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Corporate strategy in turbulent environments: Key roles of the corporate level

Author

Listed:
  • Caldart, Adrian A.

    (Warwick Business School)

  • Ricart, Joan E.

    () (IESE Business School)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the evolution during the period 1986-2002 of the corporate strategy of Lujan, a highly successful car components manufacturer headquartered in Spain, as a way to explore how the corporate level influences the successful evolution of a company exposed to a "turbulent" environment over a long period. We find that the corporate level plays three key roles. First, it drives a firm's evolution by developing a cognitive representation of the firm's competitive landscape. Second, it paces the company's evolution by alternately shifting the balance of organizational initiatives between static efficiency-based "local search" strategies, chosen in times of stability or economic slowdown, and dynamic efficiency-based "long jump" strategies, adopted during periods of major environmental turbulence. Long-jump corporate strategies, carried out through limited downside strategic initiatives such as real options and strategic alliances ("off-line long-jumps"), are particularly frequent in these circumstances. The third role consists of developing an organizational architecture that frames the self-organized coordination of the different business divisions. The Lujan story clearly illustrates the important role of corporate strategy in a firm that must undergo radical transitions as a result of major environmental changes.

Suggested Citation

  • Caldart, Adrian A. & Ricart, Joan E., 2006. "Corporate strategy in turbulent environments: Key roles of the corporate level," IESE Research Papers D/623, IESE Business School.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebg:iesewp:d-0623
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Schmalensee, Richard, 1985. "Econometric diagnosis of competitive localization," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 57-70, March.
    2. Gabriel Hawawini & Venkata Subban Subramanian & Paul Verdin, 2003. "Is performance driven by industry- or firm-specific factors? A new look at the evidence," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/14188, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    3. Ghemawat, Pankaj & Ricart, Joan E., 1993. "Organizational tension between static and dynamic efficiency, The," IESE Research Papers D/255, IESE Business School.
    4. Herbert A. Simon, 1996. "The Sciences of the Artificial, 3rd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262691914, January.
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    Keywords

    corporate strategy; turbulent environments; complexity theory; car components;

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    1. Studies on the automobile industry

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