Relationship between environment, structure and efficiency in contingency theory: a systematic review of literature.

Danny de Castro Soares, Alexandre Maduro-Abreu


Contingency theory states that the structure of organizations must be flexible to external contingencies, especially to the dynamic environment. To verify if the current research still analyzes this assumption, the article develops a systematic review of literature on the relationship between structure, environment and efficiency within the context of contingency theory. We used the protocol predicted by Cronin, Ryan and Coughlan (2008) with the bibliometry methodology of Cobo et al. (2011) using the software VosViewer. The results pointed out that a great part of the research that relates the environment and the structure is concentrated in the logistics area. He also pointed out that in recent studies dealing with contingency theory a more efficient structure is reactive to the external environment.


A teoria da contingência afirma que a estrutura das organizações deve ser flexível a contingências externas, especialmente ao ambiente dinâmico. Para verificar se a pesquisa atual ainda utiliza esse pressuposto, o artigo desenvolve uma revisão sistemática da literatura sobre a relação entre estrutura, ambiente e eficiência dentro do contexto da teoria da contingência. Utilizamos o protocolo previsto por Cronin, Ryan e Coughlan (2008) com a metodologia bibliométrica de Cobo et al. (2011) usando o software VosViewer. Os resultados apontaram que grande parte das pesquisas que relacionam o meio ambiente e a estrutura estão concentradas na área de logística. Ele também apontou que, em estudos recentes sobre a teoria da contingência, uma estrutura mais eficiente é reativa ao ambiente externo.


Contingency theory; Environmental; Performance

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