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The Tangled Nature Model for Organizational Ecology

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Document pages: 31 pages

Abstract: The Tangled Nature Model, a biologically inspired model of evolutionary ecology, is described, simulated and analyzed to show its applicability in organization science and organizational ecology, both as a conceptual framework and as a tool for qualitative prediction about real organizations. We find that a symbiotic group of core organizations is generated, with the core disrupted at random by parasitic interactions causing sudden core rearrangements. This core is a spontaneously generated mesoscopic level of structure between the individual and whole system level. As a simple application of the model, we study the adaptation of organizations to changes in resource availability in terms of population size, population diversity, and ecological efficiency. We find evidence that a temporary reduction in resources forces a consolidation resulting in a sustained increase in overall efficiency, suggesting that such reductions can be applied strategically to drive incremental improvements.

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