Adapting to Environmental Challenges: New Research in Strategy and International Business

Cover of Adapting to Environmental Challenges: New Research in Strategy and International Business
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Table of contents

(12 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-xii
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Abstract

The environmental exposures to humankind have increased in number and intensity over past decades introducing the possibility of extreme incidents with irreversible impacts on business and society. The global integration of business and cross-border financial flows supported by digital technology increase the complexity and uncertainty of the business environment. In this context, the behaviors of individual players are interdependent with potentially nonlinear and unpredictable outcomes ascribed to complex wicked problems. As a consequence, organizational decision-makers may pursue false objectives from misinformed causation where stringent score-card controls will exacerbate the problems. The resolution to wicked problems requires cross-functional and collective interactions supported by a collaborative corporate mindset. The conventional control-based management practices fall short in dealing with disruptive developments where value-based stakeholder collaboration can provide resilient responses to unexpected abrupt events.

Abstract

Much of the extant management research implies that the existence of industries and organizations depends on variables and factors largely beyond their control, and survival is the result of a happy confluence of their origins, events, and growth rather than actions of conscious volition. The authors suggest that industry circumstances can be overcome. So, rather than studying rates of organization population change as effects of environmental change, the authors propose that some managerial actions can be taken that, in the aggregate, will affect the industry context. Changes in concentration should influence the environment in which industry members will compete later. Migration moves and rationalization of production facilities, along with organization population pressures, should exert strong influences on changes in the industry environments. Such findings suggest that some degree of strategic choice is at work and that firms have some discretionary choice in their industries.

Abstract

Today, long-term success requires firms to sense changes in their environments early and react efficiently to them. Increasing middle managers’ participation in decision-making about market-related and product-related questions has been suggested as one way of enhancing this strategic responsiveness; abandoning formal planning, such as annual budgets, has been another. Yet, empirical evidence on the matter is scarce and conflicting. Drawing on data from Denmark’s 500 largest firms, we show that participation of middle managers in decision-making about new products and markets to serve, in-deed, increases firms’ strategic responsiveness as assessed by a reduction in firms’ downside risk. However, this effect is not a direct one. Nor does it interact positively or negatively with the emphasis put on formal planning as submitted in literature. Our evidence suggests that emphasis on planning mediates the relation between stronger participation of middle managers in decision-making and the increase in firms’ strategic responsiveness. This has implications for ongoing theory building and practice.

Abstract

The dual importance of centrally induced strategic intent and the ability to engage in autonomous strategic initiatives has been demonstrated in both qualitative and quantitative empirical studies over the past decades. However, the particular mechanisms required to facilitate the interaction between these strategy-making approaches and achieve better corporate performance are less clear. The authors argue that the commonly conceived but rarely examined role of the strategic control process is essential to the implied adaptive performance dynamic. Although the strategic control typically is conceived as the diagnostic monitoring of outcomes, the authors contend that an interactive control (IC) mechanism is conducive to superior performance outcomes. To examine this, the authors use the extant strategy literature to generate the basic hypothesized relationships and conduct an empirical study based on a large corporate sample to uncover the intricate strategy-making model. The analyses show that adherence to ICs is an essential mediator for the positive combined effects of strategic planning and autonomous strategy-making processes.

Abstract

Strategic management scholars have acknowledged the existence of a dark side of strategy, but have failed to consider how companies engage and adapt “dark and immoral” non-market strategies to gain competitive advantage and to maintain corrupt alliances. In this chapter, I analyze the use of corruption as a non-market strategy by construction companies’ suppliers of the Oil and Gas Company Petrobras from 2002 to 2014. The author use verifiable court decisions and analyze the set of rules created by a corrupt cartel to enact their corrupt strategies. The author extend the management literature by showing how a corrupt group of firms adopt a series of strategies not only for their short-term competitive advantage but also to maintain their internal cohesion. Finally, the author develop a model that explains the maintenance of long-term corrupt relationships.

Abstract

Despite the relevance of firm size in the analysis of corporate social responsibility (CSR) engagement, there is still much to know about the specific impact of firm size on CSR formalisation. Moreover, in order to better understand such a relation, the interaction effects of development strategies on which companies may base its growth, namely diversification and internationalisation, will be also taken into account. Specifically, this work contributes to shed light on these issues by combining theories related to external and internal drivers of CSR. Using a sample of Spanish listed firms, the results show that firm size affects positively CSR formalisation, and that this effect is stronger in the case of adopting a diversification strategy, while no evidence was found for the moderating effect of internationalisation strategy.

Abstract

In this chapter, the authors investigate the impact of the disclosure of corporate social responsibility (CSR) information (in the form of ethical certification announcements) on firm value, measured as stock market reactions. When determining the potential value of CSR practices, investors evaluate disclosed information against firm-level characteristics. To cope with uncertainties related to voluntary disclosure and information asymmetries, investors also rely on heuristic evaluations of the congruity between firm- and institutional-level characteristics. The authors find that ethical certification information is especially valuable in opaque contexts with fewer firm reporting standards and poor protection mechanisms for investors. Overall, our findings suggest that in contexts where information asymmetries between insiders and outsiders are higher, validation of CSR activities by independent third-party institutions is more effective as a value creation mechanism.

Abstract

This study draws on the natural resource-based view to analyze the effects of technologies, managerial commitment, and firm strategy on sustainability performance, in terms of both environmental and social profits. It also examines how the effect of green technologies on sustainability performance can be triggered by a managerial commitment to sustainability issues, and by the adoption of a prospector strategy. Multiple linear regression was used to test research hypotheses on a sample of 426 Spanish tourism firms. The results provide important insights into the importance of the adoption of explorer strategies fostering the strategic exploitation of green technologies to obtain new efficient processes, organizational procedures, and products. This research also shows the contingent moderating effect that managerial commitment exerts on the strategic implementation of green technologies for sustainability performance.

Abstract

International business (IB) studies revolve around two key perspectives defined as a firm-specific perspective and a generic perspective that combined to provide a company with crucial insights into how to enter and navigate in foreign markets. Such a combined approach provides a company with a holistic perception of what kind of resources and capabilities it needs before entering and operating in specific markets. The key issue here is how to design a research approach that provides the data that make a researcher capable of developing an explanatory framework for how to engage such markets. Before looking for appropriate research methodologies and tools for data collection, there is a need for a pertinent philosophy of science. This chapter discusses three different philosophies of science each one capable of providing the analyst with a specific take on how to “think” data. Arguably, whatever approach one selects, the choice has an impact on the outcome of the research process. After selecting a specific philosophy of science, the chapter applies it on an analysis of the Danish shipping company Maersk. The focus is on how employees at headquarters and selected overseas subsidiaries “read” the global corporate culture and navigate within the company for own and organizational benefit. This chapter discusses the ramifications of selecting one philosophy of science over another when engaging in qualitative or quantitative research in an IB context.

Abstract

This chapter outlines a dynamic model of compositional strategic advantage for resource-poor firms where the attractiveness of the product offering in terms of scope and perceived value-to-price ratio identifies a number of elementary compositional strategies. A resource-poor firm can establish a compositional strategy composed of one or more of these elementary compositional strategies. It is argued that how the compositional strategic advantage is formed by three indispensable factors of aspiration (asymmetry between ambition and position), attitude (be “ALERT” to change), and action (use the asymmetry to create advantage). It is explained how the underlying theoretical rationales are particularly useful to understand the successful expansion of multinational Chinese firms and coinciding with basic cultural values.

Index

Pages 229-236
Content available
Cover of Adapting to Environmental Challenges: New Research in Strategy and International Business
DOI
10.1108/9781839824760
Publication date
2020-07-21
Book series
Emerald Studies in Global Strategic Responsiveness
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-83982-477-7
eISBN
978-1-83982-476-0