Imperial College London


Business School

Senior Teaching Fellow in Diversity & Inclusion



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278Business School BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Publication Type

4 results found

Farkas M, 2020, Unpacking the performance effects of coupling in the environment-organization and intraorganizational levels, Publisher: Imperial College London

Discussion of coupling has a long and rich history in the organization theory literature. However, analyses of coupling often do not distinguish between the nature of coupling with the environment and coupling among elements within the organization. We argue that coupling at these different levels are neither independent nor identical. We unpack the performance effects of two forms of hybrid coupling – tight-loose and loose-tight at the environment and intraorganizational levels respectively. We hypothesize that, in stable environments, loose-tight coupling is positively related to firm performance and vice versa. In contrast, in changing environments, the relationship is expected to reverse with loose-tight coupling having a negative relationship with performance. We test our arguments using data from the property and casualty insurance industry in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Kentucky in the wake of hurricane Katrina in 2005. We first show that insurance firms in Louisiana that employ a loose-tight structure generate superior performance in the stable environment before the occurrence of Katrina. However, the same design results in negative performance in the wake of Katrina. We unpack the underlying mechanisms and show that loose-tight firms generated high volumes but lower margins from insurance underwriting before Katrina. In the wake of Katrina, such a loose-tight structure impeded adaptation and necessitated an increase in prices that lowered volumes in the insurance market. We discuss implications of these results for research on how coupling in organizations affect the long term trade-off between responsiveness and flexibility.

Working paper

Farkas MT, 2011, Interviewee Created Boundary Objects: Placing Experiences in the Context of a Whole, Research Alive, Editors: Carlsen, Dutton, Publisher: Copenhagen Business School Press DK, ISBN: 9788763002417

Book chapter

Christianson MK, Farkas MT, Sutcliffe KM, Weick KEet al., 2009, Learning Through Rare Events: Significant Interruptions at the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum, ORGANIZATION SCIENCE, Vol: 20, Pages: 846-860, ISSN: 1047-7039

Journal article

Hill L, Farkas MT, 2007, A Gentler Capitalism: Black Business Leadership in the New South Africa, Business Solutions for the Global Poor, Editors: Rangan, Quelch, Herrero, Barton, Publisher: Jossey-Bass, ISBN: 9780787988548

Book chapter

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