Articles scientifiques

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

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

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

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


Département Stratégie et Politique d’Entreprise

Campus HEC Paris
1, rue de la Libération
78351 Jouy-en-Josas cedex


John Kenneth MAWDSLEY

Stratégie et Politique d'Entreprise (GREGHEC)

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