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Adaptation is necessary for survival. The same is true for organizations. Organizations that fail to adapt risk becoming obsolete. Rousseau discusses a paradox to this organizational reality: the consequence of change to the psychological contract.
Consider the case of Tribune Group (2008). When is adaptive change too dynamic?
Which is the organization's greatest obligation: adapt to stay solvent or to remain steadfast in its commitments?
Are these mutually exclusive goals?
Tribune Group, the newspaper and television chain that publishes The Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Part of the company's financial problems stemmed from a sharp drop in advertising revenue brought on by the recession as well as a general shift of advertising to the Internet. But Tribune's financial position worsened significantly by an attempt made by the company's CEO Sam Zell to take the company private and thus claim a tax-exempt status. The move resulted in an employee stock ownership plan, which was basically wiped out after the company declared bankruptcy.