Eyes Wide Shut: Organizational Field Transparency as a Driver of Inertia to Discontinuous Innovation

Thomond, Peter N. & Steffens, Paul R. (2007) Eyes Wide Shut: Organizational Field Transparency as a Driver of Inertia to Discontinuous Innovation. In Solomon, George (Ed.) The Academy of Management 2007 Annual Meeting Proceedings: Doing Well By Doing Good, 3 - 8 August 2007, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America.


The failure of industry incumbents to prosper or even survive from periods of discontinuous innovation has been consistently linked to organizational inertia. Recent work has unbundled the structure of inertia into two key determinants: 'resource rigidities' and 'routine rigidities'. In this study, we elaborate our understanding of the conditions under which these two forms of inertia are likely to occur, by drawing on the notion of Organizational Field Transparency, central to Institutional Theory. Using field data from 51 case studies that capture responses to discontinuous threats and opportunities, we show that as managers' experience of their organizational field transparency varies (opaque, semi-transparent, transparent, semi-hazy or hazy) so does their sensitivity to discontinuous threats and opportunities, which varies the legitimacy and intensity of resource and routine rigidities. We offer our findings as a novel conceptual progression in the form of ten propositions, which also have significant implications for dealing with heterogeneity in technology management and innovation research.

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ID Code: 13083
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the conference's website (see hypertext link) or contact the author.
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Discontinuous Innovation, Organizational Inertia, Institutional Theory
ISSN: 1543-8643
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Innovation and Technology Management (150307)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Business Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Academy of Management
Deposited On: 19 Mar 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2011 17:50

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