nep-cse New Economics Papers
on Economics of Strategic Management
Issue of 2009‒10‒17
eleven papers chosen by
Joao Jose de Matos Ferreira
University of the Beira Interior

  1. Aligning manufacturing strategy content with heterogeneous requirements By Patricia Deflorin; Maike Scherrer-Rathje
  2. Global pipelines or global buzz? : a micro-level approach towards the knowledge-based view of clusters By Bahlmann, M.D.; Huysman, M.H.; Elfring, T.
  3. Knowledge networks in the Dutch aviation industry: the proximity paradox By Tom Broekel; Ron Boschma
  4. Proximity and the Evolution of Collaboration Networks: Evidence from R&D Projects within the GNSS Industry By Pierre-Alexandre Balland
  5. Innovating in the periphery: Firms, values, and innovation in Southwest Norway By Rune Dahl Fitjar; Andrés Rodríguez-Pose
  6. Developing and Sustaining Capabilities – A Look into the Black Box By Patricia Deflorin; Peter T. Ward
  7. Strategies of Italian firms in Romania. Evidence from selected case studies By Tattara, Giuseppe; Constantin, Florentina; De Giusti, Giovanna
  8. International Manufacturing Strategy Survey (IMSS): Trends and Challenges of Swiss Manufacturing Companies By Patricia Deflorin; Maike Scherrer-Rathje
  9. Innovation and Economic Development By Fagerberg, Jan; Srholec, Martin; Verspagen, Bart
  10. Unionized Wage Setting and the Location of Firms By Karolien De Bruyne
  11. Barriers to Internationalization: Firm-Level Evidence from Germany By Christian Arndt; Claudia Buch; Anselm Mattes

  1. By: Patricia Deflorin (Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich); Maike Scherrer-Rathje (Institute for Technology Management, University of St. Gallen)
    Abstract: This article expands the existing body of knowledge of manufacturing strategy research as it highlights the influence of context factors on manufacturing strategy content. A sound theoretical foundation is given for the proposition that context factors not only influence competitive priorities but as well the second dimension, the action programs. Whereas various studies showed that companies are in need to compete on multiple competitive priorities simultaneously, research is needed in order to understand how these requirements can be successfully implemented. We find that while the competition on multiple competitive priorities can lead to trade-offs, concerted actions help to minimize the negative effects and can lead to a strong market position. However, the concerted actions have to be aligned to context factors as this influence the success of the action program. Therefore, context factors not only influence the requirement to compete on multiple competitive priorities but define as well which actions are needed in order to gain a strong market position.
    Keywords: Manufacturing Strategy, Practices, Context
    Date: 2009–10
  2. By: Bahlmann, M.D. (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics); Huysman, M.H.; Elfring, T.
    Abstract: Recent theorizing in cluster literature emphasizes the importance of inter-cluster knowledge linkages in addition to local knowledge dynamics, enabling new and innovative ideas to flow from one cluster to the other. This paper contributes to this topic by studying inter-cluster knowledge linkages at an individual level of analysis, making use of qualitative social network measures. Central to this case is the Amsterdam New Media-cluster, with a special focus on entrepreneurs engaging in lively inter-cluster exchange of knowledge and debate, resulting in the exchange of new visions and ideas across cluster boundaries. The proposed distinction between local buzz and global pipelines is complemented by adding a third category of inter-local knowledge exchange: global buzz.
    Keywords: pipelines; global/ local buzz; entrepreneurship; cluster
    Date: 2009
  3. By: Tom Broekel; Ron Boschma
    Abstract: The importance of geographical proximity for interaction and knowledge sharing has been discussed extensively in economic geography in recent years. There is increasing consensus that it is just one out of many types of proximities that might be relevant. We argue that proximity may be a crucial driver for agents to connect and exchange knowledge, but too much proximity between these agents on any of the dimensions might harm their innovative performance at the same time. In a study on knowledge networks in the Dutch aviation industry, we test this so-called proximity paradox empirically. We find evidence that the proximity paradox holds to some degree. Our study clearly shows that cognitive, social and geographical proximity are crucial for explaining the knowledge network of the Dutch aviation industry. But while it takes cognitive, social and geographical proximity to exchange knowledge, we found evidence that proximity lowers firms’ innovative performance, but only in the cognitive dimension.
    Keywords: proximity, paradox, social network analysis, knowledge networks, aviation
    JEL: R11 R12 O32
    Date: 2009–10
  4. By: Pierre-Alexandre Balland
    Abstract: Increasing attention had been given recently to understand how networks affect organizational performance in innovation studies. Surprisingly, underlying mechanisms of their evolution have been more neglected, and still remain unclear. This lack of interest is denounced today by recent papers which claim that it is a crucial issue for economic geography. Especially the influence of different forms of proximity on the network’s changes needs to be clarified. This paper contributes to this ongoing debate by determining empirically how organizations choose their partners given to their geographical, organizational, institutional, cognitive and social proximity. The relational database is constructed from publicly available information on the R&D collaborative projects of the 6th European Union Framework Program within the navigation by satellite industry (GNSS). Patterns of evolution of the GNSS collaboration network are determined according to a longitudinal study of the relational changes occurred between four consecutive years, from 2004 to 2007. Empirical results show that geographical, organizational and institutional proximity favour collaboration. Inversely, organizations prefer to avoid partnerships when they share a cognitive proximity (same knowledge bases). The last result demonstrates that the kind of project studied does not create a sufficient level of social proximity to stimulate collaboration.
    Keywords: proximity, collaboration networks, innovation, network longitudinal analysis, R&D collaborative projects, SIENA
    JEL: O32 R12
    Date: 2009–10
  5. By: Rune Dahl Fitjar (International Research Institute of Stavanger); Andrés Rodríguez-Pose (IMDEA Ciencias Sociales)
    Abstract: How do peripheral and relatively isolated regions innovate? Recent research has tended to stress the importance of agglomeration economies and geographical proximity as key motors of innovation. According to this research, large core areas have significant advantages with respect to peripheral areas in innovation potential. Yet, despite these trends, some remote areas of the periphery are remarkably innovative even in the absence of critical innovation masses. In this paper we examine one such case – the region of Southwest Norway – which has managed to remain innovative and dynamic, despite having a below average investment in R&D in the Norwegian context. The results of the paper highlight that innovation in Southwest Norway does not stem from agglomeration and physical proximity, but from other types of proximity, such as cognitive and organizational proximity, rooted in soft institutional arrangements. This suggests that the formation of regional hubs with strong connections to international innovative networks may be a way to overcome peripherality in order to innovate.
    Keywords: innovation; institutions; distance; trust; open-mindedness; periphery; Norway
    Date: 2009–10–09
  6. By: Patricia Deflorin (Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich); Peter T. Ward (Fisher College of Business, Ohio State University)
    Abstract: Management studies suggest that developing and sustaining dynamic and operational capabilities is important in achieving competitive advantage. The process of developing capabilities is an underdeveloped research area and new insight is needed to understand how capabilities can be developed as well as sustained. This paper will show that the implementation of practices leads to dynamic and operational capabilities, therefore shedding light into the black-box of developing capabilities. Our research, based on a cross-case analysis, supports propositions relating to the importance of implementing practices in the development of capabilities and the resulting influence on competitive advantage.
    Keywords: Practices, RBV, Dynamic Capabilities, Case Studies
    Date: 2009–10
  7. By: Tattara, Giuseppe; Constantin, Florentina; De Giusti, Giovanna
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyze the internationalization of Italian firms in Romania, operating in the sectors of footwear, furniture and industrial refrigeration. After describing and quantifying the internationalization process between Veneto and Romania, we discuss for each of the sectors, the changes that occurred in the organisation of the production processes within the firms, and particularly how such processes have been fragmented. This article draws on numerous case studies, posits different models of value chain governance, and discusses their implications for regional development and sustainability
    Keywords: Internationalization; Romania; Italy; Organization of Production
    JEL: L67 F23 L23 L22
    Date: 2009–09–28
  8. By: Patricia Deflorin (Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich); Maike Scherrer-Rathje (Institute for Technology Management, University of St. Gallen)
    Abstract: Produzierende Unternehmen stehen einer Vielzahl an Herausforderungen gegenüber. Die vorliegende Studie untersucht, wie produzierende Unternehmen auf das rauhere Wirtschaftsumfeld reagieren und zeigt auf, mit welchen Strategien und Methoden die Unternehmen die gesetzten Ziele versuchen zu erreichen. Die Studie ist Teil einer internationalen Befragung von Universitäten aus 33 Ländern.
    Keywords: Manufacturing Strategy, Practices, Context
    Date: 2009–10
  9. By: Fagerberg, Jan (Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo); Srholec, Martin (Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo); Verspagen, Bart (UNU-MERIT, and Maastricht University)
    Abstract: Is innovation important for development? And if so, how? One popular perception of innovation, that one meets in media every day, is that has to do with developing brand new, advanced solutions for sophisticated, well-off customers, through exploitation of the most recent advances in knowledge. Such innovation is normally seen as carried out by highly educated labour in R&D intensive companies, being large or small, with strong ties to leading centers of excellence in the scientific world. Hence innovation in this sense is a typical “first world” activity. There is, however, another way to look at innovation that goes significantly beyond the high-tech picture just described. In this broader perspective, innovation (the attempt to try out new or improved products, processes or ways to do things) is an aspect of most if not all economic activities. It includes not only technologically new products and processes but also improvements in areas such as logistics, distribution and marketing. The term may also be used for changes that are new to the local context, even if the contribution to the global knowledge frontier is negligible. In this broader sense, it is argued, innovation may be as relevant in the developing part of the world as elsewhere. The paper surveys the existing literature on the subject with a strong emphasis on recent evidence on the macro and, in particular, micro level.
    Keywords: innovation and development, innovation capabilities, technology transfer
    JEL: O14 O19 O31 O33 O40
    Date: 2009
  10. By: Karolien De Bruyne
    Abstract: We analyze how unionized wage setting a¤ects the location of firms. We find that the degree of centralization (at firm or sectoral level) and regionalization (at regional or supra-regional level) is crucial. We show that wage setting at the firm level is the best policy to attract firms when trade costs are low, while wage setting at a more centralized level is most effective to attract firms when trade costs are high. Moreover, wage setting at the supra-regional level is beneficial for the already more agglomerated region and hurts the peripheral region.
    Keywords: location, unions, regionalization, centralization
    JEL: J51 R12 R3 F12
    Date: 2009
  11. By: Christian Arndt; Claudia Buch; Anselm Mattes
    Abstract: Exporters and multinationals are larger and more productive than their domestic counterparts. In addition to productivity, financial constraints and labor market constraints might constitute barriers to entry into foreign markets. We present new empirical evidence on the extensive and intensive margin of exports and FDI based on detailed micro-level data of German firms. Our paper has three main findings. First, in line with earlier literature, we find a positive impact of firm size and productivity on firms’ international activities. Second, small firms suffer more frequently from financial constraints than bigger firms, but financial conditions have no strong effect on internationalization. Third, labor market constraints constitute a more severe barrier to foreign activities than financial constraints. Being covered by collective bargaining particularly impedes international activities.
    Keywords: foreign direct investment, exports, firm heterogeneity, productivity,financial constraints, labor market constraints
    JEL: F2 G2
    Date: 2009–09

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