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2012/2013  KAN-CM_T75  Efficiency and Innovation: A possible combination

English Title
Efficiency and Innovation: A possible combination

Course information

Language English
Exam ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Course period Autumn, Spring
Changes in course schedule may occur
Monday 09.50-12.25, week 6-13,15,16
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Jan Mouritsen - Department of Operations Management
Administration: Mette Kierkegaard - mki.om@cbs.dk
Main Category of the Course
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Management of Information and Knowledge Management
  • Organization
  • Corporate and Business Strategy
Last updated on 31-10-2012
Learning objectives
In order to achieve the grade 12 at the exam, the students must be able to
- understand and apply the relevant organizational and learning theories
- understand and explain the concept of organizational ambidexterity
- Identify the relevant actions that can be recommended for a case company in order to achieve organizational ambidexterity
Organization theory at the undergraduate level.
Four hours written exam – Open book
Efficiency and Innovation: A possible combination:
Type of test Written Exam
Marking scale 7-step scale
Second examiner No second examiner
Exam period Winter Term
Aids Please, see the detailed regulations below
Duration 4 Hours
Course content

The economic scenario in the world during the last years seems to place upon companies a higher standard of performance capabilities. In face of increasing competition and globalization, a growing number of companies have realized the strategic importance of being, on one hand, efficient and lean and, on the other hand, flexible and innovative.

However, from an organizational point of view, all types of flexibility and innovation present a common challenge for the organizations: efficiency requires standardization, formalization, specialization and elimination of waste; but these requirements can impede the process of adjustment required for flexibility and innovation; and organizations normally confront a trade-off.

The major goal of this course is to present what organizations can do in order to be both efficient and innovative and, as a consequence, raise the trade-off between leanness and innovation. This will be done by drawing on organization/learning theories and the concept of organizational ambidexterity which is defined as the company’s ability for alignment (efficiency) and adaptability (Innovation). In the course, cases of companies that have succeeded in solving the dilemma and aligning strategy with the right management of efficiency and innovation will be presented.

After the course the students will be able to understand relevant learning and organization theories (exploration and exploitation, partition, switching, tight coupling, etc.); relate these theories to organizational ambidexterity; and identify the actions (structural, contextual and leadership-based) that can be taken in order to achieve organizational ambidexterity.

The course’s development of personal competences:

The students will practice the reading of articles from high ranking journals.
The students will improve the ability to extract relevant information and insights from an article.
The students will also present and discuss case findings in groups.

Teaching methods
Lectures and cases.
Expected literature

- O'Reilly III, C. A., & Tushman, M. L. (2004). The ambidextrous organization. Harvard Toni, A. D., & Tonchia, S. (1998).
 - Repenning, N. & Sterman, J. (2001). Nobody Ever Gets Credit for Fixing Problems that Never Happened: Creating and sustaining process improvement, California Management Review, 43, 4, pp. 64-88.

- Adler et al (2009), Perspectives on the productivity dilemma, Journal of Operations Management, 27 (2009) 99-113.

- Raisch, S. & Birkinshaw, J. (2008), Organizational Ambidexterity: Antecedents, Outcomes, and Moderators, Journal of Management 2008; 34; 375.

- Levin, D.Z. (2000), Organizational Knowledge and the Transfer of Knowledge: An Investigation of Quality Improvement, Organization Science, 2000, Vol. 11, No. 6, pp. 630-647

- Lewis, M. A. (2000). Lean production and sustainable competitive advantage. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 20(8), 959.

- Dyck, B., Starke, F. A., Mischke, G. A., & Mauws, M. (2005). Learning to build a car: An empirical investigation of organizational learning. Journal of Management Studies, 42(2), 387-416.

- Adler, P. S., Goldoftas, B., & Levine, D. I. (1999). Flexibility versus efficiency? A case study model changeovers in the toyota production system. Organization Science, 10(1), 43-68.

- Gibson, C. B., & Birkinshaw, J. (2004). The antecedents, consequences, and mediating role of organizational ambidexterity.Academy of Management Journal, 47(2), 209-226.

- Ghoshal, S., & Bartlett, C. A. (1994). Linking organizational context and managerial action: The dimensions of quality of management. Strategic Management Journal, 15, 91-112.

- Nonaka, I., R. Toyama, N. Konno. 2000. SECI, Ba and leadership: A unified model of dynamic knowledge creation. Long Range Planning 33(1) 5–34.

- Osterloh, M., Frey, B. (2000), Motivation, Knowledge Transfer, and Organizational Forms, Organization Science, Vol. 11, No. 5, September-October 2000, pp. 538-550

- Tushman & Smith (2005), Managing Strategic Contradictions: A Top Management Model for Managing Innovation Streams, Organization Science, Vol. 16, No. 5, September–October 2005, pp. 522–536

- Tripsas & Gavetti (2000): Capabilities, Cognition and Inertia: Evidence from Digital Imaging, Strategic Management Journal, 21: 1147–1161
- Klassen, R.D. & Menor, L.J., 2007. “The process management triangle: An empirical investigation of process trade-offs”. Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 25 No. 5, pp.1015-1034.
- Lillrank, P., 2003.”The Quality of Standard, Routine and Nonroutine Processes”. Organization Studies, Vol. 24 No. 2, pp.215 -233.
- Benner, M.J. & Tushman, M.L., 2003."Exploitation, Exploration, and Process Management: The Productivity Dilemma Revisited". Academy of Management Review, Vol. 28 No. 2, pp.238-256.
- Davenport, T.H., 2005. ”The Coming Commoditization of PROCESSES”. Harvard Business Review, Vol. 83 No. 6, pp.100-108.

Last updated on 31-10-2012