An Organizational Learning Model of Convergence and Reorientation

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A critical challenge facing organizations is the dilemma of maintaining the capabilities of both efficiency and flexibility. Recent evolutionary perspectives have suggested that patterns of organizational stability and change can be characterized as punctuated equilibria (Tushman and Romanelli 1985). This paper argues that a learning model of organizational change can account for a pattern of punctuated equilibria and uses a learning framework to model the tension between organizational stability and change. A simulation methodology is used to create a population of organizations whose activities are governed by a process of experiential learning. A set of propositions is examined that predict how patterns of organizational change are affected by environmental conditions, levels of ambiguity, organizational size, search rules, and organizational performance. Implications of this learning model of convergence and reorientation for theory and research are discussed.

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