Efficiency v. structure-conduct-performance: Implications for strategy research and practice

Texas A&M University, USA; Dennis L. Smart; University of Nebraska-Omaha, USA
Journal of Management (Impact Factor: 4.59). 01/1993; DOI: 10.1016/0149-2063(93)90045-O

ABSTRACT The strategic management field has derived many of its theoretical concepts from other social science disciplines including economics, psychology, and sociology. Industrial organization (10) economics and the structure-conduct-performance paradigm, in particular, provided many of the building blocks upon which strategy formulation was constructed (Barney, 1986; Harrigan, 1981; Porter, 1981). However, some researchers are now questioning this transfer of theory from IO economics to Strategic Management (Barney, 1986; Conner, 1991; Hirsch & Friedman, 1986; Rumelt, 1984).

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    ABSTRACT: This article is Closed Access. It was published in the International Journal of Public Sector Management [© Emerald], available at Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the implications of new public management and modernization reform policies on control in the probation service. Design/methodology/approach – The paper takes interpretivist, qualitative approach. It is based on ethnographic data, collected over a one-year period in an English regional probation service. In the course of the fieldwork, 45 employees were interviewed. Data were also collected through participant observation and analysis of formal documents. Findings – The paper suggests that new public management and modernization reform policies are interpreted by organizational actors as control mechanisms per se. Originality/value – Findings can be relevant for understanding the “control” side of the reform policies in the public sector. To date those policies have been mainly considered as driven by change rather than by control. Closed access
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    ABSTRACT: The growth of broadband penetration has been a worldwide concern. Because broadband has considerable spillover effects on our economy and society, many governments are striving to achieve high broadband diffusion and investment. As a “required infrastructure enabler” (OECD, 2008b), broadband enhances productivity, expands new realms of businesses, and creates innovation and globalization. It is also related with efficacy of democracy by widening the digital divide and generating a new participation gap across social strata (Hargittai & Walejko, 2008). Considering all of these socioeconomic implications, broadband is an important issue which calls for more empirical research.In order to increase broadband penetration and investment, it is necessary to have competition among broadband providers. However, characterized by network economy, the broadband industry is dominated by a few incumbents who enjoy high entry barriers, built up with strong economies of scale and technological externality. Since it is difficult by nature for competition to take place in network industry, many governments have stepped in to promote competition by facilities-based or service-based entry1 in broadband industry. Service-based entry policy is adopted by most countries, though facilities-based competition is regarded as the most desirable mode of competition, because the former is assumed to facilitate entry and foster competition within a relatively short period of time through leasing incumbents‟ networks compared to the latter. Contrary to assumptions, however, previous studies have found mixed research results about the effect of service-based competition on broadband diffusion. By questioning inconsistencies in previous results, the present research attempts to find how broadband policy affects broadband penetration.Along with broadband diffusion, investment needs to be considered as well. The reason why both aspects are discussed together is that the policy to achieve either one can have negative effect on the other. Against the logic of service-based competition which assumes that open access to incumbents‟ networks facilitates broadband penetration, opposing theory raises that service-based competition undermines industry‟s incentive to invest in facilities, which deters having upgraded, high-speed broadband services. Since there is trade-off between the two competing theories, policies which promote only one side, i.e. penetration or investment, are crippled to achieve broadband service with “high capacity at low price to more of the population” (Berkman, 2010). Therefore, in addition to broadband penetration, the present research asks a question of how broadband policy shapes investment in the market.Besides policy, there are various factors which affect broadband penetration and investment such as geography, population density, income, and education. These given, non-policy variables were found to explain around 75 to 85 percent of the performance of broadband industry (Berkman, 2010), but the present research concentrates on the remaining 15 to 25 percent which might be determined by policy factors. Depending on the policy, some countries might show better or worse outcome than expected from given factors. Since this study is not to find what variables affect broadband outcome, but to find which policy factors contribute to attaining the goal of high penetration and investment, the focus is on policy, admitting the impact of non-policy factors on broadband deployment. Additionally, policy factors in this research are sided on the supply of broadband, not the demand. Policies to promote demand through education or free access to computers or Internet are out of scope of this study. This study indirectly discusses demand since it is influenced by price and quality (Berkman, 2010) which are mainly decided by the supply side. The main concentration of the present study is policy factors related to the supply of broadband.Within the pre-determined scope of this research, case studies have been chosen as the methodology in order to have differentiated and profound understanding of broadband access by country. Selected cases are the United States and South Korea both of which experienced facilities and service-based competition. Based on a deeper analysis of each country, this study expects to find how the market structure shaped by broadband policies has affected the performance of the broadband industry.This research starts in chapter II with a discussion of the importance of broadband, as well as the necessity for government intervention to increase competition in the broadband market. Chapter III has a literature review on broadband policy in the wholesale market, and chapter IV suggests research questions. Chapter V explains why the case study method is chosen and why the two countries are selected as cases. Before dealing with the research questions, institutional differences between the U.S. and Korea are discussed in chapter VI, since policies are the product of institutions. Then, case studies and comparisons of the two countries are developed in chapter VII, followed by discussion and conclusion in chapters VIII and IX, respectively.
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine how different strategy theories complement each other with respect to understanding competitive advantage of a single firm that utilizes interfirm cooperation. Design/methodology/approach – The paper provides an analytical review of three schools of strategy research in order to highlight their contributions, shortcomings, and interrelations with respect to sustainable competitive advantage and to clarify their explanations of competitive advantage in interfirm cooperation. On the basis of this analysis, an integrated perspective that captures industry, organization, and relationship attributes is proposed. Findings – The paper suggests that old and new paradigms in strategic management (industrial organization economics, resource-based theories, and the relational view) are applicable alongside each other when analyzing how a single firm gains competitive advantage by utilizing interfirm cooperation. It is argued here that no paradigm can be used to substitute others and thus an integrated perspective is needed. The paper provides a discussion and implications on how each paradigm complements others and illustrate this by sketching a refined strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats (SWOT) analysis framework. Practical implications – The paper gives a practical implication for managers who utilize traditional SWOT analysis in their decision making. By including relationship potential and limitations to the conceptual toolbox of thinking strategy through SWOT, managers can gain additional insight into internal strengths and weaknesses and external opportunities and threats analysis. Originality/value – The study increases understanding on how prevailing perspectives on competitive advantage can be used in analyzing interfirm cooperation.
    Competitiveness Review An International Business Journal incorporating Journal of Global Competitiveness 10/2010; 20(5):367-383.


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May 27, 2014