Picture of a sphere with binary code

Making Strathclyde research discoverable to the world...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. It exposes Strathclyde's world leading Open Access research to many of the world's leading resource discovery tools, and from there onto the screens of researchers around the world.

Explore Strathclyde Open Access research content

Organizational de-development

Nutt, P.C. (2004) Organizational de-development. Journal of Management Studies, 41 (7). pp. 1083-1103. ISSN 0022-2380

Full text not available in this repository. (Request a copy from the Strathclyde author)

Abstract

Organizational decline prompts leaders to downsize, reducing the size of the workforce in an attempt to cut costs. This paper discusses some of the dangers of downsizing in which organizations experience an unanticipated and unwanted loss of core competencies. An alternative to downsizing is offered, showing how organizations can 'de-develop' by slowly and deliberately moving to a lower order of organized complexity, retaining essential core competencies and supporting functions. To produce a 'soft-landing' that preserves core competencies, a new identity is forged and connections to the new identity are uncovered. The connections point out what must be preserved, such as a crucial channel for key products, for the new identity to survive and flourish. The de-developed organization preserves customers, products, markets, channels, revenue sources, alliances, skilled people, ways to organize, and/or image crucial to the new strategic identity before letting go of the remaining customers, products, etc. The paper identifies conditions under which de-development can be desirable and suggests a 'devolutionary' process that points out some of the key moves needed to reduce organized complexity and realize a soft landing.