Session Details: Session 1072

Lessons from Industry Cases

Track E

Date: Monday, October 13, 2008


Time: 11:15 – 12:30


Room: Salon 17

Session Chair:
Alexander Zimmermann, University of St. Gallen

Title: Building High Performance Organizations


  • Peer Fiss, University of Southern California

Abstract: Configurations are central to the literature on strategic management and continue to play a crucial role in understanding the determinants of competitive advantage. However, there has been very little empirical research that simultaneously examines configurations of strategy, structure, and environment as called for by Miles & Snow (1978). Using a recent dataset of high technology firms, I empirically investigate such configurations of using fuzzy set analysis. In comparing the results from conventional cluster and deviation score analyses with fuzzy set analyses, I show how the use of set-theoretic methods may help clarify mixed findings in the prior literature and show that hybrid configurations can lead to high performance, but very high performance is only achieved by embracing tradeoffs and choosing a “pure” configuration.

Title: Business Strategy and Firm Reorganization Under Changing Market Conditions: An Observation-Based Analysis of Firms in the Global Paper Industry


  • Vivek Ghosal, Georgia Institute of Technology

Abstract: My preliminary analysis of firms in the global paper industry reveals considerable differences in their perceptions about market conditions, knowledge about the complementarities between the production processes and supply-chains, and knowledge and ability to make timely decisions regarding new investments and other changes. The analysis, based on visits to paper mills in Finland, Germany and the U.S., and complemented by data analysis, reveals significant differences across firms in this industry in productivity and, more broadly defined, performance. The significant intra-industry differences in performance across firms in a relatively well defined industry lends credence to the insights provided in the papers by Denrell, Fang and Winter (2003) and Zott (2003), among others. Our findings have implications for studying business strategies employed by firms under changing market conditions, and examining the differences between firms and managers in their knowledge-base and its applications.

Title: Path Dependency, Organizational Context, and The Range of Strategic Variety: A Contrasting Case Study


  • Jochen Koch, European University Viadrina Frankfurt

Abstract: In this study we investigate the strategic trajectory of incumbent firms coping with path dependency and thus with a diminished range of strategic variety and choice. It is argued that an organization´s ability to act strategically under conditions of path dependency relies not only on the particular form of developed path-dependent strategic pattern but also on how this pattern is inscribed into the whole organizational body. We introduce the concept of organizational contextuality for capturing this form of embeddedness and we explore different discursive dimensions of strategic inscription referring to power, formal and informal structures. The paper relies on an empirical study contrasting two established newspaper-publishing organizations. The comparison analysis of the cases reveals in both organizations different forms of strategic pattern inscription and thus explains much of the observable differences in the strategic trajectory of both focal firms.

Title: Where Differentiators Go Wrong: The Urgency of Combining Modularization and Competence Renewal


  • Heike Proff, University of Duisburg-Essen

Abstract: The growing modularization of complex products encourages the division of labor in industry. End product manufacturers outsource production of individual components to large module suppliers, saving on costs in the short term. In the medium term, however, they sac-rifice competencies. The competitive strategy they choose – either cost leadership or differ-entiation – determines how this conflict is resolved. This article examines the shift in compe-tencies to module suppliers, and the likely reactions of end product manufacturers, particularly those pursuing a differentiation strategy. The discussion begins at a general level, and then focuses on the automotive industry as an example. The article derives potential strategic actions going forward based on transaction cost theory and core competency theory, and conducts a content analysis to examine them empirically.

All Sessions in Track E...

Sun: 10:00 – 11:30
Session 1501: Exploration Strategies: Current Research and Future Content and Methodological Challenges
Sun: 13:00 – 14:30
Session 1601: Organizational Capabilities and Competitive Advantage: Where Do We Go From Here?
Sun: 15:00 – 16:30
Session 1701: Using Research Centers to Foster ABC Collaboration
Mon: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 1067: The Upside of Financial Investments
Session 1072: Lessons from Industry Cases
Mon: 15:30 – 16:45
Session 1073: Learning and Competitive Dynamics
Session 1074: Configurations and Performance
Session 1076: The Knowledge-Based View in New Arenas
Mon: 17:00 – 18:15
Session 1060: Value Creation and Appropriation: Perspectives From the Resource-Based View, Property Rights and Incomplete Contracting
Session 1062: Mastering Alliance Capability
Session 1069: Leveraging and Repositioning Resources
Tue: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 1059: Networks and Social Capital
Session 1070: Performance and the Competitive Arena
Tue: 14:30 – 15:45
Session 1063: Topics on Competitive Dynamics
Session 1066: Managing and Environmental Stewardship
Session 1075: Strategic Decision Making
Wed: 10:00 – 11:15
Session 1065: Managing Stakeholder Networks and External Communication
Session 1071: Technology, Innovation and Competitive Advantage
Wed: 11:30 – 12:45
Session 1064: Exploring Dynamic Capabilities
Session 1068: Signals and Firm Reputation

Strategic Management Society

Cologne Conference