Living Organizations as Adapting Systems Analytical Essay by scribbler

Living Organizations as Adapting Systems
Looks at the way living organizations seek to adapt and survive in a changing environment.
# 152496 | 1,230 words | 14 sources | APA | 2013 | US
Published on Feb 24, 2013 in Sociology (Theory) , Business (Management)

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This paper states that an organization, like a living organism, has to survive its dynamic environment by a process of continuous change is a process that is adopted by learning constantly. The paper further explains that literature on this subject stresses that organizations can create a key source of competitive advantage, embrace innovation and improve their profitability by developing capabilities for knowledge management and becoming a learning organization. The paper features a military unit, an orchestra and a university to demonstrate this theory.

From the Paper:

"Next, an orchestra, according to Roelofs (N.D.) is an open system which is "any district entity that takes in resources from its environment, processes them in some way, and produces output." This makes an orchestra heavily dependent on its environment for survival. Thus, one of the most important system problems faced by an orchestra is how it can access the resources provided by its environment in an efficient, effective and non-destructive to the environment method. Moreover, it also has to take into account the effectiveness and efficiency with which it processes such resources. In other words, it must do so at the lowest cost and produce the highest output at the desired quality. Fortunately management techniques and tools such as the critical path method which the symphony orchestra can utilize in order to effectively and efficiently manage its resources.
"Both military unit and symphony orchestra depend on "their environment's human resources". More specifically, the orchestra "[depends] heavily on [its] environment's human resources to sustain a pool of donors and volunteers, replace departing musicians, recruit new board and staff members, and obtain the services of guest artists and conductors." The military unit, on the other hand, depends on its ground and other battle units to win the battle, literally. Moreover, both organizational entities have clearly defined boundaries. Like the symphony orchestra, the military unit usually assigns very distinct boundaries based on job functions."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Albert, M. 2006, 'Managing Change at HP Lab: Perspectives for Innovation, Knowledge Management and Becoming a Learning Organization', The Business Review, Cambridge, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 17-22.
  • Armstrong, A. & Foley, P. 2003, 'Foundations for a learning organization: organization learning mechanisms', The Learning Organization, vo. 10, no. 2, pp. 74-83.
  • Bierly, P. E., Kessler, E. H., & Christensen, E. H. 2000, 'Organization learning, knowledge, and wisdom', Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 13, no. 6, pp. 595-618.
  • Cohen, D. 1998, 'Toward a knowledge context: report on the first annual U. C. Berkeley forum on knowledge and the firm', California Management Review, vol. 40, no. 3, pp. 22-29.
  • Davis, S. & Botkin, J. 1994, 'The coming of the knowledge-based business', Harvard Business Review, September-October, pp. 165-170.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Living Organizations as Adapting Systems (2013, February 24) Retrieved August 08, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Living Organizations as Adapting Systems" 24 February 2013. Web. 08 August. 2022. <>