The Whole Is More Than the Sum of Its Parts - Or Is It? A Review of the Empirical Literature on Complementarities in Organizations
The concept of complementarity and its role in the design of organizations has enjoyed increasing attention over the past twenty years. We provide a systematic review of the empirical studies on complementarities in leading journals in management, economics and related disciplines that considers the nature of the factors among which complementarities are found to exist, and the effects of complementarities in organizations. Our findings suggest that complementarities result from the skilful matching of heterogeneous resources which generate positive returns above and beyond the effect of each resource generated on its own. In contrast, the empirical evidence on complementarities between individual organizational and HR practices in firms provides mixed conclusions. We show that complementarities are likely to materialize in complex systems of multiple design elements. Therefore, future research should aim at uncovering complementary effects among multiple elements that capture organizational systems better than a few selected elements only do.
|Date of creation:||2009|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Ludwigstraße 33, D-80539 Munich, Germany|
Web page: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Rothaermel, Frank T., 2001. "Complementary assets, strategic alliances, and the incumbent's advantage: an empirical study of industry and firm effects in the biopharmaceutical industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 1235-1251, October.
- Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2003.
"Computing Productivity: Firm-Level Evidence,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 793-808, November.
- Schmiedeberg, Claudia, 2008. "Complementarities of innovation activities: An empirical analysis of the German manufacturing sector," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 1492-1503, October.
- Tether, Bruce S. & Tajar, Abdelouahid, 2008. "Beyond industry-university links: Sourcing knowledge for innovation from consultants, private research organisations and the public science-base," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(6-7), pages 1079-1095, July.
- Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn Shaw, 2003. "Beyond Incentive Pay: Insiders' Estimates of the Value of Complementary Human Resource Management Practices," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 155-180, Winter.
- René Belderbos & Martin Carree & Boris Lokshin, 2006.
"Complementarity in R&D Cooperation Strategies,"
Review of Industrial Organization,
Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 401-426, June.
- Topkis, Donald M., 1987. "Activity optimization games with complementarity," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 358-368, March.
- Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1995. "Complementarities and fit strategy, structure, and organizational change in manufacturing," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 179-208, April.
- Sandra E. Black & Lisa M. Lynch, 2001.
"How To Compete: The Impact Of Workplace Practices And Information Technology On Productivity,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 434-445, August.
- S Black & L Lynch, 1997. "How to Compete: The Impact of Workplace Practices and Information Technology on Productivity," CEP Discussion Papers dp0376, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Sandra E. Black & Lisa M. Lynch, 1997. "How to Compete: The Impact of Workplace Practices and Information Technology on Productivity," NBER Working Papers 6120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- S. Black & L. Lynch, 1997. "How to compete: the impact of workplace practices and information technology on productivity," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20298, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Lisa M Lynch & Sandra E Black, 2002. "How to Compete: The Impact of Workplace Practices and Information Technology on Productivity," Working Papers 02-04, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
- Brian Cozzarin & Jennifer Percival, 2006. "Complementarities between organisational strategies and innovation," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(3), pages 195-217.
- Ichniowski, Casey & Shaw, Kathryn & Prennushi, Giovanna, 1997. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Practices on Productivity: A Study of Steel Finishing Lines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 291-313, June.
- Bonaccorsi, Andrea & Thoma, Grid, 2007. "Institutional complementarity and inventive performance in nano science and technology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 813-831, July.
- Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "The Economics of Modern Manufacturing: Technology, Strategy, and Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 511-28, June.
- Alfred D. Chandler, 1969. "Strategy and Structure: Chapters in the History of the American Industrial Enterprise," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262530090.
- Chenhall, R. H. & Langfield-Smith, K., 1998. "The relationship between strategic priorities, management techniques and management accounting: an empirical investigation using a systems approach," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 243-264, April.
- Keld Laursen & Nicolai J. Foss, 2003. "New human resource management practices, complementarities and the impact on innovation performance," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(2), pages 243-263, March.
- Arora, Ashish & Gambardella, Alfonso, 1990. "Complementarity and External Linkages: The Strategies of the Large Firms in Biotechnology," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(4), pages 361-79, June.
- Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "Rationalizability, Learning, and Equilibrium in Games with Strategic Complementarities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1255-77, November.
- Colombo, Massimo G & Mosconi, Rocco, 1995. "Complementarity and Cumulative Learning Effects in the Early Diffusion of Multiple Technologies," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 13-48, March.
- Bruno Cassiman & Reinhilde Veugelers, 2006. "In Search of Complementarity in Innovation Strategy: Internal R& D and External Knowledge Acquisition," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(1), pages 68-82, January.
- Sunil Mithas & M. S. Krishnan, 2008. "Human Capital and Institutional Effects in the Compensation of Information Technology Professionals in the United States," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(3), pages 415-428, March.
- Cassiman, Bruno & Colombo, Massimo & Garrone, Paola & Veugelers, Reinhilde, 2003. "Impact of M&A on the R&D process. An empirical analysis of the role of technological and market relatedness, The," IESE Research Papers D/500, IESE Business School.
- Bertschek, Irene & Kaiser, Ulrich, 2001.
"Productivity effects of organizational change: microeconometric evidence,"
ZEW Discussion Papers
01-32, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
- Irene Bertschek & Ulrich Kaiser, 2004. "Productivity Effects of Organizational Change: Microeconometric Evidence," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(3), pages 394-404, March.
- Colombo, Massimo G. & Grilli, Luca & Piva, Evila, 2006. "In search of complementary assets: The determinants of alliance formation of high-tech start-ups," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1166-1199, October.
- John Paul Macduffie, 1995. "Human Resource Bundles and Manufacturing Performance: Organizational Logic and Flexible Production Systems in the World Auto Industry," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(2), pages 197-221, January.
- Jan W. Rivkin & Nicolaj Siggelkow, 2003. "Balancing Search and Stability: Interdependencies Among Elements of Organizational Design," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(3), pages 290-311, March.
- Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1994. "Complementarities and systems: Understanding japanese economic organization," Estudios Económicos, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos, vol. 9(1), pages 3-42.
- Iain M. Cockburn & Rebecca M. Henderson, 2001. "Publicly Funded Science and the Productivity of the Pharmaceutical Industry," NBER Chapters, in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 1, pages 1-34 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Galia, Fabrice & Legros, Diego, 2004. "Complementarities between obstacles to innovation: evidence from France," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(8), pages 1185-1199, October.
- Roper, Stephen & Du, Jun & Love, James H., 2008. "Modelling the innovation value chain," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(6-7), pages 961-977, July.
- Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2002. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization, and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 339-376.
- Milgrom, Paul R & Qian, Yingyi & Roberts, John, 1991. "Complementarities, Momentum, and the Evolution of Modern Manufacturing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 84-88, May.
- K. J. Martijn Cremers & Vinay B. Nair, 2005. "Governance Mechanisms and Equity Prices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(6), pages 2859-2894, December.
- Peter Cappelli & David Neumark, 2001. "Do â€œHigh-Performanceâ€ Work Practices Improve Establishment-Level Outcomes?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(4), pages 737-775, July.
- Susan Athey & Scott Stern, 1998. "An Empirical Framework for Testing Theories About Complimentarity in Organizational Design," NBER Working Papers 6600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- K.J. Martijn Cremers & Vinay B. Nair, 2003. "Governance Mechanisms and Equity Prices," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm376, Yale School of Management.
- Bocquet, Rachel & Brossard, Olivier & Sabatier, Mareva, 2007. "Complementarities in organizational design and the diffusion of information technologies: An empirical analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 367-386, April.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:15666. 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: (Joachim Winter)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.