Stimulating Knowledge Search Routines and Architecture Competences: The Role of Organizational Context and Middle Management

Abstract : This qualitative study uncovers how organizations following a replication strategy, with its focus on efficiency and standardisation, can also achieve explorative knowledge search to propose relevant solutions to unusual problems. We undertook a detailed investigation of middle managers' knowledge search routines in Gamma, a leading ICT multinational corporation (MNC), to unravel how the organizational context influences their search actions and solution development. We find that by maintaining a flexible organizational structure and not storing knowledge in central repositories - thereby foregoing the value of such mechanisms in facilitating a more efficient search and leverage of existing solutions, knowledge search routines are executed that are intense and active, break out of silos and mobilize diverse knowledge components for the architecturing of solutions. These findings contribute towards our understanding of micro-foundations of capability evolution in the context of a replication strategy by uncovering the dual workings of organizational context elements in both enabling and challenging middle managers' knowledge search actions. It also extends our understanding of the role of middle managers in capability evolution by revealing the importance of architecture competences in developing solutions that renew routines and how these competences can be stimulated by an appropriate organizational context.
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Long Range Planning, Elsevier, 2014, 47 (4), pp.226-223. 〈10.1016/j.lrp.2013.11.001〉
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Esther Tippmann, Pamela Sharkey Scott, Vincent Mangematin. Stimulating Knowledge Search Routines and Architecture Competences: The Role of Organizational Context and Middle Management. Long Range Planning, Elsevier, 2014, 47 (4), pp.226-223. 〈10.1016/j.lrp.2013.11.001〉. 〈hal-00864332〉

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