Structural versus experienced complexity: a new perspective on the relationship between organizational complexity and innovation

Cara, Maya, Birkinshaw, Julian and Heywood, Suzanne (2017) Structural versus experienced complexity: a new perspective on the relationship between organizational complexity and innovation. Advances in Strategic Management, 37. pp. 115-150. ISSN 0742-3322

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
Download (472kB)

Abstract

In this paper, we explore the relationship between organizational complexity and firm-level innovation. We define and operationalize a new construct, experienced complexity, which is the extent to which the organizational environment makes it challenging for decision-makers to do their jobs effectively. We distinguish experienced complexity from structural complexity, which is the elements of the organization, such as the number of reporting lines or integrating mechanisms, that are deliberately put in place to help the organization deliver on its objectives, and we argue that structural complexity correlates positively with firm-level innovation while experienced complexity correlates negatively with innovation. Using a novel dataset combining survey and objective data on 209 large firms, we find support for our arguments.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > Business and Management
Depositing User: Stacey Goldup
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2017 12:25
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2017 09:41
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/68641

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update