Session 118

Path Dependency and Firm Growth

Track J

Date: Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Time: 11:30 – 12:45


Room: Meeting Room 15

Session Chair:
Nicholas O'Regan, University of the West of England

Title: Back To The Future – Organic Growth Driving Shareholder Value


  • Nicholas O'Regan, University of the West of England
  • Gerhard Kling, University of Southampton
  • Abby Ghobadian, University of Reading

Abstract: This paper examines the growth strategies of three insurance companies, AXA, Generali and ING from 1995 to 2005. The conceptual framework links marketing to organic revenue growth, which in turn drives value creation. We decompose revenue growth into organic growth, external growth (M&A, divestitures), exchange rate effects, and assess under- or outperformance in different geographical markets and business segments. Exchange rate effects are usually of minor importance – except if companies enter markets at an inopportune time. The findings show the importance of organic revenue growth in the insurance industry and indicate that only organic revenue growth enhances shareholder value with marketing being a key driver in generating organic revenue growth.

Key words: Insurance, growth strategy, organic revenue growth, revenue growth decomposition

Title: Corporate CEOs and Popular Management Literature – An Anatomy of Organizational Coevolution


  • Jacqueline Fendt, ESCP Europe

Abstract: This is an empirical study on CEOs’ use of popular management literature. Popular management theories can be understood as a coevolutionary tool. 40 narrative interviews of corporate leaders are abstracted to generate a landscape of issues, actors and flows: What do top executives read? What do they expect? Does it, and how does it impact upon their strategic action? Do they in turn influence literature? We discover a wide array of motives and behaviors. We suggest that the reigning skepticism of academia toward the value of popular literature may be partly unfounded. The application of such literature, if not the literature itself, appears to have positive economic and human impact. We frame the understanding of such literature as a coevolutionary tool.

Title: How Firm Size Moderates Momentum's Influence on the Dimensions of Strategic Persistence


  • CL Tien, National Taiwan Normal University
  • Hong-Jen Charles Chiu, National Taiwan University

Abstract: This study aims to solve puzzles about the influence of momentum on the dimensions of strategic persistence and the moderating effect of firm size. Predominantly based on behavioral, and evolutionary theories, the findings indicate that organizations follow routines in some strategic dimensions (e.g., non-production overhead, financial leverage and advertising intensity) regardless of executive leadership change, while firm size can significantly moderate such momentous forces in most strategic dimensions (e.g., plant and equipment newness, inventory, non-production overhead, advertising intensity, and research and development intensity). These findings clarify issues regarding path-dependency in the strategic dimensions involving executive successions, and further provide boards of directors with comprehensive, multi-dimensional knowledge about organizational momentum and the moderating impact of firm size.

Title: The Other Side of Outsourcing: Old Strategic Practices and Procedures Shaping a Renewed Growth Strategy


  • Leif Melin, Jonkoping University
  • Anders Melander, Jonkoping University

Abstract: This paper shows the influence of complementarities in strategic practices. Based on an in-depth, longitudinal case study we analyze a successful strategic adaptation of a company that is turning the wave of outsourcing to a growth strategy in times of turbulence in the global market place. The case illustrates how this growth oriented company with the mission to be a world class supplier manage to improve its capabilities and competencies in order to grow and increase its competitiveness. The general aim is to develop new knowledge about the strategizing and strategic practices that foster successful growth when meeting critical challenges in the context of global industries. Strategic practices developed during an earlier strategic epoch help shape a renewal of the growth strategy in a changed competitive environment.

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