Session 117

Exploring Firm Performance

Track J

Date: Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Time: 11:30 – 12:45


Room: Meeting Room 8

Session Chair:
Paul Knott, University of Canterbury

Title: A Cognitive Approach to the Resource-Performance Relationship


  • Uta Morgenstern, Goldsmiths College
  • Andy Lockett, University of Warwick
  • Gerard P. Hodgkinson, University of Manchester
  • Laure Cabantous, University of Nottingham

Abstract: To date RBV scholars have treated firm-specific resources as objective entities waiting to be discovered through some formal analysis. In contrast, the literature on cognition suggests that what matter are actors’ mental beliefs about the causal relationship between firm resources and performance. Therefore, in this paper we adopt a cognitive approach to examine the relationship between resources and performance. Our empirical approach involves undertaking a causal mapping exercise across two organizations over time in order to examine the extent to which there is consensus or disagreement about what drives firm performance in the two firms. Our research contributes to an understanding of micro processes in organizations and tackles some of the theoretical and methodological limitations of the RBV.

Title: Is the VRIO Method A Useful Tool to Analyze a Firm's Resources?


  • Paul Knott, University of Canterbury

Abstract: This paper reports on a study aimed at advancing understanding of the in-use efficacy and effects of the well-established VRIO (value-rarity-imitability-organization) method for analyzing a firm’s resources. Resource based theory and VRIO have diffused into most texts and courses, but until now, no research has verified their usefulness to the target audience. This research uses an experimental exercise to compare analysis that uses VRIO with analysis using only pragmatic business methods. This is a suitable method because it isolates the effects of the tool from that of other influences on strategic thinking and action. The results will provide insight into how practitioners actually apply resource based analysis to a firm, and to what extent this helps them make better recommendations.

Title: Outsourcing – A Key Strategic Management Decision


  • Nicholas O'Regan, University of the West of England
  • Gerhard Kling, University of Southampton
  • Martin Sims, University of Hertfordshire

Abstract: This study identifies why firms outsource R&D activities and the resultant impact on profitability. Modelling the interrelations between outsourcing, R&D investment, and profitability, we derive the following results: (1) small firms tend to outsource R&D; (2) a high labour cost share makes outsourcing more likely; (3) outsourcers invest less in R&D – but achieve similar research outcomes in terms of patented products; (4) outsourcing enhances profitability – albeit the benefit of outsourcing decrease with firm size. Therefore outsourcing R&D can reduce R&D expenditure and achieve a similar degree of product innovation with resultant increases in profitability.

Title: Timing and Performance in Acquisition Waves: Lessons from Practitioners


  • Casper Van der Veen, Strategy Academy
  • Jos Eeland, Strategy Academy
  • Fred Huibers, Strategy Academy

Abstract: Acquisition waves are generally acknowledged as key moderators of acquisition performance. Timing of an acquisition within a wave has significant effects on returns (McNamara et al., 2008). The key question that we ask ourselves is “How can and do managers recognize an acquisition wave and the right acquisition timing in this wave?”. Following Haleblian et al. (2009) in their call for research that gets more “inside” of the phenomenon, we add a micro-level perspective to the macro-level research conducted so far from in-depth interviews with CEO’s in the European building products and retail industry. We discover a potentially important variable in assessing the relationship between acquisition timing in waves and performance: acquisition activity of private equity investors, showing interesting areas for future research.

All Sessions in Track J...

Sun: 10:00 – 11:30
Session 267: Learning from Practice: Opening the Black Box of Consulting Engagements
Sun: 13:00 – 14:30
Session 268: Conducting Practice Studies: Introduction, Methods and Challenges
Sun: 15:00 – 16:30
Session 269: Promising Research Directions Using a Practice Approach
Sun: 16:30 – 17:30
Session 314: The Practice of Strategy, IG Meeting
Mon: 12:45 – 14:00
Session 122: Strategizing in Uncertain Times
Tue: 10:00 – 11:15
Session 120: Strategic Tools and Methods
Tue: 11:30 – 12:45
Session 118: Path Dependency and Firm Growth
Tue: 14:30 – 15:45
Session 121: Perspectives on Consulting
Wed: 10:00 – 11:15
Session 119: A Strategy as Practice Agenda
Wed: 11:30 – 12:45
Session 117: Exploring Firm Performance

Strategic Management Society

Washington DC