The Adaptive Organization and Fast-slow Systems

Torben Juul Andersen, Carina Antonia Hallin

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEncyclopedia chapterResearchpeer-review


    Contemporary organizations operate under turbulent business conditions and must adapt their strategies to ongoing changes. This article argues that sustainable organizational performance is achieved when top management directs and coordinates interactive processes anchored in emerging organizational opportunities and forward-looking analytics. The fast and emergent processes performed by local managers at the frontline observe and respond to environmental stimuli and the slow processes initiated by decision makers interpret events and reasons about updated strategic actions. Current experiential insights from the fast response processes can be aggregated systematically from frontline employees and fed into the slow process of reasoning. When the fast and slow processes interact they form a dynamic system that adapts organizational activities to the changing conditions which identifies the adaptive organization.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationOxford Research Encyclopedias : Business and Management
    EditorsRamon J. Aldag
    Number of pages28
    Place of PublicationNew York
    PublisherOxford University Press
    Publication date2016
    ISBN (Print)9780190224851
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • Adaptation
    • Collaborative learning
    • Dynamic systems
    • Fast and slow processes
    • Strategic response capabilities

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