Date of Award

Summer 8-21-2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Executive Doctorate in Business (EDB)

Department

Business

First Advisor

Dr. Lars Mathiassen

Second Advisor

Dr. Michael Gallivan

Third Advisor

Dr. Balasubramaniam Ramesh

Abstract

All organizations, including mobile services enterprises, must be able to adapt and respond to discontinuous and rapidly changing business environments. Although mobile service providers have considerable IT-enabled dispatching options, knowledge is limited on how to leverage these technologies to augment adaptive management practices that improve business performance and create customer benefits. Against this backdrop, my collaborative action research study adapted the framework and principles of sense-and-respond (S&R) adaptive enterprise design to help a mobile service provider, LSG, Inc., develop the transactional and transformational capabilities it needed to improve outcomes in providing field services for the State of Georgia’s lottery terminals. The dissertation examines how LSG leveraged its recent implementation of IT-enabled dispatching technology both to augment restructuring of its managerial framework and to develop adaptive strategies and modular capabilities that let it systematically sense and respond to rapid and unpredictable changes in its business environment. The study gave LSG an approach for developing and implementing adaptive enterprise design processes using the S&R framework as a heuristic to identify, modify, and redesign the command-and-control (C&C) organizational architecture and operational routines; this effort was augmented by new dispatching technology. My research revealed specific dynamic capabilities and guided senior managers’ implementation of new adaptive governance mechanisms, organizational learning processes, dynamic stakeholder resource commitments, and modular “customer-back” resource customization strategies. More generally, the research shows how adaptive enterprise design principles can transform and address the specific discontinuity challenges that small service enterprises face, and offers insights and understanding into how practitioner–researchers can use theory to leverage firm resources and assets to co-create operational value with stakeholders.

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