Purpose – Managing organizations in complex environments is a major challenge. Complexity is not only due to the external environment (market and/or technological turbulence) but also to the internal configuration and specificities. A recent stream of studies in organizational literature suggested that organizations should develop and deploy specific capabilities for facing complexity, namely dynamic capabilities. This means becoming more flexible. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach – This paper proposes four main capabilities to face four dimensions of complexity. It then investigates if it is more appropriate to focus on a specific capability when facing higher levels of a specific dimension of complexity. The research methodology is a multiple case study in seven different organizational units of the same super-store corporate. Findings – Data showed some important results. First of all, internal complexity is unit specific rather than corporate or industry specific. Moreover, it can derive not only from unpredictability and rate of change, but also from variety of elements and their interactions. All these elements form complexity. Internal complexity is characterized by four main elements: uncertainty, dynamicity, diversity and interdependence. Finally, for each of these elements, different organizational strategies are used: in case of uncertainty, for example, a strategy used by the companies is the sharing of information and the development of redundancy. Originality/value – Originality lies in linking different capabilities with different dimensions of internal complexity. © 2016, © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Organisational capabilities for internal complexity: an exploration in the Coop stores

DE TONI, Alberto Felice;Battistella, C.
2016

Abstract

Purpose – Managing organizations in complex environments is a major challenge. Complexity is not only due to the external environment (market and/or technological turbulence) but also to the internal configuration and specificities. A recent stream of studies in organizational literature suggested that organizations should develop and deploy specific capabilities for facing complexity, namely dynamic capabilities. This means becoming more flexible. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach – This paper proposes four main capabilities to face four dimensions of complexity. It then investigates if it is more appropriate to focus on a specific capability when facing higher levels of a specific dimension of complexity. The research methodology is a multiple case study in seven different organizational units of the same super-store corporate. Findings – Data showed some important results. First of all, internal complexity is unit specific rather than corporate or industry specific. Moreover, it can derive not only from unpredictability and rate of change, but also from variety of elements and their interactions. All these elements form complexity. Internal complexity is characterized by four main elements: uncertainty, dynamicity, diversity and interdependence. Finally, for each of these elements, different organizational strategies are used: in case of uncertainty, for example, a strategy used by the companies is the sharing of information and the development of redundancy. Originality/value – Originality lies in linking different capabilities with different dimensions of internal complexity. © 2016, © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11390/1086792
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