nep-cse New Economics Papers
on Economics of Strategic Management
Issue of 2009‒04‒13
thirteen papers chosen by
Joao Jose de Matos Ferreira
University of the Beira Interior

  2. The competitive repositioning of automotive firms in Turin: innovation, internationalisation and the role of ICT By Massimo Florio; Cristina Castelli; Anna Giunta
  3. Host Country Contingencies on Knowledge Protection Strategies of Multinational Firms: Bring a Knife to a Gunfight? By Sofka, Wolfgang; Shehu, Edlira
  4. Transnational Strategy and the Creation of Shareholder Value: Any Correlation? By Darryl Waldron
  5. Internationalisation modes and determinants. The case of Italian automotive firms By Emanuele Bacchiocchi; Massimo Florio; Anna Giunta
  6. Boards of Directors’ Contribution to Strategy: A Literature Review and Research Agenda By Pugliese, A.; Bezemer, P.J.; Zattoni, A.; Huse, M.; Bosch, F.A.J. van den; Volberda, H.W.
  7. The Natuzzi Group and the Bari-Matera (Italy) upholstered furniture district. A case study of internationalisation in a traditional industry By Giovanni Barbiano di Belgiojoso; Sara Colautti; Massimo Florio; Cristina Castelli
  8. International expansion, diversification and regulated firms' nonmarket strategy By Bonardi, Jean-Philippe; Urbiztondo, Santiago; Quélin, Bertrand
  9. The Diffusion of Informal Knowledge and Innovation Performance: A sectoral approach By Garcia-Torres, M. Abraham; Hollanders, Hugo
  11. Do People Make Strategic Moves? Experimental Evidence on Strategic Information Avoidance By Anders U. Poulsen; Michael V. M. Roos
  12. The motivations, organisation and outcomes of university-industry interaction in the Netherlands By Bodas Freitas, Isabel Maria; Verspagen, Bart
  13. An Analysis of Key Factors in the Adoption and Use of Web-Based Technologies by Small and Medium-Sized Companies Around the World By Fahri Unsal; Hormoz Movassaghi

  1. By: Maude Roucan-Kane (Iñaki Pena; Michael Boehlje; Jay Akridge)
    Abstract: The objective of this study is to identify factors determining a business investment strategy (i.e., the choice of investment commitment and form of organizational structure) in the food manufacturing, chemical, agricultural wholesaling and biotechnology industries. Propositions regarding strategic alliance theories are tested on over 400 inter-firm collaborative agreements using secondary data from major US and European companies for the 1994-97 period. Results suggest that transactions with lower technological and resource uncertainty levels are more likely to result in investments with a higher commitment level (i.e., acquisitions or majority equity-based controlling investments). The investment commitment level embedded in a single business transaction seems to be affected not only by a goal of cost minimization, but also by strategic motives and firm and industry factors.
    Keywords: Transaction costs, strategic alliances, food manufacturing, chemical, agricultural wholesaling, ag-biotechnology, investment strategy, innovation
    JEL: L10
    Date: 2009
  2. By: Massimo Florio (DEAS, Università di Milano); Cristina Castelli (Istituto nazionale per il Commercio Estero (ICE)); Anna Giunta (Università degli Studi Roma 3)
    Abstract: Following the increasing competitive pressure and the emergence of new industrial poles within the auto industry, Italian firms have been the protagonists of an intense reorganisation, which is still ongoing. This case-study involves 13 supplier firms, operating in the automotive industry, localised in Turin, that have adopted a series of strategies aimed at improving their international competitiveness. The empirical findings show that there is a particularly strong innovative drive for the interviewed firms to position themselves in activities with greater added value and to undertake internationalisation strategies, from the 'lighter' to the more 'complex' forms, coupled with a use of information and communication technologies epresents a case of excellence.
    Keywords: Innovation, Internationalisation, ICT, Automotive Industry
    JEL: O31 L62 L63 F23
    Date: 2008–06–18
  3. By: Sofka, Wolfgang; Shehu, Edlira
    Abstract: International knowledge spillovers, especially through multinational companies (MNCs), have recently been a major topic of the academic and management discussion. However, most studies treat MNC subsidiaries as relatively passive actors without clear knowledge protection strategies. The goal of this study is to extend this stream of research by investigating both market-based (e.g. secrecy, lead time) as well as legal knowledge protection strategies (e.g. patents, trademarks) of MNC subsidiaries. We argue that these strategies are not independent from the opportunities and challenges of the host country. We suggest that the host country leadership status influences the choice of knowledge protection strategies along two major dimensions: geographical and industry strength of host country firms. We test our hypotheses for a broad sample of more than 1,500 firms in Germany. The results indicate that legal forms of knowledge protection are used more restrictively if the host country geographical environment is technologically leading while technological leadership of host country competitors within the industry leads to less restrictive market-based knowledge protection strategies. We develop management recommendations based on these trade-offs between reliable knowledge protection and the need for reciprocity in exchanging knowledge.
    Keywords: Knowledge protection, Multinational Companies, Patenting
    JEL: D8 F23 O31 O32
    Date: 2009
  4. By: Darryl Waldron (Trinity University)
    Abstract: Empirical evidence suggests that companies tend to employ four generic strategies to enter and exploit foreign markets: an international, multidomestic, global, or transnational strategy (Hill, 1999). Of the four, Bartlett and Ghoshal (1989) argue that in a world characterized by globalization, there are forces driving a growing number of firms to embrace the transnational alternative. The research undertaken here examines the extent to which pursuing a transnational strategy contributes to a firm's ability to create value for its shareholders, and at whether being more or less transnational might influences the rate of growth in shareholder value. For purposes of this analysis, a firm's strategic profile was defined in terms of its transnationality and internationality indices.This paper was presented at the 18th International Conference of the International Trade and Finance Association, meeting at Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal, on May 23, 2008.
    Date: 2008–07–03
  5. By: Emanuele Bacchiocchi (DEAS, Università di Milano); Massimo Florio (DEAS, Università di Milano); Anna Giunta (Università degli Studi Roma 3)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to study the characteristics of the internationalisation process and to identify its determinants in a representative sample of firms in the Italian automotive chain. The main findings of an econometric analysis based on micro-evidence are that: a) the firms engage in complex modes of internationalisation; b) the individual firm's characteristics play a significant role; c) the firms located in the province of Turin have a clear localisation advantage, a sort of an 'industrial district' effect.
    Keywords: Internationalisation, Firm Behaviour, Automotive Industry, Qualitative Choice Models
    JEL: D21 L62 F23 C25
    Date: 2008–06–08
  6. By: Pugliese, A.; Bezemer, P.J.; Zattoni, A.; Huse, M.; Bosch, F.A.J. van den; Volberda, H.W. (Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), RSM Erasmus University)
    Abstract: Manuscript Type: Literature review. Research Question/Issue: Over the last four decades, research on the relationship between boards of directors and strategy has proliferated. Yet to date there is little theoretical and empirical agreement regarding the question of how boards of directors contribute to strategy. This review assesses the extant literature by highlighting emerging trends and identifying several avenues for future research. Research Findings/Insights: Using a content-analysis of 150 articles published in 23 manage-ment journals until 2007, we describe and analyze how research on boards of directors and strategy has evolved over time. We illustrate how topics, theories, settings and sources of data interact and influence insights about board-strategy relationships during three specific periods. Theoretical/Academic Implications: Our study illustrates that research on boards of directors and strategy evolved from normative and structural approaches to behavioral and cognitive approaches. Our results encourage future studies (i) to examine the impact of institutional and context-specific factors on the (expected) contribution of boards to strategy, and (ii) to apply alternative methods to fully capture the impact of board processes and dynamics on strategy-making. Practical/Policy Implications: The increasing interest in boards of directors’ contribution to strategy echoes a movement towards more strategic involvement of boards of directors. However, best governance practices and the emphasis on board independence and control may hinder the board contribution to the strategic decision-making. Our study invites investors and policy-makers to consider the requirements for an effective strategic task when they nominee board members and develop new regulations.
    Keywords: boards of directors;contribution to strategy;literature review
    Date: 2009–03–10
  7. By: Giovanni Barbiano di Belgiojoso (Centre for Industrial Studies (CSIL)); Sara Colautti (Centre for Industrial Studies (CSIL)); Massimo Florio (DEAS, Università di Milano); Cristina Castelli (Istituto nazionale per il Commercio Estero (ICE))
    Abstract: The case-study focuses on the strategies adopted by the Natuzzi Group, world leader of the upholstered furniture sector, located in the Bari-Matera district (Southern Italy), to face increasing global competition and on their effects. In particular we consider the modes and determinants of productive internationalisation, carried out since 2000 by Natuzzi in China, Brazil and Romania to produce middle-low end products. By improving the competitiveness of the price-sensitive segment, the strategy contributed to the successful expansion of the Group until 2002. However, high range products, manufactured in Italy, record decreasing sales especially on the US market, despite the company’s efforts in R&D and marketing and its investments in information technology. Moreover, due to Natuzzi's considerable weight in the district, the Group’s performance impacts on the network of subcontracting firms, where a restructuring process is underway, raising questions about the evolution of the district.
    Keywords: Internationalisation, Industrial District, Subcontracting
    JEL: F20 R32 L14
    Date: 2008–06–18
  8. By: Bonardi, Jean-Philippe; Urbiztondo, Santiago; Quélin, Bertrand
    Abstract: Previous studies have shown that regulated firms tend to diversify for different reasons than unregulated ones. This is the case for product but also for geographical diversification, i.e. international expansion. The logic generally advanced is that regulated firms tend to diversify when they face costly and difficult relationships with the regulatory authority in charge of their sector. This approach, however, does not explain (1) what is really at the core of the problem in regulated firms’ relationships with regulators, (2) why these firms cannot overcome part of the problem by developing nonmarket strategies –lobbying, campaign contributions, etc.– to influence regulatory decisions, and (3) why they sometimes opt for international expansion rather than product diversification. In this paper, we propose a theoretical model that provides potential answers to these questions. We start by considering the firm-regulator relationship as an incomplete information problem, in which the firms know things that the regulator does not, but can cannot convey hard information about these things. In this setting, we show that when firms face tough nonmarket competition domestically, going abroad can create a mechanism that makes information transmission credible and therefore strengthen their position in their home market. International expansion, in consequence, can be a way to solve some of the problems that regulated firms face at home in addition to a way for these firms to grow their business abroad.
    Keywords: International diversification; regulated firms; lobbying
    JEL: L25 L51 F23
    Date: 2009
  9. By: Garcia-Torres, M. Abraham (UNU-MERIT); Hollanders, Hugo (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: This paper tries to quantify the effect of diffusion of informal knowledge on the innovative performance of European firms using data derived from the 3rd Community Innovation Survey. When firms are asked whether or not they have introduced new products or processes, they were also asked to which degree such innovations were developed in-house. These degrees were captured by the CIS variables InPdtW and InPcsW. These variables ranged from 1 (Mainly done by the firm) to 3 (Mainly done by other enterprises). The focus of this paper is to investigate the impact of diffusion of informal knowledge. We combine the previous variables with another variable which reflects firms that were not doing any formal collaboration with other institutions. If an innovative firm has no formal collaboration arrangements and the innovation has not been done mainly by the firm, then diffusion of informal knowledge is considered to be the main driver of the innovation. The idea is that informal channels are accessible to all firms. This paper tries to quantify the impact of such flows of knowledge on firms’ innovation performance. To do this, a two step procedure is followed: -In a first step, a latent variable for diffusion of informal knowledge is defined and estimated based on firms’ characteristics. -In a second step, the latent diffusion variable is introduced as a regressor in a probit/tobit model.
    Keywords: Knowledge flows, innovation, dynamic equations, sectoral innovation, CIS
    JEL: C34 O32 O31
    Date: 2009
  10. By: Raquel Ortega-Argilés (European Commission, JRC-Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) – Knowledge for Growth Unit (KfG), Industrial Research and Innovation (IRI)); Rosina Moreno (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona)
    Abstract: Based on the Knowledge Production Function framework given by Griliches (1979), we slightly modify it so that the innovative output depends upon a set of factors related to the firm internal characteristics and are influenced by the environment. Specifically, regarding the firm internal determinants the effect of the concentration of the ownership, the composition of the boards of directors and the effect of the nature of the ownership (foreign and public) are analyzed. Additionally, in order to capture the determinants of the environment in which the firm operates other variables concerning the internationalization of market, the agglomeration economies and the regional knowledge externalities are also considered. In order to assess the impact of these determinants on the number of patents and models of use awarded by the firm, the discreteness of the latter variable has to be taken into account. We apply Poisson and Negative Binomial models for a more comprehensive evaluation of the hypothesis in a panel of Spanish manufacturing firms. The results show patenting activity is positively favoured by being located in an environment with a high innovative activity, due to the existence of knowledge spillovers and agglomeration economies.
    Keywords: Knowledge production function, patents, R&D, ownership, regions
    Date: 2009–04
  11. By: Anders U. Poulsen (School of Economics, University of East Anglia); Michael V. M. Roos (Fakultät für Wirtschaftswissenschaft, Ruhr-Universität Bochum)
    Abstract: The strategic commitment moves that game theory predicts players make may sometimes seem counter-intuitive. We therefore conducted an experiment to see if people make the predicted strategic move. The experiment uses a simple bargaining situation. A player can make a strategic move of committing to not seeing what another player will demand. Our data show that subjects do, but only after substantial time, learn to make the predicted strategic move. We find only weak evidence of physical timing effects.
    Keywords: strategic moves; commitment; bargaining; strategic value of information; physical timing effects; endogenous timing; experiment
    JEL: C72 C78 C90 C92 D63 D80
    Date: 2009–02
  12. By: Bodas Freitas, Isabel Maria (Ecole de Management Grenoble, DISPEA Politecnico di Torino); Verspagen, Bart (UNU-MERIT, University of Maastricht)
    Abstract: This paper aims at analysing the impact of institutional and organizational factors on bridging industrial and university motivations for collaboration, as well as on the content, management and outcome of this relationship, in the Netherlands. In particular, we explore which type of projects, set up under specific industrial and university motivations, are more likely to face institutional barriers related to technology, market and organisational incentives frameworks. Moreover, we analyse the impact of technology transfer offices, research sponsoring, part-time professorships, and patenting on aligning university and industry motivations towards collaboration. To proceed empirically, thirty in-depth cases of successful university-industry knowledge transfer are analysed.
    Keywords: university-industry interaction, innovation cooperation
    JEL: O31 O32
    Date: 2009
  13. By: Fahri Unsal (Ithaca College); Hormoz Movassaghi (Ithaca College)
    Abstract: Internet and Web-based technologies have provided firms significant opportunities to improve their value chain activities, both in primary and support functions. The main focus of this paper is to examine the literature on small- and medium-size enterprises' (SMEs) experience with such technologies in terms of how they have been utilized, how they are perceived to have benefited firms, the main challenges encountered in their implementation and most specifically, the factors that seem to have influenced firms' adoption decisions. While the literature reported includes experience of firms of all sizes, this study focuses on SMEs for their crucial role in all economies, with those in developing countries in particular.This paper was presented May 23, 2008, at the 18th International Conference of the International Trade and Finance Association, meeting at Universidad Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal.
    Date: 2008–08–15

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