Faculty of Business and Law
School of Business
Analogies can be drawn between a modern organisation and a complex ecosystem. In both, the players compete for scarce resources; survival often depends on how effectively an individual, organism or group capitalises on what is available to them. In natural settings, the laws of nature provide a backdrop to relationships, including where each individual or group is positioned in the hierarchy. In such settings, unusual and complex interrelationships can be formed where groups either assist or manipulate each other to survive. In organisational settings, the laws and boundaries are less clear, context specific and subject to organisational cultures and norms, yet, similar interrelationships to those in natural settings may be observed. This paper explores an aspect of the stated interdependency: the concept of ‘protected species’ in organisations. Such insights can be useful in better understanding interactions at work.