A Universe of Stories: Mobilizing Narrative Practices During Transformative Change


Strategic Management Journal

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

Mots clés : strategic change, narrative, strategyaspractice, storytelling, reflection

Constructing narratives of transformative change is an important but challenging practice through which strategy makers attempt to influence acceptance of an ongoing transformation. To understand whether and how strategy makers can construct a steady influx of captivating narratives of transformative change, we analyzed how one noted strategy maker assisted the successful transformation of his organization over three decades by orchestrating the production of change narratives. Our analysis reveals that the strategy maker constructed and reconstructed meanings of change over time using three sets of distinct but interconnected narrative practices. We develop a dynamic model linking the simultaneous mobilization of these practices to strategy makers’ ability to harness the persistent tension between novelty and familiarity in a transformative change, and thereby win endorsement from key audiences. This paper was accepted for publication on Strategic Management Journal Special Issue on "Strategy Processes and Practices: Dialogues and Intersections"

Achieving High Growth in Policy-Dependent Industries: Differences between Startups and Corporate-Backed Ventures


Long Range Planning

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

This research examines which firms achieve high growth in policy-dependent industries. Using the European solar photovoltaic industry as our empirical setting, we investigate the impact of policy support on the growth of independent startups and corporate-backed ventures operating across countries with diverse policy conditions. We find that producers' growth is positively linked to policy generosity, and negatively linked to policy discontinuity. Moreover, corporate-backed ventures are less affected by policy generosity compared to entrepreneurial startups, and less impacted by policy discontinuity as well. Our results underline the importance of country- and firm-level differences in analyzing firms' response to regulatory policies, and point to the need for a better understanding of the unintended consequences of policies designed to support new industries.

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

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)

Organization Design, Proximity, and Productivity Responses to Upward Social Comparison


Organization Science

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

Mots clés : Incentives, Social Comparison Costs, Envy, Productivity, Organization Design

We investigate the mechanisms that shape social comparison in organizations and generate socialcomparison costs. In particular, we focus on heterogeneity in the strength and type of incentivesand argue that, from an efficient design perspective, such variance in rewards is a double edgedsword. While the sorting and incentive effects that result may increase productivity, the socialcomparison processes that arise may dampen it. We posit that the mechanisms underlying thesebehavioral costs are shaped not only by the magnitude of reward variance, but by the formal andinformal design elements shaping the distance of advantaged peers. In other words, the moreproximate socially, structurally or geographically are those to whom one socially compares, thelarger the behavioral response. Empirically, we use an unanticipated event during which outlets ofa bank, previously operating under essentially homogenous incentives, were assigned totournament groups with differing ex ante probabilities of winning a prize—an event that increasesvariance in awards and hence generates an impetus for social comparison. We find that units withmore socially, geographically, and structurally proximate peers assigned to ‘advantaged’tournament groups decreased their productivity. We discuss implications of these results fororganizational design and boundaries

The Price of Admission: Organizational Deference as Strategic Behavior


American Journal of Sociology

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

Mots clés : deference, symbolic boundaries, strategic management, organizations

Why would market organizations engage in symbolic and material acts conveying appreciation and respect to other organizations that confirm their inferior position in an established hierarchy? Deference, we argue, is the price outsider organizations pay to pass categorical and symbolic boundaries, and gain acceptance in contexts where insiders regard them as impure. Because not all organizations can or are willing to pay the price, deference varies according to positional, dispositional, and interactional characteristics. We examine and find support for the view of organizational deference as strategic behavior using empirical evidence on market finance organizations investing in film production in France over two decades. Our analysis expands research on non-conflictual interactions and symbolic boundaries in market setting

Too any Cooks Spoil the Broth? Geographic Concentration, Social Norms, and Knowledge Transfer


Advances in Strategic Management

A paraître, vol. 36

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

A long tradition in social science research emphasizes the potential for knowledge to flow among firms co-located in dense areas. Scholars have suggested numerous modes for these flows, including the voluntary transfer of private knowledge from one firm to another. Why would the holder of valuable private knowledge willingly transfer it to a potential and closely proximate competitor? In this paper, we argue that geographic concentration has an effect on the expected compliance with norms governing the use of transferred knowledge. The increased expected compliance favors trust and initiates a process of reciprocal exchange. To test our theory, we use a scenario-based field experiment in gourmet cuisine, an industry in which property rights do not effectively protect knowledge and geographic concentration is common. Our results confirm our conjecture by showing that the expectation that a potential co-located firm will abide by norms mediates the relationship between geographic concentration and the willingness to transfer private knowledge

Willing and Able: A General Model of Organizational Responses to Normative Pressures


Academy of Management Review

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

Mots clés : institutional theory, normative pressures, symbolic, substantive, conformity, compliance, issue salience

We develop a conceptual understanding of when and how organizations respond to normative pressures. More precisely, we examine two main factors underlying the willingness and ability of organizations to respond to an issue: (1) issue salience, and (2) the cost-benefit analysis of resource mobilization. We suggest that decision-makers’ interpretation of issue salience in conjunction with their perception of the costs and benefits of taking action to address the issue generates five potential responses: symbolic compliance and symbolic conformity, substantive compliance and substantive conformity, and inaction. We extend the baseline model by examining a number of boundary conditions. By focusing on the willingness and ability of organizations to respond to normative pressures, and by adopting the issue as the unit of analysis, our model helps explain intra- as well as inter-organizational response heterogeneity to institutional complexity. We contribute to the institutional research tradition and offer useful implications for managerial practice, from strategic management to policy making