7th December, 12:15 pm, Room: Sony (1st floor, yellow section), HEC Montréal

Title: Revisiting Organizational Survival from a Growth-based Perspective

Speaker: Denise Fleck, Associate Professor, COPPEAD, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

Understanding the continued existence of organizations has been a challenging research topic. Various theoretical perspectives and research traditions have inspired the investigation of the organizational survival phenomenon, bringing about complementary and sometimes conflicting outcomes. In this talk, I will present the theoretical insights generated by the history-based research I have been conducting on long-lived organizations (including some defunct ones). The insights include viewing growth as a central process of change that exhibits a dual nature – both constructive and destructive. By emphasizing dynamism, this growth-based perspective puts accent on the changing nature of organizational existence, distinguishing different states of survival – healthy, subsistence and permanently failing – and states of the environment – forgiving, challenging and inhospitable. By characterizing certain aspects of organizational phenomena as having a dual nature – organizations as potentially self-perpetuating and self-destructive entities, organizational growth as quantitative and qualitative, etc. – this perspective acknowledges the complex nature of organizational phenomena. As a result, this growth-based perspective may help fight simplicity in organizational studies and practice, and contribute to enhancing our understanding of the rise and fall of organizations.

Biography

Associate Professor at COPPEAD, Denise Fleck is holder of the Visagio Chair of Strategy and Organizational Growth. Bachelor in Electrical Engineering from PUC-Rio, Master of Sciences in Business Administration from COPPEAD and Ph.D. in Management from McGill University (Montreal, Canada), where she concluded the course with distinction. After working in medium and large companies, she returned to academic life in order to contribute to the advancement of knowledge and to develop useful management tools. While the Master program allowed her to deepen her comprehension about the inherent complexity of organizations, it was in the Doctoral course that she started a systematic investigation effort about questions related to the achievement and sustentation of high standard performance in organizations. Her doctoral thesis was the starting point of a research program on the healthy longevity of organizations which in the last 12 years has completed studies about more than 30 Brazilian long-lived organizations. She leads a research group in Brazil about the subjects Challenges to Corporate Growth, Long Term Strategies and Healthy Longevity of Organizations

Coffee and juice served; bring your own lunch