Abstract for: Adaptation on Rugged Landscapes: Competitive Strategies in the Presence of a Common Objective

This paper examines the ability of companies to change their organizational forms in an effort to obtain higher performance. We use the concept of fitness landscapes and we expand the notion of attributes to include not only the capabilities, but also the purpose organizations attempt to serve usually the market. We decouple the fitness a form represents from the actual fitness an organization that incorporates it will experience due to the effect of competition for a common objective, creating a dynamic landscape. The extended model incorporates the notion of feedback from the environment in a twofold manner: the structure of the underlying landscape and the interaction among rival organizations. On one hand, the feedback helps organizations into making decisions based on increased information and on the other hand, the outcome of those decisions is no longer entirely predictable. We examine two different rules of transformation, namely the local adaptation, and the distant adaptation. The results indicate that the proposed scheme can more accurately explain the variation observed in real environments than previous models. In addition, it can serve as a means of predicting the possible reforms of rival organizations on a common landscape.