Effects of Contigency Variables

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Effects of Contigency Variables
DreamBell, Member
In what ways may the variables in the contingency approach affect management approaches in organisations?

Structural Contingency Theory and SARFIT
Ludmilla, Member
There is a process that has been articulated in the theoretical model of Structural Adaptation to Regain Fit (SARFIT) (Donaldson, 1987, 2001).
An organization in fit enjoys higher performance, which generates surplus resources and leads to expansion (Hamilton and Shergill, 1992), such as growth in size, geographic extension, innovation or diversification.
This increases the level of the contingency variables, such as size, leading to a misfit with the existing structure. The misfit lowers performance, eventually leading to a performance crisis and adaptive structural change into fit (Chandler, 1962).
This SARFIT theory subsumes several seminal works in structural contingency theory, such as Chandler (1962) on divisionalization changes in response to changing strategies and Burns and Stalker (1961) on changes from mechanistic to organic structures in response to technological and market change in the environment.

Configuration Theory and Cartesianism
Ludmilla, Member
A modern variation of contingency theory is configuration theory, which states that the fit between contingency and structural (and other organizational) variables is limited to just a few configurations or gestalts, that is, fits (Miller, 1986).
However, an alternative theoretical concept is Cartesianism (Donaldson, 2001), which holds that there are many fits, so that there is a continuous line of fits.
Each level of a contingency variable is fitted by a level of the structural variable.
Hence, for example, whereas configurationalism argues that there are few fits between size and formalization, such as simple structure and machine bureaucracy (Miller, 1986), Cartesians holds that there are many (Child, 1975). Because fits lie along a continuous line (Child, 1975), they provide stepping-stones for organizational growth.



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