Structure and an unstable business operating environment: Revisiting burns and stalker’s organisation-environment theory in zimbabwe’s manufacturing sector

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dc.contributor.author Sibindi, N
dc.contributor.author Samuel, O.M
dc.date.accessioned 2020-07-28T09:22:03Z
dc.date.available 2020-07-28T09:22:03Z
dc.date.issued 2019-12-10
dc.identifier.citation Sibindi, N. & Samuel, O.M., 2019, ‘Structure and an unstable business operating environment: Revisiting Burns and Stalker’s organisation-environment theory in Zimbabwe’s manufacturing sector’, South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences 22(1), a2113. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn (Online) 2222-3436
dc.identifier.issn (Print) 1015-8812
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10539/29275
dc.description.abstract Background: Turbulent socioeconomic contexts coupled with volatile political environments pose a serious survival threat to business organisations. Complex operational environment of this dimension most often resists application of conventional management theories and practices. Organisational managers are therefore constantly challenged to adopt contingency strategies that will not only keep their organisations afloat, but also entrench competitive advantage that could effectively sustain operations. Aim: To update Burns and Stalker’s theory on structure and business environments. Setting: The dynamics of the Zimbabwe’s economy has assumed an extraordinary proportion of complexity due to intractable political instability and hostile economic environment. Methods: Using a survey research design and employing quantitative research strategy, this article examines the underlining propositions that defined the seminal work of Burns and Stalker regarding strategy adoption by organisations in a dynamic operating environment. Primary data was collected from 189 randomly selected managers in 350 manufacturing firms operating in Zimbabwe using a structured questionnaire. Data were analysed using structural equation modelling. Results: The major finding of the present study suggests that firms adopt a hybrid structure when confronted with an unstable operating environment. Conclusion: The finding is inconsistent with that of Burns and Stalker, who concluded that firms adopt organic structure in an unstable operating environment. While Burns and Stalker’s study was conducted in a relatively stable socioeconomic context, the present study was conducted in an operating environment that is characterised by turbulent socioeconomic and political instability. These environmental divergences could have influenced the outcome of both studies. © 2019. The Authors. en_ZA
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher AOSIS (pty) Ltd en_ZA
dc.rights © 2019. The Authors. Licensee: AOSIS. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License. en_ZA
dc.subject Burns and Stalker en_ZA
dc.subject Competitive advantage en_ZA
dc.subject Contingency approach en_ZA
dc.subject Mechanistic structure en_ZA
dc.subject Organic structure en_ZA
dc.subject Organisational structure en_ZA
dc.subject Political instability en_ZA
dc.subject Underdeveloped economies en_ZA
dc.subject Unstable operating environment en_ZA
dc.title Structure and an unstable business operating environment: Revisiting burns and stalker’s organisation-environment theory in zimbabwe’s manufacturing sector en_ZA
dc.title.alternative South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA
dc.journal.volume 22 en_ZA
dc.journal.title South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences en_ZA
dc.description.librarian TT2020 en_ZA
dc.citation.doi 10.4102/sajems.v22i1.2113 en_ZA
dc.journal.link https://doi.org/ 10.4102/sajems.v22i1.2113 en_ZA
dc.journal.issue 1 en_ZA
dc.article.start-page 1 en_ZA
dc.article.end-page 12 en_ZA
dc.faculty Business Sciences en_ZA
dc.school School of Economic en_ZA


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