The Organizational Life Cycle

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Robbins and Judge (2013) defined an organization as “a subconsciously coordinated social unit, composed of two or more people that functions on a relatively continuous basis to achieve a common goal or set of goals” (p. 39). Jones (2010) further add that an organization as a “response to and a means of satisfying some human need” (p.24).

In his book, Organizational Theory, Design and Change, Jones (2010) stated that every organization will go through predictable sequences of growth and change known as the organizational life cycle. It has four principal stages which are birth, growth, decline, and death. Every organization’s survival rate in the environment in which it is operating will depend on how it respond to problems it encounter. An
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Some of the organization may not even go through all stages of its cycle. For example, an organization formed that failed to attract customer will go straight from birth stage to its death. How an organization respond or reacted to problems or challenges it’s faced with will also determine how an organization will survive.

Organization needs to take precaution in managing both organizational growth and decline as both of them is equally important and are closely related to one another. Symptoms of decline often indicate that there are new path to be taken if the organization with to grow successfully once again. Many organizations, however, found that if it cannot adapt itself to the changing environment, it will be face an organizational death.

To respond to the changing environment, organization will need to change itself. A simple change in its operation, however, will not guarantee the success of an organization. If an organization truly wishes to change itself, it must start from the basic of changing the most fundamental element of an organization: the organizational culture (Cameron & Quinn,
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Two people coming from two different societies will have different culture. The reason for this is because culture is acquired throughout the person’s life experiences in the social environment in which one grew up. Culture is therefore, learned.

Anthropologically, Edward Tylor (1871, as cited by Tharp, 2009) define culture is a “complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, arts, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society” (p.1). Tharp (2009) further argues that “culture involves three basic human activities: what people think, what people do, and what people make” (p.1).

Schein (McGuire, 2003), using the iceberg metaphor, explain the tree levels of culture. At the top, or the tip of an iceberg, is the artifacts, which is the most visible, and therefore, observable element of a culture. Underneath the tip are the more invisible element of culture: espoused belief and values, embedded in the consciousness of the society, and the basic underlying assumptions, which are taken for granted value by the society. The figure below will give a visualization that can give an idea of how the different element of culture can be

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