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Describe the dual-core approach. How does the process of management change normally differ from technology change?


The dual core approach refers to organizational innovation. Organizational innovation is the taking on of new techniques of how organizations conduct business or work processes. Organizational innovation consists of four steps: 1) conception of idea, 2) idea proposal, 3) decision to adopt idea, 4) implementation. (Daft, 1978) In the dual core approach there are two types of organizational innovation: 1) Technological: related to the primary work activity of an organization and include the introduction of new products services and production techniques (Ibarra, 1993; Henriques & Sadorsky, 2007) and 2) Administrative: changes in structure and administrative processes Administrative innovations are indirectly related to the basic work activities of a firm and more directly related to its internal management (Damanpour, 1998; Henriques & Sadorsky, 2007)

Daft affirms that technological innovation is a bottom up process where ideas are initiated with line employees who perform the organizations core work activities. These employees are experienced with and utilize the core technology on a daily basis. Administrative innovation, conversely, originates at the top by managers and administrators. Managers responsibilities include the indirect support of the organizations core work through administrative, coordination, and management processes. An interesting Canadian environmental study by Henriques and Sadorsky found that implementing Environmental Management Systems (EMSs) do not appear to encourage the implementation of cleaner technologies while TQM does. EMS and TQM are both administrative innovations. The authors of the study hypothesized that both innovation techniques would encourage implementation of cleaner technologies but were surprised to learn that EMS did not. Their reasoning for this result is that EMS essentially is a focusing and formalizing process which may actually be impeding innovation. TQM on the other hand does not formalize or centralize environmental issues but focuses on how an organization can improve itself generally. Henriques and Sadorky suggest that the best technique to encourage cleaner technologies for Canadian manufacturers is to follow Dafts principle to couple administrative and technological innovation. When changes in core technology are of importance, they suggest that the technical core take the lead role and administrative provide support.

Daft, R. L. (1978). A Dual-Core Model of Organizational Innovation. Academy Of Management Journal, 21(2), 193-210. doi:10.2307/255754 Damanpour, F. (1988). Innovation type, radicalness, and the adoption process. Communication Research, 15(5), 545-567. doi:10.1177/009365088015005003 Henriques, I., & Sadorsky, P. (2007). Environmental technical and administrative innovations in the Canadian manufacturing industry. Business Strategy & The Environment (John Wiley & Sons, Inc), 16(2), 119-132. doi:10.1002/bse.475 Ibarra, H. (1993). Network Centrality, Power, and Innovation: Determinants of Technical and Administrative Roles. Academy Of Management Journal, 36(3), 471-501. doi:10.2307/256589