How organizational design influences survival
“Why do some public organizations grow old and others die young?” This is the question posed by Arjen Boin, Sanneke Kuipers and Marco Steenbergen in the current issue (23.3) of Governance. Their article, “The Life and Death of Public Organizations,” examines the lives of organizations established in the early years of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. It finds that certain aspects of institutional design play an important role in determining organizational viability. But institutional “birth characteristics” that help organizations to survive their early years may work against them later on. “Our capacity to design public organizations for the long run is limited,” the authors suggest. “There is no silver bullet — no magic combination of design options — that will guarantee organizational survival.” Read the article.