Abstract

Empirical work has consistently linked organisational inertia to the failure of industry incumbents to prosper or even survive from discontinuous change. Recent work has unbundled the structure of inertia into two key determinants; when managers want to respond to or deliver discontinuous innovations they must act to overcome 'resource rigidities' and 'routine rigidities'. Drawing on Institutional Theory, we use the notion of Organisational Field Transparency to further unbundle the nature of these two determinants of inertia. We consider both discontinuous threats and opportunities as objective conditions of organisational fields. As threats and opportunities are only apparent when identified by institutional actors, we suggest that organisational fields are experienced as opaque, semi-transparent, transparent, semi-hazy or hazy. Thus, we propose two research questions: how does the experienced transparency of an organisational field influence (1) the perception of discontinuous threats and opportunities and (2) the different determinants of inertia?

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