Organizational design rules are contingent if-then statements about what a good design should be for a given situation. Today’s challenge is to look forward to devise organization design rules for a different future with greater uncertainty and greater interdependency – all with dynamic performance demands. These new demands call for new design rules for coordination, incentives and leadership, among others. Our existing rules are mostly based upon past experience and empirical studies of what is. What might be – going beyond what we have observed and explained of yesterday and today to help design for a future new situation – is a disciplined response to examine the new contingencies of organizational design and their design consequences. Computational laboratories permit us to go beyond what is to develop and examine new design possibilities and boundaries to explore a future world of what might be. We need to revise existing rules and perhaps devise totally new design rules for managing uncertainty and interdependency to design efficient, effective and sustainable organizations. In this paper, we explore the development and evaluation of organizational design rules for the future.
Handbook of Economic Organization: Integrating Economic and Organization Theory, 2013, p. 223-244