Organizing Competences: The Role of ICTs in Strategy Formation in SMEs

This source preferred by Peter Erdelyi

Authors: Erdélyi, P.

http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/informationSystems/newsAndEvents/2007events/ORF3.htm

Start date: 21 March 2007

The competence perspective of the firm (encompassing the Resource-Based View, the Knowledge-Based View, evolutionary theory and other theories of competence and capabilities) offers the notion of “differential organizing competence” for conceptualising the capability to organise as a source of sustainable competitive advantage. The competence perspective has come under criticism in recent decades by proponents of theories of practice and situatedness for relying on traditional epistemologies that preserve the Cartesian cognition/action split. Situated studies of information systems and the strategy-as-practice perspective have made significant contributions in this regard. Nevertheless, implicit metaphysical assumptions about the nature of the cognitive subject and the objective world (essentially a Cartesian metaphysics of subjectivity) continue to hinder efforts to refine definitions of organisational knowledge. To address this, Ciborra within the information systems discipline and Chia and Holt in the strategic management field have recently highlighted the need to return to some of the original insights of Martin Heidegger’s existential phenomenology, from which many of the situated and practice-based perspectives take their provenance. The aim of this research project is to deploy Chia and Holt’s notion of strategy as both “purposive practical copying” (emergent strategy) and purposeful strategy-making (deliberate strategy) for the study of the relationship between ICTs and strategy development in SMEs in the UK and thus contribute towards a relational understanding of organising competence within the competence perspective of the firm.

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