Matching Items (4)

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A Multi-step Model of Boundary Spanning and Absorptive Capacity: The Differential Impact of Board and Top Management Team Experience on the Development of Sustainability-related Capabilities

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The study explores the differing roles that a top management team (TMT) and a board play in providing a firm the knowledge to improve its absorptive capacity. Building on the

The study explores the differing roles that a top management team (TMT) and a board play in providing a firm the knowledge to improve its absorptive capacity. Building on the distinction between potential and realized absorptive capacity, initially posited by Zahra and George (2002), I argue that a firm's board of directors and its TMT both act to fill the critical role of knowledge gatekeepers identified by Cohen and Levinthal (1990). But, they play different roles in a firm's efforts to acquire, assimilate, transform and exploit novel information. The engagement of board members with environmental planning through personal experiences as well as prior and current ties shapes the ability of the firm to acquire (i.e., identify and obtain) and assimilate (i.e., analyze, understand, and evaluate) valuable external knowledge. However, because they lack the required in-depth knowledge of the firm's internal operations, they are unable to complete the gatekeeping role. The latter stages of that role depend on the abilities of the TMT to transform (i.e., internalize and converse) and exploit (i.e., use and implement) that knowledge, which depends heavily on their engagement with environmental activities through prior experiences. Thus, the board and TMT are only able to fulfill the roles of knowledge gatekeeper collectively. I develop a set of hypotheses from this core proposition, which I test using the participation of U.S. firms in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). Extremely detailed data on 354 firms from 2008 to 2015 allows me to examine multiple sequential processes, including the decision to participate in the CDP performance relative to the core CDP goal, current internal systems, policies as well as plans, and capabilities to breakdown emissions along various production processes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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Date Created
  • 2018

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Intra-firm and inter-firm agglomeration: the location decisions of multi-unit firms

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Agglomeration research has investigated a key research question, i.e., why do firms in a specific industry co-locate geographically? In the agglomeration literature, it has been assumed that each firm has

Agglomeration research has investigated a key research question, i.e., why do firms in a specific industry co-locate geographically? In the agglomeration literature, it has been assumed that each firm has one business establishment in a cluster such that firms always co-locate with competitors. However, it is often observed that firms operate several business establishments in a cluster, so they co-locate not only with competitors (i.e., inter-firm agglomeration) but also with their own business establishments (i.e., intra-firm agglomeration). While inter-firm agglomeration is a counterpart to the traditional concept of agglomeration, intra-firm agglomeration is a new concept in agglomeration research. The separation between intra-firm and inter-firm agglomeration raises two research questions – 1) how does intra-firm agglomeration differ from inter-firm agglomeration? and 2) do firms decide their locations for intra-firm vs. inter-firm agglomeration differently? These questions actually extend the key question in agglomeration research into a new setting in which firms have several business establishments in a cluster. I proposed that firms can extract more benefits but neutralize more threats from agglomeration through intra-firm agglomeration than through inter-firm agglomeration. I further developed research hypotheses to test this argument in a research context in which multi-unit firms decide their new establishments’ distances to competitors and their other establishments at the same time. The hypotheses received empirical support in an empirical setting in which 10 large multi-unit hotel firms established new hotels in 20 U.S. cities, and several supplementary analyses show that these results are robust.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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When, how, and so what: three essays on managerial practice of personal tie utilization in organizations

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Over the past several decades, social network remains the most prevalent and prominent in the strategy and organization theory literature. However, despite the considerable research attention scholars devoted to

Over the past several decades, social network remains the most prevalent and prominent in the strategy and organization theory literature. However, despite the considerable research attention scholars devoted to exploring the implications and mechanisms of social ties and networks in management and organizational contexts, the following question has largely remained understudied: To what extent can top managers' personal ties and networks actually contribute to their firms? This thesis will strive to explore this research question by theoretically highlighting three logically consequent managerial decisions: (1) "When"--when will top managers choose to use their personal ties and networks in their firms; (2) "How"--will top managers use their managerial ties and networks to serve the best interest of their firms or to satisfy their self-interests; and (3) "So what" --how would the decision of using managerial ties and networks to benefit their firms influence other decisions of the firms. Using both primary data and archival information from Chinese firms, I will empirically test the step-wise framework. I expect this thesis to contribute to both strategic leadership and social network research and management practices.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Complexity studies of firm dynamics

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This thesis consists of three projects employing complexity economics methods to explore firm dynamics. The first is the Firm Ecosystem Model, which addresses the institutional conditions of capital access and

This thesis consists of three projects employing complexity economics methods to explore firm dynamics. The first is the Firm Ecosystem Model, which addresses the institutional conditions of capital access and entrenched competitive advantage. Larger firms will be more competitive than smaller firms due to efficiencies of scale, but the persistence of larger firms is also supported institutionally through mechanisms such as tax policy, capital access mechanisms and industry-favorable legislation. At the same time, evidence suggests that small firms innovate more than larger firms, and an aggressive firm-as-value perspective incentivizes early investment in new firms in an attempt to capture that value. The Ecological Firm Model explores the effects of the differences in innovation and investment patterns and persistence rates between large and small firms.

The second project is the Structural Inertia Model, which is intended to build theory around why larger firms may be less successful in capturing new marketshare than smaller firms, as well as to advance fitness landscape methods. The model explores the possibility that firms with larger scopes may be less effective in mitigating the costs of cooperation because conditions may arise that cause intrafirm conflicts. The model is implemented on structured fitness landscapes derived using the maximal order of interaction (NM) formulation and described using local optima networks (LONs), thus integrating these novel techniques.

Finally, firm dynamics can serve as a proxy for the ease at which people can voluntarily enter into the legal cooperative agreements that constitute firms. The third project, the Emergent Firm model, is an exploration of how this dynamic of voluntary association may be affected by differing capital institutions, and explores the macroeconomic implications of the economies that emerge out of the various resulting firm populations.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018