Business Management

Mechanisms of Sustainability in Organizations: Principles, Strategies, and Structures

The development of organization theory shows that complex objects of inanimate, biological, and socio-psychological nature are characterized by similar principles of functioning, development, and evolution.

The “Law of Sustainability” says that organizations are stable if, for a certain time, they are capable of maintaining a recognizable form. The state of stability is often referred to as homeostasis, which is supported by a combination of resistance and tolerance, as well as dynamics and statics.

This is the part 4 of the topic Sustainability, Incase you missed the first 3 parts, here a link to it. Link to sustainability part 1, sustainability part 2 and sustainability part 3.

Let’s continue.

According to the theory of self-organization, an organization “defends itself” from external and internal attempts at destruction by changing its behavior, structure, elements, and connections in order to preserve the original functions and movement towards some goal.

The stability of living systems can be characterized by the concept of “life cycle” (LC), and the stability of inanimate objects is determined by the strength of connections.

Increasing the resilience of organizations can be achieved through repeated duplication of weakened elements and bonds (scale effect), and the lengthening of the LC can be explained by a large reserve of necessary elements.

Since an organization is made up of both elements and connections, the principle of diversity must also extend to communications. Increasing the number of elements alone does not increase the stability of the system.

The capacity for stability is increased by the redundancy of channels that provide resources.

Organizations experience economies of scale, and their strength is not determined by the simple number of specialists or fixed elements, but rather by universal elements that are capable of mutually compensating and recovering lost functions.

In the event of a disaster, not all elements must die in order for the remaining ones to begin a new organization cycle disasters, but the surviving organisms revived the altered biosphere.

Development is often directed towards the specialization of individual elements of the organization.

However, simply increasing the number of identical elements in an organization does not always increase its adaptive capabilities.

The more complex and long communication channels are in the system, the higher the probability of their destruction. Therefore, an increase in complexity should be accompanied by increasing the reliability of elements and connections.

It is possible to build a structure from very durable elements, but you can build it from “weak”, but easily replaceable elements, and the building will also be durable if carried out in a timely manner to replace the “weak links”.

A long life cycle of an organization does not guarantee protection against catastrophes. This characteristic means only a good adaptation to favorable living conditions.

Behavior variability with a short life cycle makes it easier to adapt. In today’s dynamic economy, the reduction in the life cycle of commercial organizations allows them to quickly adapt to market conditions. Thus, a variety of functions allows you to resist disasters.

Organizations Sustainability Mechanisms

It can be concluded that, in accordance with the theory of organization, the sustainability of organizations is ensured by the following mechanisms:

  • Strength of connections between elements. This mechanism only works in non-living organizations.
  • Redundancy of interchangeable elements and connections. This mechanism is used in both living and non-living organizations
  • The mechanism of regeneration of lost parts is the prerogative of living organizations, but is also found in crystalline units.
  • Variety of adaptive responses (living organizations).
  • The presence of system memory (experience of the past, signs of mind, intellect). System memory is not only found in living systems, but absolutely everything.

These mechanisms should be taken into account when detailing the concept of sustainability in this study.

Depending on the scale of production, the nature of the construction of products, forms of organization of scientific and technical activities, the organizational structure of the organization allows you to determine how the organization can develop further and at the same time maintain its stability.

In the absence of an appropriate functional subdivision, the process of increasing stability can be carried out through integration processes.

Thus, the following conclusion can be drawn: to increase the stability of the organization, it must have a well-defined organizational structure.

Increasing stability in this case can be defined as a function of the organizational structure of organizations. In other words, by defining the role of the organizational structure of the organization in increasing its sustainability, you can say that it is an argument for its stability.

In the conditions of a centralized economy in our country, the adoption of an organizational structure made sense, somewhat different from what it has in industrialized countries.

As already mentioned above, in the presence of a monopoly of state property, no distinction was made between the organizational-legal and organizational and economic forms of existence of the enterprise.

Therefore, the development opportunities determined by the organizational structure could not go beyond the organizational and legal form, and the development of integration processes through transactions was limited, and through the development of ownership, schemes were impossible.

The objects of price competition in a centralized economy became budgetary funds, resources, etc.

This situation led to a triple identity, in which the organizational and legal status of the enterprise was adequate to its organizational-economic form of existence and at the same time adequate to the competitive structure.

While in industrialized countries, economic conditions allowed firms to improve their sustainability and competitiveness by changing organizational and economic forms, as exemplified by cartels and trusts and a participatory system.

In this regard, the question arises about what qualitative and quantitative characteristics should be inherent in the organizational structure of the organization, for successful functioning in the market in a competitive environment.

The formation of new property relations creates the basis for new integration processes that are implemented through the system of transactions, the development of associated with a number of integrated firms operating in this segment of the market, there is a need for the formation of an effective enterprise caring structure.

Thus, the organizational sustainability of the enterprise body structure was separated into a separate control object – the sustainability of the business structure.


Tofunmi is a BA, MBA, and experienced Researcher in Business Administration and Management. He possesses outstanding communication, leadership, conflict resolution, organization, and teamwork skills. He enjoys teaching and reading books on startups, business, personal finance, investment, and more.

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