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Knowledge Management and Organizational Competence$
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Ron Sanchez

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199259281

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199259281.001.0001

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Dormant Capabilities, Complex Organizations, and Renewal *

Dormant Capabilities, Complex Organizations, and Renewal *

Chapter:
(p.114) 6 Dormant Capabilities, Complex Organizations, and Renewal*
Source:
Knowledge Management and Organizational Competence
Author(s):

Charles Baden-Fuller

Henk W. Volberda (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199259281.003.0006

This chapter uses case studies carried out over significant time periods to explore the process of competence building capable of supporting major change in large, complex, diversified organizations. Analysis of multiple units, multiple levels, and historic patterns within four firms showed that change and renewal in large corporations is possible and that managers often have considerable — though sometimes unrecognized — latitude for choice. This chapter introduces the concept of dormant capabilities that are available to business managers to regenerate old competences, to build new ones, and to overcome existing core rigidities. Temporally dormant capabilities are the result of organizational competences that were created previously but were rejected or ‘retired’ by the organization at some time in the past. The concept of organizationally separated capabilities that can be ‘imported’ (at least in part) from other units in a large firm is also considered. This chapter explains the concepts of core competences, core rigidities, and organizational change in complex organizations.

Keywords:   dormant capabilities, organizational change, core competences, core rigidities, complex organizations, renewal, organizational competences, competence building, large corporations

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