Organizational Linkages for Surviving Technological Change: Complementary Assets, Middle Management, and Ambidexterity Alva Taylor, Constance E. Helfat, 2009 Group 4: Aleksi, Alexander, Dada & Vili Agenda Background Technological transitions Challenges in tech. transitions Implications for management Critical analysis Areas of improvement Conclusion Background Incumbents often have difficulty adapting to changes when one core technology replaces another The role of linkages across the business unit is essential for successful technological transitions Technological transitions Definition used by the authors: “technological transition as a fundamental change in the nature of a product and the core technology that underpins that product” Simplification according to the authors: “a firm attempts to transform itself from a business based on one core technology to another” Technological transitions: Complementary Assets Technological transition often involves a shift in complementary assets. - Part of the existing complementary assets remain significant - Some complementary assets are replaced - The importance of different types of assets might change Technological transitions: Organizational Linkages Defined as those that connect actors with different roles in an organization through communication and coordination - Sharing information - Consistent actions - Aligned planning and decision making Communication is the key for coordination Communication between people Boundary spanners in a key role Technological transitions: Management Linking Activity Middle managers are critical to organizational linkage during technological transition - Forging and maintaining the linkages Top management could specify the necessary linking for the middle management - High uncertainty during technological transition makes it difficult Influence the linking activity Technological transitions: Influencing the linking activity The critical influences that impact the willingness to execute linking activity - Economic - Structural - Social - Cognitive Strength of each influence vary in different organizations Focus on the aspects that affect the middle management behavior Challenges in technological transitions Finding a way to “exploit” existing complementary assets to support the new “exploratory” core technology The rise of higher costs of communication and coordination than with current ongoing activities Challenges in technological transitions Knowing when to enforce linkages between existing and new complementary assets and core technologies, as opposed to creating unlinked organizational structures Challenges in technological transitions The implications of new technologies and their fluctuating early profits Cannibalism of existing products Uncertainty around profitability may negatively impact middle managers’ rewards May motivate middle-management to stay loyal only to the old technology - and even to undermine the new business Implications for management Organisational communication is critical both vertical and horizontal Technologies (old & new) must be properly aligned with organisational strategy Organisational culture must encourage flexibility People’s buy-in must be solicited Critical analysis Article emphasises linkages between internal resources neglecting to the external ones e.g. suppliers Rewards and recognitions of middles are emphasised, what about the teams? Agree with authors’ perspectives? Areas of improvements Direct linkage to customers by hosting customer forum brand community Rewards & recognition of teams Team of the month award Role of strategic change managers bird-view of overall strategy support teams and middle managers Conclusions Definition of technological transition • a fundamental change in the nature of a product and the core technology that underpins the product Challenges involved in the transition • Leverage existing complementary assets in support of new tech. • Implications of new technologies Agree with the author? • Yes References Taylor, A., & Helfat, C. (2009). Organizational Linkages for Surviving Technological Change: Complementary Assets, Middle Management, and Ambidexterity. Organization Science.