Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Learning to Let Go: Social Influence, Learning, and the Abandonment of Corporate Venture Capital Practices

GABA Vibha, DOKKO Gina
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Strategic Management Journal (forthcoming)

This study examines the abandonment of organizational practices. We argue that firm choices in implementing practices affect how firms experience a practice and their subsequent likelihood of abandonment. We focus on utilization of the practice and staffing, i.e. career backgrounds of managers, as two important implementation choices that firms make. The findings demonstrate that practice utilization and staffing choices not only affect abandonment likelihood directly but also condition firms’ susceptibility to pressures to abandon when social referents do. Our study contributes to diffusion research by examining practice abandonment – a relatively unexplored area in diffusion research – and by incorporating specific aspects of firms’ post-adoption choices into diffusion theory.

Luxury’s Talent Factories

SHIPILOV Andrew, GODART Frederic
Luxury’s Talent Factories Harvard Business Review 93, 6 (2015) 98-104

Fifty years ago fashion and luxury goods were all about family businesses and entrepreneurial designers. Today most of the best-known brands belong to a diversified group like LVMH, Richemont, or Kering. The success of such groups contradicts the management notion that a focus on one core leads to superior returns--and that diversification adds little value. An analysis of the performance of 350 fashion houses suggests that group affiliation does add value, say INSEAD's Andrew Shipilov and Frédéric Godart. They found that the fashion collections of group brands were more successful, and judged more creative by industry buyers, than those of independent brands over a 10-year period. How do luxury groups get this edge? Through the way they groom their designers and managers. The groups exploit the variety of their businesses by setting up internal talent markets that offer rich learning opportunities. Rising stars are thus less tempted to leave the organization, and cross-group job moves help spread knowledge and best practices. Group watchmaking companies, for instance, have been able to boost their sales by hiring experts in marketing and CRM from their groups’ fashion and cosmetics firms. Worldwide operations give groups another advantage, because spending time overseas is critical to executive development. This is especially true in the luxury field, where international experience exposes designers to creative influences and executives to new but fast-growing customer segments. However, it isn't just in their approach to internal talent that groups excel. They prime the entry-level pipeline by sponsoring educational programs and offering apprenticeships to promising students, as well as recruit external functional know-how more effectively than the independent brands do.

The Building of the Behavioral Theory of the Firm Continues

GREVE Henrich
The Building of the Behavioral Theory of the Firm Continues Journal of Management Inquiry 24, 3 (2015) 334-335

Modelling Bounded Rationality in Organizations: Progress and Prospects

Madan M.
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Academy of Management Annals 9, 1 (2015) 337-392

 Much of the formal modelling work in the organizational sciences relies on Herbert Simon's conception of bounded rationality, and it stakes a claim to drawing on behaviorally plausible assumptions about human behavior and action in organizations. The objectives of our review are threefold. First, we summarize the formal literature by “model families”—classes of models sharing the same analytical structure—to highlight sharply the behavioral assumptions being made. Specifically, we discuss model families involving (a) adaptation through search and learning by individual agents, (b) mutual adjustment of interacting agents, and (c) information aggregation in organizational decision-making. Second, we examine to what extent these models of bounded rationality in organizations are in fact consistent with the behavioral evidence in psychology and other related fields. Finally, we discuss opportunities for further research that strengthens the links between formal modelling in organizations research, and its behavioral foundations. In particular, we highlight the promise of experimental methods that translate organizational models to multiple-subject experiments in the behavioral laboratory.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Psychodynamic Approach

KETS de VRIES Manfred F. R., CHEAK Alicia
Psychodynamic Approach in Leadership: Theory and Practice (7th ed.), Peter G. Northouse (Ed.) Sage (2015)

At its heart, leadership is about human behaviour— what we do, how we do it and why we do it. Leadership is about the way people behave in organizations and effective leaders are those who meet the needs of their followers; pay careful attention to group processes; able to calm anxieties and arouse hopes and aspirations; and know how to liberate human energy and inspire people to positive action. In short, leadership involves harnessing and leveraging the different and complex forces and dynamics at play in organizational functioning. The psychodynamic approach to leadership study and development focuses on the dynamics of human behaviour which are often the most difficult to understand. It acknowledges that people are complex, unique and paradoxical beings with rich and myriad motivational drivers, and decision-making and interaction patterns. Applying psychodynamic concepts to the ebb and flow of life in organizations contributes to our understanding of the vicissitudes of life and leadership. Only through accepting and exploring the hidden undercurrents that affect human behaviour can we begin to understand organizational life in all its complexities. This chapter provides an overview of the psychodynamic approach, including historical underminnings, its key concepts, and includes three case studies with which to apply the psychodynamic approach as well as a short self-assessment on leadership archetype.