Examining the Penrose Effect in an International Business Context: The Dynamics of Japanese Firm Growth in U.S. Industries
AbstractPenrose (1959) theoretically developed the research proposition that the finite capacities of a firm's internally experienced managers limit the rate at which the firm can grow in a given period of time. One empirical implication that follows logically from this line of reasoning is that a fast-growing firm will eventually slow down its growth in the subsequent time period because its firm-specific management team, which is posited to be inelastic at least in the short run, is unable to handle effectively the increased demands that are placed on these internally experienced managers due to increased complexity as well as the time and attention that the new managers require from these internally experienced managers. Consequently, inefficiency in the firm's current operations will follow if the firm maintains its high rate of growth. The research proposition that a firm cannot remain operationally effective if it maintains high rates of growth in successive time periods, and that consequently those firms with foresight typically will slow down their growth in the subsequent time period is known as the "Penrose effect" in the research literature, and this effect of dynamic adjustment costs has been examined and corroborated in a few empirical research studies. However, researchers have not yet examined the Penrose effect in an international business context. The current paper examines the Penrose effect in an international business context by exploring whether Japanese firms achieve high growth in consecutive time periods in the entered U.S. industries. The empirical results indicate that, consistent with Penrose's (1959) resource-based theory prediction, in general, Japanese firms did not maintain high employment growth in two consecutive time periods following their entry into U.S. industries. We also find empirically that for Japanese multinational firms that entered in U.S. industries where the extent of knowledge tacitness, globalization, and unionization was high, rapid expansion growth in one time period had negative impacts on growth in the subsequent time period. Thus, dynamic adjustment costs limit the rate of the growth of the firm and the development of dynamic capabilities in this international business context, which suggests that the Penrose effect may be widely applicable to international business and corporate strategy.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business in its series Working Papers with number 03-0113.
Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.business.uiuc.edu/Working_Papers/Main.asp
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Robert E. Lucas & Jr., 1967. "Adjustment Costs and the Theory of Supply," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 321.
- Hamermesh, Daniel S & Pfann, Gerard Antonie, 1996.
"Adjustment Costs in Factor Demand,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
1371, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Kaplan, Steven N, 1994. "Top Executive Rewards and Firm Performance: A Comparison of Japan and the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(3), pages 510-46, June.
- Hennart, J.-F., 1991.
"Control in multinational firms : the role of price and hierarchy,"
Open Access publications from Tilburg University
urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-174431, Tilburg University.
- Hennart, J.-F.M.A., 1993. ""Control in multinational firms : tThe role of price and jierarchy"," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-175938, Tilburg University.
- Thompson, R. Steve, 1994. "The franchise life cycle and the Penrose effect," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 207-218, July.
- Ingemar Dierickx & Karel Cool, 1989. "Asset Stock Accumulation and Sustainability of Competitive Advantage," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(12), pages 1504-1511, December.
- Mortensen, Dale T, 1973. "Generalized Costs of Adjustment and Dynamic Factor Demand Theory," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(4), pages 657-65, July.
- Treadway, Arthur B., 1970. "Adjustment costs and variable inputs in the theory of the competitive firm," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 329-347, December.
- Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1987. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial Research and Development," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(3), pages 783-832.
- Robert C. Feenstra, 1997. "U.S. Exports, 1972-1994: With State Exports and Other U.S. Data," NBER Working Papers 5990, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Rubin, Paul H, 1973. "The Expansion of Firms," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 936-49, July-Aug..
- William G. Ouchi, 1979. "A Conceptual Framework for the Design of Organizational Control Mechanisms," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(9), pages 833-848, September.
- Yadong Luo & Mike W Peng, 1999. "Learning to Compete in a Transition Economy: Experience, Environment, and Performance," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 30(2), pages 269-295, June.
- Mona V Makhija & Kwangsoo Kim & Sandra D Williamson, 1997. "Measuring Globalization of Industries Using a National Industry Approach: Empirical Evidence Across Five Countries and over Time," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 28(4), pages 679-710, December.
- Kendall Roth & David M Schweiger & Allen J Morrison, 1991. "Global Strategy Implementation at the Business Unit Level: Operational Capabilities and Administrative Mechanisms," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 22(3), pages 369-402, September.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.