Cahiers de recherche

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

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

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

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

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 source of business process performance.

Mots clés : Deliberate Capability Development, Motivational Microfoundations, Social Interactions, Business Process Performance, Multilevel

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.

Mots clés : Geographic Concentration, Density, Knowledge Transfer, Social Norms, Field Experiment, Hospitality Industry

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

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 settings.

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

Chapters are a mix of theory, how to conduct institutional organizational analysis and empirical work.

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

We conceptualize the roots of cognitive, linguistic, and communicative theories of institutions and outline the promise and potential of a stronger communication focus for institutional theory. In particular, we outline a theoretical approach that puts communication at the heart of theories of institutions, institutional maintenance, and change, and we label this approach communicative institutionalism. We then provide a brief introduction to the set of articles contained in the Special Topic Forum on Communication, Cognition, and Institutions and describe the innovative theorizing of these articles in the direction of communicative theories of institutions. Finally, we sketch a research agenda and further steps and possibilities for theory and research integrating communication and institutions.

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

The fundamental questions we address are whether firms with a higher initial forecasting ability are able to accurately revise the exit forecasts of their investments; and how co-investment partners and value-adding commitment with their investment influence the main effect. We explore these questions with novel and unique data collected via mixed research methods on venture capital firms’ forecasts of 114 portfolio companies. We find that venture capital firms that are better at making initial forecasts are less effective in revising their forecasts. In addition, while the number of co-investment partners positively moderate this relationship, venture capital firms’ value-adding commitment moderates it negatively. Our findings contribute to the literature on organizational forecasting as well as inter-organizational knowledge transfer and knowledge creation. They also provide novel insights into venture capital literature and practice.

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

This paper reviews several streams of research on market category formation. Most past research has largely focused on established category systems and the antecedents and consequences of categorical positioning (i.e. categorical purity vs. spanning; combination vs. replacement) but relatively ignored the formative processes leading to new categories. In this review, we address this lacuna to posit that scholarship would benefit from clearly disentangling category emergence from category creation. We analytically describe the differences between the two and elaborate the boundary conditions that guide and define which process is more likely to occur in a given market. Our review contributes to illuminating the role of organizational agency and strategic actions in market categories and their formation, which deserve greater attention due to their theoretical and practical implications.

Mots clés : market category, category formation, strategic agency

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

In this essay, we propose a recursive model of institutional change building on the Annales School, one of the 20th century’s most influential streams of historical research. Our model builds upon three concepts from the Annales — mentalities, levels of time, and critical events — to explore how punctual disruptions affect different dimensions of institutional logics and exert short- or long-range influences. On these bases, organizations make choices, from decoupling to more radical shifts in logics, leading to severe institutional changes that become a matter of history. As much as organizations are influenced by their times and the prevalent institutional logics, their choices trigger macro-level changes in a recursive manner. More broadly, we comment on how fruitful it our approach to historicize organization studies.

Mots clés : Annales School; Institutional change; Institutional Logics; Events

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

We study organizational search in the presence of intuitive biases. Drawing from work on the psychology of human decision making, we construe biases as unjustified preferences that arise due to automatic, spontaneous thinking. This property of decision making gives rise to a mechanism we label generative recurrence. Present this mechanism, unjustified preferences produce two opposing effects on organizational adaptation: they curb excessive experimentation but at the expense of knowledge accumulation. In the context of organizational search, these regularities allow behavioral treatments to strategically leverage the value of biases. Specifically, our results suggest that re-biasing (adopting the opposite bias) often dominates both de-biasing (eliminating the bias) as well as consistently unbiased search. Our paper provides evidence that managing rather than eliminating biases can be an effective instrument of behavioral strategy


Département Stratégie et Politique d’Entreprise

Campus HEC Paris
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Stratégie et Politique d'Entreprise (GREGHEC)

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