Organizational Evolution in a 'Boundaryless' Organization

by Sam Falk as a project for his Mater of Science in Management of Technology - May 2001

Abstract

Organizational Evolution applies the metaphor of biologic evolution to learning processes in organizations. An organization’s policies, the rules people follow during their daily activities, are its genes, and evolutionists study how policies change as people in an organization make decisions and learn from each other.

‘Boundarylessness’ was developed at General Electric in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and it is one of the cultural elements General Electric credits for its phenomenal success over the last fifteen years. Proponents of
boundarylessness believe traditional boundaries between layers of management (vertical boundaries) and divisions between functional areas (horizontal boundaries) have stifled the flow of information and ideas among employees. A boundaryless culture seeks to overcome the limitations imposed by these and other internal corporate divisions. 

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