Articles scientifiques

Causation, counterfactuals and competitive advantage

R. DURAND, E. Vaara

Strategic Management Journal

décembre 2009, vol. 30, n°12, pp.1245-1264

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

Mots clés : Causation, Counterfactuals, Competitive advantage, Epistemology


Causation needs more attention in strategy research. Confusion prevails around the statistical or causal nature of core relationships between resources, competitive advantage, and performance in the strategy corpus. Based on a discussion of alternative epistemological perspectives on causation, we define epistemological conditions that help to both dispel some of this confusion and to provide a basis for a counterfactual approach to causation. In particular, we argue that a counterfactual approach ' that builds on a systematic analysis of 'what-if' questions ' can advance our understanding of key causal mechanisms in strategy research. We offer two concrete methodologies ' counterfactual history and causal modeling ' as methodological solutions for causal strategy research. We show that counterfactual methods can open up new avenues for historical analysis, which has been very limited in our field, but maintain that such studies should take into account the inherent cognitive biases of retrospective constructions. We also illustrate that causal modeling provides opportunities for new conceptualizations and empirical testing of the relationships between resources and performance. In particular, resource properties can be regarded as mediating mechanisms in these causal relationships.

CEO Ambivalence and Responses to Strategic Issues

K. Weber, N. PLAMBECK

Organization Science

novembre-décembre 2009, vol. 20, n°6, pp.993-1010

Départements : Stratégie et Politique d’Entreprise

Mots clés : Ambivalent evaluations, Organizational action, Behavioral theory of the firm


We examine how executives' ambivalent evaluation of a strategic issue relates to organizational actions taken in response. Ambivalence occurs when a decision maker evaluates an issue as simultaneously positive and negative, a state that has received scant attention in organizational research. We integrate findings in social psychology with the behavioral theory of the firm to suggest how executives' ambivalence prompts wider and more vigorous search for action responses and enables broader participation. Data from a two-wave survey of 104 German CEOs who evaluated the enlargement of the European Union in 2004 and reported their organizations' responses show that organizations whose CEOs evaluated the event as both positive and negative were more likely to take action when both evaluations were also strongly held. The reported actions were also of greater scope, novelty, and riskiness. The study contributes to research on organizational decision making by theorizing the role of top executives' ambivalence and by providing a first systematic test of how ambivalence affects responses to strategic issues

Communication environnementale et réputation de l'organisation

D. Philippe, R. DURAND

Revue Française de Gestion

mai 2009, n°194, pp.45-63

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


Dans cet article, les auteurs avancent l'idée que les informations publiées par l'organisation sur son comportement environnemental constituent des signaux qui auront des impacts différenciés sur la réputation organisationnelle en fonction de leur nature, leur visibilité et leur cohérence. Les résultats indiquent que la conformité, la coprésence de signaux conformes et non conformes, et la visibilité du signal rejaillissent favorablement sur la réputation. Enfin, l'impact des signaux de conformité peu visibles dépend de la réputation antérieure de l'organisation, et ce à l'avantage des organisations bénéficiant d'une réputation plus élevée que la moyenne. Ces résultats permettent ainsi de contribuer à la fois à la littérature sur la communication environnementale et à celle sur le management de la réputation. *BUSINESS enterprises -- Environmental aspects*BUSINESS communication*COMMUNICATION in organizations*BUSINESS planning*INDUSTRIAL managementREPUTATION (Sociology)

Economic Impact Analysis of Defense Technology Transfer

D. CHOI, T. LEE, E. J. JEON

Defense Science & Technology Plus

2009, vol. 74(1), pp.1-11

Départements : Stratégie et Politique d’Entreprise


Guest editorial

E. CORNUEL, H. Thomas

Journal of Management Development

2009, vol. 28, n°8, pp.657-659

Départements : Stratégie et Politique d’Entreprise


An introduction to a series of articles published within the issue is presented, including one by Howard Thomas on the nature of the research challenges faced by business schools, another by Howard Thomas and Alex Wilson on the environment and competitive challenges to management research in business schools, and one by Michael I. Reed which offers a framework for analysing the gap between theory and practice.


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