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Reducing Complexity by Creating Complexity: A Systems Theory Perspective on How Organizations Respond to Their Environments Reducing Complexity by Creating Complexity


Schneider, Anselm; Wickert, Christopher; Marti, Emilio (2017). Reducing Complexity by Creating Complexity: A Systems Theory Perspective on How Organizations Respond to Their Environments Reducing Complexity by Creating Complexity. Journal of Management Studies, 54(2):182-208.

Abstract

Organizations have to cope with the complexity of their environment in order to survive. A considerable body of research has shown that organizations may respond to environmental complexity by creating internal complexity – for example, by expanding internal structures and processes. However, researchers know less about how organizations create collaborative complexity collectively – for example, by establishing alliances or developing common standards. This paper uses social systems theory to explore how organizations collaborate in response to complexity and to analyse the conditions under which they create either internal or collaborative complexity (or both) to address environmental complexity. It also examines how these types of complexity feed back into environmental complexity. To illustrate our conceptual model, we use corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Abstract

Organizations have to cope with the complexity of their environment in order to survive. A considerable body of research has shown that organizations may respond to environmental complexity by creating internal complexity – for example, by expanding internal structures and processes. However, researchers know less about how organizations create collaborative complexity collectively – for example, by establishing alliances or developing common standards. This paper uses social systems theory to explore how organizations collaborate in response to complexity and to analyse the conditions under which they create either internal or collaborative complexity (or both) to address environmental complexity. It also examines how these types of complexity feed back into environmental complexity. To illustrate our conceptual model, we use corporate social responsibility (CSR).

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Business Administration
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Business and International Management
Social Sciences & Humanities > Strategy and Management
Social Sciences & Humanities > Management of Technology and Innovation
Language:English
Date:1 March 2017
Deposited On:23 Aug 2019 14:50
Last Modified:28 Jul 2020 14:12
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0022-2380
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/joms.12206
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:14153

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