Conflict and Collaboration
A Dualistic (Both/And)
Theory of Organization
What makes an organization capable of long-term success, through several phases of renewal or reinvention? I.e. what makes for dynamic capability?
It takes many success factors; here we highlight the “Both/And Factor“. This is the ability to manage certain conflicts between pairs of necessary elements that seem to be mutually incompatible, for example the need for both high quality and low costs, or the need for both order/efficiency and innovation.
This approach requires paradoxical thinking in practice to find solutions. The full explanation of this approach synthesizes several elements from org. research. It highlights collaboration as the life-blood of value creation. Organizational learning is applied to protect and/or restore vital collaborative links between units and levels of the organization.
Threats to these links come from many sources. Here we focus on those produced by Both/And conflicts. Research on ambidextrous management has produced important findings on how to deal with these threats and and I develop a conflict management approach that is still broader in scope. A folksy image for this broader approach would see it as a system that can help these conflictual "odd couples" that need to collaborate but cannot yet transcend their deep differences to form "productive partnerships" or "golden dualities".
Dynamic capability requires frequent attention to the many partnerships on which organizational learning and functioning depends. Many areas and levels of leadership are involved. More specifics follow on other pages. See links below.
That is a synopsis of my article "Dynamic Capability Seen Through a Duality-Paradox Lens: A Case of Radical Innovation at Microsoft." published in Research in Organizational Change & Development, vol. 22, June 2014 by Emerald.
DOWNLOAD the full article (pre-pub. ms).
FOUR WAYS TO EXPLAIN THIS APPROACH FURTHER-
- different angles, but all complementary
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A CASE at
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