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These patterns can be characterized by stages, often referred to as development stages. These development stages tend to be sequential, occur as a hierarchical progression that is not easily reversed, and involve a broad range of organizational activities and structures. The number of life cycle stages identified by any particular researcher will vary with the finds of other researchers depending on the granularity of his or her study. Some analysts have delineated as many as ten different stages of an organizational life cycle, while others have flattened it down to as few as three stages. Most models, however, hold to a view that the organizational life cycle is comprised of four or five stages that can be summarized simply as startup, growth, maturity, decline, and death (or revival).
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