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Modelling the influence of front-line employee improvisation on opportunity identification

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abstract While the roles of top management teams and middle level managers have been widely acknowledged in the strategic management literature, the role of front-line employees has barely been discussed so far. Addressing this topic, we argue that boundary-spanning organizational members through their continuous interaction with customers can play a central role for the development of an entrepreneurial mindset within an organization. We argue that improvisation based on sound organizational knowledge is a way to enhance the identification of unfulfilled customer needs. Based on this insight, organizations are able to constantly adapt to changing markets and hence can gain competitive advantage. In this paper, we discuss the relationship between front-line improvisation and opportunity recognition in organizations. We explain, which factors facilitate improvisation and how the impact on opportunity identification is influenced by organizational memory and the internal influence of boundary-spanning actors. We present our findings in a research model and a set of testable propositions. Furthermore, questions for future research will be identified.
   
type conference paper (Deutsch)
   
keywords
   
name of conference Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management (Chicago)
date of conference 10-8-2009
page(s) 24
review double-blind review
   
citation Schrettle, T. (2009). Modelling the influence of front-line employee improvisation on opportunity identification. In , pp.24.