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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the Department of Computer & Information Sciences involved in mathematically structured programming, similarity and metric search, computer security, software systems, combinatronics and digital health.

The Department also includes the iSchool Research Group, which performs leading research into socio-technical phenomena and topics such as information retrieval and information seeking behaviour.

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Organizational de-development

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

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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.