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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
The development paths of non-strategic capabilities
Article Type: Abstracts From: Strategic Direction, Volume 24, Issue 5.
Pan S.L., Tan B.C.C., Huang J., Poulsen B. European Management Journal, October 2007, Vol. 25 No. 5, Start page: 344, No. of pages: 14
Purpose To investigate how firms develop non-strategic capabilities. Design/methodology/approach Defines a non-strategic capability as an organizational routine that is of little value, common, imitable or substitutable, gives examples as office automation, customer contact handling and transaction processing, maintains that development of such capabilities is overlooked, and suggests that they are important and can provide organizational benefits. Describes development of call-centre capabilities by three of the Boots Company’s business units, outlines centralization of retail customer complaint handling using an in-house call-centre, attributes success of this initiative, in customer satisfaction terms, to customer reassurance when speaking to an experienced advisor, and records that initial use of an outsourced call-centre to operate Boots Advantage card was, due to unexpected success of the card, taken in-house, commenting on escalating outsourcing costs and potential breakdown in delivery of the “Boots experience”. Profiles use of an independent mail order company to operate Boots’ Mother and Baby Direct home shopping catalogue, states that the catalogue did not achieve expected margins, refers to problems in ensuring that operators had comprehensive product knowledge, and documents replacement of the catalogue with a direct selling module, initially added onto Boots main website, eventually onto an independent web-site, underlining that web-site support was provided by Boots’ own call-centre. Depicts models of the development of both non-strategic capabilities and non-strategic capabilities that eventually become strategic, giving key activities as identification of needs, evaluation of alternatives, acquire or develop required capabilities, and institutionalize the capability. Originality/value Extends resource-based view literature.ISSN: 0263-2373Reference: 37AA220DOI: 10.1016/j.emj.2007.07.007
Keywords: Call centres, Competences, Organizational processes, Organizational theory, Resources