Moderate systemic inference in organizational learning: A “semi-beerian” perspective

Advances in Applied Business Strategy

ISBN: 978-0-7623-1472-0, eISBN: 978-1-84950-520-8

ISSN: 0749-6826

Publication date: 4 February 2008


This paper proposes a semi-Beerian frame of reference for designing a business organization as a system with four subsystems and eight modes of thinking and interacting in both offering and resource markets. A systemic organizational competence includes an ability to connect a business unit with its markets. It possesses absorption, attenuation, and amplifier capacities. It guides and re-specifies all technology, embedded knowledge, capabilities, and other resources that together enable a business unit to act in the predefined, emerging, or innovative ways needed for goal attainment. Ex ante, various research traditions were regrouped into eight schools of thought on business management based on Porter's frameworks, resources, competences, knowledge, organizations, processes, business dynamism, and evolution. The findings reveal that various core, distinct, organizational, higher, and lower competences and capabilities play both primary and secondary roles, across the eight schools of thought, within a population of 84 competence-related business-management concepts published between years 1990 and 2002. Most authors do not deal with competitiveness boundary setting and modeling. A new frame of reference points to some viable avenues of producing highly applicable competence-based concepts as four semi-Beerian subsystems (boundaries, models, designs, and actions). Managing a business unit successfully involves eight kinds of explicit and tacit knowledge, situational information, reflections, decisions, models, designs, and interactions. It is proposed that a high degree of systemic advancement is one of the necessary attributes of any competence-based concept that will be proven to be highly applicable in managing a real dynamic business. Thus, competence-based scholars are encouraged to adopt the suggested assumptions, redesign their concepts as one or several semi-Beerian subsystems, and thus advance their school of thought markedly in the future.


Huovinen, P. (2008), "Moderate systemic inference in organizational learning: A “semi-beerian” perspective", Heene, A., Martens, R. and Sanchez, R. (Ed.) Advances in Applied Business Strategy (Advances in Applied Business Strategy, Vol. 10), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 173-210.

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