Decentralization and decomposability: determinants of responsive crisis deployment

E. de Waard, H.W. Volberda, J.M.M.L. Soeters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose
Crisis management entails among other things developing organizational systems that are capable of reacting to unpredictable and different types of crises. It also involves designing cohesive operational elements to deal with the local dynamics of an actual crisis situation. This challenge of responsiveness – where organizations simultaneously need to react to change demands of different task environments – has hardly been investigated in management theory. The purpose of this paper is to initiate to shed more light on this blind spot.
Design/methodology/approach
Modular organizing and organizational sensing are introduced as key drivers of organizational responsiveness. Based on a large-scale survey among 1,200 senior officers the study investigates how these two variables have influenced the responsiveness of the Netherlands armed forces for crisis response deployment.
Findings
The findings indicate that the level of modularization is an important facilitator of organizational responsiveness. Organizational systems that are made up of semi-autonomous work groups are in a better position to simultaneously live up to the change demands of different environmental levels than organizations that follow a fine-grained modularization approach.
Originality/value
It uses the military crisis response organization as an exemplary case for project-based organzations in general to take advantage of.
Keywords: Crisis management, Responsiveness, Defence, Modular design, Organizational sensing
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-404
JournalInternational Journal of Managing Projects in Business
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Fingerprint

Responsiveness
Decomposability
Decentralization
Modularization
Crisis response
Task environment
Armed forces
Modular design
Autonomous work groups
Key words
Military
Facilitators
Organizing
Management theory
Crisis management
Design methodology
The Netherlands

Cite this

@article{96390d96e12143ce806eec46bfb1508e,
title = "Decentralization and decomposability: determinants of responsive crisis deployment",
abstract = "PurposeCrisis management entails among other things developing organizational systems that are capable of reacting to unpredictable and different types of crises. It also involves designing cohesive operational elements to deal with the local dynamics of an actual crisis situation. This challenge of responsiveness – where organizations simultaneously need to react to change demands of different task environments – has hardly been investigated in management theory. The purpose of this paper is to initiate to shed more light on this blind spot.Design/methodology/approachModular organizing and organizational sensing are introduced as key drivers of organizational responsiveness. Based on a large-scale survey among 1,200 senior officers the study investigates how these two variables have influenced the responsiveness of the Netherlands armed forces for crisis response deployment.FindingsThe findings indicate that the level of modularization is an important facilitator of organizational responsiveness. Organizational systems that are made up of semi-autonomous work groups are in a better position to simultaneously live up to the change demands of different environmental levels than organizations that follow a fine-grained modularization approach.Originality/valueIt uses the military crisis response organization as an exemplary case for project-based organzations in general to take advantage of.Keywords: Crisis management, Responsiveness, Defence, Modular design, Organizational sensing",
author = "{de Waard}, E. and H.W. Volberda and J.M.M.L. Soeters",
year = "2014",
doi = "10.1108/IJMPB-10-2013-0052",
language = "English",
volume = "7",
pages = "380--404",
journal = "International Journal of Managing Projects in Business",
issn = "1753-8378",
publisher = "Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.",
number = "3",

}

Decentralization and decomposability: determinants of responsive crisis deployment. / de Waard, E.; Volberda, H.W.; Soeters, J.M.M.L.

In: International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, Vol. 7, No. 3, 2014, p. 380-404.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Decentralization and decomposability: determinants of responsive crisis deployment

AU - de Waard, E.

AU - Volberda, H.W.

AU - Soeters, J.M.M.L.

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - PurposeCrisis management entails among other things developing organizational systems that are capable of reacting to unpredictable and different types of crises. It also involves designing cohesive operational elements to deal with the local dynamics of an actual crisis situation. This challenge of responsiveness – where organizations simultaneously need to react to change demands of different task environments – has hardly been investigated in management theory. The purpose of this paper is to initiate to shed more light on this blind spot.Design/methodology/approachModular organizing and organizational sensing are introduced as key drivers of organizational responsiveness. Based on a large-scale survey among 1,200 senior officers the study investigates how these two variables have influenced the responsiveness of the Netherlands armed forces for crisis response deployment.FindingsThe findings indicate that the level of modularization is an important facilitator of organizational responsiveness. Organizational systems that are made up of semi-autonomous work groups are in a better position to simultaneously live up to the change demands of different environmental levels than organizations that follow a fine-grained modularization approach.Originality/valueIt uses the military crisis response organization as an exemplary case for project-based organzations in general to take advantage of.Keywords: Crisis management, Responsiveness, Defence, Modular design, Organizational sensing

AB - PurposeCrisis management entails among other things developing organizational systems that are capable of reacting to unpredictable and different types of crises. It also involves designing cohesive operational elements to deal with the local dynamics of an actual crisis situation. This challenge of responsiveness – where organizations simultaneously need to react to change demands of different task environments – has hardly been investigated in management theory. The purpose of this paper is to initiate to shed more light on this blind spot.Design/methodology/approachModular organizing and organizational sensing are introduced as key drivers of organizational responsiveness. Based on a large-scale survey among 1,200 senior officers the study investigates how these two variables have influenced the responsiveness of the Netherlands armed forces for crisis response deployment.FindingsThe findings indicate that the level of modularization is an important facilitator of organizational responsiveness. Organizational systems that are made up of semi-autonomous work groups are in a better position to simultaneously live up to the change demands of different environmental levels than organizations that follow a fine-grained modularization approach.Originality/valueIt uses the military crisis response organization as an exemplary case for project-based organzations in general to take advantage of.Keywords: Crisis management, Responsiveness, Defence, Modular design, Organizational sensing

U2 - 10.1108/IJMPB-10-2013-0052

DO - 10.1108/IJMPB-10-2013-0052

M3 - Article

VL - 7

SP - 380

EP - 404

JO - International Journal of Managing Projects in Business

JF - International Journal of Managing Projects in Business

SN - 1753-8378

IS - 3

ER -