Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Abstract The evolution of the collective enterprise may be conceptualized in three phases throwing into relief five strategies for the creation of value. The first corresponds to the emergence of a collective enterprise, an innovation in itself. The second, the spread of the innovation by replication, is linked to federalization and to the beginning of standardization. The tension between innovation and standardization begin to make a difference as early as this replication phase, but later it becomes more critical. It forces the collective enterprise to avoid wholesale standardization, an outmoded option, and instead allows space for considering one of the two strategies for the creation of value in keeping both with its distinctive social economy identity and with the new strategic approaches centred on the competences of the enterprise and the creation of value for the user. Thus, the collective user enterprise may move forward by focusing, i.e., by even greater innovation in its provision for a target group of members. The collective enterprise may also progress by hybridization, i.e., through re-combining in a better way the innovation and standardization required to respond, effectively and efficiently, to a group of owners that is not only very large, but also highly diversified. The authors identify the organizational configuration for each pattern of value-creation by concentrating on governance structures and the role of managers.
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