Inertia in response to non-paradigmatic change: The case of meta-organizations
We add a new perspective to research on organizational response to non-paradigmatic change by studying an irregular yet increasingly important form of organizing: meta-organizations (MOs), i.e., associations whose members are organizations, rather than individuals. We use extensive revelatory field data from three longitudinal case studies of German industry associations and their reactions to the emergence of online trade to show that MOs, similar to other organizations, respond with inertia when they are confronted with discontinuous breakthroughs. However, our data also demonstrate that MO inertia is idiosyncratic in that it stems from distinct MO characteristics, particularly a culture of consensus and an elitist identity, which in turn reinforce MOs’ lack of champions, limited environmental intimacy, and protracted decision-making. We also find that inertial forces in MOs are partially offset by various enablers of change that are either anchored in a given MO's constitution or embedded in its routines. We contribute to existing research on discontinuous change and theory of MOs by inducing a formal model of MO inertia and its underlying mechanisms. Our mid-range theory has important implications for the administration of MOs, in particular during periods of environmental turbulence.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ahrne, Göran & Brunsson, Nils, 2005. "Organizations and meta-organizations," Scandinavian Journal of Management, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 429-449, December.
- Kaplan, Sarah & Tripsas, Mary, 2008. "Thinking about technology: Applying a cognitive lens to technical change," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 790-805, June.
- Doner, Richard F. & Schneider, Ben Ross, 2000. "Business Associations and Economic Development: Why Some Associations Contribute More Than Others," Business and Politics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(03), pages 261-288, November.
- James Reveley & Simon Ville, 2010. "Enhancing Industry Association Theory: A Comparative Business History Contribution," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(s1), pages 837-858, 07.
- Gilbert, Richard J & Newbery, David M G, 1982. "Preemptive Patenting and the Persistence of Monopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 514-526, June.
- Clark, Kim B., 1985. "The interaction of design hierarchies and market concepts in technological evolution," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 235-251, October.
- Beckert, Jens, 2007. "The social order of markets," MPIfG Discussion Paper 07/15, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
- Marion Debruyne & David J. Reibstein, 2005. "Competitor See, Competitor Do: Incumbent Entry in New Market Niches," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 24(1), pages 55-66, December.
- Dosi, Giovanni, 1993.
"Technological paradigms and technological trajectories : A suggested interpretation of the determinants and directions of technical change,"
Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 102-103, April.
- Dosi, Giovanni, 1982. "Technological paradigms and technological trajectories : A suggested interpretation of the determinants and directions of technical change," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 147-162, June.
- Sarah Kaplan & Fiona Murray & Rebecca Henderson, 2003. "Discontinuities and senior management: assessing the role of recognition in pharmaceutical firm response to biotechnology," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 203-233, April.
- Glasmeier, Amy, 1991. "Technological discontinuities and flexible production networks: The case of Switzerland and the world watch industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 469-485, October.
- Doner Richard F. & Schneider Ben Ross, 2000. "Business Associations and Economic Development: Why Some Associations Contribute More Than Others," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(3), pages 1-29, December.
- Jain, Sanjay & George, Gerard & Maltarich, Mark, 2009. "Academics or entrepreneurs? Investigating role identity modification of university scientists involved in commercialization activity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 922-935, July.
- Rebecca Henderson & Sarah Kaplan, 2005. "Inertia and Incentives: Bridging Organizational Economics and Organizational Theory," NBER Working Papers 11849, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kranton, Rachel E, 1996. "The Formation of Cooperative Relationships," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 214-233, April.
- Sako, Mari, 1996. "Suppliers' Associations in the Japanese Automobile Industry: Collective Action for Technology Diffusion," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(6), pages 651-671, November. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:41:y:2012:i:8:p:1325-1343. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.