The Dynamics of Implementing and Managing Modularity of Organizational Routines During Capability Development: Insights from a Process Model

IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management (54:4), 2007, pp. 800-813

Posted: 21 Apr 2013

See all articles by Shan Pan

Shan Pan

National University of Singapore (NUS)

Gary Pan

Singapore Management University - School of Accountancy

Adela Chen

Independent

Ming-Huei Hsieh

Independent

Date Written: December 21, 2007

Abstract

Past research using the resource-based view of a firm suggests that it is important to consider how firms develop, manage, and deploy resources and capabilities to influence the overall process of strategy formation and implementation. Relatively little research has been conducted in conceptualizing how firms implement and manage modularity of organizational routines during capability development. Yet, most companies would benefit from implementing modularity in organizational routines when competing in dynamic market conditions. Such implementations may require fundamental organizational reorientation that incurs significant coordination costs, and in some cases, such modularization attempts may fail, costing organizations significant amounts of valuable resources. This study seeks to conceptualize how modularity of organizational routines can be achieved during the capability development process. We inductively develop a process model of modularization, using qualitative data of an in-depth case study of the capability development experience of a call center. The model reveals that modularization is a complex process, whereby an organization’s key functional activities are decomposed into specific operating and strategic routines that are reconfigured iteratively during the process of capability development. Practitioners may derive strategies and tactics from our findings to help them implement and manage the modularity of organizational routines during capability development so as to achieve sustainable competence in fast-moving marketplaces. Researchers should be able to use and develop the theory further with new case studies.

Keywords: Capability development, case study, modularity

JEL Classification: M40

Suggested Citation

Pan, Shan and Pan, Gary and Chen, Adela and Hsieh, Ming-Huei, The Dynamics of Implementing and Managing Modularity of Organizational Routines During Capability Development: Insights from a Process Model (December 21, 2007). IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management (54:4), 2007, pp. 800-813. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2254466

Shan Pan

National University of Singapore (NUS) ( email )

Bukit Timah Road 469 G
Singapore, 117591
Singapore

Gary Pan (Contact Author)

Singapore Management University - School of Accountancy ( email )

60 Stamford Road
Singapore 178900
Singapore

Adela Chen

Independent ( email )

Ming-Huei Hsieh

Independent ( email )

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