Change Management MGMT625
Lesson # 14
APPLICATION OF EVOLUTIONARY THEORY
The theory has general application various functional areas of management like production, marketing,
finance and quality management etc. Here environment means market and one can observe the
application of mutation concept. For instance take the case of electronic industry or communication
technologies as there appears a huge variety of products in a quick succession of time, and the success
of any new technological product (variation) is a matter of sheer chance. Going by this theory it is the
environment which plays decisive role or influence in the selection of forms, processes and practices in
organization. It is the environment which selects and decides the validity of organization form, process
and practices to become effective and efficient.
Second evidence we found in the Quality Management Movement (QMM) which is well supported by
evolutionary theory. For e.g. Total Quality Management (TQM) means, continuous, marginal or
incremental changes on day-to-day bases in all functional areas like on customer-preferences, product-
attributes, organising in production as well. Winter, a scholar, whose work on this subject is quite
known, links QMM from evolutionary economic characterisation of a firm to evolutionary economic
theory. There are three aspects of organization changes:
1. Corporate knowledge resides in the organisational capabilities embedded in organisational
routines. These routines do not arise from isolated managerial decisions but from a process of
organisational learning. These routines have a large tacit component of learning.
2. There is no sharp distinction between the firm's technical and organisation component.
Systematic routines may result in creating opportunities for improvement.
3. The capabilities of a firm are not from universal technical hand book but are idiosyncratic
(individuality or personality) outcome of unique firm histories (evolving)
Quality Management focuses more on production process than outcomes. One major benefit of QM is
the forcing of the organisation to continue the evolution (change over time) of its successful routines
and avoid the danger of stagnation in a competitive world.
It is important to note that by default organisations are control-oriented and autocratic in nature
therefore evolutionary organization too is transformation of autocratic organization at one time-to-
participative one at another time. Therefore building evolutionary organisation (how to?) is recurring
theme these days as in evolutionary organization flow of authority is upward (and Weberian concept of
rational top down bureaucracy is no more valid in present times). So the evolutionary theorist, instead of
reliance on hierarchy, authority, span of control offers knowledge-oriented organisation and hence
focuses on discovery, application and dissemination of knowledge.
Another distinct perspective of evolutionary theorists is that they tend to incorporate principles of
management developed from personal experience and observation (values) and believes that resort to
traditional way of authority may be wrong and bad application of authority.
It also focuses on the organization processes as well which means continuous improvement in decision
making, communicating and controlling. One such common example can be cited is that of a zero defect
philosophy in context of production.
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