The organization must develop a system through which it can adapt or cope with the environmental requirements; Schein has suggested that an organization can do this through the adaptive coping cycle, which consists of various activities that enable an organization to cope with the dynamics of environment.


Adaptive-Coping cycle is a continuous process. There are six stages in the adaptive-coping cycle as follows:


  1. Sensing of Change: The first stage is the sensing of change in internal or external environment. Most of the organizations have adaptive sub-system such as marketing research, research and development and other similar devices for effective coping with the environment.
  2. Importing the Relevant Information: Organizations must be able to take the relevant information from the environment, which constitutes the input.
  3. Changing Conversion Process: The organization takes the inputs from environment for further processing, normally known as conversion process.
  4. Stabilizing Internal Changes: The fourth stage of the cycle is to stabilize an internal sub-system of an organization, which is dependent on external, sub-system. This is because change in one may affect other and this change can be either positive or negative.
  5. Exploring New Outputs: When the internal change is stabilised, the organization can export new outputs, which are in accordance with environment requirements.
  6. Obtaining Feedback: The last stage in the cycle is to obtain feedback on the outcome of the changes for further sensing the state of the external environment and the degree of integration of internal environment. This is similar to first stage.


A successful coping suggests that all the stages have to be successfully-negotiated and failure at any of these stages may result into ineffectiveness.

Following are the major organizational conditions for effective coping:

  • There should be an effective communication system through which reliable and valid information can be passed.
  • There should be enough internal flexibility so that changes can be brought and absorbed by an organization.
  • Successful coping requires integration and commitment to organizational goals, which provide willingness for change.
  • There should be supportive internal climate, which can support good communication, reduction in inflexibility and stimulation of self-protection.


Maintaining organizational effectiveness requires additional efforts, especially when the major organizational changes take place.

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