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Title: Capabilities, strategy and environment : organizational change in the UK's defence industrial base, 1989-95
Author: Hislop, Donald
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1997
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This thesis examines how a range of companies from the UK's defence industrial base were affected by and responded to the end of the Cold War. Specifically it examines the relationship between an organization's capabilities and behaviour to the character of its operating environment. It considers both how organizational capabilities are shaped by the operating environment and the extent to which organizational strategy is shaped and constrained by environmental factors. The research draws broadly on both evolutionary economics and contingency theory, which both consider a firm's operating environment to be central in shaping its behaviour. To represent the heterogeneity of the defence industrial base the aerospace, electronics and vehicles sectors were examined, with a range of companies from prime contractors to component suppliers being examined within each sector. The research found that the capabilities of the companies examined were shaped by the character of their operating environment. However the character of the operating environment varied substantially across the defence industrial base, resulting in the capabilities of companies also varying greatly. For example, the market and technological character of the operating environment for the prime contractors was substantially different from that of the component suppliers, resulting in them possessing very different organizational capabilities. The capabilities of the companies examined were also found to be specific and cumulative in nature, limiting their relevance to other market environments, thus making profound organizational change difficult to accomplish. One of the most noticeable findings was the similarity in the strategies adopted by most of the companies examined. The strategies adopted did not involve diversifying out of defence markets, instead concentrating on modifying their organizational structures and operating practices in responses to the changes in their defence markets.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available