The process of organisational adaptation through innovations, and organisational adaptability

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Aalto-yliopiston teknillinen korkeakoulu | Doctoral thesis (monograph)
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Verkkokirja (9792 KB, 294 s.)
Helsinki University of Technology, Department of Industrial Engineering and Management doctoral dissertation series, 2010/7
This study is about the process of organisational adaptation and organisational adaptability. The study generates a theoretical framework about organisational adaptation behaviour and conditions that have influence on success of organisational adaptation. The research questions of the study are: How does an organisation adapt through innovations, and which conditions enhance or impede organisational adaptation through innovations? The data were gathered from five case organisations within one industrial service company. The study applied the case study approach and grounded theory as research methodologies. Primary data were acquired through group and individual interviews. The themes of the interviews were constructed on the basis of outcomes of a pilot study. Other data sources included participant observations, direct observations, discussions, and documents of the organisations. The theoretical domain covered by the study includes resource dependence theory, contingency theories, evolutionary theories of change, and theories of organisational adaptation, organisational innovation, organisational learning, and organisational creativity. The study suggests that organisational adaptation behaviour can be conceptualised as a circular phase model consisting of phases of triggering, search, implementation, change, and retention. The triggering phase has sub-phases of scanning, performance monitoring, innovation institutionalisation, and coping. The study suggests that organisational adaptation can take place at multiple levels in the organisational hierarchy and it can be carried out through balanced or unbalanced adaptations. The study recognised 20 categories of conditions that can enhance or impede organisational adaptation through innovations. The results of the study contribute to the understanding of organisational adaptation behaviour and adaptability and they offer a conceptual framework through which phenomena can be studied further. The results can be utilised in development of organisational adaptability in business organisations.
Supervising professor
Järvenpää, Eila, Prof.
Thesis advisor
Järvenpää, Eila, Prof.
organisational adaptation, organisational adaptability, organisational innovation, organisational learning, organisational memory
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