Evolution and Revolution as Organizations Grow

  • Larry E. Greiner


A small research company chooses too complicated and formalized an organization structure for its young age and limited size. It flounders in rigidity and bureaucracy for several years and is finally acquired by a larger company.


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  1. 1.
    See, for example, William H. Starbuck, ‘Organizational Metamorphosis’, in Promising Research Directions, edited by R. W. Millman and M. P. Hottenstein (Tempe, Arizona, Academy of Management, 1968) p. 113.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    I have drawn on many sources for evidence: (a) numerous cases collected at the Harvard Business School; (b) Organization Growth and Development, edited by William H. Starbuck (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1971),Google Scholar
  3. where several studies are cited, and (c) articles published in journals, such as Lawrence E. Fouraker and John M. Stopford, ‘Organization Structure and the Multinational Strategy’, Administrative Science Quarterly, vol. 13, no. 1, 1968, p. 47;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. and Malcolm S. Salter, ‘Management Appraisal and Reward Systems’, Journal of Business Policy, vol. 1, no. 4, 1971.Google Scholar

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© Macmillan Publishers Limited 1989

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  • Larry E. Greiner

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