Robert M. Grant

Robert M. Grant
Università commerciale Luigi Bocconi | Bocconi · Department of Management and Technology

About

65
Publications
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42,944
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January 2009 - July 2013
Università commerciale Luigi Bocconi
Position
  • Eni Professor of Strategic Management

Publications

Publications (65)
Article
Full-text available
This special issue of Strategic Management Journal was motivated by concern that the growing scope and diversity of the strategic management field creates the risk of incoherence and fragmentation and the belief that research reviews could contribute to synthesis and integration. In this introductory essay, we address the expanding domain of strate...
Chapter
Full-text available
Eastman Kodak’s declaration of Chapter 11 bankruptcy on January 19, 2012 marked the end of its quest to become a world leader in digital imaging. Despite massive investments in digital technologies, multiple acquisitions and strategic alliances spanning two decades, Kodak was unable to convert its digital strategy into either market leadership or p...
Chapter
To understand the role, nature and content of knowledge management, this article traces the conceptual basis of knowledge management in terms of the emergence of the knowledge-based view of the firm and shows how, triggered by development of the knowledge-based economy, knowledge management has provided an umbrella for a range of management activit...
Chapter
Organizational competence, also referred to as organizational capability, has emerged during the past 25 years as a central concept in strategic management. Yet limited progress has been made in methodologies for its measurement. In this entry, we explore the challenges of identifying and measuring organizational competence and review the methods e...
Chapter
Industry analysis involves the systematic investigation of the firm's proximate environment – as defined by its interactions with customers, suppliers, and competitors – for the purposes of identifying sources of profit. In this entry, we look beyond the Porter Five Forces of Competition framework to consider, first, what we mean by an industry and...
Chapter
The knowledge-based view (KBV) represents a confluence of research streams concerning the role of knowledge within the firm. The KBV offers a rationale for the existence of the firm that is distinct from the conventional transactions cost approach. The KBV has been applied to several areas of strategic and organizational decision making including t...
Chapter
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Knowledge has an intimate relationship with entrepreneurship. Knowledge is a critical input into the creation of new business ventures and a major area of entrepreneurship research addresses the sources of such knowledge, including the educational backgrounds of entrepreneurs, the origins of creativity, and role of established enterprises in supply...
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The first thing to note about Nonaka’s theory of organizational knowledge creation is how radical it was. Prior to 1994, a great deal had been written about knowledge creation by firms, however, for the most part it emphasized two processes: first, discovery through search, as in the case of scientific discovery, technological research and market r...
Article
Full-text available
Knowledge-based approaches to the firm offer valuable insights into some of the central issues of governance and organizational design—especially into long neglected problems of coordination. I start from the assumption that the fundamental problem of economic organization is reconciling efficiency in knowledge development with efficiency in knowle...
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This chapter suggests that The Competitive Advantage of Nations has transformed thinking about the basis of national competitiveness and has had a big impact on public policies towards regional and national economic development. It is argued that Porter's analysis of the impact of national environment on international competitive performance demons...
Chapter
When I joined Bocconi University at the beginning of 2008, I already knew Vittorio Coda from my previous visits to Bocconi and our joint involvement in Eni’s corporate university. Although I was aware of Professor Coda’s leading role in the development of strategic management at Bocconi and within Italy, the barrier of language had prevented me fro...
Article
The rapid international expansion by financial services firms since the early 1990s has occurred in the absence of any consistent evidence of such growth being associated with performance gains. Opportunism and imitation are identified as the key drivers of cross-border expansion, suggesting that internationalisation strategies need to be based on...
Article
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The rivalry between business policy and strategy analysis that played out at Harvard Business School during the 1980s remains an unresolved debate in strategic management teaching. I argue that developing managers with the knowledge and insight needed to make sound strategic decisions and guide the development of their organizations is best served...
Article
In his new book, The Future of Management, Gary Hamel is once again inciting managers to revolt. His indictment of current management practices rests on two propositions. First, that most management systems and principles are founded on a hopelessly obsolete management paradigm. Second, that management innovation represents the ultimate source of c...
Article
The accounting scandals that rocked the corporate world have been blamed on a range of factors, including unethical behaviour among executives, incentives to manipulate financial information for personal gain and lack of independence among monitors. This paper introduces an additional cause: weaknesses in strategic management. The thesis is that th...
Article
Despite its disavowal of state intervention in industry, the Government is still subsidising industries it thinks it can fertilise into increased profitability. Robert Grant denies that government with taxpayers’ money is more alert to potential growth than private investors backing their judgement with their own money.
Article
Restructuring among the international oil majors during 1980–92 involved simultaneous, system-wide changes in strategies and structures dictated by the demands of a more competitive, unstable business environment, but triggered by declining profitability and motivated by the desire to increase shareholder returns. Restructuring involved transition...
Article
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Electronic commerce has been considered to represent the ultimate manifestation of the globalisation of business. This paper highlights, however, that the existence of extreme scale economies and uniform global markets must be qualified. Account must be taken of local and national influences together with the fact that the particular economic chara...
Article
The emerging knowledge-based view of the firm offers new insight into the causes and management of interfirm alliances. However, the development of an effective knowledge-based theory of alliance formation has been inhibited by a simplistic view of alliances as vehicles for organizational learning in which strategic alliances have presumed to be mo...
Article
The long-running debate between the ‘rational design’ and ‘emergent process’ schools of strategy formation has involved caricatures of firms' strategic planning processes, but little empirical evidence of whether and how companies plan. Despite the presumption that environmental turbulence renders conventional strategic planning all but impossible,...
Article
Are multinational corporations (MNCs) superior to strategic alliances and markets in facilitating the flow of knowledge across borders? If so, what are the sources of this superiority? Despite their central importance to the theory and practice of international management, these questions have not been directly tested. Our paper seeks to address th...
Article
Full-text available
At the beginning of 2000, the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies (Shell) was emerging from one of the most ambitious and far-reaching organizational restructurings of its 93-year history. The restructuring had involved the shift from a geographically-based to a primarily business sector-based structure, the elimination of over 1,000 corporate pos...
Article
Sumario: Fundamentals of strategic management -- The analysis of industry and competition -- The analysis of competitive advantage -- Corporate strategy
Chapter
The emerging knowledge-based view of the firm has revitalised interest in the theory of the firm. Conventional wisdom concerning the existence of the firm has centred around the Coase/Williamson view that firms exist to economise on the transaction costs of market contracting through substituting an administrative mechanism for decentralised market...
Chapter
The start of a new millennium has encouraged reflection upon the past and anticipation of the future across a wide range of human activities. This is certainly true of international business. The 1992 conference on ‘International Business: An Emerging Vision’ provided a forum for reviewing the state of international business (IB) and its future dev...
Chapter
Transactions cost analysis provides incisive analysis of the factors influencing the relative efficiencies of firms and markets in organizing economic activity. However, it is less successful in its analysis of interfirm collaboration: a characteristic feature of industrial organization in the advanced economies of the world. To shed greater light...
Article
In this summary of the key speakers at the Strategic Leadership Forum's 1999 Conference, the author poses answers to a number of questions:What does the year 2000 mean for business enterprises? Is it a turning point in any sense beyond a calendar? What are the key uncertainties facing business leaders at this historical juncture? What are the centr...
Article
Full-text available
Strategy has been defined as “the match an ovganization makes between its internal resources and skills … and the opportunities and risks created by its external environment.” 1 During the 1980s, the principal developments in strategy analysis focussed upon the link between strategy and the external environment. Prominent examples of this focus are...
Article
The major oil companies of 1995 are very different in strategy, structure, and management systems from the “Seven Sisters” that dominated the oil industry during the 1960s and 1970s. In a decade of downsizing, the oil majors have reduced their number of employees by an average of almost 30%, while during that same period, average revenues have incr...
Article
Full-text available
Given assumptions about the characteristics of knowledge and the knowledge requirements of production, the firm is conceptualized as an institution for integrating knowledge. The primary contribution of the paper is in exploring the coordination mechanisms through which firms integrate the specialist knowledge of their members. In contrast to earli...
Article
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The explosion of interest in knowledge and its management reflects the trend towards ‘knowledge work’ and the Information Age, and recognition of knowledge as the principal source of economic rent. The papers in this Special Issue represent an attempt by strategy scholars (and some outside our traditional field) to come to terms with the implicatio...
Article
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Unstable market conditions caused by innovation and increasing intensity and diversity of competition have resulted in organizational capabilities rather than served markets becoming the primary basis upon which firms establish their long-term strategies. If the strategically most important resource of the firm is knowledge, and if knowledge reside...
Article
Unstable market conditions caused by innovation and increasing intensity and diversity of competition have resulted in organizational capabilities rather than served markets becoming the primary basis upon which firms establish their long-term strategies. If the strategically most important resource of the firm is knowledge, and if knowledge reside...
Article
The oil shocks of 1974 and 1979/80 transformed the business environment of the oil industry from one of stability to one of turbulence. As a result, the international oil majors were forced to reformulate their strategies and redesign their organizational structures and management systems. This study provides an indepth examination of strategic and...
Article
This study of twenty-three of the world's largest oil companies found that, although state-owned oil companies achieved substantially lower levels of labour productivity than privately-owned oil companies over the period 1980-92, differences in profitability were small due to the domestic market power wielded by the state-owned companies. Privately...
Article
Porter's Competitive Advantage of Nations is an important book which bridges the gap between strategic management and international economics while contributing substantially to both. Porter's analysis of the impact of national environment on international competitive performance demonstrates the potential for the theory of competitive strategy to...
Article
Full-text available
Constructs an analytical framework for a resource-based approach to strategy formulation. There are five stages in this framework: analyze resources, appraise capabilities, analyze competitive advantage, select strategy, and identify resource gaps. The concepts of this framework are illustrated by reference to existing U.S. firms such as IBM, Xerox...
Article
Low cost import competition is increasingly threatening the profitability and survival of many mature manufacturing industries in Western Europe and North America. This study of U.K. cutlery firms shows that even when firms' room for manoeuvre is severely constrained by limited resources and an overwhelming cost disadvantage, appropriate strategies...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigated the causal relationships between diversity, diversification, and profitability among 304 large British manufacturing companies that differed in both product and multinational diversity. Diversity and profitability were positively related up to a point; after that point, increases in product diversity were associated with dec...
Article
The importance of Prahalad and Bettis's concept of dominant logic is in emphasizing business relatedness at the strategic rather than the operational level. By examining dominant logic in relation to the functions and systems of corporate management, it is possible to operationalize the concept of dominant logic and identify the key components of r...
Article
This study examines differences in profit and sales performance between the different Wrigley/Rumelt categories of diversification strategy. Our sample comprised 305 large U. K. manufacturing companies over the period 1972–84. Although diversification strategy explained only a small proportion of inter‐firm performance differences, once the influen...
Article
Full-text available
Over the period 1972-84, profitability among 304 large, British manufacturing companies was positively related to their degree of multinationality. Moreover, increases in overseas production were strongly associated with increases in sales and profitability. The profitability of multinational growth over the whole period was independent of its dest...
Article
Full-text available
Among large British manufacturing firms, profitability was found to be positively related both to product diversification and multinational diversification. The principal direction of causation appeared to run from profitability to diversification. In contrast to prior studies, no significant profitability differences were found between related and...
Article
As a result of the rise in the value of the dollar against most other currencies, U.S. manufacturers are threatened at home by an unprecedented influx of imports and abroad by increasing uncompetitiveness of U.S. exports. The problem of adjusting to competition from lower-cost exporting countries is not a phenomenon exclusive to the U.S.: Western E...
Article
Full-text available
Although he would celebrate his 54th birthday later in the year, there was little evi- dence during the first few months of 2004 that age and maturity had sapped Richard Branson's energy or the entrepreneurial vigor of his Virgin group of companies. Many of his new ventures were outside of Britain. His Australian budget airline, Virgin Blue, comple...
Article
Wal-Mart's financial results for the year ended January 31, 2004 set new records for the company, compared to the previous year, sales were up by 2 % and net income had increased by 13% For the second year running, Wal-Mart would top the FortuneGlobal500 as the world's largest company and the world's biggest private sector employer with 1.4 million...
Article
Sumario: Fundamentos de dirección estratégica -- Análisis del sector y de la competencia -- Análisis de la ventaja competitiva -- Estrategia corporativa

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