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Building the Flexible FirmHow to Remain Competitive$
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Henk W. Volberda

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198295952

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198295952.001.0001

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The Managerial Task: Creating Flexible Capabilities

The Managerial Task: Creating Flexible Capabilities

(p.107) 5 The Managerial Task: Creating Flexible Capabilities
Building the Flexible Firm

Henk W. Volberda

Oxford University Press

In this chapter, we provide a more thorough examination of the managerial tasks associated with flexibility which includes increasing both the speed and variety of managerial capabilities. Although the sustainability of specialized routes may be weakened by the accelerating speed in environmental changes, more emphasis is given to the advantage brought about by valuable flexible dynamic capabilities. While specialized routines are still required by firms, these routines are sometimes viewed to be dysfunctional as rapid environmental changes cause them to become outdated. As such, companies have to invest heavily in flexible capabilities. After differentiating specialized routines from flexible capabilities, we provide a discussion regarding their corresponding managerial requirements while also considering the cross-functional and cross-hierarchical roles to cross-value capability development. Also, we identify the four types of flexibility — steady-state, operational, structural, and strategic.

Keywords:   managerial capabilities, flexible dynamic capabilities, types of flexibility, specialized routines, capability development

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