Behavioral momentum in hierarchical and nonhierarchical organizations.

Most traditional businesses follow a hierarchical control-based organizational structure in which decision-making, orders, and information flows from top to bottom. The article proposes that the negative effects of “behavioral momentum” is compounded in such an organization as opposed to a nonhierarchical organization. Behavioral momentum theory suggests that reinforced behavior that persists in organizations is inversely related to the magnitude of disruption and directly related to the reinforcement and sensitivity of resistance to change (Nevin, 2012). The negative effect of behavioral momentum is the inability to adopt innovative ideas and to change. We show that there is an inverse relationship between adoption of innovative ideas and behavioral momentum in organizations. The article argues that hierarchical organizations are therefore less efficient, more prone to be static and die in the long run, compared with nonhierarchical organizations. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)