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Tippmann, E.,Sharkey Scott, P.,Mangematin, V.
Long Range Planning
Stimulating knowledge search routines and architecture competences: The role of organizational context and middle management
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Organizations following a replication strategy emphasize template leverage at the expenses of routine modification or routine generation. This issue is particularly important for organizations operating in dynamic environments, as these business contexts require organizations to engage in continuous renewal for their long-term success. 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, solution development and routine development. We find that a flexible organizational structure, and not storing knowledge in central repositories, trigger knowledge search routines and mobilize diverse knowledge components for the architecture of new solutions. These findings contribute toward 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, as well as the role of organizational context for the development of such competences.
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