Institutionalizing Organizational Competence: Olivetti's Transition From Mechanical To Electronic Technology < Volver

This historical case study of Italian office products firm Olivetti develops an institutional account of competence-destroying technological change. It argues that this type of organizational change is challenging because competences become socially embedded over time as they are legitimized, backed by powerful agents, and supported by resources. However, the study also shows how the institutional building blocks of legitimacy, power, and resources not only promote stability but also permit change. Paradoxically, a block in the incumbent institution can lay the foundation for its alternative through four levers of technological transition: organizational separation, cooptation, exploiting contradictions and dissensus, and resource diverting.

Speaker: Prof. Giamnario Verona, Bocconi University

Coordinator: Prof. Govert Vroom

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