Analyzing Organizational Capabilities as Systems: A Conceptual Framework

Year: 2016
Editor: Marly Monteiro de Carvalho, Steven D. Eppinger, Maik Maurer, Lucia Becerril
Author: Mohammadreza Arasti, Mahdi Khaleghi
Series: DSM
Institution: Graduate School of Management and Economics, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran; Facuty of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran; Center for Research in Technology and Innovation Management in Complex Industrial Systems (CRiTIMiX), Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran
Section: Analyzing and Managing Organizations
Page(s): 067-076
DOI number: 10.19255/JMPM-DSM2016
ISBN: 978-85-63710-01-7


Operational capabilities are used in resource based view in strategic management literature to explain how the difference in performing similar activities results in heterogeneity between firms. In order to advance our understanding of this concept, using a system metaphor, we try to shape a framework for micro-level analysis of operational capabilities. Following two stages of holism and focus for identifying system boundaries through looking related literatures, we propose knowledge, skills and tools as general micro elements of operational capabilities in form domain. Using Dependency Structure Matrix (DSM), we finally synthesize our conceptual framework to capture interactions of aforementioned micro elements and to show how this system works toward sub activities in function domain which their integration to a whole provides the firm with an operational capability. This paper is the first step in using a system metaphor to investigate organizational capabilities and paves the way for future researches of its kind.

Keywords: Organizational capabilities, Operational capabilities, Micro-level analysis, system metaphor, system analysis, form domain, function domain, interactions, Dependency Structure Matrix (DSM), literature review

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