The digital technology has triggered explosive growth, making countless enterprises start the digital survival transformation. How to promote enterprises to continuously adapt to the digital age and explore new evolutionary paths and new sources of efficiency has become an era question that must be answered by management discipline with strong practical attributes. In the digital age, the phenomenon of cross-border survival of enterprises is frequent, and the boundaries of original industries are blurred or even merged with each other. Thus, Alvarez et al. (2020) calls for the construction of a theory of enterprises that belongs to the 21st century. We need to make a deep discussion on organizational boundaries, ecosystems, stakeholders, etc., as well as new ways of organizational value creation, social dimension attributes, and artificial intelligence applications.
We find that the four realistic characteristics of management practice, unlimited links, collaboration and dynamics, the leading of scope economy, and uncertainty as normal, have posed huge challenges to existing management theories. The practice world needs a new “paradigm revolution” to help organizations effectively deal with digital challenges and uncertainty. We attempt to propose the theory of synergistic & symbiosis, when we come to the new confusion and when we try to interpret and explore how enterprises would overcome the new challenges of the digital age. On the basis of a thorough review of existing theories and research, we conduct in-depth case studies and related interviews, and propose the synergetic & symbiosis theory, researching on “how to realize the value of synergy”. The essence of synergetic & symbiosis is from disorder to order. Synergetic & symbiosis refers to the dynamic process of the symbiotic unit to achieve intra-boundary organization growth, cross-boundary organization growth, and system self-evolution through the continuous initiative of seeking synergistic efficiency, and then to achieve the optimal overall value. The synergetic & symbiosis theory refers to the theory and methodology used to guide the symbiosis unit to achieve the optimal overall value of the synergetic & symbiosis state. Specifically, through the management theories and methods of synergetic & symbiosis effect, synergetic & symbiosis framework, synergetic & symbiosis management model and key elements of value reconstruction, it helps enterprises obtain synergy and achieve organizational growth within the boundary, cross-border organizational growth and system self-evolution. This paper proposes three types of symbiosis, that is, symbiosis within the organization, symbiosis outside the organization, and symbiosis inside and outside the organization. The three types help organizations explore the release of new value space in the digital age, and we investigate the mechanisms, elements, models, and contextual conditions for the realization of the three symbiosis structures. As the organic integration of synergetic logic and symbiotic state, the synergetic & symbiosis theory may become a new possibility of new organization and management theory.