Rethinking Organizational Design for Complex Endeavors
David S. Alberts
Journal Title:Journal of Organization Design
The future of Organizational Design (OD) will be shaped by the extent to which the field can address the fundamental organizational design challenges we face in this Age of Interactions (Alberts, 2011). Will we prefer to take the well-paved path directly ahead, perfecting the design processes currently employed to increase the probability that a particular organization is successful in a particular environment? Or will we blaze a new trail, re-conceptualizing the fundamental elements of organizational design in response to a world that is changing the nature of organizations and the capabilities they need to survive?
Reinventing OD partly involves going back to basics to reconsider what we mean by an "organization" and the defining characteristics of its operating environment, the measures of merit or fitness by which the quality of a given design is determined, and the meaning of design itself. While this may be a formidable challenge for the field of OD, only by venturing down this alternate path will we be able to create the agile complex enterprises needed to tackle the pressing security, societal, economic, and environmental challenges we face.