Managing the dynamic configuration of enterprises

Ben Clegg, Mario Binder

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


Due to environmental changes and business trends such as globalisation, outsourcing and virtualisation, more and more companies get involved in business activities that are outside their direct control. This typically occurs by entering into collaborative relationships and joint ventures with specialised companies in order to fulfil the demands of customers quickly (DiMaggio, 2001). Organisational structures that results from such collaborative relationships and joint ventures are referred to in this paper as enterprises and the management of them known as enterprise management. The authors use the definition of the European Commission (2003) that defines an enterprise as “… an entity, regardless of its legal form … including partnerships or associations regularly engaged in economic activities.” Therefore in its most simple form an enterprise could be a single integrated company. However, findings from this research show that enterprises can also be made up of parts of different companies and the structure of the enterprise is contingent upon a variety of different factors. The success of the enterprise as a collaborative venture depends on the ability of companies to intermediate their internal core competencies into other participating companies’ value streams and simultaneously outsource their own peripheral activities to companies that can perform them quicker, cheaper, and more effectively (Lal et al., 1995). In other words, the peripheral activities of one member-company must be complemented by a core competence of another member-company within an overall enterprise.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of networked and virtual organisations
EditorsGoran D. Putnik, Maria M. Cruz-Cunha
Place of PublicationHershey, PA (US)
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5990-4886-4
ISBN (Print)978-1-5990-4885-7
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008


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