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What is The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Second Edition
An American foundation makes grants in science, technology and the quality of American life.
Published in Chapter:
Life Cycle Challenges of Online Learning Support Systems
Debra A. Beazley (Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions, USA), Riad Aisami (Troy University, USA), and Elise L. Addison (Troy University, USA)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 7
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch198
For centuries, biologists have described the living world in terms of life cycles (Campbell & Reece, 2005; Quinn & Cameron, 1983; Lester, Parnell, & Carraher, 2003). Similar to the epigenesis of the individual (Erikson, 1980), theorists have asserted that there is a natural rhythm to development in the corporation (Adizes, 1988). Pathology occurs when the characteristics inherent in each developmental stage are thwarted. In the past several decades, organizational consultants began the assimilation of corporate health to that of the individual, citing life cycles in organizations as being epigenetic and predetermined (Adizes, 1988; Lester, Parnell, Carraher, 2003; Masurel & Montfort, 2006; Liao, 2006). The catalyst for change is similar to that of life crisis in the individual where an otherwise steady state is dismantled by environmental events (Beck & Cowan, 1996). Moving from a successful level of endeavor to a deteriorating, chaotic level, the business is forced to change in sometimes quantum ways. Not unlike the individual, the business resisting change is arrested in development and faces stagnation and possible deterioration. There are occurrences where whole industries are stimulated toward change; as a response, individual business in that industry must decide to adapt to the change or fail. In traditional academia, triggers in the millennium environment have directed a change toward internet-based education and digital format. Support systems in academia, like college book stores, are stimulated to adapt to non-traditional delivery platforms.
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