Articles scientifiques

Alleviating Managerial Dilemmas In Human-Capital-Intensive Firms Through Incentives: Evidence From M&A Legal Advisors


Strategic Management Journal

février 2017, vol. 38, pp.232-254

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

Mots clés : Human-Capital-Intensive Firms, Human Capital, Managerial Dilemmas, Incentives, Capabilities, Micro-foundations, Mergers and Acquisitions, Law firms

We examine how human-capital-intensive firms deploy their human assets and how firm-specific human capital interacts with incentives to influence this deployment. Our empirical context is the UK M&A legal market, where micro-data enable us to observe the allocation of lawyers to M&A mandates under different incentive regimes. We find that law firms actively equalize the workload among their lawyers to seek efficiency gains while ‘stretching’ lawyers with high firm-specific capital to a greater extent. However, lawyers with high firm-specific capital also appear to influence the staffing process in their favor, leading to unbalanced allocations and less sharing of projects and clients. Paradoxically, law firms may adopt a seniority-based rent-sharing system that weakens individual incentives to mitigate the impact of incentive conflicts on resource deployment

Behavioral Strategy and the Strategic Decision Architecture of the Firm


California Management Review

2017, vol. 59, n°3, pp.5-21

Départements : Stratégie et Politique d’Entreprise

Mots clés : behavioral strategy, psychology, cognitive bias, strategic decision process

This special issue explores the impacts of behavioral strategy on managementpractice. Behavioral strategy can best contribute to management practice by shifting its focus from individual decision biases to the design of behaviorally informed decision processes at the level of the firm. This introduction identifies three types of organizational decision processes, shows how they interact with individual and group biases, and proposes a model showing how managers can design and deploy these processes to shape the strategy of the firm. It then introduces the articles in this special issue and discusses their contributions to the future of behavioral strategy

Better Safe than Sorry: Subsidiary Performance Feedback and Internal Governance in Multiunit Firms


Journal of Management

novembre 2017, vol. 43, n°8, pp.2526-2554

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

Dirigé par: Special Issue: Resource Allocation and Strategy

Mots clés : autonomy, governance, incentives, organization design, performance feedback, resource allocation, structural adaptation

This paper explores the link between subsidiary performance feedback and internal governance mechanisms in multiunit firms. A central premise of performance feedback models is that performance below aspirations is associated with increased risk tolerance and thereby with a higher likelihood of taking excessive risks in resource allocation decisions. Building on this observation, we contend that the headquarters of multiunit firms take this association into account in the design of internal (i.e., headquarters-subsidiary) governance mechanisms. Accordingly, a subsidiary’s performance-aspiration gap (below aspirations) is positively associated with the headquarters’ oversight of its resource allocation decisions and negatively associated with the provision of incentive schemes that promote risk taking. Regression results, using data on subsidiaries in France between 1998 and 2004, support our hypotheses and show that subsidiaries performing below historical and social aspirations are less likely to be given discretion in investment decisions and incentivized by cash bonuses. In the supplementary analyses we also provide suggestive evidence that subsidiary performance problems in multiunit firms trigger structural adaptation in the internal governance mechanisms in pursuit of regaining fit

Estimating Value Creation from Revealed Preferences: Application to Value-Based Strategies


Strategic Management Journal

octobre 2017, vol. 38, pp.1964-1985

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

Mots clés : buyer–supplier relationships; client-speciceconomies of scope; cooperative game theory; revealedpreferences; value-based strategy

We develop and apply a new set of empirical tools consistent with the tenets of value-based business strategies, leveraging the principle that “no good deal comes undone” and the methods of revealed preferences to empirically estimate drivers of value creation. We demonstrate how to use these tools in an analysis of value creation in buyer–supplier relationships in the UK corporate legal market. We show how the method can uncover evidence of subtle mechanisms that traditional methods cannot easily distinguish from each other. Furthermore, we show how these estimates can be used as parameters of biform games for out-of-sample analyses of strategic decisions. With readily available data on relationships between firms, this approach can be applied to many other contexts of interest to strategy researchers

Heterogeneous social motives and interactions: The three predictable paths of capability development: Heterogeneity in capability development paths


Strategic Management Journal

septembre 2017, vol. 38, n°9, pp.1755-1773

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

Mots clés : deliberate capability development; motiva-tional microfoundations; social interactions; businessprocess performance; multilevel

Research summary: Limited attention has been paid to the crucial role of individuals' motivation and social interactions in capability development. Building on literature in social psychology and behavioral economics that links heterogeneity in individual social motives to social interactions, we explain how the variation, selection, and retention processes underlying a group's deliberate capability development are affected by the composition of the group in terms of individuals' social motives in interplay with the organizational-level motivational levers designed by managers. Our multilevel theoretical model suggests that individual-level heterogeneity leads to the development of capabilities along different paths. For practice, this implies that, according to the composition of the group in terms of social motives, capabilities are more or less technically and evolutionary adequate and a source of business process performance.Managerial summary:We propose that when a group of employees engages in developing one of the firm's capabilities, capability development will follow a different path according to what motivates most of the employees composing the group. We identify and discuss three paths. Two of these paths (convergence and congruence) can help improve business process performance in a stable environment, the third one (open-ended) in a dynamic environment. Our work invites managers to not only think in terms of more or less capability development, but also in terms of capability development path(s): the path(s) in which groups in the firm are currently engaged and the one(s) that are desirable given the firm's objectives and the nature of the environment(s) the firm faces in deploying its business processes


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