Resolving the paradox of interdependency and strategic renewal in activity systems

Item Type Journal paper
Abstract

We examine an intriguing paradox regarding whether interdependencies in an organization's activity system enable or hinder strategic renewal, i.e., the incremental process through which an organization continuously adapts to the environment and explores opportunities to invoke change in its activity choices and outputs. One research stream, the "inertial view", argues that the pervasiveness of interdependencies among activities increases inertia, which inhibits strategic renewal. Another research stream, the "adaptive view", argues that the pervasiveness of interdependencies among activities allows for a rich flow of resources and information, which enables strategic renewal. In this paper, we argue that both views provide important insights but arrive at conflicting conclusions because they focus on different dimensions of interdependency. To resolve this paradox, we distinguish between an activity system's interdependency patterns and interdependency rules. We propose that the dimensions of the interdependency pattern set the context in which the dimensions of the interdependency rules guide the exchange of resources and information among interdependent activities. Integrating these two components of an activity system's interdependency design leads to a "dual understanding" of interdependency as both pattern and rule and helps explain how the inertial forces of interdependency patterns may be overcome by putting appropriate interdependency rules in place.

Authors Albert, Daniel; Kreutzer, Markus & Lechner, Christoph
Projects Lechner, Christoph; Albert, Daniel; Kreutzer, Markus & Oh, Lyndon (2009) Strategic Renewal [applied research project]
Journal or Publication Title Academy of Management Review
Language English
Keywords activity system; interdependency; strategic renewal
Subjects business studies
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
HSG Profile Area SoM - Responsible Corporate Competitiveness (RoCC)
Refereed Yes
Date April 2015
Publisher Academy of Management
Place of Publication Briarcliff Manor, NY
Volume 40
Number 2
Page Range 210-234
Number of Pages 25
ISSN 0363-7425
ISSN-Digital 1930-3807
Publisher DOI 10.5465/amr.2012.0177
Depositing User Prof. Dr. Markus Kreutzer
Date Deposited 21 Jul 2014 13:39
Last Modified 12 Sep 2016 14:55
URI: https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/publications/232977

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Albert, Daniel; Kreutzer, Markus & Lechner, Christoph (2015) Resolving the paradox of interdependency and strategic renewal in activity systems. Academy of Management Review, 40 (2). 210-234. ISSN 0363-7425

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https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/id/eprint/232977
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