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Crises and Resource Scarcity and Adaptability: Toward a Multi-level Bricolage

Anass Mawadia (University of Poitiers, France)
Ariel Eggrickx (University of Montpellier, France)

Responding to Uncertain Conditions: New Research on Strategic Adaptation

ISBN: 978-1-80455-965-9, eISBN: 978-1-80455-964-2

Publication date: 14 March 2023


The case of Alpha, a group of small subsidiaries, confronted with a strong crisis following the implementation of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) in a context of financial crisis (Spanish subsidiaries) allows the authors to illustrate the dynamics of collective bricolage, from individual bricolage to intra-subsidiary bricolage and then inter-subsidiary bricolage, network and more globally a strategy of bricolage within the group. Would multi-level bricolage be a new way for companies facing more and more crises, scarcity of resources and uncertain environments?

The action research (AR) conducted by the ERP project manager – researcher – during two years (2012–2014) shows a dynamic that increases tenfold the potential of discovering at low-cost tinkered solutions that work, adapted to the specificities of the group. Bricolage includes the constitution of the repertoire of resources (material and immaterial resources and intimate knowledge of resources) and the art of bringing the different elements of the repertoire into dialogue (tests, permutations and substitutions) in order to find an arrangement that works despite limited resources (Lévi-Strauss, 1966). In order to combine the advantages of an ERP designed according to an engineer approach and the advantages of small subsidiaries (flexibility, reactivity and local adaptations) accustomed to “bricolage,” to make do with the means at hand, the group is gradually developing a “strategic bricolage” approach. This approach contributes to enriching the repertoires of resources and developing the capacity for dialogue between the elements of the different repertoires (individuals, subsidiaries, countries, activities, external network and group), which encourages the discovery of bricolage solutions that are difficult to imitate. The evaluation of the tinkered solutions at both the local and global levels allows the group to improve, enhance and disseminate them to all subsidiaries.




We would like to extend our sincere thanks to Torben Juul Andersen for the academic support given throughout this chapter.


Mawadia, A. and Eggrickx, A. (2023), "Crises and Resource Scarcity and Adaptability: Toward a Multi-level Bricolage", Andersen, T.J. (Ed.) Responding to Uncertain Conditions: New Research on Strategic Adaptation (Emerald Studies in Global Strategic Responsiveness), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 157-179.



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