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Video Clip — Jay Lorsch on contingency theory
Now I think the other piece of that is that, you know, I think that I'm a -- from way back, from the very beginning of my career I've been a believer that you need conceptual maps, frameworks, what Roethlisberger called the walking sticks, to explain first to yourself, and then to others why the solutions you're talking about are necessary, and probably will work. So those two things are kind of interconnected in my mind. . . . .
You know, when we started thinking about differentiation and integration, it really came about because we were interested in sort of new product innovation and introduction. And we came to the realization pretty quickly, as we looked at that phenomena, that the problem was the different parts of the organization weren't working—had difficulty working together, in many cases. And then the question became, "Why? And what is it that enables some organizations to do this better than others?" And that led us into the whole notion of differentiation, integration, and ultimately into the whole idea of contingency theory. But it was always looking for sort of a practical answer.