nep-cse New Economics Papers
on Economics of Strategic Management
Issue of 2007‒02‒10
thirteen papers chosen by
Joao Jose de Matos Ferreira
University of the Biera Interior

  2. The Spatial Dynamic Between Established Firms and Entrants By Lawrence A. Plummer
  3. A case study approach to exploring the relationship between HR management and firm performance By CRISTINA SIMON
  4. Knowledge management – a source of sustainable competitiveness in the knowledge based economy By Ogrean, Claudia
  5. Vertical sub-contracting relationships strategy, the Airbus First-tier suppliers\' coordination By Frédéric MAZAUD (LEREPS-GRES); Marie LAGASSE (AIRBUS-FRANCE)
  6. Intellectual capital valorization - criteria for the managerial performance in the knowledge-based society By Herciu, Mihaela; Ogrean, Claudia
  7. Managing Firm Competitiveness in Global Markets By Mark Gehlhar; Anita Regmi; Spyro Stefanou; Barry Zoumas
  8. Competitiveness, Economic Freedom and Real Exchange Rate. Evidence from Romania By Herciu, Mihaela; Toma, Ramona
  9. Technological Trampolines for new venture creation in Catalonia: the case of University of Girona By Andrea Bikfalvi; Christian Serarols; David Urbano; Yancy Vaillant
  10. HRM as a significant factor for achieving competitiveness through people – The case of Croatia By Nina Pološki Vokić; Maja Vidović
  11. What determines entrepreneurial clusters? By Luigi Guiso; Fabiano Schivardi
  12. Hunting the Heffalump: Can Trait and Cognitive Characteristics Predict Entrepreneurial Orientation? By E. COOLS; H. VAN DEN BROECK
  13. The Determinants of New-firm Survival across Regional Economies By Zoltan J. Acs; Catherine Armington; Ting Zhang

  1. By: P. P. M. A. R. HEUGENS; N. A. DENTCHEV
    Abstract: Organizations are exposed to increasing pressures from their constituents to integrate corporate social responsibility (CSR) principles into their ongoing business practices. But accepting new and potentially open-ended commitments is not a harmless exercise, and companies may well expose themselves to serious risks when embracing such principles. To identify these risks, we conducted two naturalistic studies: one exploratory, the other corroborative. The results show that CSR adoption is associated with at least seven different business risks, ranging from failing strategy implementation to legitimacy destruction. To alleviate these risks, we discuss a set of managerial mitigation strategies that have the potential to realign companies’ CSR activities with their strategic objectives.
    Keywords: Corporate social responsibility; Corporate social responsibility risks; Managerial implications; Mitigation strategies; Strategy implementation; Trojan horses.
    Date: 2007–01
  2. By: Lawrence A. Plummer
    Abstract: The research uses 377 firms that filed initial public offerings from 1990 to 1993 as the basis for existing firms and follows their financial performance from 1990 to 2004. In the first year of a new firm’s existence, before the entrant has time to contribute to positive local effects, its entry is more likely to hurt the financial performance of existing firms. By the third year after entry, however, the effect on the financial performance of existing firms is positive. In the short term, entrants are foes and in the long term, entrants are friends.
    Date: 2007
  3. By: CRISTINA SIMON (Instituto de Empresa)
    Abstract: The present paper presents a quantitative case study of a large financial services organization and explores the possible links among HR and individual and business unit levels of performance. Though being highly exploratory, the study raises a set of issues that might challenge some of the SHRM well-established statements such as the assumption of a direct, linear relationship between HR practices and business results, or the use of financial ratios as suitable indicators of the efficiency of people management practices.
    Keywords: Case study, Firm performance, Strategic HRM
    Date: 2007–01
  4. By: Ogrean, Claudia
    Abstract: Confirming the well known thesis knowledge is power, A. Toffler argued that the knowledge based society represents the acme of the human society development and P. Drucker said that the developed countries passing through the knowledge based society represents the biggest change of the modern world. That made possible and helped the emerging of the managerial revolution (defined as knowledge applied to knowledge itself) at the firm’s level. Under these circumstances, knowledge has to be seen as a strategic resource – source of competitive advantages and of managerial performances as well. Considering this, a firm’s management have to define a coherent behavioral model in order to seriously take into account and to valorize the knowledge management as a source of sustainable competitiveness into the knowledge based society.
    Keywords: knowledge based society; competitiveness; knowledge management; managerial revolution.
    JEL: D83 M19 L29
    Date: 2006–08–03
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the transformations of industrial vertical relationships, and more particularly the duality of the coordination modes within new industrial architectures. The paper aims to characterize relationship between the architect and the first-tier suppliers according to the strategic degree of their competence. Two models of coordination arm\'s length and systems integration coexist within the same industrial architecture. The recourse to one or the other varies according to the policy of purchase and the strategic degree of the sub-contracted subsystems. Thus we will analyze the system of subcontracting of Airbus by focusing to the importance of the purchasing policy. The argumentation articulates in two parts. The first one considers the vertical subcontracting relationships in the framework of complex productions, by insisting on organizational aspects. The second one analyses the transformation of the \"Airbus\" productive system by focusing on purchasing process and the emergence of new First-tier supplier’s coordination modes.
    Keywords: NAModularity – Systems Integration – Strategic competences – Purchasing Strategy – First Tier Suppliers – Airbus
    JEL: L2 L23 L62
    Date: 2007
  6. By: Herciu, Mihaela; Ogrean, Claudia
    Abstract: If we can see the knowledge society as an essential part of the “external environment” of the firm management, that brings with it some specific opportunities and threats, we have to consider the intellectual capital – that integrates the two basic resources: knowledge and human – a key ingredient for the “internal environment” of the firm management, which determines some strengths and/or weaknesses that lead to the success or the failure of the managerial effort of the firm operating under the circumstances given by the emergency of three processes with global spread: the economic globalization, the managerial revolution and the knowledge-based society. Having as starting point the premise that Peter Drucker emphasized years ago: the managerial revolution represents the third essential change into the dynamics of knowledge, when knowledge is applied to knowledge itself, we have to accept the priority of the human factor – which generates, uses and valorizes knowledge in a never ending process of interaction with the environment. By continuing with this logic, we can not ignore that, even if there is no unanimously recognized approach about the meaning of the intellectual capital, it appears recently a quasi-unanimous recognized opinion regarding the first place that the intellectual capital has to take as source for the competitive advantage of the firm and strategic resource for its management. More than that, in a time when knowledge becomes the strategic resource for any of the human activities, firms shift through a new managerial paradigm that characterize “the civilized business” and promote management intellectualization. By this way, the valorization of the intellectual capital of the firm could become vital criteria for the managerial performance in the knowledge – based society.
    Keywords: intellectual capital; managerial performance; knowledge-based society
    JEL: M21
    Date: 2006–05
  7. By: Mark Gehlhar (Economic Research Service, USDA); Anita Regmi (Economic Research Service, USDA); Spyro Stefanou (Pennsylvania State University); Barry Zoumas (Pennsylvania State University)
    Abstract: The globalization profile of US food firms is mixed. US sales from foreign direct investment is now over six times the level of exports, while US processed food trade balance has moved from +$9 billion in 1995 to -$7 billion in 2004. Competitive forces drive firms to seek new areas of growth, with either portfolio expansion or penetration and expansion in new markets. Although the forces that weigh heavily on a firm are recognized, their influence in determining a firm’s action in choosing a particular strategy is not well understood. As the nature of food manufacturing is evolving and the operational scope of a food manufacturing firm has grown from local, to regional, national, and global, is there a new role for policy? What we do know is that a firm trades with other firms and that aggregate trade patterns do not fully reflect how firms view prospects, make decisions and factor in policies as they organize themselves for trade. Addressing the potential characterizations of competitiveness for the industry and the firm followed by the conflicting influences of R&D on competitiveness, we focus on what is meant by a global food firm with the use of the experiences of three industry case studies.
    Keywords: Competitiveness, Food Manufacturing, Globalization, Case study
    JEL: L2 F2 Q18
    Date: 2006–06–16
  8. By: Herciu, Mihaela; Toma, Ramona
    Abstract: In the new context of European Integration, Romania has to improve some important macroeconomic indicators, such as: competitiveness, economic freedom and real exchange rate for a sustainable economic growth. Many authors emphasize that competitiveness and economic freedom affects economic growth through stimulating investment and business environment. The equilibrium exchange rate is crucial as it directly influences external competitiveness, especially through export prices. For Romania, the competitiveness can be improved through the economic freedom growth and the real exchange rate appreciation. But this appreciation must be accompanied by a rise in productivity and in the quality of the products offered on the external markets in order not to affect Romania’s external competitiveness.
    Keywords: competitiveness; economic freedom; real exchange rate; Romania
    JEL: M21 O11 F31
    Date: 2006–12–05
  9. By: Andrea Bikfalvi (University of Girona); Christian Serarols (Departament d'Economia de l'Empresa, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona); David Urbano (Departament d'Economia de l'Empresa, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona); Yancy Vaillant (Departament d'Economia de l'Empresa, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)
    Abstract: Recent trends in technology transfer show an intensification of spin-off creation as a modality of university research commercialisation, complementary to the conventional ones, contract research and licensing. In this paper we analyse the evolution, objectives, resources and activities of a specialised unit –Technological Trampoline (TT) - in charge of new venture creation at the University of Girona (Catalonia-Spain). Based on two theoretical frameworks, Resource-based-view and Institutional Theory, we adopt a multi-dimensional approach to study the strategy of spinning-off new ventures at the University of Girona in terms of resources and activities, how this process is organised and if the outputs fit with this UdG’s objectives and the local environment. Our main contribution is an in-depth analysis of the spin-off creation unit with special emphasis on its variety of resources and activities. The results have a series of implications and recommendations at both university and TT level.
    Keywords: Spin-off, technology transfer, entrepreneurship, commercialisation of research
    Date: 2007–01
  10. By: Nina Pološki Vokić (Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb); Maja Vidović (Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb)
    Abstract: Traditional sources of competitiveness, such as production capacities, financial resources, raw materials, distribution channels etc., are considered necessary, but no longer sufficient for organizational success. Human resources, their knowledge, skills and competencies as well as synergy among them, become the most valuable asset, the new source of wealth, and the key ingredient of competitive advantage. Consequently, the human resources function, which deals with recruiting, developing, and keeping the best people, now has the opportunity to move out of the background into the mainstream of organizational strategy and management. In other words, in a world in which all work is knowledge work and intellectual capital is crucial for economic success, it is logical that the ability to attract, retain, and use the talents of people provides a competitive edge. The aim of this paper was to evaluate the quality of HRM in Croatia, as excellent HR policies, programs and activities enable enterprises to be competitive through people. Therefore, the empirical research was conducted. The population were Croatian enterprises with more than 200 employees, out of which 80 form the final sample (response rate of 14.3%). In order to assess the value of HRM, the audit approach based on HR indicators was used. 55 HR indicators (26 quantitative and 29 qualitative ones) were analyzed, using 10 Croatian enterprises as benchmarks. The list of benchmark enterprises was generated using expert method. Precisely, enterprises from the sample that have the best HR practice were identified by the best Croatian HRM theoreticians. Results indicate that Croatian enterprises on average have insufficient HR activities. Precisely, independent samples t-test showed that 61.82% of analyzed HR indicators were significantly better for enterprises that were used as benchmarks, as well as that those enterprises have better absolute values for all of analyzed indicators. Consequently, HRM in Croatia could not be considered a solid ground for achieving competitiveness through people.
    Keywords: HRM, HR practices, competitive advantage, competitive advantage through people, audit approach, HR indicators, benchmarking
    JEL: M1 M12
    Date: 2007–01–29
  11. By: Luigi Guiso; Fabiano Schivardi
    Abstract: We contrast two potential explanations of the substantial differences in entrepreneurial activity observed across geographical areas: entry costs and external effects. We extend the Lucas model of entrepreneurship to allow for heterogeneous entry costs and for externalities that shift the distribution of entrepreneurial talents. We show that these assumptions have opposite predictions on the relation between entrepreneurial activity and firm level TFP: with different entry costs, in areas with more entrepreneurs firms’ average productivity should be lower and vice versa. We test these implications on a sample of Italian firms and unambiguously reject the entry costs explanation in favor of the externalities one. We also investigate the sources of external effects, finding robust evidence that learning externalities are an important determinant of cross-sectional differences in entrepreneurial activity
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship, clustering, agglomeration economies
    JEL: D24 D62 J23
    Date: 2006
    Abstract: The aim of this study was to get more insight into what typifies Flemish entrepreneurs. We compared entrepreneurs with non-entrepreneurs for five traits (tolerance for ambiguity, selfefficacy, proactive personality, locus of control, need for achievement) and for cognitive styles. Additionally, we used these trait and cognitive characteristics to predict variances in entrepreneurial orientation (EO). Whereas the link between EO and organizational performance has been studied intensively, the examination of possible antecedents of EO remains a white space. We found that entrepreneurs (N = 177) score significantly higher on all traits than nonentrepreneurs (N = 60). For the cognitive styles (measured with the Cognitive Style Indicator), we found that non-entrepreneurs score higher on the knowing and planning style. No differences were found for the creating style. With regard to the link between the entrepreneur’s profile and EO, we found a significant contribution of tolerance for ambiguity and proactive personality to EO.
    Keywords: traits; cognitive styles; entrepreneurial orientation; entrepreneurs versus nonentrepreneurs
    Date: 2006–12
  13. By: Zoltan J. Acs; Catherine Armington; Ting Zhang
    Abstract: Motivated by differences in new-firm survival across regions, this paper explores the impact of regional human capital on new-firm survival rates. New-firm survival is interpreted through formation rates of surviving versus closed firms in the service sector. By incorporating knowledge spillovers through a geographical variation model for Labor Market Areas, we empirically test the relationship between regional human capital stocks and new-firm survival. The expected positive relationship between regional human capital and new-firm survival is supported for the period 1993-1995, but is not as strong for the recession period 1990-1992. Controlling for human capital, the new-firm survival rate is negatively related to service sector specialization and positively related to all industry intensity, suggesting that city size and diversity may be an important determinant of new-firm survival in both periods.
    Keywords: New-Firm Survival, Human Capital, Knowledge Spillovers, Entrepreneurship, Labor Market Area
    JEL: J24 L80 M13 O3 R1
    Date: 2006–12

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