PhD Dissertations

Wendy BRADLEY, Strategy and Business Policy, 2017

Three essays on patent pools and technical standards

Advisor(s): Thomas ASTEBRO


This thesis investigates the impact of patent pools for technical standards on the direction of cumulative innovation. It examines eight modern patents pools in the information and communication technology sector and measures the effect of pool formation and pool extension on rates of follow-on innovation in the direction of pool technology.Patent pools are the subject of much theoretical and empirical work. The aim of this thesis is to fill a gap in current literature that focuses on the motivations of firms to join a patent pool.This thesis contributes to the literature by extending analyses to the introduction of patents to patent pools over time. It consists of three empirical studies. Patent pools as institutions possess mechanisms that encourage and discourage innovation. The formation of a patent pool and its extension as a result of the addition of patents to the patent pool after its launch may alter the incentives to innovate of outsider firms. This, in turn, may have important impacts on competition and society. Finally, this thesis also analyzes the evolution of an industry that is particularly linked to technology in patents pools—the film industry.Digitization has transformed movie distribution and technological disruption has altered the supply and demand dimensions of this market. The main findings of these three studies arepresented at the beginning of each chapter.

Cédric GUTIERREZ MORENO, Strategy and Business Policy, 2017

Three essays on entrepreneurial decision making

Advisor(s): Mohammed ABDELLAOUI, Thomas ASTEBRO


Explaining why individuals enter into entrepreneurship has been challenging. In this thesis, I take a behavioral perspective and analyze the effects on entrepreneurial entry of behavioral mechanisms that have been understudied in the entrepreneurship literature.The first essay proposes to disentangle the effects on market entry of two mechanisms that may have been confounded: overconfidence and attitude toward ambiguity. This essay highlights the critical role of ambiguity attitude on the decision to enter a market, particularly when the result depends on one’s skills, such as entry into entrepreneurship. The very nature of entrepreneurship is to invest capital and time with the hope of receiving future financial benefits. I therefore argue that understanding entrepreneurs’ temporal preferences for time and money can provide new insights on the determinants of entry into entrepreneurship.While intertemporal choice involving money has been studied extensively in the behavioral literature, very few studies have analyzed the way people discount time, despite the fact that it is a scarce and valuable resource. The second essay investigates this issue in a laboratory experiment. Finally, using a lab-in-the-field experiment, the third essay analyzes temporal preferences for money and time of a comparable sample of future entrepreneurs and future managers.

Aleksey KORNIYCHUK, Strategy and Business Policy, 2017

Essays in Behavioral Strategy: Re-biased Search, Misconceived Complexity, and Cognitive Aliens

Advisor(s): Gonçalo PACHECO DE ALMEIDA, Tomasz OBLOJ


This work centers on the tenet that organizational rationality is bounded: decision makers search, satisfice, and think in a way that is typical (in its integrity) only of humans. The dissertation explores this interplay between search and decision maker’s cognition and demonstrates how biases in characteristic aspects of our thinking can be instruments of behavioral strategy. As a starting point, I take search, sequential generation and evaluation of alternatives, as the first primitive of bounded rationality and complement it with integral elements of human cognition, such as automatic, intuitive thinking, specifically affect heuristic, and imperfect mental representations of reality. With the help of computational models, I track the effects of the corresponding biases (systematic affective preferences and systematic errors in mental representations) over time as organizations adapt to complex environments. This allows me to identify life cycles of the elements of human cognition and show that organizations should manage (rather than eliminate) some biases over time. Finally, I derive predictions and empirically test a subset of my propositions. In conclusion, this work aims to advance the emerging theory of behavioral strategy by jointly considering different primitives of bounded rationality and integrating them with the existing knowledge in organization sciences. A broad question that motivates this work is how organizations can manage the many bounds to human rationality.

Eui Ju JEON, Strategy and Business Policy, 2017

Antecedents and Consequences of Exploration and Exploitation Decisions: Evidence from CorporateVenture Capital Investing

Advisor(s): Pierre DUSSAUGE, Corey PHELPS


This dissertation addresses unexplored issues on the antecedents, management, and outcomes of corporate venture capital (CVC). More specifically, I examine how negative performance feedback and corporate governance influence the direction of organizational change ˗ in terms of exploration and exploitation ˗ and how balancing such change over time influences firm performance in the CVC context. I first review the extant literature on CVC and lay out the unique contributions of my research. Then, in the first essay, I theorize on how poor firm performance influences the resource allocation decisions on exploration and exploitation and how such decisions are affected by the concentration of dedicated and transient shareholders and by the board of directors' monitoring and advising intensities. In the second essay, I empirically examine how the resource allocation decisions on exploration and exploitation are influenced by dedicated and transient shareholders in the context of CVC investing. In the third essay, I examine how balancing exploration and exploitation over time and the characteristics of oscillation impact firm performance. The empirical analysis in the latter two essays is based on CVC investments made by 287 companies during 1993-2013. This dissertation contributes to the Behavioral Theory of the Firm and Corporate Governance research by introducing how shareholders and boards influence managerial decision-making in search and change, Ambidexterity research by studying how continuous change and organizational inertia impact temporal spillover between exploration and exploitation, and CVC research by examining the antecedents and consequences of explorative and exploitative initiatives in CVC investing.

João ALBINO PIMENTEL, Strategy and Business Policy, 2016

Three Essays on the Influence of Political Connections on Firms International Expansion Strategy

Advisor(s): Pierre DUSSAUGE


This dissertation is composed of the three essays, each contributing to address part of the puzzle regarding how different types of political connections affect firms’ international expansion strategies and performance. The first essay examines how political connections moderate the relationship between host country attributes and international strategy in a sample of greenfield investments in manufacturing during the 2003-2010 period. The second and third essays examine how political connections directly impact a firm’s international expansion strategies and performance. The second essay investigates the role of different types of political connections on a firm’s international investments amount and risk profile. Finally, the third essay analyzes the role of political connections as an explanatory factor of firms’ ability to accelerate the provision of funding and development of their project finance-based investments. Both the latter two essays rely on an original dataset on various political connections enjoyed by the largest French firms during the 2003-2012 period.

Guo BAI, Strategy and Business Policy, 2016

Three essays on the governance design in the digital age

Advisor(s): Bertrand MOINGEON


The main objective of this dissertation is to explain why coordinative efficiency,creative efficiency, together with static efficiency are all critical goals of governance design in digital age, and to explore innovative governance arrangements, beyond the one-dimensional line defined by “market” and “hierarchy”, that can facilitate the processes of integrative coordination, and collective creation in organizations.The dissertation is composed of three essays. Essay 1 is a theory paper that provides the overall theoretical arguments about why transaction cost economics (Williamson 1979, 1991, 1996, 2002) is no longer a satisfactory theoretical framework for governance design in the digital age, and offers a normative model which suggest possibilities of much more nuanced, complicated and pluralistic governance choices than suggested by transaction cost economics. It is argued that potential governance choices are not solely situated on a one-dimensional line between hierarchy and market, as transaction cost economics asserts. The rich connotations of socially constructed agency (Giddens, 1985; Greenwood et al. 2011) provide diverse possibilities of governance arrangements, which spread across a triangular plane in a three-dimensional space defined by static efficiency, coordinative efficiency and creative efficiency (see Figure 1). This paperprovides both graphic and mathematical presentations of this three-dimensional model for governance design, which can be applied to different levels of organizing.Essay 2 and 3 are two empirical papers that endeavor to extend Essay 1 by finding out the exact relationship between certain innovative governance arrangements with organizations’ performance in coordinative and creative efficiencies. Essay 2 focuses on the realization of integrative coordination in organizations. It found out that layered distributed organizational structure (Simon, 1962), broad-brushed ex ante plan (Edmondson, Bohmer and Pisano, 2001), and semi-structures (Brown and Eisenhardt, 1997) are beneficial in facilitating an ongoing coordination process when interdependencies are complex and uncertain. Essay 3 focuses on organizations’ performance in collective creativity (Shalley et al., 2004; George, 2007), especiallyon what governance arrangements can best allow collective creativity to emerge without overly sacrificing organizational stability and efficiency. It is discovered that “ordered disruption”, including ordered spatial disruption, ordered temporal disruption and ordered affective disruption, have positive effects on the emergence of collective creativity. Both Essay 2 and Essay 3 use collaborative organizations on smart city projects as the empirical setting. The findings of these two empirical papers are grounded on multiple case studies on those collaborative organizations.

Jiulin TENG, Strategy and Business Policy, 2016

Cracking the Black Box: Connecting External and Internal Determinants of Firm Performance at the Point of Transaction

Advisor(s): Bertrand QUELIN, Tristan TOMALA


I integrate external and internal analyses in competitive strategy in a way that complements the micro-foundations movement. I am motivated by two hiatus in the literature that constitute a single literature gap: First, the field tends to look at either resource or positioning for competitive advantage with little integration. Second, the field has overlooked how heterogeneous resource and positioning form endogenous micro-environment and interact in transactions. I adopt a game-theoretic approach that harmonizes (a) heterogeneity in firms that echoes internal analysis, (b) strategic interaction among firms that captures external analysis, and (c) the endogenous micro-environment. Under this overarching theme, I have focused my attention on three scenarios, in three separate chapters, that share four common connections beyond the concerted effort to crack open the black box: (i) All three chapters are deeply rooted in transactions. (ii) I extract patterns that cumulatively impact the competitive advantage of firms. (iii) I focus on firm-level constructs. (iv) I simultaneously consider external and internal determinants. Specifically, Chapter 1 introduces the ex ante cost perspective which consummates ex post cost and ex ante incentive analyses. Chapter 2 presents the theoretical framework of evolutionary advantage through the lens of contracting strategy. Chapter 3 shows that firms’ behavioural difference in negotiation sustains an additional dimension of strategic manoeuvrability which ultimately affects value appropriation. Collectively, my dissertation contributes to the understanding of the dynamics surrounding transactions among firms. It sets a valuable precedent in integrating external and internal analyses while at the same time providing a complement to the micro-foundations movement.

Alireza KESHAVARAZ MAMAN, Strategy and Business Policy, 2015

How do firms value their sales organization: An empirical analysis

Advisor(s): Dominique ROUZIES, Bertrand QUELIN


In this dissertation, I argue that sales employees represent a crucial source of value in organizations. In a multi-level study of sales organizations, I draw on human capital, job matching, social networks and agency theories to answer the following questions: (1) How do sales organizations value different sales career paths? (2) What is the effect of labor market inefficiencies on the turnover and compensation of sales forces? (3) How do firms value their sales organizations? These questions are examined in the empirical context of the French labor market between 1993 and 2010. I focus in particular on salespeople embedded sales organizations, inside firms. By considering variables across several levels of analysis - labor markets, industries, organizations and individuals - this work sheds light on the unexplored factors affecting compensation and turnover of sales forces.

Anne JACQUEMINET, Strategy and Business Policy, 2015

Heterogeneous substantiation of CSR in an MNE: the role of subsidiaries’ institutional contexts and behaviors

Advisor(s): Rodolphe DURAND


The main objective of this dissertation is to explain heterogeneity in conformitywithin multinational enterprises (MNEs). More specifically, I focus on what makes an MNE’ssubsidiaries implement practices that are consistent with the policy designed by the MNE’sheadquarters. Given the increasing normative pressures on MNEs, managing conformitywithin them is of strategic importance. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an example ofsuch mounting norms. My work relies on a unique set of data (including surveys, archivaldata and interviews) I collected on CSR practices in one MNE between 2012 and 2014.Overall, the findings of my three essays show that heterogeneous conformity within MNEsstems not only from diverse internal and external pressures exerted on subsidiaries, but alsofrom (1) the subsidiaries’ varying levels of attention to normative demands that depend onpeers’ behaviors, (2) their heterogeneous internalization of the Group policy which reducespeers’ and headquarters’ influence and (3) the specific characteristics and institutionalizationlevels of different practices.

Lionel PAOLELLA, Strategy and Business Policy, 2014

Law and (Re)Order: Impact of Category-Stretching Strategies on Firms’ Performance and Evaluation. The Case of the Corporate Legal Services Market (2000-2010)

Advisor(s): Rodolphe DURAND


Cette thèse examine comment les catégories de marché - ensembles qui partagent dessimilarités cognitives et culturelles – impactent la performance et l'évaluation des entreprises. Leconsensus répandu dans la littérature indique que les organisations qui évoluent dans plus d’unecatégorie sont sanctionnées tant au plan économique que social. Remettant en cause ce consensusactuel sur ‘l'impératif catégorique’, cette thèse avance l’idée que les acteurs d’un marché ont un rôleplus complexe que simplement réprimer toute violation des catégories établies. Aussi dans cecontexte, être engagée dans plusieurs catégories de marché pour une organisation à la fois amélioreson évaluation sociale mais réduit sa performance en cas de perceptions divergentes de ses affiliationscatégorielles. Les données empiriques de cette thèse portent sur les cabinets d’avocats d’affaires danstrois grandes métropoles (New York, Paris et Londres) au cours d'une décennie (2000-2010). Lescabinets d'avocats multi-services – ceux qui exercent dans plusieurs domaines du droit – obtiennentune meilleure évaluation de la part des clients tant au niveau global du cabinet que pour chacune deleurs spécialités juridiques. Toutefois, les désaccords entre clients en termes d'évaluation portant surchacune des spécialités juridiques offertes détériorent la performance financière des cabinets. Cettethèse approfondit notre compréhension du rôle que jouent les catégories sur les marchés et lesstratégies d’extensions catégorielles que les entreprises mettent en oeuvre. Ce travail contribueégalement aux études sur le champ juridique et a des implications pour la conduite stratégique descabinets d’avocats d’affaires.