Chapter 10: In Conclusion: Micro Behaviors as Inducements for Firm and Sector Evolution
10. In conclusion: micro behaviors as inducements for ﬁrm and sector evolution In the foregoing chapters, we have explored organizational strategies and structures that are conditioned by individual actions. We have been able to trace changes in competitive positioning, behavior and structure that are triggered by the actions of the ﬁrm’s membership. Members engage in behaviors that have repercussions at the level of their ﬁrm but also at higher levels including the local and sector-wide environment and taking in the competitive arena within which the ﬁrm competes. Two sets of empirical studies were included in this volume. The ﬁrst set, examined in Part II, looked at intangible assets among human-intensive organizations as distinct from organizations in general. Obviously, as human-intensive ﬁrms become increasingly important in Western societies and agricultural, manufacturing and mining ﬁrms recede into the background, the nature of such ﬁrms should accord a prominent place to their membership. After all the skills and capabilities that reside in the membership represent the primary source of their competitive advantage. The prominence of membership in human asset-intensive ﬁrms is also evident in the second collection of chapters, in Part III, dealing with individual mobility within and between ﬁrms. Recently, the recognition that ﬁrms often face a retention dilemma (for example, Coﬀ, 1997) has highlighted a major managerial factor in attracting, retaining and integrating human resources. Unlike mining and numerous manufacturing ﬁrms which are endowed with signiﬁcant physical assets, the assets in services ﬁrms like those covered in this volume are...
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