New organisational strategies for complexity : a necessity for sustainable innovation? A case study of Kessels & Smith - The Learning Company

Van der Merwe, Andrea (2009-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2009.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Now more than ever, organisations need to be resilient and sustainable. The world of business has changed irrevocably since the industrial age and organisational strategies have not adapted much in response to this environmental change. Are there new organisational strategies suited to this changed environment, with characteristics contributing to sustainable futures? The purpose of the paper is to highlight those principles and characteristics that could be linked to the creation of sustainable and resilient organisations. A brief review of the literature available on emergent organisational strategies and complex systems provides context to the paper. A number of specific organisational strategies are identified, while characteristics pointing to the sustainability of theses strategies in a complex environment are investigated. With the literature study a starting point, the paper then offers a detailed case study of an organisation which consciously uses a number of principles to support sustainable innovation. The principles and practices used by Kessels & Smit – The Learning Company, emerge as patterns from the data analysis. With these findings and the literature study as a foundation, a number of principles are proposed as recommendations for designing organisational strategies aimed at sustainable futures within organisations.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Nou meer as ooit, is daar ‘n behoefte aan organisasies wat volhoubaar en soepel is. Sedert die industriele revolusie het die wereld van besigheid onherroeplik verander. Strategiee in organisasies het skaars tred gehou met die veranderinge in die omgewing. Is daar nuwe organisasie strategiee wat meer geskik is vir ‘n veranderde en komplekse omgewing, met karaktertrekke wat kan bydrae tot volhoubare toekoms vir organisasies? Die doel van hierdie verhandeling is om beginsels en karaktertrekke van organisatoriese strategiee, wat spesifiek in verband gebring kan word met die skepping van volhoubare organisasies, te identifiseer en ondersoek. 'n Kort oorsig van beskikbare literatuur aangaande komplekse sisteme en organisasie strategiee word gebruik om die vraag in konteks te plaas. Ondersoek word ingestel na 'n aantal spesifieke organisatoriese strategiee, met karaktertrekke wat aanduidings gee van volhoubaarheid in komplekse omgewings. Met die literatuurstudie as 'n begin punt, volg 'n in-diepte gevallestudie van 'n organisasie wat 'n aantal beginsels heel bewustelik gebruik om volhoubare verandering en innovasie te bevorder. Die beginsels en gebuike van Kessels & Smit - 'The Learning Company' word bespreek aan die hand van patrone in die data analise. Met hierdie bevindinge en die literatuur studie as 'n fondament, word 'n aantal beginsels vir die ontwerp van organisatoriese strategiee wat gemik is op volhoubare toekomste as aanbevelings voorgestel.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/17473
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