SnO news

TWO nominations for SMS Best Conference Paper!

28 May 2016

We are proud to announce that there are TWO nominations for Strategic Management Society Best Conference Paper this year, one of them being co-written by an SnO center member!

"Enduring Market Ties and the Survival of Professional Service Firms " by John Mawdsley, assistant professor of Strategy and Business Policy at HEC Paris

This study examines the impact on professional service firm (PSF) survival when their business portfolio is comprised to a greater extent of projects from enduring market-ties (i.e., long-term clients).  Corroborating research on the hazards of embedded relationships, the findings show that PSFs are more likely to fail when they undertake relatively more work for long-term clients, and this negative effect is stronger when PSFs are asymmetrically dependent on their clients.  In contrast, and in line with literature on relational advantage, PSFs can unlock the value from enduring market-ties and increase their probability of survival when they receive greater levels of commitment from clients, when their overall business portfolio is more dispersed, and when they are able to grow their pool of clients.  The findings draw attention to the firm-level consequences of enduring market-ties based on the configuration of a firm’s portfolio of relationships and provide more nuanced insights into the benefits and hazards of embedded exchange relationships.


"Narrative construction during strategic change: A dynamic perspective"  by Elena Dalpia, assistant professor of Strategy at Imperial College and Giada Di Stefano, assistant professor of Strategy and Business Policy at HEC Paris and member of the SnO Center

G Di Stefano photo reduite


Organizational narratives can favorably influence how stakeholders interpret a strategic change. This paper examines whether and how official organizational narratives evolve over time in terms of their content, structure, and polyphony. We use qualitative and quantitative methodologies to analyze the narratives produced by Alessi, an Italian manufacturing company, to document its successful strategic change over 30 years (1979-2010). Results show that, over time, the strategy maker systematically constructed a nested and interconnected narrative corpus, which reflected different interpretations of change, leveraged different structural elements, and shifted polyphony from external sources of legitimacy to internal ones. Our study documents the dynamics through which an organization purposefully reflected on its actions by deliberately articulating and codifying the knowledge related to its strategic change.

SMS 2016 at Berlin

SMS Best Conference Paper Prize
The Strategic Management Society first presented this prize in 1998 to honor the best paper presented at the SMS Annual International Conference. Nominated authors are invited to submit a full version of their submitted proposal for consideration by the selection committee. These papers are reviewed and 10 finalists are named prior to the conference. The committee determines the winner to be announced during the conference. Decisions are based on the following criteria:

  • Soundness of the conceptual development
  • Originality and new contribution(s)
  • Appropriate methodology well applied
  • Relevance to management practice
  • Effective communication of the central ideas of the work

The Prize for the best conference paper consists of a US$ 1,500 cash award. In addition, four other papers receive Honorable Mention prizes consisting of a US$ 750 cash award. All winners are also presented with a commemorative certificate and recognition at the conference, usually during the awards luncheon.
Rodolphe Durand (HEC Paris SnO Center) and Michael Leiblein (Ohio State University) served as Co-Chairs of the Selection Committee for this award in 2014. Up to now, 39 authors have been awarded the Best Conference Paper Prize and there have been 155 authors awarded Honorable Mentions.

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