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Organizational responses to complexity: the effect on organizational performance

Donde P. Ashmos (The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas, USA)
Dennis Duchon (The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas, USA)
Reuben R. McDaniel Jr (The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, USA)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Article publication date: 1 December 2000

Abstract

This paper uses a complex adaptive systems view to examine two different organizational responses to turbulent, complex environments. We examined the internal make‐up of eight organizations that saw their environment the same way – as rapidly changing, complex and requiring aggressive change strategies. Half of these organizations chose a complexity absorption response to environmental turbulence, and half chose a complexity reduction response to environmental turbulence and complexity. The organizations pursuing a complexity absorption response outperformed those organizations with complexity reduction responses.

Keywords

Citation

Ashmos, D.P., Duchon, D. and McDaniel, R.R. (2000), "Organizational responses to complexity: the effect on organizational performance", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 13 No. 6, pp. 577-595. https://doi.org/10.1108/09534810010378597

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited