Conference report: 5th Workshop on Organizational Change and Development

eiasm_logo1Last month, from 23th – 24th of September, I attended the 5th workshop on organizational change and development in Vienna, Austria, organized by EIASM. About 30 articles were presented on topics like organizational change, crisis management, organizational learning and dynamic capabilities.

There were two articles on dynamic capabilities, that I found particularly interesting:

Wilden, R.; Gudergan, S.; Lings, I. (2010): Why Organisational Culture Is Important When Dealing With Environmental Turbulence. (presented by Wilden, R.)

The paper describes how the organizational culture affects the responsiveness of organizations towards discontinuous changes and environmental turbulence. The authors analysed four different forms of organizational culture: (1) clan, (2) adhocracy, (3) bureaucracy and (4) hierarchy. The research question was how these organizational culture forms differ in terms of influence on frequency, timing and speed of dynamic capability deployment. Building on survey data from 231 senior manager of large Australian organizations, the authors show that the organizational culture influences the dynamic capability deployment. The authors conclude that organizations which aim to strengthen their dynamic capabilities should strive for an adhocracy organization form, as it supports particularly the dynamic capability deployment in troubling environments. If the environment is stable hierarchical forms can be sufficient to support dynamic capability deployment.

Güttel, W. H. et al. (2010): Generating Competitive Advantage Through Ambidexterity: The Role of Intra-organizational Knowledge Transmission. (presented by Konlechner, S. W.)

The paper deals with organizational ambidexterity, which is defined as the ability of a company to engage in both exploratoration of new businesses and exploitation of its current markets. In particular, it focuses on contextual ambidexterity which means that both activities, exploratory and exploitative, are supported in the company’s context and employees are encouraged to do both. (In contrast structural ambidexterity separates these activities in different business units.) The article characterizes the contextual ambidexterity by several elements and describes its benefits in terms of high knowledge transfer.

Next year, the 6th edition of this EIASM workshop will take place in Malta (not scheduled yet, but we will post more information in our call for papers section when they become available).

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