Keyword

Business Strategy, Case Study Design, Operational Closure, Social Systems, Strategic Change, and System Dynamics.

Abstract

Business organisations can be seen as social systems encompassing multiple scales. The more functionally differentiated a system landscape becomes the higher the need to coordinate different processes between these systems is. This helps to develop sound business strategies supporting the identification of synergy potentials. Induced by turbulent markets, especially multinational enterprises have to continuously adapt their strategies and introduce new junctures between parts of their organisations. The current article contributes to the effective management of those junctures whilst adopting a systems theory perspective. Novel insights on the coordination of strategic change processes, which are most relevant to businesses in order to implement new strategies, are derived from a system dynamics model. They are subsequently applied to a single case study in the medical device industry for the purpose of discussing implications for international enterprises. It is shown how the concepts of operational closure and reflection impact on the junctures between complex social systems. Therefore, it is argued that the analysis of the systemic communication patterns should be considered an integral part of any strategic change process within multinational enterprises. Moreover, the findings are generic enough to be transferred to the regional level as well. The presented approach on the coordination of complex social systems provides valuable impulses, even if the involved systems come from the political or scientific sector. Hence, the investigation of mixed systems coordination is suggested to be part of a future research agenda.


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