Session 209

Design Issues: Tasks, Control and Risk

Track H

Date: Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Time: 11:00 – 12:15


Room: Copenhague

Session Chair:

  • Allegre Hadida, University of Cambridge

Title: A Formal Investigation of the Efficacy of Multi-Authority Hierarchies in Coordinating Action in Complex Organizations


  • Maciej Workiewicz, ESSEC Business School
  • Daniel Levinthal, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract: Multi-authority hierarchies are organizations characterized by multiple lines of authority connecting subordinates to two or more superiors. Studies suggest that organizations implement multi-authority structures to coordinate increasingly complex tasks, simultaneously pursue divergent goals and better process information. But the violation of the unity of command, one of the key principles of management, has it costs and well documented failures of organizations to achieve desired benefits highlight that trade-off. We translate the complexity of a task environment and the multi-authority structure into an explicit computer simulation to identify costs and benefits of this organizational form. The general results suggest that the characteristics of the environment, type of authority exercised as well the level of subordinates’ compliance plays an important role in effective functioning of such forms.

Title: Formal and Informal Controls as Complements or Substitutes? The Role of the Task Environment


  • Markus Kreutzer, EBS University of Business and Law
  • Jorge Walter, George Washington University

Abstract: This study contrasts the substitution logic advanced by the traditional organizational control view with the complementarity logic inherent in the more recent, holistic organizational control view. We examine whether formal and informal behavior and outcome controls act as complements or substitutes for each other in their effects on performance outcomes, and whether any such interaction will be stable across different organizational contexts or subject to contextual contingencies. Our empirical analysis of 184 strategic initiatives conducted by firms across a variety of industries provides broad support for the holistic view and the positive impact of a complementary use of formal and informal behavior control as well as formal and informal outcome control on initiative performance.

Title: Making Risk Management Strategic: A Contingency View of Enterprise Risk Management on Risk Outcomes


  • Johanna Sax, Copenhagen Business School

Abstract: In recent years, Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) has grown in significance and today’s firms put substantial amount of resources into ERM frameworks that claim to manage all risks and opportunities that affect the entire organization. With insights from strategic management this paper argues that successful ERM needs to be combined with decentralized risk management structures and central planning for effective risk outcomes. Drawing on a survey of 264 of the largest firms in Denmark, support is found for the proposition that formal ERM processes, decentralization of risk management and central planning are important for effective risk outcomes, however, they do not significantly improve each other. Hence, firms should not choose between these management practices but let them coexist – in concurrence they can improve risk outcomes.

Title: Task Environment and Its role in the Strategic Management Literature: A Review and Research Agenda


  • Ralf Meinhardt, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
  • Sebastian Junge, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

Abstract: Management literature has shown increasing interest in the understanding of the task environment of a firm. Nevertheless, a holistic and common understanding of the task environment is missing despite previous fruitful articles. We contribute to the task environment literature by studying and reviewing past works in this field between 1967 and 2013. Moreover, we develop a research framework to organize and review recent empirical findings. Furthermore, we compare the existing work and underline contradicting findings. We close our work with the identification of theoretical research gaps and provide recommendations for future research aimed at developing a more integrated and holistic research agenda of task environment.

All Sessions in Track H...

Sun: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 311: The Power of Power: The Role of Power and Politics in Strategy Processes
Sun: 09:30 – 10:45
Session 312: Contributing to Strategy Process Scholarship and to the SMS Community: Honoring Steve Floyd and Bill Wooldridge
Sun: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 284: The Strategic Process and Competitive Dynamics of Industry Convergence
Sun: 15:45 – 17:00
Session 203: Acquisition Implementation
Sun: 17:15 – 18:30
Session 604: Strategy Process IG Business Meeting
Mon: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 205: Strategy Making Dynamics
Mon: 14:45 – 16:00
Session 204: Strategic Change and Adaptation Processes
Session 437: Corporate Structure, Resource allocation, and Portfolio planning
Mon: 16:30 – 17:45
Session 206: The Role of Middle Managers in Strategy Processes
Session 211: Knowledge Transfer and Learning
Tue: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 209: Design Issues: Tasks, Control and Risk
Tue: 15:30 – 16:45
Session 208: Interactions, Recombination and Adaptation Processes
Tue: 17:15 – 18:30
Session 207: TMTs, Strategic Planning and Agenda Building

Strategic Management Society