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Business Systems and Organizational CapabilitiesThe Institutional Structuring of Competitive Competences$
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Richard Whitley

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199205172

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199205172.001.0001

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Constructing Capabilities in Entrepreneurial Technology Firms: A Comparative Institutional Analysis of Germany, Sweden, and the UK

Constructing Capabilities in Entrepreneurial Technology Firms: A Comparative Institutional Analysis of Germany, Sweden, and the UK

Chapter:
(p.203) 8 Constructing Capabilities in Entrepreneurial Technology Firms: A Comparative Institutional Analysis of Germany, Sweden, and the UK
Source:
Business Systems and Organizational Capabilities
Author(s):

Richard Whitley (Contributor Webpage)

Steven Casper (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199205172.003.0008

This chapter explores the mechanisms linking dominant institutions to distinctive business competences in Germany, Sweden, and the UK, and looks at the relative success of these mechanisms in some detail by focusing on the characteristics of different subsectors. Specifically, it compares how the institutional frameworks in these countries have affected strategies for dealing with two major kinds of organizational problems that firms have to manage in developing new technologies in the biotechnology and software industries. It focuses on the role of different kinds of skill formation systems and labour market institutions in encouraging the development of contrasting kinds of organizational capabilities. While the predominantly arm's length institutions in countries such as the USA or UK are conducive to the development of project-based entrepreneurial technology start-ups focusing on discontinuous radical innovations, there are other subsectors of these industries where more complex and stable organizations are effective. Success in such segments is strongly advantaged by institutional structures that encourage competence enhancing human resource strategies.

Keywords:   entrepreneurial technology companies, competence destruction risk, appropriability risk, innovative strategies, subsectors, biotechnology industries, software companies

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