Publication date (electronic): 30 June 2006
A case-study of the three largest aerospace manufacturing organizations:
An exploration of organizational strategy, innovation and evolution
Many of the most successful firms have placed a strong emphasis on strategy. Strategies help decision-makers in organizations to think through what the organization needs to achieve and how these needs may be satisfied. This case study considers what the Chief Executive Officers of the top three aerospace manufacturers say about their strategies and how these strategies are being implemented. The aerospace manufacturing industry is interesting from a number of respects: its dependence on innovation, its global nature, its relationships with government and other firms, and the different characteristics of the civil and defence markets. This aerospace manufacturing triad is also interesting because of its industry sector coverage: one is a largely defence aerospace manufacturer, the second a largely commercial aerospace manufacturer and the third, an aerospace manufacturer with a balanced portfolio. Strategies are shifting to take an holistic view of the firm as the firm is increasingly being recognized as a complex system. This holism is particularly evident in the manufacturing firms examined, as they balance innovation, strategy and organizational characteristics in an evolutionary manner. Innovation is fundamental to evolution and this case study employs a novel holistic approach to innovation portfolio assessment. A complex systems perspective is taken for organizational analysis allowing the examination of how fluctuations, resource richness, freedom, capacity to innovate, culture, technology and strategy are balanced and made synergetic. This case study reflects upon how these organizations’ strategies are reflected in their organizational forms, their investments in innovations, their performance and ultimately in their potential to evolve.
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