Relational Perspectives in Organizational Studies

Relational Perspectives in Organizational Studies

A Research Companion

Edited by Olympia Kyriakidou and Mustafa F. Özbilgin

The contributors to this highly innovative and authoritative research companion, leading experts in their field, apply relational analyses to different areas of organization studies and provide a comprehensive review of the relational perspectives. The book features empirical, theoretical, philosophical and methodological contributions from a wide spectrum of disciplinary perspectives on relationality in and around organizations.

Chapter 12: Knowledge Integration in Turbulent Environments: A Relational Perspective

Laura A. Costanzo

Subjects: business and management, diversity and management, organisation studies


Laura A. Costanzo Introduction Considerable emphasis has been placed on the sources of competitive advantage in business contexts dominated by a fast pace of change. Computing, telecommunication, financial services and many others are examples of some of the industries characterized by hyper-competition (D’Aveni, 1994). In these contexts, in order to succeed, firms are compelled to adopt strategies of continuous change (Brown & Eisenhardt, 1997; Eisenhardt & Brown, 1999; Hamel & Välikagas, 2003). This has also required an increasing move towards greater internal flexibility and management focus on critical resources and capabilities. The critical role of knowledge (Grant, 1996) and dynamic capabilities (Teece et al., 1997), which are recognized as the most important firm’s assets for competitive advantage, is well documented in the literature. In the meantime, there has also been an increasing research focus on the type of organizational systems and management practices that enact firm’s adaptation to external changes. Minimum structures, semi-structures, improvisation, modularity and networks are some of the organizational artefacts or solutions that many of today’s companies implement so that they can cope with the challenges that frequent and rapid change poses to their organization. A considerable established body of literature on innovative forms of organization (Lewin & Volberda, 1999; Dijksterhuis et al., 1999; Ilinitch et al., 1996; Whittington et al., 1999) offers rich insights into the issues of organizational design and adaptation. Also, the social network theory (Granovetter, 1973) extensively elucidates on the relationship between forms of firms’ collaboration and competitive advantage. Although a large body of literature...

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