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Organization Design and Firm Heterogeneity: Towards an Integrated Research Agenda for Strategy

Autoren/Herausgeber: Kretschmer, T.
Englmaier, F.
Knudsen, N. F. T.
Erschienen: 2018
Publikationsart: Articles in Refereed Journals (International)
erschienen in: Organization Design (Advances in Strategic Management, Vol. 40), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 229-252


We argue that organization design needs to play a more active role in the explanation of differential performance and outline a set of ideas for achieving this both in theoretical and empirical research. Firms are heterogeneous in terms of 1) how well they do things, capturing persistent productivity differences, and 2) how they do things — and both reflect firms’ organization design choices. Both types of heterogeneity can be persistent, and are interdependent, although they have typically been studied separately. We propose a simple formal framework — the “aggregation function framework” — that aligns organization design thinking with the emphasis on performance heterogeneity among firms that is characteristic of the strategy field. Our framework allows for a more precise identification of how exactly organization design may contribute to persistent performance differences, and therefore what exactly are the assumptions that strategy and organization design scholars need to be attentive to.

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