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Changing employment relations, new organizational models and the capability to use idiosyncratic knowledge

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Aims to solve the problem of why newer organizational models are losing their capability to elaborate and develop valuable firm-specific sources of competitive advantages. Devotes special attention to the interdependent link between the rise of flexible employment relations and the diminishing capability of newer organizational models to sustain the sources of firm-specific competitive advantages. Argues that an organization which relies heavily on flexible workforces will lose its ability to bind, retain as well as attract its skilled and most important idiosyncratic workers. First describes how the traditional organizational order, known as Fordism, is challenged and what newer organizational models claim to offer. Develops two different conceptional models that depict the hypothesized interdependent relation between the quality and degree of employment relations and the firms' capability to use and elaborate the idiosyncratic knowledge of its workforce. Shows that the workforce has to be recognized as an increasingly non-replicable, intangible, difficult to replicate firm-specific source of sustainable advantage that cannot easily be imitated by competitors if retained and bound within organizational boundaries.
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Keywords: Change management; Competitive strategy; Employees; Organizational development

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2002

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