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Using the framework of the philosophy of science, this chapter explores some basic theoretical issues that must be recognized and addressed in developing theory within the…
Using the framework of the philosophy of science, this chapter explores some basic theoretical issues that must be recognized and addressed in developing theory within the competence perspective. We first develop an overview of resource-based and competence-based research to highlight some fundamental theoretical issues. We then identify a set of basic assumptions for conducting a research program focused on development of a “competence-based theory of the firm.” Working from these basic assumptions, we argue for a shift in the epistemological aim of competence theory development from explaining market success to explaining firm competitiveness. We explain how such a shift theoretical focus and approach can remedy the problem of circular reasoning often observed in resource-based thinking that tries to contribute to the competence literature.
The paper investigates the role of alliances in periods of industry transformation. It addresses the research question why firms ally in dynamic environments. This takes…
The paper investigates the role of alliances in periods of industry transformation. It addresses the research question why firms ally in dynamic environments. This takes place with an interactive qualitative research design and fieldwork in the changing German health care sector between 2004 and 2007, primarily using qualitative longitudinal data from a focus group panel. From the theoretical side, the resource- and competence-based views have proven useful for alliance research. For our theory-driven investigation we applied the perspective of the competence-based theory of the firm and extended this view by insights from the Austrian School in order to cover developments on multiple levels of analysis in an integrated way.
On an aggregated level we elaborate a taxonomy of three categories reflecting motivations and alliance types against the background of industry transformation:(1)closing resource and competence gaps in so-called “gap-closing alliances,”(2)preparing for unexpected developments in so-called “option networks,” and(3)intending to proactively exert influence on the relevant business environment in so-called “steering alliances” as an alternative way to enhance fit.
For each alliance type, propositions are derived and validated. Summarizing the findings from a meta point of view, a twofold role of collaborative arrangements turned out: On the one hand agents are pushed into cooperation with others in order to manage change and uncertainty in transforming business environments. But on the other hand joint forces themselves act as an accelerator of industry transformation and thereby as a jolt to other economic agents.
The first part of this paper discusses why and how organizations join collaborative arrangements in transforming business sectors. In order to address this research…
The first part of this paper discusses why and how organizations join collaborative arrangements in transforming business sectors. In order to address this research question from an organization–environment co-evolution perspective, the authors begin with working out a respective framework for analysis founded on competence-based theory under the umbrella of market process theory. The starting of point of the investigation are results from comprehensive qualitative research conducted within the currently highly turbulent German healthcare sector. Embedded into an interactive research design, the fieldwork reveals a taxonomy of three reasons to cooperate in volatile environments: (1) closing resource and competence gaps in so-called “gap-closing alliances,” (2) preparing for unexpected developments in so-called “option networks,” and (3) intending to exert influence on the relevant business environment in so-called “steering alliances.” Detailed findings and particularities for the field of competence research are briefly summarized. They emanate especially from an evolutionary angle and include timing (reacting adequately to strategic windows in the market), historicity, path dependencies (on both the firm and market/industry level), and an evolutionary interpretation of resource/competence specificity.
The central research question in the second part of the paper is whether and how competence-based management of alliances is applicable to the education sector and for deriving respective management implications. For this reason, an exploratory case study is conducted of the German MBA program “Net Economy,” featuring innovative teaching methods like blended learning arrangements, multimedia case studies, and transnational learning processes in an international learning network.
Extant work on lobbying primarily focuses on who is lobbying and is lobbied as well as strategies of how to exert influence. More fundamentally, we address (1) what drives…
Extant work on lobbying primarily focuses on who is lobbying and is lobbied as well as strategies of how to exert influence. More fundamentally, we address (1) what drives firms to engage in lobbying activities at all and (2) what factors determine the alignment of corporate lobbying. More concrete, we investigate why and also how firms do lobbying. Another intention is to further anchor this highly relevant instrument of business practice in the scientific discourse of strategic management.
It turns out that the dynamic, systemic, cognitive, and holistic rationale of the competence perspective is a very strong contributor of fresh thoughts to the debate on lobbying as a strategic means. We adopt this perspective by specifically making use of the Competence-based Theory of the Firm (CbTF) in order to scrutinize this issue in theoretical terms. Especially path-dependent developments when building and leveraging a firm's resources and competences as well as resource/competence specificity cause organizational inertia and limited adaptability to changing environmental conditions. Instead of passively adapting to changing environmental conditions, lobbying activities directly aim at entrepreneurial and goal-oriented attempts to exert influence and to steer changes in the relevant business environment, basic conditions underlying every market process, or institutional migration paths at points of inflection. Acknowledging their discretionary potential to act, agents seek to achieve a strategic fit between market requirements and the output they are able to render based on their competences by using the lever of manipulating their environment.
Empirically, propositions are derived and validated with an integrated set of qualitative empirical methods applied in the German healthcare system between 2004 and 2008.
This volume begins with a literature review of the different approaches to the management of competences in interorganizational relations. In Frédéric Prevot's paper, “The management of competences in the context of interorganizational relations,” the existing literature is structured in a two-dimensional model based on the nature of the relationship (cooperation or competition) and the actions taken on the competences (leveraging or building). Four objectives for the management of competences in the context of interorganizational relationships are thus derived: (1) sharing of competences, (2) protection of competences, (3) creation of competences, and (4) acquisition of competences. Each competence objective then requires specific management approaches to achieve.
Part I of this issue begins with a paper by Colin Eden and Fran Ackermann on “Competences, distinctive competences, and core competences.” Eden and Ackermann draw on their…
Part I of this issue begins with a paper by Colin Eden and Fran Ackermann on “Competences, distinctive competences, and core competences.” Eden and Ackermann draw on their extensive work with top management teams in workshops focused on identifying the competences of an organization. They describe an interactive process of engagement with managers through which an organization's competences are identified, some of which are further judged to be “distinctive competences” of the organization. Analysis of the interrelationships among a firm's identified competences then leads to the discovery of a pattern of competence interactions in which some competences appear to be at the “core” of the organizations distinctive competences. The paper presents an interesting perspective on how the capabilities and competences of a firm are often interrelated in ways that invite special attention and development by managers. Further, the paper explains the systems methodology that the authors have developed for use with managers to help identify and assess an organization's competences.