Composition-Based Approach to Organization Design: Application to Reactive Problem-Solving in Manufacturing

Ravi Kalakota and Andrew B. Whinston

In a world of unrelenting change and competition, designing flexible and responsive organizations is an important area for research given its implications for organizational effectiveness. Thus, central to the management task is the design and implementation of various workflows/processes linking interacting tasks, assessing their effectiveness over time and modifying them to meet new demands. Terms like, boundary-spanning workflows, cross-functional teams, re-engineering, networked organizations and boundaryless cooperation are frequently used by senior management to describe the type of flexible organizations they aspire to build. These terms make a statement about business strategy and vision. However, while strong in crafting a vision, management has been weak in implementation and delivering results.

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