Alan D. Meyer

Alan D. Meyer
University of Oregon | UO · Department of Management

Ph.D. University of California Berkeley

About

69
Publications
106,367
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12,298
Citations
Introduction
I study environmental jolts, industry emergence, field configuring events, regional identity, corporate venturing, and technology entrepreneurship, using organizational theory and sociology as theoretical frames. I'm a field researcher who triangulates between archival data and primary data gathered through interviews and naturalistic observation. My current project examines the impact of the ebola pandemic upon the emergency department of an Australian hospital.
Additional affiliations
August 1984 - present
University of Oregon
Position
  • Profesor Emeritus of Management

Publications

Publications (69)
Preprint
On August 8, 2014, the World Health Organization declared Ebola Virus Disease to be a “public health emergency of international concern.” On that same day, our research team was conducting an ethnographic field study of the Emergency Department in a large public hospital in the inner city of an Australian metropolis. When the government designated...
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We introduce the concept of places of social inclusion—institutions endowed by a society or a community with material resources, meaning, and values at geographic sites where citizens can access services for specific needs—as taken-for-granted, essential, and inherently precarious. Based on our study of an emergency department that was disrupted by...
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Opportunities and Challenges of Engaged Indigenous Scholarship—ADDENDUM - Volume 14 Issue 3 - Andrew H. Van de Ven, Alan D. Meyer, Runtian Jing
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Management and Organization Review (MOR) is announcing a renewed initiative that seeks to encourage and publish research reporting engaged indigenous scholarship in China. MOR invites empirical as well as conceptual studies of indigenous phenomena related to management and organizations. MOR welcomes exploratory studies of new, emerging, and/or poo...
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The “Abilene Paradox” (Harvey, 1988) describes a family reaching a collective decision to take a long drive to have dinner in Abilene, a town in West Central Texas, instead of continuing to enjoy their afternoon at home. After enduring a miserable four hours of driving and eating an unpalatable cafeteria meal in Abilene, they return home and sink i...
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Participants in the Organizational Design Community’s 2013 Annual Conference faced the challenge of “making organization design knowledge actionable.” This essay summarizes the opinions and insights participants shared during the conference. I reflect on these ideas, connect them to recent scholarly thinking about organization design, and conclude...
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Our knowledge-based society is pressing universities to transform from monastic scholarly enclaves into producers of new technologies and incubators of start-up firms. However, converting scientists' curiosity-driven discoveries into commercially viable innovations has proven so difficult that observers liken the journey to crossing a 'Valley of De...
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Copyright © 2012 Strategic Management Society.
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We build theory on the process of collective identity resurrection through a qualitative study investigating how community members reenergized a valued community identity following years of decline. Our findings suggest a recursive model of identity resurrection, in which community leaders marshal tangible resources such as money and human talent t...
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Our knowledge-based society is pressing universities to transform from monastic scholarly enclaves into producers of new technologies and incubators of start-up firms. However, converting scientists’ curiosity-driven discoveries into commercially viable innovations has proven so difficult that observers liken the journey to crossing a ‘Valley of De...
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We examine the contagion processes whereby practices originating in one organizational population spread into and diffuse within a second. We theorize that "endemic" innovations native to one population spread to other populations through two distinct forms of contagion. We test this argument by observing information technology firms' adoption of c...
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In this introductory article to the Special Issue we make a case for the study of ‘field-configuring events’ (FCEs). We begin with a discussion of the nature and character of FCEs. We next situate the study of FCEs in the context of ongoing research addressing the growth and evolution of institutional, organizational, and professional fields. We fo...
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In this introductory article to the Special Issue we make a case for the study of 'field-configuring events' (FCEs). We begin with a discussion of the nature and character of FCEs. We next situate the study of FCEs in the context of ongoing research addressing the growth and evolution of institutional, organizational, and professional fields. We fo...
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This paper and the two that follow examine a simple, yet important, question: To what extent can differences in national cultures systematically influence whether and for what reasons nations adopt - or fail to adopt - available emerging technologies? Unfortunately, little in the way of systematic research has been done on this important topic. In...
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Observations of nineteen hospitals show how organizational ideologies are manifested and sustained by beliefs, stories, languages, and ceremonial acts. The data indicate that harmonious ideologies accompany simple structures, but that discordant ones accompany elaborate structures. Through their effects on people and structures, ideologies guide or...
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We believe that the field of organization theory is adrift. In sailing jargon, we are “in irons”---stalled and making little headway toward understanding organizations and their place in our lives. We first attempt to diagnose our maladies and then, in this light, offer three broad research questions that just might reinvigorate our work: First, ho...
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Organizational fields undergo upheavals. Shifting industry boundaries, new network forms, emerging sectors, and volatile ecosystems have become the stuff of everyday organizational life. Curiously, profound changes of this sort receive scant attention ...
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rganizational fields undergo upheavals. Shifting industry boundaries, new network forms, emerging sectors, and volatile ecosystems have become the stuff of everyday organizational life. Curiously, profound changes of this sort receive scant attention in organization theory and research. Researchers acknowledge field-wide flux, emergence, convergenc...
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The radical political and economic reforms sweeping through former socialist countries during the last decade have opened rich opportunities for privately owned businesses to emerge and develop. Since the market institutions and infrastructures in these countries are largely underdeveloped, private firms in transition economies rely extensively on...
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We draw on complexity theory to explain the emergence of a new organizational collective, and we provide a much-needed empirical test of the theory at the collective level of analysis. Taking a case study approach, we use four dynamics of emergence posited by complexity theory's dissipative structures model--fluctuation, positive feedback, stabiliz...
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A central debate in organizational theory concerns how orga-nizations evolve. There are two diametrically opposing view-points. Adaptation theories predict that change occurs as fluid organizations adjust to meet shifting environmental demands, while selection theories predict that change occurs through the differential selection and replacement of...
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A central debate in organizational theory concerns how organizations evolve. There are two diametrically opposing viewpoints. Adaptation theories predict that change occurs as fluid organizations adjust to meet shifting environmental demands, while selection theories predict that change occurs through the differential selection and replacement of i...
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Complex organizations exhibit surprising, nonlinear behavior. Although organization scientists have studied complex organizations for many years, a developing set of conceptual and computational tools makes possible new approaches to modeling nonlinear ...
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Behind every successful performance, such as was the jazz symposium at the 1995 Academy of Management Conference, are people who have worked long and hard to try to ensure that the event will come to fruition; who have solved tricky problems and improvised ...
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Behind every successful performance, such as was the jazz symposium at the 1995 Academy of Management Conference, are people who have worked long and hard to try to ensure that the event will come to fruition; who have solved tricky problems and improvised ...
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The 1993 Special Research Forum on Configurations is dedicated to the proposition that configurational theory and research can significantly advance understanding of people, groups, and organizations. In this introductory essay, we define configurational approaches to organizational analysis, trace the history of configurational thinking, distingui...
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How have theory and research in strategy contributed to the broader domain of management? A survey of prominent researchers in strategy and adjacent fields suggests that the answer depends on how "strategy" is defined. Modest and incremental contributions are evident when strategy is defined as a distinct field wherein a small group of scholars lab...
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This paper urges organizational researchers to collect data from subjects in the form of pictures, diagrams, computer graphics, and other visual representations. Drawing on theoretical and empirical work in cognitive psychology, neurophysiology, linguistics, and artificial intelligence, it presents a rationale for collecting visual data, provides e...
Conference Paper
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Strategic management has been defined as a process that aligns organizations with their environments. This implicitly assumes that managers actually change strategies. However, based on observations of 400 hospitals over eleven years, this paper finds that major strategic changes are infrequent, associated with major environmental changes, and more...
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Strategic management has been defined as a process that aligns organizations with their environments. This implicitly assumes that managers actually change strategies. However, based on observations of 400 hospitals over eleven years, this paper finds that major strategic changes are infrequent, associated with major environmental changes, and more...
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The organizational change literature contains diverse characterizations of change processes with contradictory implications for strategic mianagers. Many inconsistencies are resolved by classifying models of organizational change according to the primary mode of change (continuous or discontinuous) and the primary level at which change occurs (orga...
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This study examined the assimilation of innovations into organizations, a process unfolding in a series of decisions to evaluate, adopt, and implement new technologies. Assimilation was conceptualized as a nine-step process and measured by tracking 300 potential adoptions through organizations during a six-year period. We advance a model suggesting...
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This study predicts outcomes of 300 organizational decision processes focusing on the evaluation, adoption and implementation of technological innovations. Findings imply that outcomes are mostly attributable to characteristics of innovations and decision processes. Characteristics of organizational environments, structures, and leaders account for...
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This article addresses the problem of documenting the outcomes of physical therapy. This is a timely issue because new approaches to reimbursing health-care costs will favor those providers and professions able to demonstrate sufficient benefits to patients to justify prospective cost reimbursement. To assess the adequacy of existing outcome data,...
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Budgetary requests for medical capital equipment give rise to streams of rational, political and ceremonial decision making. As they cascade through hospitals, these processes influence the deployment of organizational assets and the viability of organizational cultures.
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Organizational decisions provide conceptual playing fields wherein scientists adhering to rival theories based on different metaphors skirmish in-decisively. Organizational decisions, however, are also empirical arenas wherein practitioners espousing discordant theories-in-use reconcile their differences pragmatically. Practitioners' decision-makin...
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This paper examines organizational adaptations to an environmental jolt--a sudden and unprecedented event (in this case, a doctors' strike)-- that created a natural experiment within a group of hospitals. Although adaptations were diverse and appeared anomalous, they are elucidated by considering the hospitals' antecedent strategies, structures, id...
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A physicians' strike in San Francisco caused a severe environmental jolt to hospitals in the area. A look at the responses of three of those hospitals reveals striking differences among them regarding their market strategies, administrative structures and ideologies. An analysis of these differences can help administrators prepare for and cope with...
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Organizational adaptation is a topic that has received only limited and fragmented theoretical treatment. Any attempt to examine organizational adaptation is difficult, since the process is highly complex and changeable. The proposed theoretical framework deals with alternative ways in which organizations define their product-market domains (strate...
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Full-text available
Organizational adaptation is a topic that has received only limited and fragmented theoretical treatment. Any attempt to examine organizational adaptation is difficult, since the process is highly complex and changeable. The proposed theoretical framework deals with alternative ways in which organizations define their product-market domains (strate...

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Projects

Project (1)
Archived project
This project gathers together the published materials that supplement the 2004 Organization Science article "Organizational Emergence: The Origin and Transformation of Branson, Missouri's musical theaters." These supplementary materials are being made available here after INFORMS/Organization Science stopped maintaining the link in the 2004 article.