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Strategy

Strategy research group’s research focuses on the areas of Strategy and business innovations, International management and Micro foundations of business strategy. The research group seeks to provide answers to the fundamental question of strategic management - what are the factors influencing a long-term success of organizations. Our research interests cover such key areas as micro foundations of business strategy, strategy and business model innovations, mission driven organizational culture, internationalization, international business expansion, business development and corporate strategy. The group members’ research has appeared in scholarly journals such as Technological Forecasting and Social Change and Journal of Modelling in Management.
 
Strategy and business innovations
At ISM we aim to explore the frontiers of strategic management and its link to other disciplines. The static approach of research in the field of strategy is in the past, so it is more important to focus on relevant topics such as networks and alliances, organizational capabilities, entrepreneurship, global strategy, strategic process, resource-based view, strategy evolutionary approach, technological competencies, strategy and economics, psychological foundations of strategic management and innovation. Out of  these , another direction of strategy research evolves, i.e. strategy activation. There is a lot of research performed globally on strategy formulation and implementation. However, research on organizational capacity to activate and make strategy really work is limited. This direction of research initiated with John P. Kotter’s article “Accelerate!” in 2012 where he discussed the value of technologies and how they can be used to create a shadow organization made up of willing coalitions of people ready to drive the company’s strategic frontiers. The handovers that take place between strategy formulation and implementation need to be eliminated and we aim to research what they are and what makes strategy alive in organizations. The results of this research help strategies to become more effective because they are crafted on strong organizational DNA. So that the link between formulation and implementation – strategy activation – is the focus of strategy research at ISM.
In the area we seek to answer the following questions:
• What is the role of networks and alliances in the organizational strategy?
• How do organizational capabilities, entrepreneurship, global strategy, strategic process impact strategic thinking?
• How do psychological foundations of strategic management and innovation influence performance and other organizational outcomes?
• What is the value of technologies and innovations in the organizational strategy?
 
International management
International business and trade play an important role in the growth of most national economies. Due to the growing global competition internationalisation has become an increasingly common strategy for firms around the world. International business is a multidisciplinary field that has been studied from diverse domains, such as economics, organisation studies, organisational behaviour and human resource management, entrepreneurship, etc. It also addresses a wide array of research areas that fall under such broad streams as the internationalisation process, the impact of cultural differences on the success of a firm’s internationalisation and managerial decision-making, issues related to the operations of multinational companies, headquarter-subsidiary relationships in regards to control, autonomy, knowledge transfer, etc. A growing research stream in international business relates to the internationalisation of firms from emerging and post-Soviet economies, which are still lagging in their internationalisation process in comparison to advanced economies.
ISM research in the field of international business falls under the following strands. First, given the dearth of research on the internationalisation of firms in the post-Soviet context, ISM researchers seek to contribute to the field of international business by investigating the internationalisation – drivers, barriers, resources, strategies, social capital, etc. Secondly, given the relevance of human resources in a firm’s internationalisation and the impact of institutional and cultural environments on it, ISM is also engaged in comparative HRM research and is an active member of Cranfield Network on International Human Resource Management. Finally, ISM researchers also conduct research on the internationalisation of higher education institutions.
In the area we seek to answer the following questions:
• How do a post-Soviet country firms internationalise and operate in foreign markets?
• What factors help predicting foreign market entry of firms across different industries?
• What factors explain their survival and export development?
• How does a firm’s internationalisation contribute to its performance in the domestic market, survival in foreign and domestic markets, product and process innovation?
• How do institutional and cultural factors affect human resource management strategies and practices?
• How does international experience of the academic staff affect individual and organisational performance?
 
Microfoundations of business strategy​
The traditional unit of analysis in studying competitiveness has primarily been the firm or industry where researchers have explained firm-level outcomes mainly using firm-level variables, such as capabilities, industry structure or similar. Microfoundations of business strategy unpack such collective constructs as organizations and study the underlying constituents and networks. The area emphasizes the role of heterogeneous individuals, top management and their interaction in driving firm-level outcomes. Technologies increasingly allow to study underlying constituents who are not only the individuals within the organization—important as they are—but also the sets of processes, routines, artefacts or “things” that also play a huge role in organizational outcomes, and microfoundations lay the solid background for these studies. ISM contribution concentrates in two areas: behavioral strategy (managerial and organizational cognition) and microfoundations of knowledge management and learning. Utilizing up-to-date social network analysis (SNA) methodologies as well as social and cognitive psychology tools, we consider the role of conscious and unconscious biases of executives, managers, teams, and organizations in strategic decision making, and seek to answer how the mental processes of individual managers affect collective leadership behavior. One of the fruitful application areas at ISM deals with emerging business models and economics of platforms. Another area is managerial learning networks and their impact on organizational outcomes and on the society.
In the area we seek to answer the following questions:
• What are the microfoundations of new business models and platform management?
• What are the microfoundations of effective learning design and organizational learning outcomes?
• How does a micro-foundational or behavioral strategy perspective supplement current conceptual understanding of strategy decisions and structure?
• How do strategy microfoundations differ for firms from developed country markets vis-à-vis firms from developing or emerging markets?
• How does the microfoundations perspective explain the role of top managers and leadership in managing, interacting and benefitting from social networks in business to business settings?
• Does utilizing a micro-foundational or behavioral perspective in strategic issues call for new research methodologies?
 
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