The Adaptability of Teams

Frances Jørgensen, Harry Boer

    Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review


    In this paper, data from a longitudinal case study in an organization attempting to adapt its internal work processes to changes in its external context are presented, analyzed and discussed. Specifically, functionally structured work teams in one department of a Danish production facility were restructured and redesigned to increase flexibility in order to better meet the demands of an increasingly turbulent external context. As the change processes occurring within this facility follow the basis prescriptions of contingency theory – i.e., that effective operational performance is dependent on the proper alignment between the structuring of the work processes and characteristics of the external context (Lawrence & Lorsch, 1967) – it provides a unique opportunity to explore the adaptation process in practice. The paper contributes to the development of contingency theory by lending support to the premise that “fit” between an organization’s external context and its internal structure may enhance performance, but also to the suggestion that the adaptation process may be asymmetric (Moon et al., 2004). Further, the paper contributes to practice by highlighting both the opportunities and risks that may accompany structural adaptation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication2nd Annual Workshop on Organizational Design Dynamics
    EditorsDorthe Håkonsson, Richard Burton, Lex Donaldson, Charles Snow
    Number of pages12
    PublisherUniversity of Southern Denmark
    Publication date2006
    Publication statusPublished - 2006
    EventAnnual Workshop on Organizational Design Dynamics - Odense, Denmark
    Duration: 7 May 20069 May 2006
    Conference number: 2


    ConferenceAnnual Workshop on Organizational Design Dynamics

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