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TOWARD A NEW CONTINGENCY APPROACH: THE SEARCH FOR ORGANIZATIONAL GESTALTS

Danny Miller
Published 1981 · Economics

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Approaches that suffer from specification error and unwarranted generalizations are predominant among students of organizational adaptation and have resulted in fragmented and conflicting findings. The simplistic assumptions about organizations implicit in these approaches constrain the predictive power of findings and often prevent insights. It is argued that there exist complex Gestalts among environmental, organizational, and strategy-making variables, and that these Gestalts are relatively few and very different from one another both in terms of the scores of, and relationships among, variables. The Gestalts are expected to allow a richer, more complex, and multifaceted characterization of the process by which organizations adapt and change. They may also constitute enough structure in the data to yield more predictive findings. Some methodological approaches for identifying Gestalts are discussed [1].
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