This chapter uses case studies carried out over significant time periods to explore the process of competence building capable of supporting major change in large, complex, diversified organizations. Analysis of multiple units, multiple levels, and historic patterns within four firms showed that change and renewal in large corporations is possible and that managers often have considerable- though sometimes unrecognized- latitude for choice. This chapter introduces the concept of dormant capabilities that are available to business managers to regenerate old competences, to build new ones, and to overcome existing core rigidities. Temporally dormant capabilities are the result of organizational competences that were created previously but were rejected or 'retired' by the organization at some time in the past. The concept of organizationally separated capabilities that can be 'imported' (at least in part) from other units in a large firm is also considered. This chapter explains the concepts of core competences, core rigidities, and organizational change in complex organizations.

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Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University

Baden-Fuller, C., & Volberda, H. (2010). Dormant Capabilities, Complex Organizations, and Renewal. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199259281.003.0006