Jan 12, 2018 in Management

About Organizational Adaptation

The current world is faced with many challenges and issues that require people to do things differently depending on the situation that arises. The business world is characteristic of these changes, which means that organizations must engage in strategies and plans to fit in the changing environments and way of operation. Thus, organizations have taken up organizational adaptation as a way of responding to the changes that happen in the business environment in order to achieve the success that these organizations seek to achieve (Lindkvist, 2008).

Lindkvist, L. (2008). Project organization: Exploring its adaptation properties. International

journal of project management, 26(1), 13-20.

Dutton, J. E., & Jackson, S. E. (1987). Categorizing strategic issues: Links to organizational

action. Academy of Management Review, 76-90.

Organizational adaptation is an aspect of project management where organizations engage in different strategies and actions to ensure that all their projects meet their desired goals and targets despite the fact of the presence of significant changes in the environment of operation. The adaptation process is as important as the adaptation itself, in organizational change. This is because, for any form of adaptation to be successful, the organization must make sure that the process of adaptation runs smoothly while taking into account all the required aspects and steps so that the adaptation employed in the organization serves the purpose it was intended for, exactly in the way it was planned (Koskinen, 2010).

Koskinen, K. U. (2010). Recursive view of the project-based companies' knowledge production.

Journal of Knowledge Management, 14(2), 258-268.

Lars Lindkvist states that organizations that invest in project organization do that because they want to become adaptable, flexible and customer oriented. Putting the recognized strengths of the market to be responsive to the changing environment has been an option for these firms. However, recognizing that the environment is constantly changing, it is important for organizations to change and continuously integrate, build and reconfigure competencies. This introduces the aspect of adapting the plan to fit in the situation that arises. As the author states that in his project of interest things were going according to plan but before the unit was reopened, a leak was noticed from the reactor containment. This meant that the plan had to be changed. Organizational adaptation involves making changes to planned activities even when a change occurs unexpectedly. Therefore, firms must always be ready to make the required changes in the original plan because changes do not normally occur as predicted. Some changes occur sudden and at crucial stages of projects that require immediate attention and action. Therefore, in project management, adapting to plan must be one of the aspects that a particular organization should pay attention to, as one of the most essential issues (Lindkvist, 2008).

Lampel, J., Scarbrough, H., & Macmillan, S. (2008). Managing through projects in knowledge-

based environments: Special issue introduction by the guest editors. Long Range Planning, 41(1), 7-16.

Turner, R., & Keegan, A. (2004). Managing technology: innovation, learning, and maturity. THE


The adaptation process takes into account the project and routine modes. Projects exist in many different forms and are intended for different purposes. When considering organizational adaptation, it is important that the characteristics of a project or types of projects be identified to be able to know the best way to implement adaptation and the best strategies to use.

Situated actions are important where considering organizational adaptation. In one case study, Jazz improvisation concepts were introduced in organizational theories to solve conflicts and challenges that grammatical limitation introduced. From this case study, one aspect of adaptation comes up. The author states that the definition of improvisation originates from the assumptions that human beings always design before implementing. This is indeed true because adaptation requires designing of the required strategies including ways of implementation before the actual implementation can be undertaken. This means that before adaptation can be conducted, organizations must first plan for the adaptation.

Anbari, F. T., Carayannis, E. G., & Voetsch, R. J. (2008). Post-project reviews as a key project

management competence. Technovation, 28(10), 633-643.

Strand, R. (1983). A systems paradigm of organizational adaptations to the social environment.

Academy of Management Review, 8(1), 90-96.

Armenakis, A. A., & Bedeian, A. G. (1999). Organizational change: A review of theory and

research in the 1990s. Journal of management, 25(3), 293-315.

Any form of organizational adaptation must take into account the aspects of targeting. Any form of adaptation that is introduced in an organization must focus on a specific goal. Adaptation cannot be introduced as an aspect of organizational change when it does not target anything in particular. Ensuring that all adaptation actions focus on a specific target helps an organization use its time and resources efficiently in helping the organization realize its goals or ensure that a project reaches its end-point and yields the intended outcome. Therefore, when making decisions on introducing organizational adaptation, firms must ensure that they tie their adaptation aspects to certain targets.

Carley, K. M. (1997). Organizational adaptation. Annals of Operations Research, 75, 25-47.

Mumford, M. D., Schultz, R. A., & Osburn, H. K. (2002). Planning in organizations:

Performance as a multi-level phenomenon. Research in Multi Level Issues, 1, 3-65.

In addition to the above, organizational adaptation requires monitoring. Organizations should not introduce organizational adaptation and let it take its course without monitoring. Planning must ensure that resources for monitoring are employed to ensure that the implementation of organizational adaptation runs smoothly and that all challenges that come up are addressed in due time. Monitoring ensures that organizational resources are not wasted when carrying out adaptation issues. It also ensures that adaptation is implemented according to plan and that changes can be made when it becomes necessary.

Organizational adaptation goes hand-in-hand with control and planning. Planning, in this respect, involves ascertaining all issues that are related to adaptation, such as resources, targets, duration and department among others and ensuring that all this issues and their importance are properly outlined. Control, on the other hand, is ensuring that all the actions and activities engaged in organizational adaptation are put into the intended purposes and that all issues go according to plan.

Carley, K. M., & Svoboda, D. M. (1996). Modeling organizational adaptation as a simulated

annealing process. Sociological Methods & Research, 25(1), 138-168.

Carley, K. M., & Svoboda, D. M. (1996). Modeling organizational adaptation as a simulated

annealing process. Sociological Methods & Research, 25(1), 138-168.

Organizational change especially in the application of organizational adaptation requires adequate attention, planning, controlling and monitoring. All these issues are important for organizational adaptation to occur successfully. Introducing organizational adaptation does not promise that a firm will perform excellently when unprecedented changes occur. However, the plans, controls and the activities that are put in place ensure that the adaptation process runs smoothly. Essentially the adaptation process is important and must be accorded all the necessary resources and support so that the whole process can be successful.

Dutton, J. E., & Dukerich, J. M. (1991). Keeping an eye on the mirror: Image and identity in

organizational adaptation. Academy of management journal, 517-554.

Hrebiniak, L. G., & Joyce, W. F. (1985). Organizational adaptation: Strategic choice and

environmental determinism. Administrative science quarterly, 336-349.

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