Complexity and functions of the firm: breadth and depth

Wang, Q and Von Tunzelmann, N (2000) Complexity and functions of the firm: breadth and depth. Research Policy, 29 (7-8). pp. 805-818. ISSN 0048-7333

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Abstract

In this paper, we assess complexity in organizations in terms of the dimensions of ‘depth’ and ‘breadth’. We examine how this operates in firms, indicating how different fields of research have tended to highlight only certain aspects of complexity, for instance, technology or products. In addition to assessing the impact of growing complexity in each functional area along either dimension, we further investigate the conditions under which complexity between the dimensions or functional areas may be coactive or conflicting. Detailed examination of historical evidence shows that greater complexity in one dimension or function does not necessarily lead to greater complexity in another. However, any simplification within a function or between functions may require changes in organizational structure and managerial control.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Depositing User: Nick VonTunzelmann
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 21:22
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2012 10:39
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/30964
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