An Evolutionary Theory of Intra-Organisational Competition

Publication Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date



The purpose of this paper is to put forward a theoretical framework and research agenda on the phenomenon of competition inside organisations. We argue that this phenomenon has not received due attention from academic researchers or indeed from practising managers. We undertake a review of the literature to show that it is more widespread than usually realized.Then we put forward a research model based on evolutionary theory (Campbell, 1965). We argue that intra-organizational competition emerges through a process of internal variation in the face of environmental uncertainty, and that it endures until internal selection processes terminate it. Propositions are developed relating the level of environmental uncertainty, the costs of duplication and the level of decentralization of decision making in the organization to intra-organizational competition.


Organizational Behavior and Theory

Research Areas

Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources


Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Washington, 3-8 August 2001

City or Country

Washington, DC, USA

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