Session 134

Organizational Design and Networking Strategies under Uncertainty

Track B

Date: Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Time: 11:30 – 12:45

Common Ground

Room: Meeting Room 11

Yves Doz, INSEAD

Title: Designing the Business Model: An Activity System Perspective


  • Christoph Zott, IESE Business School
  • Raffi Amit, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract: Building on the received literature, we conceptualize a firm’s business model as a system of interdependent activities that transcends the focal firm and spans its boundaries. The activity system enables the firm to create value in concert with its partners but also to appropriate a share of the value created. Anchored on theoretical and empirical research, we suggest two sets of parameters that activity systems designers need to consider: design elements—content, structure and governance—that describe the architecture of an activity system; and design themes—novelty, lock-in, complementarities and efficiency—that describe the sources of the activity system’s value creation.

Title: Do They Know Your Strategy: Implications of Network Partner Perceptions of Strategic Articulation and Inclusion


  • Danielle Dunne, Fordham University
  • Kimberly Jaussi, Binghamton University
  • Thomas Kelly, Binghamton University

Abstract: While many organizations utilize alliance strategies to acquire resources needed to navigate dynamic environments, many of these alliances fail. Scholars have called for process, rather than outcome, research to better understand alliance success and failure. With this call in mind, we examine perceptual processes and resource allocation in an ego-centric alliance network. Our findings from survey and financial data from 41 partner organizations and a focal organization suggest that perceptions of knowing the focal organization’s strategy and feeling considered in the focal organization’s strategy formulation positively affect partner intentions to allocate future resources, but that articulation of the focal organization’s mission affects current resource allocation. Our work extends existing alliance research by addressing strategy articulation, mission internalization, and partner inclusion in the formulation process.

Title: Economic Uncertainty, Product Architecture, and the Bullwhip Effect: Strategies for Coping with Supply Chain Variability


  • Marcelo Alvarado-Vargas, University of Toledo
  • Keith Kelley, Florida International University

Abstract: Even in stable situations, the relationship between the firm and suppliers is a challenging one to maintain. By adding uncertainty to this relationship it becomes even more complex. The authors wish to shed some light on how the Bullwhip Effect, increased in intensity throughout the supply chain by uncertainty, can affect the buy-or-make strategic decisions. The authors considered the manufacturing sector specifically because of the storability property of the goods. The product architecture influencing the firm-supplier relationship intensity was also considered. Under uncertain times, if the supplier is the weakest link in the total supply chain, the firm must undertake crucial strategic decisions which will secure its supply chain fitness. Keywords: Supply chain, Uncertainty, Product Architecture, Bullwhip Effect, Make or Buy Decisions.

Title: Predicting the Likelihood and Intensity of Resource Acquisition Actions: Evidence from the Biopharmaceuticals Industry


  • Sotiris Rompas, Bridgehead International
  • Harry Scarbrough, University of Warwick

Abstract: This study is concerned with the conditions under which firms engage in the strategic action to acquire external resources. Drawing from the theoretical premises of the RBV, scholars have treated such strategic action as resource-driven. In a world of uncertainty, however, we argue that firms may strategically act to acquire external resources as a response to their competitors. We thus suggest that the strategic action to acquire external resources is competitive-driven. We employ an extensive panel dataset of 4,729 resource acquisition actions in the context of the biopharmaceuticals industry to test a set of hypotheses around these two views of external resource acquisition. Our findings suggest that firms engage in external resource acquisition as a response to their competitive environment, but such response is directed by their resource endowments and prior experience.

Title: Which Buyer-Supplier Strategies on Uncertain Markets: A Multi-Agents Simulation


  • Corentin Curchod, Audencia Nantes School of Management
  • Philippe Caillou, University Paris - 11
  • Tiago Baptista, University of Coimbra

Abstract: The relationship the firm has with its clients and suppliers largely determines the amount of value it is able to capture in the chain. Yet little is known about the impact of market uncertainty on the choice of the best buyer-supplier strategy in terms of value appropriation. The paper proposes to investigate which among different types of strategies bring more value to the buyer when market uncertainty increases. It relies on a very innovative method of multi-agents simulation based on an in-depth ethnographic observation phase of a real market in France. It shows that pure loyalty is not necessarily the best strategy when market uncertainty increases and that the buyer may face a dilemma between maximizing the margin rate and ensuring regularity of supply.

All Sessions in Track B...

Mon: 12:45 – 14:00
Session 123: The Configuration of Alliance Portfolios: Antecedents and Consequences
Mon: 15:45 – 17:00
Session 131: Managing External Relationships: Perception, Judgement and Action
Session 132: Uncertainty and the Leveraging of Relational Mechanisms in Alliances
Mon: 17:15 – 18:30
Session 126: Getting It Right: Buyer-Supplier Relationships
Tue: 10:00 – 11:15
Session 124: License to Deal: Technology Licensing, Innovation, and Corporate Investment
Tue: 11:30 – 12:45
Session 127: Law and Order: Alliance Governance Decisions
Session 134: Organizational Design and Networking Strategies under Uncertainty
Tue: 14:30 – 15:45
Session 128: Is He The One? Partner Selection and Tie Formation
Session 133: The Dynamics of Interorganizational Networks and Their Performance Implications
Wed: 10:00 – 11:15
Session 129: Putting Things in Context: Competition and Network Dynamics
Wed: 11:30 – 12:45
Session 130: Alliances, Knowledge Transfer, and Performance
Session 135: The Good, the Bad and the Not so Bad: Enhancing Performance by Discerning External Relationships

Strategic Management Society

Washington DC