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Organizational adaptation to interdependence shifts: The role of integrator structures

Stan, M; Puranam, P; (2016) Organizational adaptation to interdependence shifts: The role of integrator structures. Strategic Management Journal , 38 (5) pp. 1041-1061. 10.1002/smj.2546. Green open access

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Abstract

RESEARCH SUMMARY: We investigate how organizational adaptation to interdependence shifts is influenced by “integrators.” These are formally mandated managerial roles meant to promote coordination across specialized but interdependent organizational subunits, yet they do so without relying on formal authority. While much has been learned about how integrators promote steady-state coordination within a known pattern of interdependence, less is known about their impact on organizational adaptation when the pattern of interdependence itself is unknown. We discuss mechanisms by which integrators may nonetheless aid organizational adaptation and learning processes in such situations, and test our hypotheses in the context of a regulatory change that affected the in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics sector in the United Kingdom using a differences-in-differences design. MANAGERIAL sUMMARY: Organizational structure can influence how an organization adapts to change. We investigate how a regulatory change in the provision of fertility treatments in the United Kingdom forced clinics to change their workflows, and whether the presence of integrator roles enabled clinics to adapt to these changes. It is well known that integrator roles in general are valuable in coordinating across specialized organizational units, but this research points to the surprising implication that their value may persist even when the workflow being coordinated changes suddenly, in ways that nobody necessarily comprehends. Our research highlights the fact that even in an intensively science-based work context, the “technology of organizing” can have a significant role in shaping organizational performance.

Type: Article
Title: Organizational adaptation to interdependence shifts: The role of integrator structures
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/smj.2546
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/smj.2546
Language: English
Additional information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Stan, M; Puranam, P; (2016) Organizational adaptation to interdependence shifts: The role of integrator structures, Strategic Management Journal, which has been published in final form at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/smj.2546. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving (http://olabout.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-828039.html#terms).
Keywords: Organizational adaptation; organizational learning; interdependence; organizational design; integrator.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > UCL School of Management
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1513344
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