Organisational Memetics?: Organisational Learning as a Selection Process

PRICE, Ilfryn (1995). Organisational Memetics?: Organisational Learning as a Selection Process. Management Learning, 26 (3), 299-318.


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Companies are not only systems created and controlled by those who manage them but also self-organising entities that evolve through learning. Whereas an organism is a creation of natural replicators, genes, an organisation can be seen as a product of an alternative replicator, the meme or mental model, acting, like a gene, to preserve itself in an Evolutionary Stable System. The result is an organisation which self organises around a set of unspoken and unwritten rules and assumptions. Biological evolution is stimulated by environmental change and reproductive isolation; the process of punctuated equilibrium. Corporate innovation shows the same pattern. Innovations in products and processes occur in groups isolated from prevailing mental norms. Successful organic strains possess a genetic capability for adaptation. Organisations which wish to foster learning can develop an equivalent, mental capability. Unlike their biological counterparts they can exert conscious choice and puncture the memetic codes that seek to keep them stable; the mental models of individuals, and the strategies, paradigms and unwritten rules at the company level.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Business School Research Institute > Service Sector Management
Departments: Sheffield Business School > Department of Service Sector Management
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Ilfryn Price
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 09:51
Last Modified: 12 May 2018 23:29

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