Ongoing PhD Projects

Ongoing PhD Projects

On-going PhD projects

Jochem Kroezen
Institutional Perspectives on Organizational Identity.

Organizational identity is a pivotal resource affecting individual-, organizational-, and field-level outcomes. However, only recently have scholars begun to examine the process by which this resource is formed at the time of organizational inception. Research on this topic must cope with the challenge of working with competing conceptualizations of the topic, integrating different bodies of literature, and creating novel empirical research designs. This dissertation addresses these challenges by comprehensively examining antecedental processes and consequential outcomes related to identity formation in the context of old and neo-institutionalist perspectives. The research is based on extensive data on the Dutch beer brewing industry that is analyzed using both qualitative and quantitative methods.

Sebastiaan van Doorn
Investigating High Performing and Innovative Firms in Turbulent Environments: An Integrative Network Perspective.

Why some firms operate successfully in dynamic environments is a fundamental question in the management and strategy disciplines (Volberda, 1996). Recently, scholars have become increasingly interested in the way firms accommodate a beneficial internal atmosphere towards entrepreneurship. They strive to understand how firms initiate entrepreneurial projects, and more importantly how these projects may add to firm performance.

We aim to shed new light to these questions by investigating the concept of entrepreneurial orientation, i.e. the risk taking propensity, innovativeness and proactiveness existing within the firm.

Our first study investigates antecedents of entrepreneurial orientation. This study aims to develop and test an empirical model for the explanation of a firms’ entrepreneurial orientation. To this end, we examine the joint impact of senior team knowledge acquisition and decision making comprehensiveness on entrepreneurial orientation and posit that knowledge acquisition of senior teams provides an important foundation for entrepreneurial orientation. However, knowledge acquisition alone is not sufficient to indeed develop an entrepreneurial orientation. We contend and find that senior team decision making comprehensiveness mediates the relationship between knowledge acquisition and entrepreneurial orientation as it reduces the level of uncertainty and ambiguity surrounding newly acquired knowledge, alleviating restrictions for the development of an entrepreneurial orientation.

Our second study investigates how senior team attributes moderate the relationship between entrepreneurial orientation and firm performance. In addition, we assess whether the impact of the senior team attributes is contingent upon environmental dynamism. Results show that although senior team heterogeneity acts as a positive moderator on the relationship between entrepreneurial orientation and firm performance, this effect is dampened in dynamic environments. In contrast, the positive moderating role of senior team shared vision is found to exist only in dynamic environments.

Our third study investigates similar processes, but at the level of the individual middle manager. This paper investigates the link between entrepreneurial orientation and performance of individual managers. We posit that strong network ties mediate the relationship between entrepreneurial orientation and performance as they bring trust and support to the task situation of the manager. In addition we investigate a model of moderated mediation, in which managerial hierarchical level influences our proposed mediating effect. In fact we find that the mediating role of strong ties, between entrepreneurial orientation and subsequent performance, exists only for relatively higher-tier managers.

Sebastian Fourné
Rethinking Strategic Renewal and Role Conflict: Middle Managers Absorptive Capacity, Ambidexterity, and Contextual Cross-Level Moderation Effects.

In the turbulent business environments of the 21st century it has become an imperative to act ambidextrously by simultaneously responding to existing market requirements and securing efficiency benefits through exploitative innovation (March, 1991) and reinvigorating the firm through groundbreaking explorative innovation, adaptability and flexibility (Gibson & Birkinshaw, 2004; O’Reilly III & Tushman 2004a). Successful strategic renewal is required to overcome inertial forces and bridges the gap between exploitation of existing competencies and achieving a new basis for competition (Burgelman, 1991, 1994; Huff, Huff, & Thomas, 1992). This presupposes continuous learning and adaptation of organizations and (especially) their managers, who face strategic role conflict in this learning process due to inconsistent and ever-changing goals and behavioral expectations rooted in the tensions between exploitation and exploration (Floyd & Lane, 2000; March, 1991).

Previous studies in a variety of related management fields, such as organizational learning (Crossan, Lane, & White, 1999; Cohen & Levinthal, 1990; Vera & Crossan, 2004), strategy research (Floyd & Lane, 2000; Rajagopalan & Spreitzer, 1996) and technological innovation (Duncan, 1976; Tushman & O’Reilly III, 1996), indicate that firm and business unit level strategic renewal to a large extent originate in the ambidextrous behavior of their managers. Nevertheless, in the growing body of literature on organizational learning, exploration, exploitation, and ambidexterity, research at the individual manager level of analysis is still in its infancy and recommended for future studies (Gupta, Smith & Shalley, 2006; Raisch & Birkinshaw, 2008). This gap is addressed in this paper by focusing on middle managers, who are typically in charge of realizing the vision and strategy set out by the top management team.

Pieter-Jan Bezemer
Corporate Governance and Strategic Renewal

During the last decade the attention for corporate governance has rapidly increased in the popular press and the scientific literature. Corporate scandals like Ahold in the Netherlands, Parmalat in Italy and Enron and WorldCom in the United States, have heated the international corporate governance debate. One of the issues in this debate is centered around the nature and division of responsibilities between the supervisory board and management board. However, the literature remains silent about the impact of these corporate governance factors on the strategic renewal behavior of corporations. Therefore, this Ph.D. research project attempts to provide insight in the ways in which the functioning of supervisory boards and their relationship with management boards influences strategic renewal processes in large listed corporations operating under the rules of the Dutch ‘structure regime’.

Mumtaz Cagri Arici
Balancing Exploration and Exploitation: Organizational Antecedents, Environmental Moderators and Performance Implications

Building on the assumption that some firms succeed while others do not in finding a balance between exploration and exploitation, there is no descriptive research that documents or categorizes what administrative processes and capabilities contribute to a firms’ ability to balance exploration and exploitation in different organizational contexts. The present multi-phase project seeks to advance our understanding by addressing this key issue about the antecedents of balance between exploration and exploitation along with the outcomes in dissimilar environmental settings. The focal theoretical framework in this research is built on organizational antecedents, environmental moderators and performance implications of balance.