Management Theory and Occam's Razor: How Public Organizations Buffer the Environment

Laurence J. O'Toole, Kenneth Meier

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperAcademic

    Abstract

    Because organizations are open systems, environmental forces can both benefit the organization and cause it harm. The empirical theory of O'Toole and Meier suggests buffering is related to organizational performance in nonlinear ways by interacting with environmental forces, managerial networking, and organizational structures. This article examines the organization's history to generate an estimate of environmental buffering and then incorporates this measure to study buffering in a more contemporary data set. The authors find buffering is related to a variety of performance indicators and has an especially strong influence on performance in regard to a more disadvantaged clientele. The article then assesses the functional form of the buffering relationship and the potential interaction with other variables. Although the logic of Occam's razor implies that the simple linear relationship best fits the data, significant research needs to be done on other measures of buffering and other data sets before definitive conclusions can be drawn.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2006
    Event102nd Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association (APSA) 2006 - Philadephia, United States
    Duration: 31 Aug 20063 Sep 2006
    Conference number: 102

    Conference

    Conference102nd Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association (APSA) 2006
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CityPhiladephia
    Period31/08/063/09/06

    Keywords

    • METIS-237166

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