Strategy and organization

Flipping the Switch – The Role of Activity Load in Temporal Acquisition Patterns of Acquiring Firms

Frédéric Herold, University of St.Gallen (Master thesis)
Junior Management Science 9(1), 2024, 1140-1177

This study presents evidence on the effect of a firm’s activity load from acquisitions on its temporal acquisition pattern. Exploiting a panel of the 300 largest Fortune Global 500 firms over the 1990-2010 period, I use a hybrid logit model in which I regress momentum on activity load. I find that increases in the activity load from acquisitions, on average, reduce a firm’s likelihood to maintain acquisition momentum. That is, the increase in acquisition activity created by acquisition routines and cognitive maps of managers translates into a higher activity load until firms face a situation of information overload. Rational acquirers neutralize this pressure by reducing their acquisition volume which, in turn, decreases the activity load burden. Moreover, my results reveal that acquirers can switch from targets in a higher-complexity target firm category to targets in a lower-complexity target firm category to reduce their activity load burden while maintaining overall momentum. Yet, I obtain ambiguous results when examining heterogeneity in acquirer responses arising from differences in absorptive capacity. With these findings, my study adds to prior literature on acquisition patterns, strategic momentum, and the interplay between a firm’s activity load and absorptive capacity.

Keywords: activity load; M&A; momentum; switching behavior; temporal acquisition patterns.

Discussion of automotive trends and implications for German OEMs

Philip Christoph Häberle, Technical University of Munich (Master thesis)
Junior Management Science 8(4), 2023, 955-992

The rapid change in the automotive industry, largely triggered by four disruptive trends – autonomous driving, connectivity, electrification, and shared mobility (ACES) – poses major challenges for incumbent players. This thesis aims to provide a comprehensive literature review of these four trends and to discuss implications for German original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). To do so we use the structure of Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) analysis and apply both qualitative and quantitative methods. Furthermore, we introduce new frameworks that shall support companies in make-orbuy decisions and competitor analyses. To this end, we present a new metric that provides information on the innovative capacity of OEMs – the ACES Index. We conclude the following: (1) German OEMs can use their financial power, brand popularity, and global presence to conquer new markets. (2) The organizational structures of German OEMs slow down their innovative power in identifying and developing disruptive trends, which is why they had to give up their leading position to new competitors. (3) The ACES Index has a decisive influence on the market capitalization of an automotive company, which is why German OEMs should integrate future-relevant technologies into their value chains by developing their own capabilities or establishing partnerships.

Keywords: Automotive trends; Autonomous driving; Electric vehicle; Shared mobility; German OEMs.

Transparency and organizational legitimacy: an experimental study based on a fictitious company

Max-Gerrit Meinel, Vienna University of Economics and Business (Master thesis)
Junior Management Science 8(4), 2023, 926-954

In this paper it was empirically reviewed, if a high level of corporate transparency leads to an increase in companies’ organizational legitimacy. Through an experimental design, individually perceived organizational legitimacy was measured based on Suchman’s (1995, S. 578–579) definition of pragmatic, moral, and cognitive legitimacy. For this purpose, the experimental group (n = 108) received a stimulus indicating high transparency while the control group (n = 112) was presented with a very limited amount of information indicating low transparency for a fictitious airline. The experimental stimulus consisted of legitimacy sources such as media reports, rankings, surveys, and internal press reports. The empirical results only suggest an increase in moral legitimacy for the experimental group. Nevertheless, organizational legitimacy decreases less for the experimental group compared to the control group. Also, the processing time of the transparency offer documents presented had no effect on the level of organizational legitimacy. Although a quantitatively high transparency offer has stronger effect on organizational legitimacy than a quantitatively low transparency offer, it cannot be assumed that transparency has a fundamentally legitimacy-enhancing effect. Moreover, the mere availability of information seems to play a greater role than its processing time.

Keywords: Transparency; Organizational legitimacy; Airlines; Corporate governance; Experiment.

The hidden potential of boredom – How does the relative perception of boredom influence concentration and task performance?

Joshua W. Coen, University of Cologne (Master thesis)
Junior Management Science 8(3), 2023, 617-633

As boredom in the workplace is an important factor with widespread consequences, research interest in this topic is very high. This paper proposes a way of decreasing workplace boredom and thereby the negative effects associated with it. Based on literature about contrast effects, this paper develops the hypothesis that contrast between boredom levels leads to higher or lower evaluations of task boredom in a subsequent cognitive task. In an online experiment, this theory was tested. The results show that the same task is perceived as less boring when preceded by a monotonous and unchallenging task. An opposite effect for highly interesting tasks could not be determined. In addition, it was found that the boredom induction is linked to significantly lower concentration and that both boredom and inattention decrease cognitive performance. As proposed, the performance influence of boredom transcended tasks, with task C boredom fully mediating the relationship between task 1 boredom and cognitive performance. Further insights and implications are discussed, including a possible bidirectional causal relationship between boredom and inattention. The results implicate that boredom can be deliberately influenced through contextual cues and task order to mitigate its disadvantages.

Keywords: Boredom; Productivity; Work design; Concentration; Contrast effects.

Strategic Foresight Capability and its Impact on Firm Performance: A systematic, AI-based Literature Review

Stefan Gerhard Taferner, Universität St. Gallen (Bachelorarbeit)
Junior Management Science 8(3), 2023, 658-681

Strategic foresight is a growing field that attracts scholars aiming to reduce the uncertainty of volatile business environments. However, the field must address crucial challenges to advance theory and practice. To achieve this, the thesis presents a systematic, AI-based literature review that structures the foresight field, displays the status quo, and offers research trajectories. A sample of 243 journal-published articles is analyzed to create an organizing framework as well as provide narrative syntheses on foresight capability and its impact on firm performance. This analysis points out that foresight research often lacks theoretical foundations, mixes epistemological dimensions, and does not work toward a shared objective. Still, six research themes and their connections were identified for an organizing framework. Further, the review points out capabilities for successful foresight: Distinct processual and contextual capabilities developed in accordance with a firm’s environment can ensure success. Lastly, the paper emphasizes that “successful foresight” manifests in practice through a positive impact on strategic, organizational, and performance outcomes. Those findings support the efforts of establishing foresight in management studies and improving academic progress.

Keywords: Strategic foresight; Firm performance; Foresight capabilities; Literature review; Organizing framework.

The glamorization of overwork – an empirical study of causes and perceptions of excessive work attitudes in the pursuit of managerial careers

Mira Sophia Ulz, Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien (Masterarbeit)
Junior Management Science 8(2), 2023, 358-403

Excessive work behavior remains an issue in pursuing managerial careers. In this context, the glamorization of overwork takes on a crucial role, meaning that unhealthy work behavior is often falsely portrayed in a positive light. This paper provides an overview of influencing factors stimulating overwork behavior and its glamorization within different settings. Relating thereto, a qualitative research approach in the form of semi-structured open interviews was employed. Building on the main propositions of the Job Demands-Resources model (JD-R), this paper finds that individuals are inclined to mirror the behavior of others. In addition, job demands emerging on multiple levels and personality-related intrinsic factors have significant explanatory power for the development of overwork tendencies. The empirical results further reveal that the level of perceived familiarity and trust plays a decisive role in whether individuals are prone to glamorize unhealthy work attitudes. In both professional and non-professional environments, low to medium perceived levels of familiarity and trust in combination with certain stimuli appear to spark the active emphasis on excessive work behavior or the neutralization of strain. In turn, in high-trust settings, this cannot be observed.

Keywords: Workaholism; Overwork; Work engagement; Job Demands-Resources model.

Innovation Performance in Healthcare M&A: An Empirical Analysis

Philipp S.R. Voss, Technical University of Berlin (Master thesis)
Junior Management Science 7(4), 2022, 1164-1192

The relationship between mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and innovation in the healthcare sector (pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, and life sciences) is investigated using a new self-generated dataset of 41 firms. Patents are used as proxy for innovation performance of acquiring firms. This work can also be seen as an extended replication study of Ahuja and Katila (2001) and Cloodt et al. (2006). The extension comprises of newly added variables relatedness of acquirer knowledge and acquisition experience. The findings are consistent with previous research. Non-technological M&A appear to have a negative impact on the acquiring firm’s innovation performance. The absolute size of acquired knowledge has a small positive effect. The relative size of acquired knowledge has a negative effect on the acquiring firm’s innovation performance. The relatedness of the target knowledge base has a curvilinear impact on innovative performance. The relatedness of acquirer knowledge has a negative effect on innovation performance. Finally, the effect of previous acquisition experience is ambiguous. The findings of this study indicate that the firms’ innovation performance can benefit from M&A by carefully selecting targets that provide the appropriate amount of “innovative” input.

Keywords: Mergers & Acquisitions; Innovation; Innovation Performance; Patents; Knowledge based view.

The Variety of CSR Disclosure and its Relationship with the Underlying Performance: A Textual Analysis

Niklas Winterberg, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management (Master thesis)

Junior Management Science 7(3), 2022, 569-603

This study examines the relationship between corporate social responsibility (CSR) disclosure and the underlying CSR performance. The linguistic features of integrated and stand-alone sustainability reports from companies listed in the STOXX Europe 600 between 2010 and 2018 are investigated using computer-based textual analysis. The observed textual features are as follows: length, numeric content, horizon content, target orientation, readability, tone, topic-specific disclosure, and the number of topics covered. Additional variables include whether the report is following the framework of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), whether the CSR information is integrated into the annual report or prepared as a stand-alone report, and whether the company is defined as an early or late adopter. Concerning the relationship between the textual characteristics and CSR performance, the results support the hypotheses that length, target orientation, and the number of GRI topics covered are positively correlated with the performance. Concerning topic-specific disclosure, only the environmental and social dimensions are positively correlated with the corresponding performance. The results also reveal that companies with superior CSR performance tend to publish stand-alone reports under the GRI framework and started reporting before the announcement of the EU Directive in 2014.

Keywords: Corporate social responsibility; sustainability; sustainability reporting; textual analysis; GRI.

The Mission Comes First: Exploring the Mechanisms of Organizational Sponsorship for the Acceleration of Social Start-Ups

Niklas Manhart, Technical University of Munich (Master thesis)

Junior Management Science 7(2), 2022, 289-337

A significant number of incubators and accelerators have emerged to support start-ups aiming to solve societal or environmental problems. However, there is still limited understanding of how these ventures perceive the value proposition of incubators and accelerators – and whether their support needs differ from conventional start-ups. This study uses the framework of organizational sponsorship to explore the acceleration of social start-ups. It is based on in-depth interviews with the founders of 10 start-ups from an impact-oriented incubator in Duisburg, Germany. Through an inductive case study, this research generates three main insights. First, the social-mission focus of these ventures leads to significant differences as compared to commercial ventures. Second, social start-ups profit more from intangible resources such as social capital than from tangible resources such as seed funding. Third, incubators and accelerators need to adapt their offerings to address the needs of social start-ups. This study presents the first systematic assessment of incubator and accelerator services from the perspective of social start-ups. Its main theoretical contribution is to extend the organizational sponsorship framework by proposing a novel support mechanism: impact acceleration.

Keywords: Business incubation; start- up accelerators; social entrepreneurship; social start-ups; organizational sponsorship.

The Impact of COVID-19 Policy Measures on European Companies – Empirical Evidence from Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark and Norway

Heiko Hoppe, Technical University of Munich (Bachelor thesis)
Junior Management Science 7(2), 2021, 267-288

This study investigates the economic consequences of COVID-19 policy measures in Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark and Norway. Using panel data analysis, I examine the effects of various government interventions such as lockdowns or economic support measures on risk-adjusted stock returns of companies in these countries. The findings show that both lockdown-related measures and economic support measures have a positive influence on stock returns. This positive influence is robust against competing effects such as the financial situation of companies and the pandemic itself. This study further finds that the positive influence of policy measures is consistent for companies belonging to sectors that are severely or positively affected by the pandemic. Thereby, this study contributes to the understanding of how COVID-19 policy measures affect companies and closes a research gap by considering these effects in northern European countries. It shows that lockdown-related restrictions have a positive economic impact by hindering the spread of the disease and that economic support measures ease the burden of the pandemic and are thus beneficial.

Keywords: COVID-19; government interventions; financial markets; stock returns; Northern Europe.

Does Meaning Make Teams Work?

Idil Bozay, Technical University of Munich (Bachelor thesis)
Junior Management Science 7(1), 2022, 103-111

Meaning is a major concern of humans and work is no exception. Economics has long considered the work a mere effort-income exchange and underlooked the importance of meaning in work. Although the meaningful work literature gained momentum in the last years, the research focused on the individual outcomes of meaningful work, such as work satisfaction or reservation wage. Today any modern organization relies on teamwork, so identifying the conditions that enhance cooperation is essential. This study addresses the research gap in the literature by assessing the impact of meaningful work on cooperativeness and discusses its components: self and others, job design and job mission. Furthermore, the study hypothesizes that meaningful work enhances cooperation, and proposes an experimental design utilizing the public goods game with a meaningful work treatment using a donation mechanism.

Keywords: Meaningful work; public goods game; cooperation; experimental economics.

The Exercise of Power in Strategy Meetings: A Comparison of Political Behavior in Online and Offline Meetings

Ventana Rebecca Pünchera, University of Zurich (Master thesis)
Junior Management Science 6(4), 2021, 852-890

Understanding how power is exercised in strategy meetings is a vital step toward increasing the effectiveness of strategic
undertakings. The objective of this master thesis is to gain important insights into issues of power and politics by investigating
strategists’ micropolitical tactics in online and offline meetings. Existing research has examined the exercise of power in
meetings, yet there is little understanding to date regarding the evolution of political behavior in online meetings. Hence,
conducting a qualitative case study, this research aims to uncover and compare the applied political tactics in online and
offline meetings. Specifically, several problem-centered interviews were conducted and analyzed by means of a grounded theory
approach. Furthermore, by integrating different power theories, a theoretical framework was developed. The empirical
study reveals that different contextual factors impact power dimensions in meetings. Furthermore, it indicates that employees
draw on specific power resources depending on whether meetings are conducted online or offline. Finally, by highlighting a
paradigm shift of the exercise of power with the trend from offline to online meetings, particular attention is paid to consequences
for strategic work. With these findings, the thesis contributes to the existing strategy-as-practice literature. Moreover,
the generated insights provide managers with knowledge regarding the psychology of the political function of online and
offline meetings.

Keywords: Meeting; power; politics; political behaviour; strategy theory; strategic work.

Environmental Context and Team Structure

Anna Stevanovic, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (Bachelor thesis)
Junior Management Science 6(2), 2021, 393-407

Drawing on contingency and information processing theory, this study examines how environmental complexity and unpredictability influence team structure, namely the vertical hierarchy and the horizontal specification. These relationships are tested empirically using worldwide data from the video game industry covering the period 1995 to 2007. Results show that both, the levels of hierarchy and specialization, increase when teams face a complex environment. Meanwhile, the extent of vertical hierarchy as well as the degree of specialization decrease when teams are exposed to an unpredictable environment. Thereby a trade-off between emphasizing efficiency or choosing a more flexible structure exists.

Keywords: Team structure; external environment; contingency theory; hierarchy; specialization.

Performance of German Family Firms During the Global Financial Crisis

Thilo Wenig, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management (Masterarbeit)
Junior Management Science 6(2), 2021, 237-278

Research on family firm performance has led to inconclusive results which is why scholars called for a differentiated consideration of family firms during exogenous shocks, where costs and benefits of the inherent ownership structure are assumed to be magnified. Following these calls, I use the Global Financial Crisis of 2007 – 2009 as a unique natural experiment where firms have been moved out of their equilibrium while ownership structure maintained constant in the near term. I differentiate between true family firms and lone founder firms and hypothesize that the firm performance of both ownership structures during the Global Financial Crisis is higher than for non-family firms. In a study of 178 firms listed in the German Prime Standard, I found that lone founder ownership was significantly associated with higher firm performance during the GFC, while showing no differences in performance during the period of stable economic conditions prior to the crisis. For true family ownership, in contrast, the results suggest a general tendency of superior performance during the steady-state pre-crisis period, but it could not be established that these firms outperformed other firms during the GFC. Analogously, I found that the presence of a family CEO in true family firms is beneficial for firm performance during stable economic conditions, but the advantageousness seems to vanish in times of severe financial distress.

Keywords: Family firm; ownership; governance; performance; crisis.

The Impact of Management, Family and Employee Ownership Concentration on Firm Performance

Michael Amroudi, Technische Universität München (Bachelorarbeit)
Junior Management Science 6(1), 2021, 81-99

This thesis investigates the relation between ownership structure and firm performance using a sample of 2,120 publicly traded European companies. The question of whether this relation should be positive or negative has been the subject of a wide-ranging discussion and was addressed by many researchers. Of particular interest have been management, family, and employee owners. Nevertheless, there is no consensus in the literature, and empirical studies on European companies are scarce. Utilising data from the European Federation of Employee Share Ownership (EFES) and the Bureau Van Dijk Orbis database, this relation is analysed using multiple linear regression with continuous and categorical predictors. The results show that firms having a management owner concentration up to strategic levels report a significantly higher Tobin’s Q than firms having a no or no significant management concentration. The same effect holds true for family owners and employee owners. Measuring the ownership structure as the fraction of shares of the largest shareholder does not yield a significant effect and highlights the value of management, family, and employee owners.

Keywords: Ownership concentration; family ownership; management ownership; employee ownership; firm performance.

On the Analysis of Moral Hazard Using Experimental Studies

Maria Huber, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (Bachelor thesis)
Junior Management Science 5(4), 2020, 410-428

The term moral hazard generally implies individuals´ tendency to exercise less effort into cost reduction if the negative consequences resulting from their actions are not borne by themselves. This paper analyzes using recent experimental studies under which circumstances moral hazard is likely to occur and how this problem could be mitigated or eliminated. A detailed overview and analysis of field and laboratory experiments from different areas are provided. At first, a description of the experimental process is presented. The paper then concentrates on findings and, additionally, on the discussion of the ethodology. Overall, the results suggest moral hazard to be an important problem in many markets. However, it is found out that experts without personal financial incentives do not respond to customers´ insurance status. Besides, competition mitigates moral hazard on the supply side and evidence shows that moral hazard is less likely to occur in markets for natural disaster insurance where probabilities of damages are low. Additionally, peer pressure and pro-social preferences alleviate the problem of moral hazard in group schemes.

Keywords: First-degree moral hazard; second-degree moral hazard; experiments; analysis.

Kultur als Determinante des Risikoverhaltens von Individuen – Empirische Evidenz von der PGA TOUR

Andreas Johannes Dambaur, University of Zurich (Master thesis)
Junior Management Science 5(3), 2020, 312-348

Diese Arbeit untersucht den Zusammenhang zwischen dem kulturellen Hintergrund eines Individuums und dessen Risikoverhalten im Rahmen der Ausübung seines Berufs. Hierfür wird das Risikoverhalten von professionellen Golfspielern, die auf der PGA TOUR spielen, mithilfe von hybriden Regressionsmodellen analysiert. Das Risikoverhalten wird dabei einerseits anhand der Entscheidung eines Golfers, das Grün anzugreifen, sowie andererseits anhand der Standardabweichung der Scores eines Spielers relativ zu Par auf den 18 Löchern einer Runde gemessen. Der kulturelle Hintergrund eines Spielers wird mithilfe der nationalen Kulturdimensionen nach Hofstede (2001) quantifiziert. Darüber hinaus wird für verschiedene sozio-demographische Risikodeterminanten sowie für Risikodeterminanten, die in Turniersituationen eine Rolle spielen, kontrolliert. Die Ergebnisse zeigen, dass der kulturelle Hintergrund eines Golfers keinen robusten, signifikanten Effekt auf dessen Risikoverhalten hat. Gleichzeitig bestätigen die Resultate jedoch die Relevanz von anderen in der Literatur bekannten Risikodeterminanten.

Keywords: Risk-taking; cultural background; sports economics; behavioral economics.

Giving in Unilaterally Risky Dictator Games: A Model of Allocation Decisions Under Existential Threat

Sarah Franziska Kovatsch, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management (Bachelor thesis)
Junior Management Science 5(1), 2020, 35-49

This study reports experimental results from variations of the standard dictator game that capture different variants of unilaterally risky allocation decisions where only the dictator’s payoff is subject to risk. Thereby, it addresses the question of whether decisions under existential threat, modeled as a risk to the dictator’s payoff, encourage or discourage generosity in individual decision making. It aims at bridging the gap between experimental economics and psychological research on the behavioral impact of mortality salience. Results show that giving in unilterally risky dictator games increases with the risk imposed on the dictator’s payoff. Risk aversion falls short of explaining the increase in generosity. Instead, the observed behavior is most likely motivated by a preference for efficient capital employment. Moreover, dictator games prove to be an apt model for decisions under existential threat.

Keywords: dictator games; risky decisions; mortality salience; generosity; existential threat.

Implementation of Strategic Change by Franchisees: A Sensemaking Perspective

Theresa Langenmayr, University of Zurich (Master thesis)
Junior Management Science 4(2), 2019, 173-194

Franchisees play an important role when inter-organizational change, initiated by franchisors, is to be implemented. The objective of this thesis is to gain insights into franchisees’ sensemaking activities. Drawing on sensemaking theories and franchising literature, a case study on franchisees in the automotive industry reveals how social processes of interaction, within and across their organizational boundaries, influence their interpretations of change initiatives. It contributes to the sensemaking literature through expanding research to inter-organizational change. It also contributes to the franchising literature through analyzing the franchisees’ role during franchisor-initiated change from a sensemaking perspective.

Keywords: sensemaking; inter-organizational change; franchising.

Living is Easy with Eyes closed – Strategische Unwissenheit und eigennütziges Verhalten

Christiane Czech, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Bachelor thesis)
Junior Management Science 4(1), 2019, 101-122

The issue of avoiding information about the consequences of one’s own actions is discussed intensively. Acting that way, makes it harder to be judged for one’s decisions. My bachelor thesis deals with strategic ignorance and self-serving behaviour. This paper aims to explore if people really avoid information to a high degree and whether there are certain situations or circumstances which influence these behaviour patterns. Four different experimental studies were used and compared to a large amount of literature. It is found that intransparency in situations allows for a moral “wiggle room” which makes people’s actions more egoistic. Also, people like to be seen as altruistic. By analyzing the Bayesian signaling model which introduces an agent caring about his self-image, his economic advantages and who has the opportunity to find out about social benefits and the cost of acting social, the findings show that willful ignorance can be an excuse for selfish behaviour and helps maintain the idea that they act up to their ideals. Looking at situations where people have to bring an effort, ignorance shows better outcomes because people work harder when they don’t know about the negative consequences.

Keywords: strategic ignorance, moral wiggle room, dictator games, self-serving behavior.

Economic- and Non-Economic Goals of Family Firms

Markus Probst, Otto Beisheim School of Management (Bachelorarbeit)
Junior Management Science 3(4), 2018, 30-47

Motivated by a lack in the current literature, this thesis reviews academic research on the economic and noneconomic goals of family firms. Heretofore, no detailed overview of different goals embedded in the goal setting-, outcome-, and alignment process has been provided. Using a systematic literature search and review process, I identify 117 relevant studies in the fields of management, economics, and affiliated domains between 1963 and 2018. Beyond a more detailed overview of the current state of research, I outline goal setting, outcomes, alignment, and four different family firm goal classes. Lastly, I show avenues for future research in the family firm–goal field.

Keywords: Family firms, economic goals, non-economic goals, socioemotional wealth

Zur experimentellen Analyse des Zusammenhangs von Feedback, Selbstwirksamkeit und Kreativität

Lea Katharina Haffke, University of Freiburg (Bachelor thesis)
Junior Management Science 3(3), 2018, 38-54

Kreativität – eine Eigenschaft, die im modernen Arbeitsumfeld als unabdingbar gilt. Trotz der hohen Nachfrage nach kreativen MitarbeiterInnen gibt es jedoch weiterhin keine universale Methode, wie Kreativität im Arbeitskontext wirksam gefördert werden kann. Feedback, als weit verbreitetes Führungsinstrument, ist ein kontextabhängiger Faktor, der Kreativität fördern oder hemmen kann. Das Ziel der vorliegenden Arbeit ist es, die Bedingungen unter denen Feedback einen Effekt auf die Kreativität von Personen haben kann, zu untersuchen. Des Weiteren wird betrachtet, welche Bedeutung das psychologische Konzept der Selbstwirksamkeitserwartung in diesem Wirkungszusammenhang hat. Es werden die theoretischen Zusammenhänge zwischen Feedback, Selbstwirksamkeit und Kreativität literaturbasiert aufgearbeitet, um diese anhand der Empirie aus ausgewählten experimentellen Studien zu überprüfen. Abschließend werden zwei eigenständig konzipierte experimentelle Designs vorgestellt, die bestehende Forschungslücken schließen. Die Ergebnisse zeigen, dass Feedback Informationen über die Anforderungen von kreativen Aufgaben vermittelt und daher einen positiven Effekt auf die Kreativität hat. Darüber hinaussteigert Feedback die intrinsische Aufgabenmotivation, welche als wichtiger Vorläufer von Kreativität angesehen wird. Diese kreativitätsfördernden Effekte sind jedoch nur unter der Bedingung möglich, dass Feedback informativ und aufgabenbezogen formuliert wird.

Keywords: Kreativität, Feedback, Selbstwirksamkeit

When Family Businesses Sell

Christopher Khoury, Otto Beisheim School of Management (Bachelorarbeit)
Junior Management Science 3(2), 2018, 151-169

Family businesses favor the transition of ownership taking place within the family. However, the internal succession often fails, leading families to sell their businesses. Thus, in this thesis I aim to investigate the reasons of families for selling their businesses. I compare the perspectives of family owners and their potential successors to reveal their motives for selling the business to an external buyer. I put forward the proposition that the feasibility of a sale option is dependent on the potential sale scenario and the possible survival of the business to increase the sale inclination. My research is based on eight individual interviews with family owners and the next generation. Provided that those family businesses do not have specific internal succession thoughts, I exposed six different scenarios that have a positive or negative inclination towards selling the family business. Once the family owner or the next generation has established a sale intention a sale process is triggered. In my thesis I explore the sale terms that influence the negotiations during the sale process. My findings indicate that the survival of the firm has certain significance in the sale process. Families carefully examine the buyer, the acquisition price, and the anticipated durability in order to decide whether they complete a deal or discontinue the sale process with the particular buyer. With the discontinuance of the sale process, the intention to sell is still present, and the businesses reenter the sale process.

Keywords: Family Business, Mergers and Acquisitions, Management Buy-out/in, Succession, Sales Process

Der Einfluss der Unternehmenskultur auf die Auswahl von M&A-Targets

Maximilian Metz, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (Bachelor thesis)
Junior Management Science 3(1), 2018, 160-179

In der bestehenden Literatur steht die Relevanz der Unternehmenskultur für M&A-Transaktionen außer Frage. Dennoch spaltet sich die Meinung der Wissenschaft, sobald es zu der Frage kommt, ob Kulturunterschiede die ex-post M&A-Performance positiv oder negativ beeinflussen. Dieser Hintergrund wirft die Frage auf, inwiefern die Kultur ein Motiv für die Auswahl der Zielunternehmen darstellt. In dem präsentierten Modell wird Kulturdifferenz in drei Dimensionen (Führungsstil, Ergebnisorientierung und Innovation) anhand von Geschäftsberichtsdaten quantifiziert. Der Vergleich von kapitalmarktorientierten Firmen aus Deutschland und Frankreich vor Abschluss einer Transaktion zeigt, dass nur geringe Differenzen zwischen den zusammenschließenden Firmen existieren. In der Stichprobe scheint das Risiko beim Aufeinandertreffen zweier Kulturen von größerer Bedeutung für Manager zu sein als die Chance Synergien durch Lerneffekte zu realisieren. Da bislang Unternehmenskultur lediglich durch qualitative Forschung untersucht wurde, bildet der Artikel – und damit sein präsentiertes Modell – den Ausgangspunkt, um durch einen quantitativen Ansatz kulturelle Unterschiede messen zu können.

Keywords: Unternehmenskultur, M&A, Target, Risiko, Kulturunterschied

Revenue Sharing in European Football: An Assessment of the Bundesliga’s New Four-Pillar Model

Niklas T. Bretschneider, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management (Bachelor thesis)
Junior Management Science 3(1), 2018, 16-37

This thesis assesses the Bundesliga’s recently introduced TV revenue sharing system. Despite the prominent literature discussing the relationship between revenue sharing in team sports and competitive balance, evaluations of specific distribution systems are limited. Hence, very little is known about the repercussions of different allocation keys on leagues and clubs. Contributing to the sports economics literature, this thesis examines the key decision factors that influence the effectiveness of revenue sharing systems, and analyses the feasibility of the Bundesliga’s reformed system.

It starts with defining the new system, before introducing its background and a brief history of revenue sharing in the Bundesliga. Then this thesis sketches the most important concepts in sports economics, i.e. competitive balance and demand, before pointing out interdependencies between them. Afterwards, revenue sharing is introduced as a means to enhance competitive balance, including a brief description of alternative mechanisms. To compare the new model externally, revenue sharing models of other major sports leagues are presented. Finally, it evaluates the Bundesliga’s current situation in order to comprehend the league’s potential objectives. The thesis discusses possibilities on how revenue sharing can help the Bundesliga achieve those objectives, and ultimately assesses the new system’s feasibility in doing so. After modelling the league’s potential reaction to different revenue sharing models, its result is that the four-pillar model features several useful mechanisms, but does not give sufficient weight to them. The thesis’ assessment consequently is that the reformed system can be generally seen as positive, with room for further enhancements. It concludes with some starting points for potential future improvements, namely (1) increasing the equally-distributed share, (2) scaling up the new pillars’ relative importance and mitigating the danger of an overdominant team, and (3) implementing a top-to-bottom maximum payout cap.

Keywords: TV Revenue Sharing, Four-Pillar Model, Bundesliga, Football, Soccer, DFL

Corporate Divestment Decision Factors: A Systematic Review

Anastasia Kieliszek, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (Bachelor thesis)
Junior Management Science 2(3), 2017, 104-123

I study the underlying decision factors of corporate business entity divestments. Specifically, I address four questions. Firstly, what are decision factors concerning the business entity (divestment object) itself that influence divestment? I conclude from previous research that negative entity performance, insufficient benefits from the interplay between entities (whether between related or unrelated entities) and entity inferiority to marketplace alternatives (whether concerning costs or market opportunities) each considerably increases business entity divestment likelihood.
Secondly, what are the psychological factors within decision-makers that influence divestment? I show from previous research that decision-makers’ familiarity with the entity’s business segment may distort a decision-maker’s entity assessment, thus biasing divestment decisions; escalation of commitment may lead to retaining failing projects despite being aware of their poor performance; and the managerial incentive to conceal investment mistakes may at least postpone divestment as a result of self-interests.

Thirdly, what factors in the organizational context influence divestment? I find from previous research that negative firm performance and path dependence of preceding divestments increase general propensity to divest, whereas units that are perceived to be essential to organizational image and identity are more reluctantly exited.

Fourthly, which external stakeholders are important influencing factors in divestment? I indicate from previous research that the media, political entities, and blockholders may pressure decision-makers significantly and sway divestment decisions.

Keywords: Corporate Divestment, Decision Factors, Psychological Factors, Organizational Factors, External Factors

Biases bei betriebswirtschaftlichen Entscheidungen in Großprojekten und Lösungsansätze: Aktueller Stand der Theorie und Empirie

Marcus Pfeiffer, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (Master thesis)
Junior Management Science 2(3), 2017, 48-72

Weltweit werden immer mehr Großprojekte realisiert, obwohl diese meist verspätet, überteuert und öffentlich umstritten sind. Ein häufiger Grund für dieses Mega-Project-Paradox sind Biases in der betriebswirtschaftlichen Entscheidungsfindung. Dieser Artikel gibt einen Überblick über sechs häufige Biases in den drei Phasen von Großprojekten: Projektdefinition (Optimism Bias), Projektdurchführung (Overconfidence Bias, Escalation of Commitment, Sunk Cost Bias, Reporting Bias) und Projektabschluss (Hindsight Bias). Zusätzlich werden geeignete Debiasing-Strategien vorgestellt, die das Management von Großprojekten verbessern können.

Keywords: mega project, project management, bias, debiasing, Projektmanagement im Großprojekt

Kognitive Verzerrungen im strategischen Entscheidungsprozess

Lucas Mantke, Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt (Bachelor thesis)
Junior Management Science 2(1), 2017, 117-135

Strategische Entscheidungen bilden seit Jahrzehnten einen wesentlichen Schwerpunkt der Managementforschung. Es existieren inzwischen zahlreiche Modelle des strategischen Entscheidungsprozesses, die jeweils unterschiedliche Schwerpunkte setzen. Doch trotz dieser beachtlichen Modellvielfalt lassen sich wesentliche Elemente realer Entscheidungssituationen in Unternehmen nicht ausreichend erklären. So weicht das Verhalten von Entscheidungsträgern oft deutlich und systematisch von dem ab, was die normative Entscheidungstheorie erwarten ließe. Einen wesentlichen Beitrag zur Erklärung dieser Abweichungen kann die Berücksichtigung kognitiver Verzerrungen liefern. Kognitive Verzerrungen entstehen aufgrund der kognitiven Limitierungen, denen Entscheidungsträger angesichts der hohen Komplexität und Unsicherheit strategischer Entscheidungen ausgesetzt sind.
Die vorliegende Arbeit gibt einen Überblick über wesentliche kognitive Verzerrungen, die den strategischen Entscheidungsprozess beeinflussen können. Dazu wird durch eine systematische Auswertung hochqualitativer Zeitschriften der aktuelle Forschungsstand heraus- gearbeitet und dargestellt. Unter Einbeziehung kognitionspsychologischer Forschungsergebnisse wird entlang eines idealtypischen strategischen Entscheidungsprozesses erläutert, wie sich kognitive Verzerrungen auf die einzelnen Phasen strategischer Entscheidungen auswirken können. Es wird deutlich, dass Entscheidungsträger in strategischen Entscheidungssituationen zahlreichen kognitiven Verzerrungen unterliegen, die mitunter zu schweren Fehlentscheidungen führen können. Die explizite Berücksichtigung kognitiver Verzerrungen kann daher einen wesentlichen Beitrag zur Verbesserung der Qualität strategischer Entscheidungen leisten und damit zum langfristigen Erfolg eines Unternehmens beitragen.

Keywords: Strategisches Entscheidungsverhalten, Kognitive Verzerrung, Kognitiver Bias, Behavioral Strategy, Strategisches Management

Einfluss der Gestaltung von Büroräumlichkeiten auf die Arbeitsplatzzufriedenheit von Führungskräften – Eine Untersuchung anhand eines Schweizer Dienstleistungsunternehmens

Rico Rozzi, Universität Zürich (Bachelorarbeit)
Junior Management Science 2(1), 2017, 49-80

In dieser Arbeit wird der Einfluss von Charakteristika verschiedener Büroraumkonzepte auf die Arbeitsplatzzufriedenheit von Führungskräften anhand eines Schweizer Dienstleistungsunternehmens untersucht. Dabei wurden für die Erhebung der Daten mehrere Experteninterviews mit Führungspersonen, die in verschiedenen Büroraumkonzepten arbeiten, durchgeführt und danach mittels qualitativer Inhaltsanalyse ausgewertet. Die aus der Fallstudie gewonnenen Erkenntnisse wurden anschliessend mit bestehender Literatur in Verbindung gebracht, mit dem Ziel, Unterschiede und Gemeinsamkeiten zwischen den untersuchten Führungspersonen und bestehenden Ergebnissen, die mehrheitlich auf der gesamten Mitarbeiterbelegung basieren, zu identifizieren.

Aus den Untersuchungen kann die Erkenntnis gewonnen werden, dass ein Grossteil der bestehenden Ergebnisse auch auf die untersuchten Führungspersonen zutrifft. Allerdings können vor allem hinsichtlich der Interaktion und Privatheit in Büroräumen Unterschiede in den Faktoren aufgezeigt werden, welche der Zufriedenheit von Führungskräften zugrunde liegen. Die Arbeitsplatzzufriedenheit von Führungspersonen hängt massgeblich davon ab, ob ihr Büro ihre Arbeitstätigkeit und Kommunikation mit dem Team ausreichend gut unterstützt. Ausserdem wurde ersichtlich, dass auch Routinen und kulturelle Einflüsse eine relevante Rolle für die Arbeitsplatzzufriedenheit von Führungspersonen einnehmen. In der Fallstudie lässt sich hingegen keine Bedeutung des Arbeitsraumes hinsichtlich des innerbetrieblichen Status und dessen Wirkung auf die Zufriedenheit nachweisen.

Keywords: Arbeitszufriedenheit, Arbeitsplatzgestaltung, Bürogestaltung, Führungskräfte, Arbeitsräume

CEO Communication during Strategic Change: A Regulatory Focus Perspective

Patrick Knust, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (Bachelor thesis)
Junior Management Science 2(1), 2017, 1-16

The study examines CEO communication in times of strategic change based on regulatory focus theory that describes individuals’ promotion and prevention focus. While promotion-focused individuals strive for maximizing gains, prevention-focused individuals strive for minimizing losses. As CEO communication is especially relevant during strategic changes, when fundamental processes and beliefs are affected and employees need sense-making and meaning-making contributions, the paper analyzes the regulatory focus of CEO letters to shareholders in annual reports and links it to the intensity of change that the organization is currently executing. The paper first develops existing analysis tools further and examines regulatory focus of CEOs as well as the type of change qualitatively from annual reports. Secondly, the paper ties the intensity of change to the CEO regulatory focus quantitatively. Results indicate a persistence of both promotion as well as prevention elements in CEO letters to shareholders. While controlling for contextual variables of the organization, the findings furthermore show a positive association between a more promotion-focused CEO letter to shareholders and the intensity of the organization’s change.

Keywords: CEO Communication, Strategic Change, Regulatory Focus Theory, Promotion Focus, Prevention Focus

Do Elite Students Good? The Impact of Social Background on CSR Perception – an Empirical Analysis

Annika Kreil, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (Bachelor thesis)
Junior Management Science 1(2), 2016, 61-83

More and more companies are pursuing corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. Current scientific literature mainly evaluates the underlying economic and non-economic motivations of CSR. This thesis aims to expand the current framework and empirically investigate the impact of managers’ social background on CSR perception. Therefore, I first review Bourdieu’s theory of social reproduction with a special notion of the different forms of capital and the concept of habitus as well as existing research on CSR perception with an emphasis on stakeholder theory. In a next step, I developed an online questionnaire that combines these two concepts. This questionnaire was sent to students of the Bavarian EliteAcademy, a program that educates future leaders from all social backgrounds. The results of the regression reveal that social background is influential in determining the importance put on shareholder interests. Moreover, students align their ranking of stakeholder importance with their self-perception as stakeholders. Self-perception as shareholders shows most correlations with social background variables. These findings support the hypothesis that social background affects CSR perception. It is especially interesting that students who might assume future leadership positions are already now united by a similar habitus.

Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Stakeholder theory, Bourdieu’s Social Reproduction Theory, Habitus, Leadership

Learning from Business Failure – Does Restarting Affect the Business Model Design?

Alice Katharina Bauer, Otto von Guericke University of Magdeburg (Master thesis)
Junior Management Science 1(2), 2016, 32-60

Business failure is an existent and severe threat for entrepreneurs, but also offers an opportunity for learning. According to literature, failed entrepreneurs are facing a tremendous learning experience. However, only very few studies focus on the long-term entrepreneur-related consequences of failure and even less work is available on entrepreneurs who decide to restart (Ucbasaran et al. (2013)). The goal of the thesis is to enhance business failure literature by focusing on behavioral outcomes of failure-based learning in the context of entrepreneurs who decide to restart after experiencing business failure. Hence, it will be possible to analyze whether cognitive learning processes result in changes of the entrepreneur’s behaviors and actions with respect to the subsequent business. Thus, the aim is to answer the following research questions: (1) How do business models of an entrepreneur’s failed business and the subsequent business differ? (2) What explains possible business model differences? The business model concept is employed as a unit of analysis to identify learning outcomes of entrepreneurs by comparing the business
models of the initial, failed business and the subsequent business by conducting an in-depth multiple-case study. Particularly, five semistructured interviews with entrepreneurs who failed and restarted were conducted to allow for the theory building approach according to Eisenhardt (1989). In addition, to triangulate data and enrich the findigns objectively two interviews were held with bankruptcy trustees, experts in the field of business failure. Especially the information provided by the experts enhanced the cross-case analysis. By employing the business model concept as a unit of analysis in the context of restart entrepreneurship, I am able to provide in-depth, empirically-based insights into behavioral outcomes of failure-based entrepreneurial learning. The multiple-case study provides evidence that an entrepreneur rather improves the business model of the failed business than creating a completely novel business model design for a subsequent, new business. Findings also show that learning from failure is affected by situation-specific, entrepreneur-related conditions, which becomes obvious in the business model design of the subsequent businesses. Particularly, the time span between failure and restart, external support and outside options have an impact. Thus, learning from business failure does not automatically take place but is affected by the entrepreneur’s willingness and ability to reflect on past experiences and further conditions that are beyond the entrepreneur’s scope of influence. Therefore, the thesis enhances existing literature on failure-based learning as it highlights that failure-based learning does not happen automatically, but requires certain cognitive capabilities that depict a precondition for successful transfer of learning outcomes to an operational level. Overall, the thesis emphasizes a difference between business closure and serial entrepreneurship on the one hand and business failure and restart entrepreneurship on the other hand. This distinction is of particular importance for entrepreneurship research, as the behavior of serial entrepreneurs seems to follow a different logic compared to restart entrepreneurs. This important finding calls for future research that may rely on the thesis as groundwork and contributes to a deeper understanding of restart entrepreneurship. Managers or entrepreneur on the other hand shall use the findings as a guide. The thesis highlights the importance of the business model
and its benefits for the real-world as a tool to objectively consider value creation and capture. In particular, the entrepreneur or manager shall check and critically analyze his or her business in terms of the internal and external fit the business model design. Furthermore, in the case of an approaching or already existent business failure, entrepreneurs should take time for reflection and learning; consider external
advice and accept responsibilities and deal with costs of failure openly.

Keywords: Business Failure, Learning, Restart Entrepreneurship, Business Model

Effektive Prävention ethisch-moralisch bedingter Unternehmenskrisen – Eine fallbasierte Untersuchung in Deutschland und den USA

Sonja A.-M. Hammel, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (Master thesis)
Junior Management Science 1(1), 2016, 216-274

Unternehmen geraten schon lange nicht mehr nur mit positiven Meldungen in die Schlagzeilen der Presse. Unternehmen sind Organisationen, die sich aus Menschen zusammensetzen. Menschen treffen zuweilen ethisch-moralisch bedenkliche Entscheidungen, lassen sich z.B. zu korruptem oder betrügerischem Verhalten hinreißen. Solch ein Verhalten kann sich, auf die gesamte Organisation bezogen, über Prozesse positiver Rückkopplungseffekte, zu starren Strukturen und festgefahrenen Verhaltensmustern entwickeln. Einmal festgefahrene Strukturen können auf Dauer nur noch durch ein Aufrütteln des ganzen Unternehmens, z.B. in Form einer Unternehmenskrise, aufgebrochen werden. Diese Schilderung spiegelt eine ethisch-moralisch bedingte Unternehmenskrise aus der Perspektive der Theorie Organisationaler Pfadabhängigkeit wider.

Mittels einer fallbasierten Untersuchung selektierter DAX 30- und Dow Jones 30-Krisenfälle im Zeitraum von 1988 bis 2014 schafft diese explorative Arbeit ein tieferes Verständnis ethisch-moralisch bedingter Unternehmenskrisen. Eine integrierte Betrachtung ethisch-moralisch bedingter Unternehmenskrisen und der Theorie Organisationaler Pfadabhängigkeit soll Ansatzpunkte für eine effektive Prävention dieser Krisen liefern. Zu diesem Zweck wird eine vergleichende Analyse besonders für diese Art von Unternehmenskrisen anfälliger bzw. unanfälliger Unternehmen durchgeführt. Dabei werden Maßnahmen wie Reputationsmanagement, Corporate Governance oder Compliance-Programme etc. auf ihre Eignung als Krisenpräventionsmaßnahmen untersucht.

Die vorliegende Arbeit liefert wertvolle Erkenntnisse zum Verständnis ethisch-moralisch bedingter Unternehmenskrisen. Abgeleitet werden darüber hinaus qualitative Ansätze für ein Pfadbrechen, d.h. das Nutzen einer solchen Unternehmenskrise als Chance, um mit festgefahrenen Strukturen und Verhaltensweisen, also dem Pfad, zu brechen, um künftige ethisch-moralisch bedingte Unternehmenskrisen zu vermeiden.

Keywords: Prävention von Unternehmenskrisen, Krisenmanagement, Organisationale Pfadabhängigkeit, Qualitative Untersuchung (USA/ Deutschland)

Inkommensurabilität – Implikationen für die evolutionäre Organisationstheorie unter begriffstheoretischer und epistemologischer Perspektive

Nicolas Wüthrich, University of Zurich (Bachelor thesis)
Junior Management Science 1(1), 2016, 188-215

Innerhalb der Organisationstheorie ist ein Theoriepluralismus zu konstatieren, der sich in einer Vielzahl unterschiedlicher Erklärungsansätze und Konzeptualisierungen des Verhaltens betriebswirtschaftlich organisierter Unternehmen äussert. Dreh- und Angelpunkt für die Beantwortung der Frage, wie dieser Theoriepluralismus zu bewerten ist, bildet der Begriff der Inkommensurabilität.
Die vorliegende Untersuchung nimmt sich dieser Thematik an. In einem ersten Schritt wird der Begriff der Inkommensurabilität analysiert. Zielpunkt dieser
Begriffsklärung ist ein metatheoretischer Bezugsrahmen, der mit einer begriffstheoretischen und einer epistemologischen Bedingung ein Kriterienpaket bereithält, welches die Grundlagen der Inkommensurabilität sicht- und handhabbar macht. Anhand dieses Bezugsrahmens werden in einem zweiten Schritt exemplarisch Implikationen der Inkommensurabilitätsthematik für die evolutionäre Organisationstheorie dargelegt. Die Implikationen werden in Form von acht inter- und intratheoretischen Befunden erläutert.

Diese Argumentationslinie ermöglicht abschliessend eine reflektierte Einschätzung des Theoriepluralismus und die Exponierung einer neuen  Forschungsstrategie für die Grundlagendebatte in der Organisationstheorie.

Keywords: Theoriepluralismus, Inkommensurabilität, Thomas S. Kuhn, Evolutionäre Organisationstheorie

Practical Implications of the Ambidexterity Concepts

Nina Gusenleitner, Johannes Kepler University Linz (Diploma thesis)
Junior Management Science 1(1), 2016, 138-187

Scientific publications treating the topic of ambidexterity have experienced a great increase in number since the last twenty years. However, the implications for managers to achieve ambidexterity in practice remain a largely neglected field of research. This thesis aims at bridging the rigor-relevance gap regarding the concept of ambidexterity by systematically reviewing findings from academic and practitioner literature in order to provide practical implications for managers to reconcile exploration and exploitation and to, thus, achieve ambidexterity in practice.

Keywords: Ambidexterity, Practical implications, Exploitation, Rigor-relevance gap

Relative Performance Information and Financial Incentives in Multidimensional Task Settings – A Conceptual and Experimental Analysis of Effects on Performance and Attention towards Task Dimensions

Nadine Eichhorn, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (Master thesis)
Junior Management Science 1(1), 2016, 100-137

The provision of Relative Performance Information (RPI) is commonly used by firms to increase the performance of their employees. In case employees have to fulfil tasks that involve multiple dimensions, firms have to decide on the dimensionality of RPI and can basically choose between unidimensional and multidimensional Performance Information. I discuss behavioural effects of unidimensional and multidimensional RPI under different compensation schemes and apply a controlled laboratory experiment to empirically test the influence of the dimensionality of RPI on performance and attention towards task dimensions. The study demonstrates that solely the provision of unidimensional RPI improves performance in multidimensional task settings while the effects for multidimensional RPI are small and insignificant. Importantly, both unidimensional and multidimensional RPI imply a negative effect on the performance of participants with a low position in the provided ranking on overall performance. Additionally, the application of performance-based compensation negatively moderates the performance impact of both forms of RPI which though seem to be especially critical for multidimensional RPI. In this regard, multidimensional RPI induces a significant performance decrease compared to unidimensional RPI in the presence of a performance-based contract. The findings provide some indication that a distortion of attention toward the ‘quantity’ dimension of the applied experimental task may have caused the negative performance effect. Notably, the experimental results do not indicate increased learning effects regarding a task-specific strategy under multidimensional as compared to unidimensional RPI. Overall, no significant differences in attention towards task dimensions between the two forms of RPI can be shown.

Keywords: Relative performance information, Incentive schemes, Multidimensional tasks, Social comparison theory, Competition, Feedback

Rückzug auf Raten – Management strategischen Wandels: Eine retrospektive Längsschnittstudie am Beispiel der ChemCo.

Friederike E. Rhein, Hamburg University of Technology (Master thesis)
Junior Management Science 1(1), 2016, 60-99

Nicht zuletzt haben die Neuordnung der weltweiten Chemie-Branche infolge von M&A-Aktivitäten und die aktuelle Konsolidierungswelle gezeigt, wie Traditionskonzerne vermehrt wichtige Teile der Unternehmenswurzeln kappen oder in eine „bessere Heimat“ überführen. Angesichts der fortschreitenden Commoditisierung von Kernmärkten und verstärkter Konkurrenz aufstrebender Schwellenländer, trennen sich Unternehmen häufig von weniger rentablen Geschäftssparten, um sich voll und ganz auf lukrative Geschäfte zu konzentrieren und die eigene Zukunft zu sichern. Dass Anpassungen an veränderte Markt- und Wettbewerbsbedingungen und damit verbundene radikale Schnitte häufig auch „zögerlich“ verlaufen können, führt die vorliegende Fallstudie der ChemCo vor Augen. In dem Bemühen verschiedene Wirkungsmechanismen zum spezifischen Zustandekommen eines sukzessiven, über einen Zeitraum von 13 Jahren langfristig vollzogenen „Rückzugs auf Raten“ aufzudecken, werden Rückzugsstrategien innerhalb einer retrospektive Längsschnittstudie unter ihrem Potential zur Implementierung strategischen Wandels untersucht und spezifische Phänomene von Trägheit in den Vordergrund gerückt. Entgegen ihrer praktischen Relevanz werden Rückzüge als eigenständiges strategisches Werkzeug zur Neuausrichtung in der Managementforschung wenig thematisiert und oft als bloßes Spiegelbild zu M&A-Transaktionen als eine Maßnahme innerhalb Restrukturierungsprogrammen betrachtet. Analysen ist vorrangig eine rein statische Sichtweise zugrunde gelegt. Um tiefergehende Einblicke in das Prozessgeschehen zu gewinnen wurde innerhalb einer retrospektiven Längsschnittstudie auf eine bestimmte Produktgruppe eines deutschen Chemieunternehmens fokussiert und die Geschäftstätigkeit, von den Anfängen im Familienbetrieb bis zum Aufgang im internationalen Großkonzern, untersucht. Die Analyse war darauf gerichtet ein genaueres Bild über spezifische Merkmale und Einflussfaktoren von Rückzugsprozessen zu erlangen und einen Beitrag zu einem besseren Verständnis von Wandlungsbarrieren in der Strategieimplementierung zu leisten.
Basierend auf einer Reihe von problemzentrierten Interviews sowie vielfältigen Dokumentationen und Archivdaten unterschiedlicher
Bestände wurden die forschungsleitenden Fragestellungen explorativ untersucht. Unter Zuhilfenahme von Techniken der Grounded Theory werden Formen und Ursachen augenscheinlicher Beharrungstendenzen aus verschiedenen Positionen der Organisationstheorie analysiert. Im Zusammenwirken der Wandlungsbarrieren können verriegelnde Prozesse und dominante Entscheidungsmuster im Rückzugsverlauf aufgedeckt und eine eingetretene „Lock-In-Situation“ ermittelt werden. Erst unter spezifischen Bedingungskonstellationen konnten nachgewiesene Rigiditäten erfolgreich durchbrochen und ein letztlich vollständiger Ausstieg aus schrumpfenden Kerngeschäften langfristig vollzogen werden. Unterschiedliche Konzeptionen der Organisationstheorie, insbesondere Arbeiten zur Pfadabhängigkeit, liefern hierzu wichtige Erklärungsansätze. Damit wird nicht der Anspruch einer Generalisierbarkeit verfolgt, sondern ein Einblick in die Vielschichtigkeit und Multikontext-Probleme des Feldes strategischer Wandelprozesse angestrebt. Die Forschungsergebnisse erhellen grundlegend das Verständnis für verschiedene Wirkaspekte, welche im Rahmen der Wandlungs-
vorhaben begrenzenden Charakter besitzen und im Fallgeschehen zu langfristigen Ineffizienzen führten. In Verbindung mit analysierten Verknüpfungen zwischen strategischen Prozessen und Veränderungen des organisationalen Kontext, wird hierbei die Ambivalenz beeinflussender Faktoren, die einerseits als Treiber des Wandels erscheinen, sich gleichsam aber auch in Trägheitstendenzen äußern und zu Pfadabhängigkeiten führen können verdeutlicht. Es wird die Abkehr einer isolierten Betrachtung von Strategie- und Wandelprozessen und Integration einer dynamischen Dimension zum besseren Verständnis von Strategieprozessen betont, wie in der Strategieprozessforschung
gegenwärtig verstärkt propagiert.

Keywords: Strategischer Wandel, Rückzugsstrategien, Corporate Restructuring, Organisationale Trägheit, Pfadabhängigkeit