The “Complete” Firm

The “Complete” Firm

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-5685-6.ch004
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This chapter introduces in detail the complete firm and its characteristics, structure and culture aspects, and its challenges. The chapter completes the introduction of the different entities involved in the discussion of the book. It starts with the introduction of the enterprise called the “complete firm” and moves to characterize it, presents the organizational structure, and the culture developed in order to fit the demands of the environment the firm is active in. The management aspects of the complete firm are mentioned, and the challenge of managing each different aspect of it as well as the general management of all are presented. Lastly, as preparation for the next chapter, the TSU and the complete firm are contrasted regarding the focus of their activities.
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The discussion so far has focused on the TSU and its similar types of enterprises. In this chapter the discussion moves to present the Complete Firm, the next stage in the maturity of the enterprise.

The Complete Firm is an older type of enterprise to receive the focus of decision makers and of academic research and has thus a long history of relevant research (Penrose, 1959). This research relates to the many aspects of the firm, including the culture and structure of firms, and the resulting issues of management. It is a vast body of research and the source of numerous volumes of many pages. There is no intention to present here a comprehensive picture of a Complete Firm, or of the management of it.

In order to keep the discussion focused, the description keeps to aspects that were presented regarding the TSU, in order to emphasize the effort required for the transformation from TSU to a Complete Firm.

In order to understand that gap (to be discussed in the following chapter), the Complete Firm relevant aspects need to be presented, following by some comparison between the two.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Organizational Structure: For the purposes of our discussion here the organizational structure of an enterprise, refers to the organs in the enterprise and their interactions.

Complete Firm: A company for profit, deriving its resources mainly (not exclusively) from its daily operation as revenues from the business it is conducting. Deriving the revenues from the business requires a complex collection of different activities and this requires in turn complex set of managerial capabilities.

Organizational Culture: For the purpose of our discussion here. The organizational culture shall refer to the forms of the interactions between the enterprise organs and the collection of customs and values of the enterprise.

Environmental Fit: By defining an enterprise or any organization, a definition of the environment in which the organization operates is formed. Borrowing from biological evolution, the level of adaptation to the environment of the organization is the environmental fit of the organization. The higher the fit, the more adapt the organization to the demands and opportunities of the environment in which it operates.

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