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Sustainable Development in Organizations

Sustainable Development in Organizations

Studies on Innovative Practices

Edited by Mattias Elg, Per- Erik Ellström, Magnus Klofsten and Malin Tillmar

An increasingly competitive environment can lead to considerable problems for many organizations as they struggle to adapt to change. As a result, they fail to create the conditions that can lead to sustainable development over the long term, thus affecting the capabilities of employees. This book provides a fresh perspective on sustainable change and development in organizations, as well as a critical perspective on lean implementation, work environment and sustainability.

Chapter 13: Organizational formalization in new high-tech ventures – a dual-actor process

Ingela Sölvell

Subjects: business and management, management and sustainability, organisational innovation, organisation studies


Formal organizational characteristics like structures or routines are important dimensions for understanding contextual conditions and other challenges facing managers who pursue intentional organizational change for increased efficiency in established firms (Armenakis and Bedeian, 1999). In new ventures, formal organizational characteristics are interesting for additional reasons, that is, as enablers for growth and establishment (Gilbert and McDougall, 2006; Davis et al., 2009). Entrepreneurial studies have shown both performance advantages and enhanced survival related to the early creation of formal organizational structures (Hannan et al., 2000; Burton, 2001; Sine et al., 2006). Based on the entrepreneurs’ initial employment models these studies indicate reduced uncertainty among internal and external actors, more efficient use of resources and other advantages gained. Despite these results the scientific and practical discourses on organizational design tend to characterize young firms as non-bureaucratic and innovative due to its informality (Mintzberg, 1973), simply operating based on an emergent strategy (Burton et al., 2011). This is a notion also reflected in the literature where high-tech venturing is concerned (Henderson and Clark, 1990).

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