Session 238

Processes for Adaptation and Change

Track H

Date: Monday, November 7, 2011


Time: 08:00 – 09:15


Room: Sundial

Session Chair:

  • Steven Kahl, Dartmouth College

Title: Interdependencies of Activity Systems and Strategic Renewal


  • Daniel Albert, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Markus Kreutzer, EBS University of Business and Law
  • Christoph Lechner, University of St. Gallen

Abstract: There are two opposing perspectives on the relationship between interdependency in activity systems and the likelihood of radical strategic renewal. Some scholars argue that interdependency increases inertia and thus inhibits radical deviation from the current state. Other scholars argue that rich levels of interdependency are necessary to undergo radical strategic renewal at all. In this paper, we claim that both strands of research have looked at different sub-dimensions of interdependency and therefore derive at different conclusions. Hence, by introducing multiple dimensions of interdependency, we show that the likelihood of radical strategic renewal is influenced by the value of three structural and two rule-based dimensions of interdependency.

Title: Opportunistic Adaptation: A Process Approach to New Venture Growth


  • Andreea Kiss, Iowa State University
  • Pamela Barr, Georgia State University

Abstract: We use prior literature on organizational adaptation and on new venture growth to build and empirically test a process model of opportunistic adaptation for new venture growth. Opportunistic adaptation is defined as the speed, diversity and frequency of organizational actions that entrepreneurs take based on how they interpret information received from the environment. We find that a growing industry is a necessary but not sufficient condition for fast, diverse and frequent actions to occur. Industry growth has a significant impact on actions only when paired with the appropriate cognitive frameworks. We find that only diverse actions translate into growth. We provide resolution to a deterministic versus a choice perspective on new venture growth and offer theoretical and practical implications for new venture adaptation and growth.

Title: Organizational Identity and Strategic Adaptation: How Differences in Managerial Perceptions Influence Change


  • Johan van Rekom, Erasmus University - Rotterdam
  • Jatinder Sidhu, Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Egbert Schroten, Wortell

Abstract: A change in organizational identity, which is often defined as a shared understanding by organization members of what is central, enduring and distinctive about the organization, is often necessary to successfully adapt to an altered environment. However, firms typically encounter difficulties in orchestrating a change in organizational identity. This paper explores the role of managers’ different perceptions regarding the essence of the organization in holding back organizational-identity transformation. Based on an inductive study of a leading European electronics retailer, the paper proposes a model of identity dynamics that is anchored in a political perspective. We discuss the implications for research and practice.

Title: Radical Change From Incremental Actions: Dueling Logics of Conflict and Attraction


  • Balaji Koka, Rice University
  • Ravi Madhavan, University of Pittsburgh

Abstract: How and why organizations change has been a dominant theme in the strategy and organization literature. A view of change as discontinuous, planned, lumpy and rare has been contrasted with an alternative view that it is continuous, often unintended, cumulative and ongoing. Our longitudinal case study analysis of a large non-profit organization supports a model of strategic change in which managerial agency plays a nuanced role, simultaneously accommodating variations within the current template and the emergence of a newer template from cumulative choices made using the previous one. Not only do repertoires of actions change, the rules for selecting specific actions from the repertoire also change; and in radical change, even the rules for generating repertoires are modified, resulting in continuous organizational renewal.

All Sessions in Track H...

Sun: 09:30 – 10:45
Session 325: Strategy Process and Practice Research in Perspective and Future Directions
Sun: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 326: Systems Perspective to Strategy Process Research
Sun: 13:45 – 15:00
Session 327: Strategy Process, Acquistion Process and Activity Sequences
Mon: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 238: Processes for Adaptation and Change
Session 244: TMT Traits, Characteristics and Roles
Mon: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 239: Risk, Uncertainty and Behavior
Mon: 13:30 – 14:45
Session 237: Dynamic Capabilities, Evolution and Change
Mon: 15:15 – 16:30
Session 242: Managerial Levels and Roles in Processes
Tue: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 241: Perspectives on Strategy Making and Planning
Tue: 14:15 – 15:30
Session 246: Processes of Resource Management
Tue: 16:00 – 17:15
Session 243: Understanding Decision Making Processes
Wed: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 304: Alliances and Cooperation Processes
Wed: 09:45 – 11:00
Session 240: Organizational Structures and Processes

Strategic Management Society