Organisational Life Cycles (OLC)

Background and Rationale of the Research

Organisational life cycle approach is a way of mapping and describing an organisation’s development over time. Organisations, like people, go through different stages of development throughout their lifespan.

Scholars have studied organisational lifecycle stages from as early as 1880. Most existing literature explored business organisations and these stages do not apply to the development phases in a non-profit organisation. Few researchers have attempted to theorise the stages in nonprofit organisations.

The broad theme of this project is focused on looking at the history/life course of an organisation and how it can provide lessons for Organisational effectiveness, growth and sustainability, in the light of founder and leadership experience and the content of available written material. Examining PRADAN’s life cycle in this light may help to create a framework for studying other nonprofit organisations.

Aim and Objectives

This research aims to contribute to the existing published literature on NGO lifecycle and use PRADAN as a case study to present these stages. PRADAN case study is being developed from the various written records at different stages of the organisation.

For a mature organisation like PRADAN that has survived 35 years of effective and sustainable growth, it is important to recognise what the future would look like and what tensions can be expected for the organisation. Practically, this may provide a diagnostic tool for organisational leadership and management, and perhaps to identify levers of change such as typically HR, financial resources and management, leadership, culture, strategy along with significant shifts in the vision, mission, strategy and leadership and factors that triggered these.

We will learn about the key transitions and factors that caused these transitions and the extent to which the leadership and management could diagnose, predict and navigate these transitions in the organisation.

Methodology and Methods

The study will utilise the following two processes which will run parallel to each other:

  • Literature survey of Organisational life cycle related written material;
  • OLC documentation of PRADAN’s journey based on available written material.

Outputs (expected)

Produce a peer-reviewed working paper and a case study of PRADAN.

Project Highlights

Meeting with the co-founder of ISDM who is in charge of the curriculum for the Post Graduate Program of ISDM to explore how to align the needs of the curriculum with the research.

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