Should organizations adapt continuously, or reorganize episodically? Why do some software applications periodically undergo major, disruptive overhauls? We study how to adapt the design of complex systems over time in response to external change. The key premise is that the need for internal consistency may impede adaptation: adjustment of maladapted design elements may cause painful dislocations elsewhere in the system. Two modes of optimal dynamics emerge in the model: a steady-state mode where the designer deletes maladapted elements as soon as they arise, and a cleansing-cycles mode where (in periodic episodes) the designer allows maladapted elements to accumulate up to a critical mass before deleting them altogether. We show that episodic redesigns are optimal for highly interdependent designs, and in innovative and volatile environments.

About the presenter’s visit

Dr Hong Yi Li will be visiting the School of Economics on 30th August 2019. While here he will be using room 520A Colin Clark Building. If you would like to meet with him or have lunch or dinner with him please contact Dr Allan Hernandez-Chanto who will be his host while at The University of Queensland. Dr Hernandez-Chanto can be contacted on a.hernandezchanto@uq.edu.au.

About School Seminar Series

The School of Economics General Seminar Series is held on Fridays. These are in-person and presented by a range of guest researchers from around Australia and internationally.

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Level 1, Colin Clark Building (#39), UQ St Lucia campus