A related principle suggests that entropy is constantly increasing, meaning that the system has a declining ability to produce work.
The term entropy, most often associated with thermodynamics, is defined roughly as a measure of the energy that isn’t available for work in a system. A related principle suggests that entropy is constantly increasing, meaning that the system has a declining ability to produce work.
Eventually, a state of maximum entropy is reached. No available energy remains and the system dies. Organizations are subject to the same principles. Typically at the beginning, a small number of people handle the workload, applying their full energy only to those tasks directly related to delivering relevant goods or services. Communication lines are short, direct and regularly utilized.
Over time, as an organization grows, energy is diverted to other tasks, structured oversight is required, record keeping needs increase, lines of communication grow and diverge and new processes are implemented to define roles and responsibilities in each of these areas. At each of these stages energy is diverted from primary tasks to manage supporting activities, to share information across increasingly complex, lines of communication.