Session Details: Session 1051

Restructuring and Change

Track H

Date: Monday, October 13, 2008


Time: 15:30 – 16:45


Room: Salon 24

Session Chair:
Richard Whittington, University of Oxford

Title: Does Rhythm Matter? Towards a Conceptual Model of the Rhythm of Organizational Change and Performance


  • Patricia Klarner, Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Gilbert Probst, University of Geneva
  • Sebastian Raisch, University of Geneva

Abstract: In this paper, we address the question of how the temporal occurrence of organizational changes and their resulting change rhythm impacts long-term performance. We develop a conceptual model of the organizational change rhythm and present a set of research propositions that deals with the theoretically distilled moderators on the relationship between the change rhythm and performance. Our study contributes to recent studies on revolutionary change in response to environmental shifts. These studies consider the broader sequences and timing of changes. Understanding the role of the organizational change rhythm in explaining performance will allow companies to better manage their specific change rhythms and ultimately improve their long-term effectiveness.

Title: Organizational Restructuring and Performance: Synergies and Tensions in the Delayed Adjustment Perspective of Adaptation


  • Stéphane Girod, IMD

Abstract: This paper addresses the following question: under what conditions does organizational restructuring positively affect economic performance? This question not only encapsulates an unresolved theoretical debate between what is called here a delayed adjustment perspective of adaptation which supports organizational restructuring, and a continuous adjustment perspective which challenges it; but it also refers to persistent tensions within the delayed adjustment perspective between contingency and reorientation theories. The longitudinal study of the fifty largest American companies since 1985 discloses that, in support of the delayed adjustment perspective, there is no direct relationship between restructuring and performance. The relationship is contingent. Restructurings undertaken by newly appointed CEO negatively affect performance while restructurings accompanied by downsizing favorably affect performance. The implications for contingency and reorientation theories are then discussed.

Title: Organizational Restructuring, Patching and Economic Performance: Delayed versus Continuous Adjustment Perspectives


  • Stéphane Girod, IMD
  • Richard Whittington, University of Oxford

Abstract: Many authors (Bartlett and Ghoshal, 1989; Brown and Eisenhardt, 1998) have argued that increasing environmental velocity and internationalisation mean that organisations need now to take a continuous adjustment approach to change processes, based on ‘patching’ for example. This approach displaces the traditional delayed adjustment approach based on episodic and revolutionary processes of change: e.g. organizational restructuring (e.g. Donaldson, 1987; Romanelli and Tushman, 1994). Drawing on a longitudinal study of the fifty largest American companies since 1985, this paper supports a contingent interpretation of the delayed adjustment approach. Organizational restructuring in fact provides strong performance benefits in high velocity environments, while internationalization makes no difference. Patching is positive for short-term performance, but negative in the longer term.

Title: The Divesting Process and The Success Of Divestitures


  • Caterina Moschieri, IE Business School

Abstract: The question of whether divestitures can create value - for the divesting parent, the divested unit or both - remains unsettled. This paper presents an exploratory study in the form of multiple cases to examine which factors of the divesting process may lead to the enhancement of the performance of a divested unit. The emergent granular framework comprises previously unreported aspects of the divesting process and provides new insights into divestitures and their outcomes. More broadly, this paper also sheds light on the way companies deal with organizational change, and how that may influence their success or failure.

All Sessions in Track H...

Sun: 10:00 – 11:30
Session 1504: Strategy Process Routines and their Content Outcomes I.
Sun: 13:00 – 14:30
Session 1604: Strategy Process Routines and their Content Outcomes II
Sun: 15:00 – 16:30
Session 1704: Strategy Process Routines and their Content Outcomes III.
Mon: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 1053: Turnaround and Alignment
Mon: 15:30 – 16:45
Session 1051: Restructuring and Change
Mon: 17:00 – 18:15
Session 1054: Facing Competing Demands to Create Value
Tue: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 1050: Linking Middle Managers into the Strategy Process
Tue: 14:30 – 15:45
Session 1049: Strategic Decision Making
Wed: 10:00 – 11:15
Session 1052: Resources, Capabilities and Competitive Advantage

Strategic Management Society

Cologne Conference