Discipline: Business Studies
Type of Paper: Discussion Essay
Academic Level: High school
Paper Format: APA
Each reply must be a paragraph long of at least 550 words or more not including references which should supported by citing at least 4 peer-reviewed journal articles between 2017-2021 for each reply and a biblical reference. Your reply must be in current APA format and must include a reference list. Make sure that you are adding new and relevant information with each reply. Reference sample make sure to include DOI-Drollinger, T., Comer, L. B., & Warrington, P. T. (2006). Development and validation of the active empathetic listening scale. Psychology & Marketing, 23(2), 161-180. https://doi.org/10.1002/mar.20105
Discussion to Reply to:
There are two predominant themes established when discussing ecological processes, these include “specialist” and “generalist” perspectives in terms of how organizations are created and how they survive. Seminal research in this field of study began with the examination of the natural order of things – inclusive of biology and social systems. Origins by which scholars delved into the environmental influences which governed organizational design.
Transitioning from a broader view of systems to a more distinct examination of the levels within organizations that come to exist. As scholars and industry experts deepened their research into the totality of organizations; the influence over people, processes, and systems, the environment, and the ecological framework became the next frontier of qualitative and quantitative study. In the spirit of the broadening perspectives, this discussion post will marry academic theories, commentaries, and subsequent scholarly research to articulate the overarching principles related to environmental processes within organizations.
Ecological Perspectives and Emerging Research
Literary commentary as provided by Scott and Davis in “Organizations and Organizing,” lays the foundation for comprehending early theories. Postulating specific positions with regard to social and cultural customs, technological advancements, cognitive models, strategic initiatives, and organizational design. Capitalizing on synergistic studies that supported one another and emerging theories in direct opposition. It is only to be expected that as the world economic landscape changes so to will the birth and survival of organizations of all sizes – transforming private and public entities who continue to mature in response to shifting ecological changes.
Ecological and environmental process perspectives referenced in accredited research have been influenced by more surgically targeted examinations within specific industry verticals. Citing emerging trends that are unique to both market conditions and industry. Citing nuances that are not widely adopted or encapsulated under a generalized umbrella theory. It is understood that people in the form of population density, the environment in ecological processes, and structure in relation to system perspectives all converge in determining a company’s organizational model. While some companies share similarities in terms of influence not two companies will completely adopt the same structure, even if operating with the same industry segment.
Biological perspectives and biological-based hypotheses contribute to the understanding of organizational ecosystems by investigating “human-centered” systems – exhibiting characteristics and properties of those most commonly seen in nature (Mars & Bronstein, 2017). If further make sense to develop a biological hypothesis since ecosystems (Ecology) refers to the study of relationships between organisms, nonbiological elements, and their interaction with the environment (Mars et al., 2017). The notion of an organization as a biological entity can unearth a variety of different perspectives to further define relationships within a specific ecosystem.
Mars and Bronstein offer five criterion that is characteristic of ecosystems, especially those in a natural biological environment which can be adapted to the study of organizational structures. They outline the following criterion: (Mars et al. 2017, p. 384).
Consists of a set of nodes by which multiple actors’ function and interact.
Nodes are linked by exchanges and natural flows of information.
Nodes are linked to one another through positive, neutral, or negative interactions.
Nodes grow and shrink over time.
Nodes emerge from bottom-up processes and survive in only somuchas they are networked together.
The research approach leverages centuries-long exploration into the natural biological order of ecosystems that can be applied to the study of organizational networks and interdependencies between different nodes within a given organizational system and structure that mimic that of a biological ecosystem.
Technology Transfer Ecosystem
In the modern era, there is little debate over the fact that technology has directly impacted organizations, their operating model, and their day-to-day activities. Anyone familiar with enterprise-wide IT services or digital ecosystem solutions will comprehend the impact of technology enabling tools and systems upon the organizational environment. More importantly how advances in technology can influence the performance of business units within a given company. Too much change to fast will alienate employees. Integration efforts can drive efficiencies that speak directly to organizational performance – how it achieves strategic business objectives and generate stakeholder value. Technology is not going away, so how does technology transfer inform an ecosystem?
“A particularly relevant theoretical perspective, namely the organizational design perspective, guides this synthesis and the core theoretical elements of organizational purpose, activities, structure, and people and organizational culture are used to structure the literature” (Good et al. 2019, p. 35). Good and his colleagues' research focused on academic institutions but has transferrable inferences to other companies and firms. Citing that organizational design cannot be fully understood without acknowledging the influence of technology on its ecosystem. Such influences can create new challenges that uniquely provide directional maturity to the organizational system perspective – rational, natural, and open systems.
The TT Ecosystem is seen to be inclusive of a “higher-level order” that is constructed of “lower-level components,” and it is these various levels that have the most significant influence over organizational structures (Good et al., 2019). If one applies the core concepts of the TT literature and research, the correlation with a biological examination can be revealed in how nodes communicate and resources flow between each other. Moreover, the research within this discipline of study points to the emergence of multiple new components, all of which have an impact on organizational environmental systems. With the implications of a TT ecosystem embedded within the larger organizational ecosystem being most concerned with alignment on purpose, activities, structure, and people – directionally guiding managerial practices (Good et al., 2019).
Systems Thinking Research
Systems thinking helps scholars, practitioners, and industry experts in organizational design theory to fully understand the complexities within social, economic, geopolitical, ecological (Holling, 2001), emphasizing the lens by which organizations are seen as intricate networks (Small, Owen, & Paavola, 2021). Since organizations are seen to be part of the environments in which they exist, there is a direct bearing on sustainability initiatives. Scholarly critiques originally started with Emery in the 1980s, initiated the concept of “open systems” – human organizations are open to the matter of energy exchanges with an external environment (Small et al., 2021), Subsequent research coined the concept of “Socio-ecological Systems” believed to link organizational systems with environmental systems.
Additional research within this field discusses the linkage between economic growth (economist statistical research) with that of socio-ecological systems. According to the article published in the Journal of Environmental Management, current economic growth trends have a negative impact on the environment. True systems thinking takes into account all aspects of sanctions within relationships both internally and externally to an organization. One such example is the shortage of raw material that could undermine economic growth.
COVID-19 global pandemic has brought to the forefront the crisis of supply and demand in a globalized supply chain. Dependencies on foreign markets for raw materials. However, the seminal research within systems thinking and ecological studies point to degradation within ecosystems heavily impacted by human activities – known as “human-dominated systems” seen as invasive (Farley & Voinov, 2016). The tie-in with TT Ecosystem literature is the validation of technological advancements in innovation as a mechanism for promoting ecosystem growth and resilience (Farley et al., 2016). Equally, Scott and Davis point to the connection between the survival of organizations based upon their relationship with the environment – company form and environmental characteristics (Scott et al., 2007).
In conclusion, there are dynamics that cannot be fully integrated into the systems thinking perspective. Primarily contradictions within ecological studies, ecologists reinforce social organizations’ ability to adapt to environmental changes. Asserting that there is consistency across diverse populations (Scott et al., 2007).
Biblical References and Perspectives
Another emerging area of research, academic and scholarly, that is emerging is within Organizational Wisdom. A scholarly domain that targets knowledge-based systems thinking around the synthesis of visioning, strategy, and practical implementation (Kessler, 2006). Accentuating an “enlighten approach” to organizational systems and structures in technology, ecology, social responsibility, and global integration (Kessler, 2006). With a wisdom-based approach, there are unique ways to tie in Christ-centered and Biblical references under the guise of Organizational Wisdom. Lastly, the inferences from studies in this domain directly impact organizational survival.
James 3:13 “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in humility that comes from wisdom” (ESV, 2022). Proverbs 2:6 “For the Lord gives you wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding” (ESV, 2022). Additional research identified a commentary by John W. Ritenbaugh, who stated that there is wisdom to be gleaned from the past ancients who had many experiences (bibletools.org); as applied to the focus of this discussion, managerial competencies, executive leadership strategy formation, and human capital as a driver within the ecological system can positively influence outcomes by embracing Christian perspectives. Deploying faith-based values and wisdom to influence organizational design, systems, and interdependencies within evolving ecological systems.
“We need God’s Word” to provide us with an essential and unwavering truth... not relying on our own efforts to be accepted by God (Merinda, 2015). Practical experience within organization strategy and organizational design change management, there is a holistic nature to accelerating change management initiatives. Guiding forces that strive to unify business units, break down silos, improve employee buy-in, set realistic targets and objectives, and leverage innovative technologies to strengthen organizational models. God’s message for Christians, as relative to building the Church, Church is not about the members but about God. Even in a commercial secular context, social responsibility and ecological systems can benefit from tenets of scriptural lessons and Godly wisdom.
To further substantiate the importance of Biblical principles and perspectives, Huizing provides a narrative using qualitative research, to emphasize a “bridge” between theology and leadership, “to impact leadership and fellowship” (Huizing, 2012). His research references multiple scriptures and passages in the Bible, one of particular interest is John 21 – a holistic approach for both management and followers within the context of agapao, love (Huizing, 2012). Another relevant linkage is 1 Peter who references “transformational organizational change” as it influences the development of transformational leadership (Huizing, 2012).
To this end, these perspectives are enlightening to the broader discussion and the academic principles unique to the theoretical concepts of Network and Environmental Systems. Many of the dynamics explored in the research within this domain can be traced back to a Christ-centered perspective and teaching. Suggesting that in a secular commercial world, organizations with leaders who possess a strong faith and conviction to God’s teachings can make an extraordinary impact upon organizational systems.
The purpose of this discussion post was to present, from scholarly research, additional insights on the topic of Network Organizations and Environmental processes. Given the breadth of the material specific to this subject, a narrower examination was presented. Incorporating various ecological studies and the impact upon organizational development and survival. Along with important concepts regarding organizational responsibilities to the environment and socio-ecological systems.