Alliance Formation and Firm Value


Management Science

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Départements : Stratégie et Politique d’Entreprise, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Mots clés : firm alliances, matching, competitive advantage

We consider the formation of alliances that potentially create complementarities, that is, when the value function is super-modular in firm resources. We show that, in a frictionless world where information is perfect and managers optimize, firm alliances disproportionately increase the value of high-resource-level firms, resulting in higher variance and higher skewness of the distribution of firm value; moreover, higher-value alliances are subject to regression to the mean at a faster rate. These effects are magnified if the degree of complementarities is endogenously determined by each firm’s investment. We also consider alliances where matching and/or information about firm resources are imperfect, and show that complementarities are a necessary but not sufficient condition for alliances to cause an increase in firm value; and that complementarities are neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for alliances to be correlated with higher firm value

Bouncing Back: Building Resilience Through Social and Environmental Practices in the Context of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis


Journal of Management

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Départements : Stratégie et Politique d’Entreprise, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Mots clés : organizational resilience; social and environmental practices; strategic and tactical practices; global financial crisis; survival analysis

Even though organizational researchers have acknowledged the role of social and environmental business practices in contributing to organizational resilience, this work remains scarce, possibly because of the difficulties in measuring organizational resilience. In this paper, we aim to partly remedy this issue by measuring two ways in which organizational resilience manifests through organizational outcomes in a generalized environmental disturbance—namely, severity of loss, which captures the stability dimension of resilience, and time to recovery, which captures the flexibility dimension. By isolating these two variables, we can then theorize the types of social and environmental practices that contribute to resilience. Specifically, we argue that strategic social and environmental practices contribute more to organizational resilience than do tactical social and environmental practices. We test our theory by analyzing the responses of 963 U.S.-based firms to the global financial crisis and find evidence that support our hypotheses

Decision Theory Made Relevant: Between the Software and the Shrink


Research in Economics

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Départements : Economie et Sciences de la décision, GREGHEC (CNRS), Stratégie et Politique d’Entreprise

Decision theory offers a formal approach to decision making, which is often viewed and taught as the rational way to approach managerial decisions. Half a century ago it generated high hopes of capturing and perhaps replacing intuition, and providing the “right” answer in practically all managerial situations. Today it seems fair to say that decision theory has not lived up to these expectations. Behavioral science provides ample evidence that managers fail to follow the dicta of decision theory, even when these are explained to them. As a result, executives often find decision theory frustrating and useless and prefer to rely on their intuition. This paper suggests that this extreme conclusion is unwarranted and calls for a re-appraisal of decision theory. We propose that it should not always be regarded as a mathematical tool that produces the answer; rather, it can be viewed as a framework for a dialog between the decision maker and the decision theorist. In one extreme, the decision theorist studies the problem and provides the “correct’’ answer. But in another, the decision theorist only challenges the decision maker’s intuition and logic. In between, a whole gamut of possible dialogs exists, in which decision theory doesn’t replace intuition, but supports and refines it

Demand-Side Strategy, Relational Advantage, and Partner-Driven Corporate Scope: The Case for Client-Led Diversification


Strategic Management Journal

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Départements : Stratégie et Politique d’Entreprise, GREGHEC (CNRS)

We advance research on corporate diversification by joining insights from the demand-side and relational views in strategy to offer a novel theory of client-led diversification. We propose that client-led diversification results from a combination of the customer-driven opportunities emphasized in the demand-side view and the creation of added value through relational assets that is a central tenet of the relational view. Furthermore, we hypothesize that suppliers’ client-specific knowledge, clients’ relational commitment to suppliers, and growth opportunities in clients’ markets (relative to the suppliers’ own markets) will magnify the client-led diversification effect. We test our hypotheses using a longitudinal dataset on patent law firms and their diversification into new domains of patent prosecution work for their corporate clients

Do stakeholder orientation and environmental pro-activity impact firm profitability?


Journal of Business Ethics

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Départements : Stratégie et Politique d’Entreprise, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Mots clés : Environmental proactivity, Firm profitability, Resource-based theory, Stakeholder orientation, Stakeholder theory

The impact of socially responsible corporate behavior on economic performance is a major preoccupation of managers today. This article explores the links between narrowly defined constructs: stakeholder orientation, environmental proactivity and profitability, from the perspectives of stakeholder theory and resource-based theory. We collected data on the food and beverage, and household and personal products industries. Using structural equation modeling, this paper makes two contributions. We found a negative link between companies simply having a higher stakeholder orientation and profitability. Importantly, however, environmental proactivity not only had a positive impact on profitability, but also appeared to mediate the relationship between stakeholder orientation and profitability. In other words, if a company is more environmentally proactive, it will be more attentive to a broad array of stakeholders, and this will in turn contribute positively to profitability

How Do Firm Political Connections Impact Foreign Acquisitions? The Effects of Decision Makers’ Political and Firm Embeddedness


Global Strategy Journal

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Départements : Stratégie et Politique d’Entreprise, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Mots clés : political connections, non-market strategies, foreign acquisitions, French firms, mental models

Research summary: We examine how firm political connections established through the political embeddedness of senior decision makers affect firms’ foreign acquisition strategy. We argue that such political embeddedness affects the mental models of decision makers and, in turn, influences their preferences for particular strategies. We propose that political embeddedness leads to the formation of mental models that favor foreign acquisition strategies. We further argue that the firm embeddedness of politically-embedded decision makers alters their mental models, thereby mitigating their inclination for such strategies. We find evidence consistent with our mental models explanation using a sample of foreign acquisitions made by French publicly-traded firms during the 2009-2014 period. Overall, this study contributes to a better understanding of the mechanisms through which political connections impact global strategy. Managerial summary: We investigate how firm political connections affect firms’ foreign acquisition strategies. We argue that when firms have top decision makers with close connections to the government, they will make more foreign acquisitions. We further argue that this inclination towards foreign acquisitions is primarily driven by non-executive board members, with politically-connected executives appearing to be more reluctant to engage in such strategies. We find evidence consistent with these ideas when examining foreign acquisitions made by French publicly-traded firms managed by graduates of the prestigious ENA government school, which trains many government and senior civil servants in France

Interfirm ties and knowledge transfer: The moderating role of absorptive capacity of managers


Knowledge and Process Management

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Départements : Stratégie et Politique d’Entreprise, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Through the lens of social capital perspective, this paper assesses how individuals' interactions and their learning capabilities explain the transfer of good practices in an interorganizational network. Primary data were collected from export consortia in Tunisia through a questionnaire survey. The research underlines the impact of the strength and the range of ties between managers. It is also found that managers' absorptive capacity moderates the impact of the strength of ties. This study considers the individual's behavior at the heart of the knowledge transfer process and suggests a substitution effect between the strength of social ties and individual's absorptive capacity

Shine on me: Industry coherence and policy support for emerging industries


Administrative Science Quarterly

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Départements : Stratégie et Politique d’Entreprise, GREGHEC (CNRS)

It has long been recognized that government support can catalyze the emergence and growth of new industries. But under what conditions does an emergent category of organizations come to receive state support in the first place? In this paper, we theorize how government support for a nascent industry is jointly determined by the industry's internal features and external forces. We test our arguments by analyzing feed-in-tariff policies for the emergent solar photovoltaics (PV) industry in 28 European countries over more than two decades. We find that feed-in-tariffs were more likely in countries with greater numbers of solar PV producers and in countries where the industry was more coherent, containing fewer producers coming from industries with a contrasting identity. Further, we find that the concentration of the incumbent energy sector enhances the effect of the number of producers on policy support when the industry is coherent, but not when it is incoherent. Our results shed new light on the relationship between public policy and industry category emergence, and extend our understanding of how new industries can attain valuable state support while operating in seemingly hostile environments

Signal Incongruence and Its Consequences: A Study of Media Disapproval and CEO Overcompensation


Organization Science

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Départements : Stratégie et Politique d’Entreprise

Mots clés : media, CEO compensation, social evaluations, philanthropy, signaling

We draw on the signaling and infomediary literatures to examine how media evaluations of CEO overcompensation (a negative cue associated with selfishness and greed) are affected by the presence of corporate philanthropy (a positive cue associated with altruism and generosity). In line with our theory on signal incongruence, we find that firms engaged in philanthropy receive more media disapproval when they overcompensate their CEO, but they are also more likely to decrease CEO overcompensation as a response. Our study contributes to the signaling literature by theorizing about signal incongruence, and to infomediary and corporate governance research by showing that media disapproval can lead to lower executive compensation. We also reconcile two conflicting views on firm prosocial behavior by showing that, in the presence of incongruent cues, philanthropy can simultaneously enhance and damage media evaluations of firms and CEOs. Taken together, these findings shed new light on the media as agents of external corporate governance for firms and open new avenues for research on executive compensation

Simulating Stigma: Initial Prejudices are Sufficient to Create an Intractable Underclass


PLoS One

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Départements : Stratégie et Politique d’Entreprise, GREGHEC (CNRS)