating back their successes rather than their failures (as managers have little oversight so rely on the team to report faithfully). Shared visions give way to competitive turf wars between groups fighting for status/recognition, and managers fail to codify the organisation’s goals/directions, relying far too often on the different teams for their work output. As much as delegating can create effective communication between team and manager, by allowing for both to communicate their goals and desires clearly and openly, it can also lead to endless talks and meetings that continually air problems but don’t provide the grounds for solutions.

In many ways, as I’ve explained with the context of leadership styles, the failures of both leadership methods can be solved by better understanding the situation manager’s and organisations find themselves within, expanding their operational scope and opening up their mental models. Directing can be solved (to some extent) by greater dialogue in a democratic forum or through a hands off approach from management that allows teams to discover their own strengths. Where delegating fails, a directing style means clear decisions can be made without the need for endless talks, and autonomy can either be redirected to appropriate areas or otherwise revoked until the bottom line of projects and basic goals are met.

As developed economies increasingly gear toward the predominance of service sectors and lean manufacturing, organisations will develop a variety of strategies to cope with organisational ossification and the increasing importance of human capital (skills, information, communication methods, cultural perceptions) within their operations. Tacit knowledge will become increasingly important as organisations/companies rely on their workforces and teams to meet goals and deliver strategies. The aim of leadership will be to define the strategies through which organisational knowledge can best be utilised, turning tacit knowledge into explicit so that it can be geared toward collective ambitions, preventing fragmentation as knowledge isn’t allowed to sequester away from the view of the leadership. “The leader must provide the discipline to decide which industry changes and customer needs the company will respond to, while avoiding organizational distractions and maintaining the company’s distinctiveness”[25].

In modern management and organisational culture “the perception and inclination of knowledge is gradually increasing. In this day and age, knowledge is viewed to be the most important organisational resource that carries unprecedented value”[26]. Through organisation’s attempt to make their knowledge explicit, processes and administration will be increasingly centralised into the hands of management, gearing them towards leadership that fit either delegating methods or an authoritative directing style. Looking at Toyota’s management system mentioned earlier, they have implemented a delegating method through having core competences created and distributed throughout their manufacturing and administrative systems that provide pathways for the way work should be done. Within these competencies, experimentation is allowed to happen as any deviation from these central processes suggests room for improvement and the need for a new direction to be implemented. “By making people capable of and responsible for doing and improving their own work, by standardizing connections between individual customers and suppliers, and by pushing the resolution of connection and flow problems to the lowest possible level, the rules create an organization with a nested modular structure”[27]. By contrast Motorola implemented a directing method to deal with their production, directly defining both the main rules of production and the specific way in which workers do their roles. This limits the flexibility that the Toyota system introduces as workers are given defined roles that limit their knowledge of the overall production pathways, restricting the extent to which problems can be quickly identified by individuals in the system but providing greater oversight and short-term efficiency as rules and roles are pre-defined, with plans being actionable without the need for strong team involvement or decentralised knowledge.

However as Porter has noted, this element of organisational flexibility only concerns operational effectiveness i.e. improving the way things are done. What isn’t addressed is the strategic side of an organisation’s values and competitive advantage, where organisation’s define the reasons why they do something and thus target their core base of stakeholders. With the developments in knowledge and information as central elements of organisation’s operations and strategies, centralisation presents both strengths and weaknesses that are exploitable and fragmentary respectively, leading to new competitive advantages or potential ossification and failure.

Oversight and Centralisation of Processes – SWOT Analysis
Strengths Weaknesses
·         Greater oversight work/administrative processes by management.

·         Greater understanding of roles and rules by management and staff.

·         Removing any obsolete or slow processes quickly without the need for significant communication between departments or with individual workers.

·         A greater sense of organisational culture/reasons for doing something as each team member understands both their role and the roles of their team-members by having similar processes to reference.

·         Removing control of processes away from team leaders, individual workers and other stakeholders.

·         Feeling of obsolescence amongst team members as their work is dictated/directed to them.

·         Individual purpose could be ignored or sidelined as one method of doing something is emphasised.

·         Tacit knowledge ignored meaning knowledge of problems by decentralised/autonomous teams isn’t able to be exploited as it isn’t under central managerial control.

Opportunities Threats
·         The ability to implement a central shared vision of what an organisation does, how it is done and what one’s role is.

·         Integrating and controlling processes into one core competency rather than having fragmented teams with their own working methods.

·         An organisational culture that emphasises team-work, shared understandings and modular processes can be built as in the Toyota production system.

·         The capability to maximise the voice of management in any communicational routes, limiting contradictory information by having one central organ that defines organisational rules.

·         Human capital flight as team members feel undervalued, leading to organisational exit where voice is minimised.

·         In minimising the voice of organisational members, problems that are dealt with or known about via tacit knowledge are structurally ignored as management only has oversight over explicit knowledge processes.

·         Having one bottleneck (manager or other senior leader) with strong knowledge of organisational processes without dissemination.

·         Inability to recognise specific failures in an “activity map”[28] due to the tacit nature of such knowledge, potentially leading to wider failure as problems fester.

In this SWOT analysis that looks at the various potentials of organisational centralisation of processes, leadership style here is fundamentally important to how such change would be implemented, and how it would fit into a wider strategy that provides methods for competitive advantage and the maintenance of stakeholder value. While centralisation at first evokes an autocratic method of leadership which requires quick decision-making and little consultation, it also requires a shared sense of strategic purpose that binds different teams and stakeholders into shared visions that can create mental models through which goals are achieved and advantages are developed/maintained. Therefore the supporting or delegating methods are also possible styles that allow for greater centralisation/oversight. This then is the crux of the matter: leadership style being contextual and situational as Blanchard and Hersey theorise, the evolution of culture and strategy exists along an axis or spectrum of centralising and decentralising tendencies (going back to Stichweh’s analysis of systemic thinking creating multiple possibilities) where the development of competitive advantage comes from the needs of stakeholders and the organisation’s core activity map and strategic fit. Strategic fit is the recognition and calculation of various trade-offs organisation’s make when defining their purpose and conceptualising their preferred stakeholder base, thus “fundamental not only to competitive advantage but also to the sustainability of that advantage”[29] in various systems (markets, civil society, regulatory governance, etc.).

The weakness then inherent in process centralisation, looking at the SWOT analysis, is the inability to truly understand tacit knowledge and the multitudinous conversational maps[30] within an organisation, creating conditions favourable instead to exit and flight. Team-members may not understand the importance of processual change, and could be resentful as they feel like they are being made to do work that they haven’t agreed to. This makes implementation difficult as explicit knowledge is being created to map organisational processes (process documents, manuals, handbooks) but at the ignorance of tacit knowledge which is difficult to fully grasp as it is something “amongst workers”[31], developed through processual implementation and dependent upon both managerial direction and autonomous learning rather than being dictated to them. Weaknesses can then develop such as a fragmented organisational culture as team-members are given the tools to do something without the reasoning behind it. This can then lead to reactive consequences that change leadership styles toward more autocratic methods so that implementation is done correctly. But as mentioned this would produce further negative incentives as it entrenches team demoralisation as they have little to no say and removes autonomy altogether. In this worst case scenario, leadership follows the immediate events and fails to see the big picture, leading to organisational ossification as changes become reactive and individuals become either cogs in a machine or otherwise fail to grasp the meaning of their organisational role.

While the previous scenario is a hypothetical worst case, it does point toward the problems inherent in centralisation (particularly of an autocratic or manager-centred variety): lack of communication, unclear or misunderstood parameters, and providing the means to do something without providing the meaning/importance behind it. This is not to say of course that the other leadership styles are inherently better or that a team-focused, decentralised structure is better able to combat organisational ossification. Rather it is to recognise that leadership and strategic effectiveness (the ability of an organisation to identify it’s niche and maximise value therein) are contextual and constantly need to adapt and evolve through change. As human capital becomes a definitional element of service-sector dominated economies, organisations geared toward scientific management or incentive structures based around theory X methods of motivation will find themselves outcompeted and made vulnerable to high levels of stakeholder exit and calcification in their systemic function. The importance therefore of managerial leadership is in identifying the best possible place to begin strategy along the centralising-decentralising axis, and maintain it through adaptation and the maintenance of their best fit, creating activity maps that recognise and combine both tacit and explicit knowledge (the ability to combine the knowledge and oversight of managerial experience, the big picture perspective, with the intricacies and local knowledge of team-members) rather than favouring either a laissez-faire culture of pure team autonomy (that can create fragmentation and communicational deadlock) or an autocratic culture of centralised direction and rote learning (that can create a lack of cohesion and various knowledge-based bottlenecks where nothing gets done/improved without explicit approval).

Such a combination limits the fragility of changes in processes by providing a fully rounded mental model of what the purpose of each process is, and how it can be improved on a team-by-team basis. Without such combinations, organisations can quickly fall into the trap of ossifying, failing to identify where their bottlenecks are and when changes are needed to their internal processes or to their wider strategic purpose. As Porter noted in the 90s, many companies quickly lost sight of their organisational purpose due to a culture of mergers, acquisitions and growth through mass-marketing and financialisation, leading to them competing over minimal details and increasingly broad, undefined stakeholder bases where innovation was minimal.

Here systemic colonisation occurred, creating oligopolistic markets with little ability for voice to gain traction in bloated organisations with minimal understanding of their core purpose/competencies. These hierarchical organisations are unable to see either possibilities for change or the failures within their processes, leading to smaller, leaner competitors potentially eating away at their initial systemic advantage. With human capital flight and the ability to exit increasingly prevalent due to globalisation and the importance centred upon knowledge and information flows, this leanness and ability to exploit tacit and explicit knowledge creates systemic positions that are increasingly fragile and limited, leading to greater acceleration of flows and the need to constantly adapt to structural changes and new paradigms (of technology, desire, customer needs, stakeholders claims, etc.). In these scenarios which increasingly define our accelerated, a-centralised world, the possibilities for organisational ossification are only increased, meaning the need for adaptive management and leadership that is focused on more than just the bottom line or on broad, badly-defined policies is increased also. Strategic purpose, contextual leadership and the importance of information flows will define organisational structure.





[5] Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline

[6] Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline

[7] Douglas McGregor, The Human Side of Enterprise

[8] Herbert Simon, Administrative Behavior

[9] Rudolf Stichweh, Systems Theory

[10] Michael E. Porter, What is Strategy?

[11] Gareth Morgan, Images of Organization

[12] Ron Sanchez, “Tacit Knowledge” versus “Explicit Knowledge” Approaches to Knowledge Management Practice

[13] Ron Sanchez, “Tacit Knowledge” versus “Explicit Knowledge” Approaches to Knowledge Management Practice

[14] Ron Sanchez, “Tacit Knowledge” versus “Explicit Knowledge” Approaches to Knowledge Management Practice

[15] Ron Sanchez, “Tacit Knowledge” versus “Explicit Knowledge” Approaches to Knowledge Management Practice

[16] Ron Sanchez, “Tacit Knowledge” versus “Explicit Knowledge” Approaches to Knowledge Management Practice

[17] Michael E. Porter, What is Strategy?

[18] Gareth Morgan, Images of Organization

[19] Douglas McGregor, The Human Side of Enterprise

[20] Douglas McGregor, The Human Side of Enterprise

[21] Muhammad Saqib Khan, The Styles of Leadership: A Critical Review

[22] Herbert Simon, Administrative Behavior

[23] Robert D. McPhee & Pamela Zaug, The Communicative Constitution of Organizations

[24] Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline

[25] Michael E. Porter, What is Strategy?

[26] Tan Nya Ling & Lim Yuh Shan, Knowledge Management Adoption among Malaysia’s SMEs: Critical Factors

[27] Steven Spear & H. Kent Bowen, Decoding the DNA of the Toyota Production System

[28] Michael E. Porter, What is Strategy?

[29] Michael E. Porter, What is Strategy?


[31] Tan Nya Ling & Lim Yuh Shan, Knowledge Management Adoption among Malaysia’s SMEs: Critical Factors

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