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Business Strategy and the Management of Firms

Author

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  • Mu-Jeung Yang
  • Lorenz Kueng
  • Bryan Hong

Abstract

Business strategy can be defined as a firm's plan to generate economic profits based on lower cost, better quality, or new products. The analysis of business strategy is thus at the intersection of market competition and a firm's efforts to secure persistently superior performance via investments in better management and organization. We empirically analyze the interaction of firms' business strategies and their managerial practices using a unique, detailed dataset on business strategy, internal firm organization, performance and innovation, which is representative of the entire Canadian economy. Our empirical results show that measures of business strategy are strongly correlated with firm performance, both in the cross-section and over time, and even after controlling for unobserved profit shocks exploiting intermediates utilization. Results are particularly striking for innovation, as firms with some priority in business strategies are significantly more likely to innovate than firms without any strategic priority. Furthermore, our analysis highlights that the relationship between strategy and management is driven by two key organizational trade-offs: employee initiative vs. coordination as well as exploration of novel business opportunities vs. exploitation of existing profit sources.

Suggested Citation

  • Mu-Jeung Yang & Lorenz Kueng & Bryan Hong, 2015. "Business Strategy and the Management of Firms," NBER Working Papers 20846, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20846
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bryan Hong & Lorenz Kueng & Mu-Jeung Yang, 2015. "Estimating Management Practice Complementarity between Decentralization and Performance Pay," NBER Working Papers 20845, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Lorenz Kueng & Mu-Jeung Yang & Bryan Hong, 2014. "Sources of Firm Life-Cycle Dynamics: Differentiating Size vs. Age Effects," NBER Working Papers 20621, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Erik Brynjolfsson & Kristina McElheran, 2016. "Data in Action: Data-Driven Decision Making in U.S. Manufacturing," Working Papers 16-06, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing
    • M21 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics - - - Business Economics

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