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Issue 5(1), October 2010 -- Paper Abstracts
Girard  (p. 9-22)
Cooper (p. 23-32)
Kunz-Osborne (p. 33-41)
Coulmas-Law (p.42-46)
Stasio (p. 47-56)
Albert-Valette-Florence (p.57-63)
Zhang-Rauch (p. 64-70)
Alam-Yasin (p. 71-78)
Mattare-Monahan-Shah (p. 79-94)
Nonis-Hudson-Hunt (p. 95-106)


Specialization, Slack Orientation, and Adaptive Capacity in Uncertain Environments

Author(s): Matthew W. Ford

Citation: Matthew W. Ford, "Specialization, Slack Orientation, and Adaptive Capacity in Uncertain Environments," Journal of Strategic Innovation and Sustainability, Vol. 12, Iss. 1, pp. 55-67

Article Type: Research paper

Publisher: North American Business Press


This investigation applies a structural contingency perspective toward the problem of operations
specialization under conditions of uncertainty. Generally, more environmental uncertainty is proposed to
reduce the degree of specialization associated with effective adaptation. The study also considers how
specialized operations, which are costly to modify due to their high asset specificities, cope with changing
environments. The concept of organizational slack is employed to develop various orientations that offer
adaptive capacity for specialized operations. Appropriate slack orientation is proposed to depend on
whether volume or technological uncertainty is prevalent in the environment.