Monash University
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Local Rules: Some Propositions for Their Establishment and Continuation

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journal contribution
posted on 2017-11-02, 04:54 authored by Haslett, Tim, Osborne, Charles
This paper is based on findings from field research that identified local rules in organizations. It discusses these findings into a set of propositions that may explain the operational dynamics of local rules and the processes by which local rules survive or become extinct. The central metaphor for this discussion is that of the fitness landscape developed by Kauffman (1989) and Holland (1989). This metaphor provides a useful framework for understanding how stable and predictable patterns of behaviour develop in organizations. It is proposed that local rules have localities of action on fitness landscapes and that there is a set of conditions for their establishment and continuation based on the interactions across the locality boundaries. It is further proposed that there are conditions, characterised by co-adaptation, under which rules will survive in relatively stable forms and other conditions, characterised by competition, under which local rules change.


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Monash University. Faculty of Business and Economics. Department of Management

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