Strategic Organization

Published by SAGE Publications
Online ISSN: 1476-1270
Publications
Article
The Strategic Management field has matured over the last decade. We now face a number of critical issues that, taken together, suggest that now is the time to take hold of new ideas for explaining and predicting organizational performance. First, our courses--once among the most exciting and innovative in the business school curriculum--are waning at some flagship schools. We need to revitalize our teaching effectiveness through new materials and pedagogy. Second, the theoretical base in our field has developed in a number of specific directions. The opportunity today is to generate new integrative theory based on the empirically validated insights that we have obtained over the past several decades. This new integrative theory emphasizes property rights and carries implications for the strategic organization of both institutions and markets. Third, we can provide insights on the most pressing strategic issues confronting managers today and those that are likely to be pressing in the future. Some of these strategic issues--such as the depletion of natural energy resources, the relationships between political and corporate control, distributive justice, and the emergence of new forms of corporate governance--are theoretically knotty, and yet they are so pervasive and important that they must command our research attention. By tripping off a new cycle of integrative knowledge creation and scientific discovery about the strategic organization of both institutions and markets, the field will better serve the needs of students, executives, scholars (including those in the social-science disciplines) and society.
 
Article
We analyze the mortgage meltdown as a “normal accident” (Perrow, 1984). We begin by briefly outlining normal accident theory; both Perrow’s original version and Mezias’ (1994) subsequent extension. We then use normal accident theory to analyze the mortgage meltdown and draw a few insights from our account. We then consider the relationship between normal accidents and wrongdoing; a vexing question for both normal accident theory and observers of the meltdown. We conclude by briefly contemplating the policy implications of our analysis.
 
Article
In this study, we investigate why CEOs seem to be held more accountable for poor firm performance in some countries than others. We integrate research from comparative corporate governance and agency theory to identify and evaluate four fundamental assumptions underlying most theoretical arguments linking performance and dismissal: (1) CEOs are personally responsible for firm performance outcomes; (2) boards/owners have the power to dismiss CEOs; (3) firm performance measures are meaningful; and (4) suitable alternative candidates for the CEO role are available. We argue that CEO accountability will vary in line with the extent to which these assumptions are more or less valid from one country to the next. We provide robust evidence – across both market-based and accounting based measures – that CEOs are more likely to be dismissed following poor firm performance in countries where managerial discretion is high, where firm performance measures are more meaningful, and where the CEO labor market is more developed. However, we do not find support for our prediction that CEO accountability varies in line with cross-national differences in CEO power asymmetry.
 
Article
This paper explores the concept of structural embeddedness and proposes a construct, namely ‘contextual links’, which are coordination mechanisms applied to activities that may embed activities and their underlying resources within their business units. The main argument is that if activities and resources are greatly embedded in unit structures, then unit reconfiguration should have an impact on activity reconfiguration, where reconfiguration refers to movement within the firm and retention/deletion from the firm. Specifically, this study argues that if there is a significant amount of structural embeddedness, then the disruption caused by removing the contextual environment within which activities reside will lead to these activities creating less value. Theoretical support is drawn from the dynamic capabilities and organization design literatures. Activity movements are specified as default, linked, or unlinked changes. I examine, empirically, the simultaneous effects of activity and unit reconfiguration on activity retention to gain insight on structural embeddedness. Finally, I contrast activity-level and unit-level contextual links; whereas the former refers to activities embedded in units, the latter refers to units embedded in the firm. The initial findings reveal that preserving activity-level contextual links are more influential than unit-level contextual links in determining value creation from activities and their resources.
 
Article
Research suggests that firms avoid excessive differentiation or conformity by using industry competitors as reference targets in a process that Snow and Hambrick (1980) call "strategic adjustment." To date explanations of strategic adjustment have focused on the influence of only one of two sources: a) firms base targets on the collective strategic decisions of other firms in the industry; and b) firms base targets on the strategic decisions of the market leader. In this paper we explore how both these sources influence strategic adjustment by looking at the product portfolio strategies of firms in industries where competitive positions depend on periodically launching models with multiple features and functionalities. We develop hypotheses on when firms use targets based on collective industry product decisions and/or the market leader product decisions. We test these hypotheses using data on 570 mobile phone models launched in the UK by fourteen firms from 1997 to 2008.
 
Article
This study integrates research on strategic alliances and security analysts by focusing on the extent to which alliance announcements affect the amount of coverage firms obtain from security analysts. Adopting the perspective that alliance announcements constitute important market signals, I argue that they increase analyst coverage at a decreasing rate, but also that the strength of the relationship between announcements and coverage depends on the density of alliances. The relationship is strongest when alliance density is low because more attractive alliance partners are available or when alliance density is high because more attractive resources are available in the alliance network. I find support for these arguments in the empirical context of alliance announcement among computer technology firms and discuss their consequences for research on alliance-based market signals.
 
Article
More than sixty-five years ago Friedrich Hayek parenthetically remarked that while "man has learned to use [the market]...he is still very far from having learned to make the best use of it" (1945: 528). The ensuing years have seen significant innovation in the structure and use of markets, including the infusion of market mechanisms into organizations (Zenger and Hesterly, 1997). However, the focus in extant scholarship has largely been on the market’s high-powered incentives. But markets – as we will argue – have additional features, such as information aggregation and matching. These novel features of markets have recently begun to receive managerial attention as organizations experiment with market-like practices such as crowdsourcing, information and prediction markets, and open innovation. While we are descriptively learning much about these market-like practices and forms, nonetheless the theoretical foundations behind them, their implications for comparative governance (market versus hierarchy), their possible forms (market-hierarchy hybrids) and implications for strategy and competitive advantage have yet to be fully vetted in the organizational literature.The purpose of this essay, then, is to step back and theoretically discuss the common threads that unite innovative practices such as prediction markets and crowdsourcing, and more importantly, to discuss their comparative implications for markets and organizations, as well as market-hierarchy hybrids. We specifically focus on two, relatively neglected features of markets as a governance form – features that give markets an advantage over firms and hierarchy: information aggregation and matching. We provide a contrast of the informational and matching-related assumptions associated with coordinating economic activity via the market’s price mechanism versus hierarchy and organization, and highlight the potential gains from infusing the information aggregation and matching-related features of markets into organizations.While organizational scholars have certainly focused on the importance of information in organizations (Stinchcombe, 1990), and economists have highlighted the role that information plays in markets (e.g., signaling, information asymmetry, Spence, 1973; Stiglitz, 1961), nonetheless the market’s capacity for information aggregation and matching has not been well integrated into our theories of the firm – specifically, questions of comparative governance and radical market-hierarchy hybrid forms of organization. Based on our discussion, and in the spirit of the SO! Soapbox Forum, we also speculate on possible areas of future research for the field of strategic organization.
 
The moderating effect of strategic alignment.  
Descriptive statistics and correlations.
Article
Despite the increasing sophistication of the literature on strategic consensus and the compelling arguments linking it to organizational performance, empirical research has produced mixed findings. To address this conundrum, we examine the contingent role of strategic alignment — i.e., to what extent decision makers place importance on strategic priorities that are responsive to, or fit, the demands of the external environment faced by the organization — as a salient missing link. Our findings from a sample of 349 university faculty members in 63 academic departments suggest that the consensus-performance relationship is stronger for lower levels of strategic alignment, whereas at higher levels of alignment, consensus appears to have little effect. Our discussion traces implications of these findings for existing theory and future research.
 
Descriptive statistics of network structure and individual attributes 
Article
We use the panel data social network analysis program SIENA to estimate the effect of actor reputation derived from past performance on alliance formation, while controlling for other constant actor attributes, and network position. We distinguish between individual reputation based on the past performance of the organizations the individual actor has been involved in, and composite reputation that takes into account reputation spillover effects from the similarly-constituted reputations of past alliance partners. The empirical setting is the project-based film industry, which can be regarded as a constantly changing network of alliances. We focus on artistic reputation, based on the reviews of earlier films, and find that the strength of that reputation and closeness in the network of past alliances are strong predictors of alliance formation. We find weak evidence of actors with similar reputations being more likely to form alliances with each other.
 
a The C 8 of the Belgian audit market between 1956 and 1994
b The density of the Belgian audit market between 1956 and 1994
Sales of the four largest audit clients scaled by GNP in Belgium and the Netherlands, 1955-94
Influence of C 4 on the hazard rate for single proprietorships, medium-sized audit firms and large audit firms
Descriptive statistics α
Article
This article argues that organizational ecology would benefit from comparative studies since the trajectories of organizational populations depend on the resource conditions under which these dynamics unfold. By comparing different settings, the boundary conditions of theories are determined and explanations sharpened. The article reports the results of a comparative study that starts from resource-partitioning processes that explain the counter-intuitive association between market concentration and the rise of specialist organizations. The authors set up an empirical study in the Belgian audit industry, comparing the findings with those of a study of the Dutch audit industry. Contrary to the Dutch setting, this study finds that the failure rate of small (large) organizations increases (decreases) with market concentration in the Belgian setting. The findings suggest that the shape of the resource space and the strength of exploitation economies mould market structure dynamics in predictable ways, and clarify the conditions necessary to trigger resource-partitioning.
 
Article
This study explores the mechanisms through which economic and social factors affect the performance of banks in syndication networks formed in the Canadian investment banking industry. It is argued that firms have a choice between building embedded network ties that are overlaid with social context and arms-length ties that are driven by the forces of atomistic competition. Furthermore, maintaining a mix of arms-length and embedded relationships prevents investment banks from relying on either the economic or the social drivers of competition. A mixed relational strategy also sends inconsistent signals about banks' strategies and capabilities to other market participants, which prevents the banks from accessing new deals in the future. It is also proposed that costs and benefits associated with either relational strategy are affected by the status of an investment bank. It is found that growth in firm's status decreases potential liabilities of embeddedness, thus making embedded ties more valuable to the firm.
 
Article
While (managerial) beliefs are central to many aspects of strategic organization, interactive beliefs have been rather neglected. In an increasingly connected and networked economy, firms confront coordination problems that arise because of network effects. The capability to manage beliefs will increasingly be a strategic one, a key source of wealth creation, and a key research area for strategic organization scholars.
 
Results of Kolmogorov-Smirnov difference test for non-response bias a
Descriptive statistics and Pearson correlation coefficients a
Article
This study extends earlier research suggesting that board network ties may reflect the strategic and/or political concerns of top managers by considering how the managerial objectives that drive the formation and maintenance of board interlock ties may be subject to social influence.The particular form of social influence examined in this study derives from the social network research process itself. Specifically,we draw from research on social information processing and the framing of information to suggest how the administration of social network surveys can influence managers' perceptions about their relationship to directors and the potential benefits to be derived from director network ties, thus affecting their subsequent selection of board members in ways that change the firm's board interlock ties.We also consider how this social influence effect may diffuse beyond the actual survey respondents to create a more pervasive influence on the actions of managers at other firms in the board interlock network.We test our theoretical argument with an original quasiexperiment in which CEOs are randomly assigned to different versions of a survey questionnaire that have the potential to prime different schemata about the possible benefits to be derived from board network ties. Beyond addressing the potential for social influence in the formation and maintenance of board network ties, our study also addresses the potential for unintended reactive measurement effects in social network research, wherein network surveys influence the very ties that they are designed to measure.
 
General layout of the Paris-Rungis market and opening hours  
Types of buyer-seller interactions on the Paris-Rungis market
Daily market dynamics: a dyadic view  
Article
This article examines the daily strategizing of buyers, taking the dyad to be the elementary unit of analysis in market dynamics. The ideas are revisited that dyadic market relationships converge towards loyalty (Kirman and Vriend), and that markets tend towards social or institutional stabilization over time (Zuckerman). The phenomenon investigated is that although individuals strategize in each dyad in non-conformist ways, the stability of the market is nevertheless preserved. The empirical setting for these investigations was the Paris-Rungis market in France, one of the world’s largest wholesale markets for fresh products. Data collected through observations and interviews were coded, and a theoretical model was built on the analysis of these data. Among the main findings are that buyers’ recurrent deviance from dyadic rules maintains some level of instability, and that both sellers and market regulators exert opposing forces towards market restabilization through different modes of action.
 
Article
Using data about all de novo entrants into the Canadian manufacturing sectors during 1984-1998, we studied location choices as a function of firms' initial resources and capabilities. Employing nested logit estimation, we examined the impact of various location traits such as: agglomeration, competition, deterrence, and sunk costs, on location choices. Findings reveal that the probability of entry to a location with high agglomeration economies increases with increases in resources and capabilities and then declines. Very large de novo entrants may prefer isolated locations. Stronger entrants are more detracted by local competition and incumbents' deterrence strategies. Weaker firms value more places with lower entry barriers and sunk costs.
 
Article
As economic internationalization advances, the question of how firms cope with increasing pressure for competitiveness gains momentum. While scholars agree that firms need a competitive advantage, they debate whether firms exploit the comparative advantage of their economy and converge on that strategy facilitated by national institutions.`No', argue strategic management proponents of the resource-based view. `Yes', claim contributors to the competitiveness literature.The author's micro-level studies of these opposing views do not find evidence for a strong, widespread convergence by the firms in one economy to the same institutionally supported strategy. The discrepancies between these findings and the analyses of the competitiveness literature are attributed to differences in the indicators employed to measure corporate strategies.Whenever macro-level indicators are used, the related loss of information on micro-level variety entails that convergence effects are more pronounced — possibly exaggerated.
 
Article
Organizational scholars have so far remained relatively passive around the debate on climate change. We argue that organizational scholars could and should get more involved and show how this could be done through the lenses of institutional, stakeholder, and complexity theories.
 
Article
Working paper abstract (100-250 words): While the scientific, technical and policy components of the climate change issue are of critical importance, climate change is also a cultural issue. More importantly, it is a highly contested cultural issue in which competing movements engage in discursive debates – or framing battles - over the interpretation of the problem and the necessity of solutions. This dimension of the issue is overlooked because social scientists who can identify and analyze it have been notably absent from the public debate. Even more surprising, they have largely neglected to attend to the issue even within their own academic realms. In fact, our social science discipline either takes a relatively dismissive attitude toward those who challenge the scientific view that climate change is real – dubbed “climate skeptics” – or subscribes to them sinister motives and neglects their beliefs altogether. In this essay, I argue that this neglect is a problem and highlight how researchers can advance their scholarship and social relevance by studying the ongoing debate over climate change.
 
Article
This study investigates contracting mechanisms in situations of opportunistic disputes between organizations. We specifically explore the relationships between the formal versus informal nature of opportunism and the formal versus informal nature of contractual governance. We use a unique data set of 102 buyer-supplier disputes to explore in depth different types of opportunism - that is, strong form versus weak form opportunism - and different types of contracting mechanisms - that is, the controlling and coordinating functions of formal contracts and the cooperative and competitive sides of relational contracts. Our detailed empirical analysis suggests distinct relationships between the different contracting mechanisms, the different types of opportunism, and the level of legal fees necessary to deal with the dispute. These findings enable us to derive implications for research on the role of contractual mechanisms in dealing with interorganizational opportunism.
 
Main stages of the Rosacom–Mediacorp contracting process  
Article
The contracting process is a crucial step in alliance development and its success. However, the existing literature reveals surprisingly little investigation into how organizational learning relates to the process of contract making. We therefore conducted an in-depth longitudinal study of the alliance contracting process in the animated film industry. First, our findings suggest that during the contracting process, firms can learn about the way to deal with the contracting process, about themselves and their partner, and about the transaction features. Second, the case analysis indicates a combination of experiential, vicarious, and inferential learning mechanisms. Combining these insights into the objects and the mechanisms of learning during the contracting process, we discuss how contracting and learning processes are related and analyze the role of the contracting process in supporting organizational learning. The findings show that the drafting of contractual clauses fosters learning and, in turn, this learning triggers new contractual negotiations. Hence we suggest that the alignment between transaction features and the choice of contractual governance results from learning during the contracting process. We then propose avenues for future research.
 
Article
This article offers a framework to understand how endogeneity arises and how to control for it with instrumental variables to estimate causal relations with observational data. It builds on the state-of-the-art research in applied and theoretical econometrics to highlight the importance of endogeneity and review the methods that can be used to address it with instrumental variables.The article also discusses when the Heckman two-step procedure can be used, as well as the tests, methods and assumptions that researchers should check when using instrumental variables.To ease implementation of the instrumental variables techniques, the author offers the STATA commands of the exposed tests and methods. Further, an empirical example is provided along with the utilized STATA codes. In the end, this article serves as a`toolkit' allowing scholars not only to understand whether endogeneity is present in their empirical setting, but also to assess the empirical validity of their work when using instrumental variables.
 
Article
Macroeconomic theory assumes that factors of production in the economy are homogeneous and fungible. As a result, it is poorly suited for analyzing and developing policy responses to the recent financial crisis. Theories of strategic management and organization, with their emphasis on heterogeneous resources and capabilities, are better positioned. We provide examples of how macroeconomic theory may lead policies astray, and how theories of strategic management provide insight into the nature and causes of the financial crisis and the appropriate policy response.
 
Negative information ignored by subjects
Subjects decision to continue with acquisition 
Article
In conducting due diligence during corporate acquisitions, acquirers obtain new and usually negative information regarding targets' values. Because such information is noisy, acquirers must balance the risk of withdrawing from a value-enhancing acquisition against the risk of persisting with a value-destroying acquisition. Drawing on signal detection theory - a rational choice theory of decision making under uncertainty - we propose that the relative importance acquirers place on these two risks affects how they utilize information obtained during due diligence. To assess this proposition, we undertook an experimental study of decision making in due diligence. The results are consistent with the assertion that the initial value acquirers attach to the acquisition opportunity affects 1) the impact that negative information from due diligence has on their valuations of targets and 2) their final acquisition decision.
 
Article
We begin by elaborating on the building blocks for understanding the dynamic interrelationships between stakeholder theory, managerial discretion and stakeholder orientation. We then provide a sketch of the dynamic between managerial discretion and stakeholder orientation and their likely interaction. We conclude by considering some future research directions motivated by this dynamic.
 
Article
Following the emergence of the behavioral movement in economics and finance, there have been mounting calls for strategy scholars to expand and deepen what is called as the field of behavioral strategy, in which cognitive and social psychology will be merged with strategic management theory and practice (Powell, Lovallo, & Fox, 2011). The goal is to bring realistic assumptions about human cognition, emotion, and social behavior to the strategic management of organizations and thus to enrich strategy theory, empirical research, and real world practice. Thanks to advancing research in social psychology and neuroscience, there has been a resurgence of scholarly interest in connecting micro psychological phenomena to strategic outcomes (e.g., Hodgkinson & Healey, 2011; Huy, 2011; Powell et al., 2011). Levinthal (2011) noted that many strategic management challenges involve ill-specified alternatives and coarse-grained representations of strategic issues with a high level of uncertainty and ambiguity. Dealing adequately with these issues escapes neat optimizing algorithms, which has been the focus of the literature on judgment and decision making. One type of psychological phenomenon, human emotion, has barely been integrated to strategy research, although mushrooming research on emotion has shown that emotion can have a potent influence on cognition and behavior, especially under conditions of uncertainty and ambiguity (see Elfenbein, 2007).
 
Examples of Inter-organizational Relationships of Advertising Agencies 
The Variables in the Models
Article
I examine how foreignness and multinationality affect the propensity of affiliates to form inter-organizational relationships, using local firms as benchmarks to identify the sources of the distinctiveness of foreign affiliates. The empirical testing is based on data on 554 advertising agencies in the US. The findings show that foreign affiliates form fewer inter-organizational relationships than local firms do. Interactions with the MNEs partly explain these differences, and suggest complex relationships between inter- and intra-organizational interactions. The differences between foreign and local firms arise primarily from varying organizational scope, whether single- or multi-unit organizations, while geographic scope is less influential.
 
A process model for the cross-level development of trust in interorganizational relationships. 
Article
Most research on trust in interorganizational relationships focuses on a single level of analysis, typically the individual or organizational level, and treats trust as a fairly static phenomenon. To stimulate more cross-level research, we propose a theoretical model that explains how trust in interorganizational relationships is related across various levels of analysis. At the same time, our model emphasizes the dynamic aspect of trust by examining how trust develops throughout consecutive relationship stages. Drawing from several programs of research, we identify the mechanisms that drive the progression of trust across levels as the interorganizational relationship unfolds. Starting with the boundary spanner as the key individual at the beginning of a new collaboration, we specify how trust gradually becomes part of the fabric of organizational action. By integrating micro and macro approaches over time, the proposed model contributes to a better understanding of how trust evolves in interorganizational relationships.
 
Article
The strategic management literature has found it difficult to differentiate between collusive and efficiency-based synergies in horizontal merger activity. We propose a schematic to classify mergers that yields more information on merger types and merger effects, and that can, moreover, distinguish between mergers characterized largely by collusion-based synergies and mergers characterized largely by effi-ciency-based synergies. Crucial to the proposed measurement procedure is that it encompasses the impact of merger events not only on merging firms – as is custom – but also on non-merging competitor firms (the rivals). Employing the event-study methodology with stock-market data on samples of large horizontal mergers drawn from the US and UK (an Anglo-Saxon sub-sample) and from the European continent, we demonstrate how the proposed schematic can better clarify the nature of merger activity.
 
Article
This article is about how resources can be conceptualized as bundles of attributes for which one can assign economic property rights. Strategic considerations are deliberately incorporated into the analysis through the assessment of the activities of capture and protection of property rights, along with the examination of the institutional environment. These basic elements combine in order to design an approach to strategy. In developing this approach, the authors identify four key questions for structuring the strategy formulation process of the firm. The analytical framework is illustrated through a particular case: the collection of royalties on the genetically modified (GM) technology in soybean seeds.
 
Article
Many outcomes of interest to management and strategy researchers are in the form of fractions, proportions, or percentages. We review 10 years of research in seven leading strategy and management journals. Instead of implementing best-practice techniques, such as fractional logistic regression, management scholars rely primarily on linear regression, log-odds regression, or the Tobit model. Following up on our review, we present re-estimations of two published papers to show how best-practice methods yield substantially different results than the most commonly used methods. Using simulations, we confirm the results from the reproduced examples in a broader context. Finally, we present a worked example that researchers can lean on when they deal with fractional outcomes.
 
Article
This study analyzes the role of Category contrast in the context of an emerging industry. The level of contrast, the degree to which a category stands out from its background, appears to be an important aspect of the legitimation process, but as of yet poorly understood. The article explores three potential roles: as providing legitimacy to the category as such, as allowing for legitimacy spillovers to peripheral members, and as strengthening density-dependent legitimation. The study investigates these potential roles using longitudinal data on organizational naming patterns in the early passenger airline industry in the United Kingdom.
 
Article
In this article the author proposes that firm status has a significant effect on the regulatory evaluation process. Regulators rely on external signals of quality such as status to resolve uncertainty, and the tendency to be infused with ‘value beyond the technical requirements of the task at hand’ (Selznick, 1957) causes status positions in institutionalized domains to be particularly salient. Using review times for 839 New Drug Applications approved by the Food and Drug Administration between 1990 and 2004, the author finds that firms with higher status in the scientific knowledge domain receive faster approval for their drugs. The effect of status strengthened when products address underserved disease areas, and when following a major product withdrawal in the industry. Status in areas unrelated to the therapy category had a stronger effect on approval speed than therapy-specific status, implying that status effects are driven by values in addition to technical concerns.
 
Overview of cluster, size, impact, themes, representatives, and theories 
Future research suggestions based on our findings 
Figure A4-1: Coupling 1991-2000 
Article
James G. March has published his seminal work ‘Exploration and Exploitation in Organizational Learning’ in 1991. We revisit March’s article and analyze the impact it has had on scholarly thinking, providing a comprehensive and structured review of the extensive and diverse research inspired by this publication. Unlike previous reviews on the topic, we combine bibliometric analysis and machine-based text mining to portray a picture of the evolving landscape of this article’s influence. We show that although this influence has changed significantly over the years, there are still unexplored opportunities left by this seminal work. Our approach enables us to identify promising directions for future research that reinforce the themes anchored in March’s (1991) article. In particular, we call for reconnecting current research to the behavioral roots of this article and uncovering the microfoundations of exploration and exploitation. Our analysis further identifies opportunities for integrating this framework with resource-base theories, and considering how exploration and exploitation can be sourced and integrated within and across organizational boundaries. Finally, our analysis reveals prospects for extending the notions of exploration and exploitation to new domains, but we caution that such domains should be clearly delineated. We conclude with a call for more research on the antecedents of exploration and exploitation and for studying their underexplored dimensions.
 
Article
Deephouse raised an important question as to whether firms should be different or should be the same. The strategic balance perspective proposed by him suggests that by balancing the competing pressures of conformity and differentiation, a moderate degree of similarity is what contributes most to firm performance. This perspective has been widely accepted by scholars but follow-up studies are few and have achieved mixed results, leaving the knowledge base in this stream on shaky ground. This study conducted multiple replications of Deephouse’s seminal work across 155 manufacturing industries in China and across two methods to examine its replicability, generalizability, and robustness to methods and to provide additional and cumulative information. The results show that strategic balance perspective was replicable, but with context limitations. Our exploratory analyses indicate several possible boundary conditions and promising topics for furthering the development of strategic balance perspective. Theoretical and methodological implications are discussed.
 
Article
I agree with the majority of the points made by Greckhamer et al. some of which echo and address the concerns raised in my essay. However, the authors on their pages 5–6 may have misinterpreted several of my critiques and recommendations and so it is worth providing some clarification.
 
Summary of findings
Article
This article focuses on the relation between strategy-as-practice and its power effects in the context of a strategy project (Sustainable Sydney 2030) undertaken by the City of Sydney. The following three interrelated questions guided the enquiry: How is strategy practised? What knowledge is it based upon? And what are its power effects? Based on a detailed empirical analysis of the strategy-making process, the article charts how strategy rendered the city knowable and how performative effects of strategizing mobilized the public and legitimized outcomes of the process while silencing other voices. The article's theoretical contribution is threefold: first, it shows that strategizing is performative, constituting its subjects and shaping its objects; second, that strategizing has to be understood as aesthetic performance whose power resides in the simultaneous representation of facts (traditionally the domain of science) and values (the realm of politics); third, and consequently, that strategy is a sociopolitical practice that aims at mobilizing people, marshalling political will and legitimizing decisions. The article concludes with reflections on five practical implications of the study.
 
Article
Writing this editorial is of particular portent during this moment in history, as Covid-19 exposes the fragility of our assumptions about the world in which we live, or the amount of time we may have to adapt to its change. At the time that this So!apbox Forum on sustainability and strategic organization was under discussion, neither our authors nor we had any idea that a change of such significance, which would confront almost every aspect of our understanding about the interconnectedness and vulnerability of global systems, was around the corner. And yet, a world that would have seemed fantastic at the end of 2019 became our reality as the rapid and systemic effects of Covid-19 were amplified both in our everyday lives and around the world. We suggest that this is a particularly apposite time to consider what we might learn about other aspects of sustainability beyond those that have contributed to the causes and the effects of Covid-19. The rapid onset of Covid-19 and the lack of foresight over its occurrence may make it seem exceptional compared with other sustainability issues such as the climate effects associated with the Anthropocene. Yet pandemics, similar to weather-related disasters, have long been high upon the risk registers of many countries (e.g. Simpson et al., 2019), indicating that it is not the unanticipated nature of the risk that shaped lack of foresight. Furthermore, while the speed and scale at which Covid-19 had its dramatic effects upon the globe are certainly remarkable, so also are the effects of rising global temperatures upon extreme weather events. Events such as hurricane and extreme heat, and their secondary effects, such as flooding, drought, and bushfire, have almost doubled to 6681 events over the past 20 years, costing $4.07 trillion in global economic losses (United Nations Disaster Risk Reduction, 2020). The speed, scale, and probability of climate effects upon strategy and organization are, therefore, not something we can continue to ignore, as the authors in this So!apbox Forum note (e.g. Hahn and Tampe, 2021; Howard-Grenville and Lahneman, 2021).
 
Article
Extant literature on firm–university collaboration has emphasized two different strategies that firms in science-based industries adopt to source scientific knowledge and expertise. On one hand, firms engage in direct research collaborations with universities. On the other hand, firms establish indirect, mediated, ties to universities by engaging in research collaborations with dedicated biotech firms that are themselves strongly linked to universities—with the dedicated biotech firm taking the role of “broker.” We argue that the relative benefits of direct and mediated ties depend on the extent to which firms have organized their research and development to facilitate the absorption, assimilation, transformation, and exploitation of scientific knowledge, which we coin “scientific absorptive capacity.” Drawing on patent and publication data in a panel of 33 vertically integrated pharmaceutical firms, we find that direct university collaboration is more beneficial for firms with relatively high scientific absorptive capacity, while only mediated ties are associated with greater innovative performance for firms with relatively low scientific absorptive capacity. The latter association is reduced if the mediated ties are with top universities. Our findings are suggestive of the importance of a “fit” between the nature of a firm’s research and development organization and its strategy to access scientific knowledge.
 
Descriptive statistics and correlations matrix 
Article
This article proposes that key CEO demographic factors reflect alternative modes of rationalizing the choice to engage in and/or facilitate accounting fraud. Specifically the authors theorize that younger, less functionally experienced CEOs and CEOs without business degrees will be more likely to rationalize accounting fraud as an acceptable decision. Based on a sample of 312 fraud-committing and control firms, the study finds support for the authors' predictions. It also finds that CEO stock options (a form of executive equity incentive) also predict fraud, and that this relationship is not moderated by CEO demographics. The study thus extends upper echelon theory by demonstrating how key demographic variables influence CEO decisions to rationalize accounting fraud.
 
Article
In this study, we apply organizational identification theory to enrich our knowledge of the career-horizon problem when CEOs are approaching retirement. The extant literature suggests that the closer a CEO is to retirement, the more likely she or he is to avoid long-term firm investments. Focusing on capital investments, we argue that the distinctive organizational identification with the firm of lone-founder CEOs and long-tenure acquirer CEOs can moderate the likelihood that the closer a CEO is to retirement, the more likely she or he is to avoid capital investments. We test and validate our hypotheses on a sample of CEOs in S&P 1500 non-financial firms between 1999 and 2010. This article contributes to the literature on CEO career horizons by providing a new and more fine-grained perspective on the important question of how different types of CEOs consider capital investments and the future of their firms as they approach retirement.
 
Top-cited authors
Jackson Nickerson
  • Washington University in St. Louis
Barton Hamilton
  • Washington University in St. Louis
Nicolai J. Foss
  • Università commerciale Luigi Bocconi
Margaret A. Peteraf
  • Dartmouth College
Teppo Felin
  • University of Oxford