Unraveling the routine dynamics of interfunctional coordination: Solving “ad-hoc” customer problems in a high-tech industrial enterprise

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    Abstract

    The interfunctional coordination involved in adequately responding to immediate customer needs and problems is central in business marketing theory and practice. However, the literature on interfunctional coordination has so far focused on the design of organizational coordination mechanism and performance. Hence, how interfunctional coordination occurs in spontaneous ways from the perspective of situated organizational members has not been well examined. We studied the dynamics and micro processes of interfunctional coordination in a High Tech Industrial company located in the Netherlands in response to the event of addressing ad-hoc customer field problems. In each of the eight events we studied, we analyzed the enactment strategies of the customer problem by members into the organization, how they caused breakdowns in the otherwise stable customer field problem solving routine, and how they set up a temporary coordination structure to solve the problem. We identified three distinct modes of interfunctional coordination and underlying routine dynamics: routine coordination, balanced coordination and ad-hoc coordination. This paper demonstrates that interfunctional coordination can occur programmed as well as spontaneous depending on the nature of the
    customer problem and how members enact the problem and are able to depart from existing routines to adequately respond to customer problems. We also contribute to the literature on organizational routines by showing how and when routines are malleable and to some extend
    uncover its temporal dynamics.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    Event33rd EGOS Colloquium 2017: The good organization: aspirations, interventions, struggles - Copenhagen Business School, Copenhagen, Denmark
    Duration: 6 Jul 20178 Jul 2017
    Conference number: 33
    https://www.egosnet.org/2017_copenhagen/general_theme

    Conference

    Conference33rd EGOS Colloquium 2017
    Abbreviated titleEGOS
    CountryDenmark
    CityCopenhagen
    Period6/07/178/07/17
    Internet address

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