University of Twente Student Theses


Essay #65435

Moekotte, J. (2014) Item availability restricted.

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Abstract:To exploit the recognized opportunities in the vertical growth markets, TKH Group wants to develop their businesses in these respective markets. One of the vertical growth markets defined by TKH Group is the Marine, oil and gas market (TKH Group 2013). Although the Marine, oil and gas market is used as a Flagship case due to the success of business development in that market, TKH Group wants to explore if it can be even more successful by integrating organisations in the TKH Group to address this vertical. In the past couple of years a lot of organisations have been acquired, the next step is to integrate these organisations further without losing their intrinsic value, goodwill, product portfolio and customer groups (TKH Group 2013). TKH Group is looking for a way to ensure a steady growth of their subsidiaries and ventures all over the globe. They wish to know how to increase the business performance in the vertical growth markets and make their ventures (more) successful, the next step in the process of reaching their goals in the Marine, oil and gas vertical is to integrate organisations to serve this vertical even better. The main research question is: What is the best integration approach regarding subsidiaries for the vertical market Marine, oil & gas? To be able to answer this research question the following steps were taken: (1) Analysing academic literature on different organisational integration approaches and describing their benefits and drawbacks, (2) mapping factors that are of influence in the integration process, (3) assessing multiple cases within the TKH Group regarding the integration of organisations, (4) analysing the gap between the current integration of organisations towards the vertical Marine, oil & gas and the best approach and mechanisms from theory. Analysing academic literature resulted in a theoretical framework and conceptual model that combined several theories by Jemison and Haspeslagh (1991), Larsson and Finkelstein (1999), Barki and Pinsonneault (2005) and Zaheer, Castañer et al. (2013). The conceptual model shows the relationship of several factors: similarity, complementarity, interdependence, task complexity on the need for autonomy and need for coordination that are needed to determine integration approaches and mechanisms. Furthermore, by combining the model of factors with academic literature by Zaheer, Castañer et al. (2013) this model is enriched with four key functions of organisations, enabling a more detailed perspective and observation of synergy in organisations. The research is based on a small population, three cases within the TKH Group are assessed on organisational integration. This is done by qualitative semi-structured interviews, a follow-up questionnaire and internal documents to corroborate information gathered through the other two methods. The cases that were chosen for research are all interesting regarding organisational integration for their own specific reasons. The results were analysed by comparing the cases to each other and the conceptual model and previous academic literature and reasoning for certain decisions and outcomes on the integration of organisations. Eventually the analysis showed that the conceptual model and with it the academic literature match outcomes with the actual integration in the researched cases. This strengthens the outcome and advice for the marine, oil & gas vertical based on the conceptual model. As is the case with every research, this research has its limitations. The choice of specific cases within verticals to limit the research to a reachable goal for the duration is one. A suggestion for future research is to gather data from organisations in different markets than the ones already assessed here, strengthening the conceptual model with more supporting data. Moreover, the data collection that was chosen for this research is qualitative in-depth semi-structured interviews, which has several weaknesses. For one, qualitative research methods are not suited for the statistical descriptions of a large population, in contrast to quantitative methods (Babbie 2012). Although qualitative research is sometimes seen as being subjective, it can certainly be objective (Eisenhardt and Graebner 2007). For this research a source triangulation was used to check the individual results of opinions. However, even though this mitigates reliability issues; future research should be done using quantitative methods. Suggesting future research can examine the model, where longitudinal data has to be gathered to give insight in the outcome over time of specific integration approaches. Also, future research can provide much needed quantitative data to test the usability, generalizability and value of this model. Another limitation is the measurement of the performance of the integration. This was observed by representatives and corroborated with internal documents in which statements towards these integrations were mentioned. The performance of organisations can also be measured in financial performance (preferably specifically in the sections and activities where the integration took place) next to internally perceived synergy realisation, giving more feedback on the performance of the organisations over a period of time. Future research can also expand upon the model and theory that has been presented in the thesis. One of the suggestions for future research is the weighing of the factors on the need for autonomy and need for coordination. A question that can arise in researching this is the generalizability of the weight of factors. Furthermore, research can focus on the necessity and sufficiency of influencing factors in the model. When there is no perceived potential synergy, a need for coordination is non-existent; even though there might be a high task complexity and very similar operations. Which of the factors in the model is necessary and which of the factors is sufficient to trigger a potential synergy and thus a need for coordination. Or an example of interdependence, is interdependence of key functions in a current state needed to go for a more aggressive integration approach?
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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