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Business Systems and Organizational Capabilities: The Institutional Structuring of Competitive Competences

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  • Whitley, Richard

    (Professor of Organisational Sociology, Manchester Business School, University of Manchester)

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    Abstract

    Twenty-first century capitalism has been marked by an increasing international economic independence, and considerable differences between dominant economic systems of coordination and control. In this context, national competition and coordination within industries has increased, but the governance of leading firms, and the kinds of competences they develop, remain quite diverse. This book shows how different kinds of firms become established and develop different capabilities in different societies, and as a result are effective in particular kinds of industries and markets. By integrating institutionalist approaches to organizations with the capabilities theory of the firm, Richard Whitley suggests how we can understand this combination of diversity and integration by developing the comparative business systems framework in three major ways. First, by identifying the particular circumstances in which distinctive business systems and innovation systems become nationally established and reproduced, as well as how changing endogenous and exogenous pressures have affected the major kinds of business systems that developed in many OECD states during the postwar period. Second, by showing how variations in authority sharing with employees and business partners and in the provision of organizational careers lead institutional regimes to affect the nature of organizational capabilities that dominant firms develop and enable them to deal with different kinds of risks and opportunities in particular technologies and markets. Third, by identifying the circumstances in which multinational firms are likely to develop distinctive transnational organizational capabilities through such authority sharing and careers, and so become different kinds of companies from their more domestically focused competitors. In many, if not most, cases of cross national managerial coordination, these conditions rarely exist, and so the extent to which multinational firms do indeed constitute distinct organizational forms and strategic actors is much less than is sometimes claimed.

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    Bibliographic Info

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    This book is provided by Oxford University Press in its series OUP Catalogue with number 9780199205189 and published in 2007.

    ISBN: 9780199205189
    Order: http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199205189.do
    Handle: RePEc:oxp:obooks:9780199205189

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    Cited by:
    1. Barbara Krug & Hans Hendrischke, 2012. "Market design in Chinese market places," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 29(3), pages 525-546, September.
    2. DiVito, Lori, 2012. "Institutional entrepreneurship in constructing alternative paths: A comparison of biotech hybrids," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 884-896.
    3. Saka-Helmhout, Ayse, 2010. "Organizational learning as a situated routine-based activity in international settings," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 41-48, January.
    4. Haeussler, Carolin & Colyvas, Jeannette A., 2011. "Breaking the Ivory Tower: Academic Entrepreneurship in the Life Sciences in UK and Germany," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 41-54, February.
    5. Lehrer, Mark & Nell, Phillip & Gärber, Lisa, 2009. "A national systems view of university entrepreneurialism: Inferences from comparison of the German and US experience," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 268-280, March.
    6. Michael Carney & Eric Gedajlovic & Sujit Sur, 2011. "Corporate governance and stakeholder conflict," Journal of Management and Governance, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 483-507, August.

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