Applying an aerodynamics inspired organizational dynamic fit model to disaster relief endeavors
Nissen, Mark E.
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Organizational design has long represented a challenging endeavor, but this challenge is exacerbated when attempting to design collectivities comprised of multiple organizations. Nonetheless, we can bring to bear the rich armamentarium of Contingency Theory to help guide our inter-organizational design endeavors. A fundamental problem, however, stems from the predominate research focus on static fit, a focus that is incommensurate with the fundamentally dynamic nature of organizations and their environments. Most key organizational environments are inherently dynamic, hence the corresponding organizational designs required for fit are necessarily dynamic too. This problem grows even more severe in the context of inter-organizational design, particularly where the participating organizations comprising a collectivity come and go over time. Addressing in part some longstanding calls in the literature for more dynamic conceptualization of fit, a novel approach utilizes the dynamical language and integrated system of concepts, definitions and interrelationships from the engineering field Aerodynamics. This approach is broadly applicable, and it can help to elucidate organizational design and engineering issues even in the very complex context of inter-organizational collectivities. In this article, we begin with a focused summary of such dynamic fit conceptualization, and we illustrate its use through empirical application to a very complex inter-organizational case involving thousands of participating organizations attempting to provide multinational disaster relief.
NPS Report NumberNPS-IS-11-001
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