Welcome to my Case-Log, or in short C-Log!

Here, I present you my observations and analysis of some news from the point of view of a strategic management PhD student. Strategic Management field has its roots in case studies. We study the firms, the managers and the interactions between them looking at the developments in real-life and aim at understanding why and how they happen and sometimes at finding out why and how it should happen instead. Case studies are detailed rigorous studies of certain events focusing on certain aspects and they require deep knowledge and high levels of commitment of energy and time. However, the world is changing faster than ever. With the posts below, I take a quick look at some events appearing in the news and offer an apprentice-level academic perspective to them; I make my mini-cases. For a more frequent smaller scope analysis of news, check out my Academic Lens page.

 

Don't hesitate to share your comments, opinions and ideas in the comment boxes below each post or email me through my Contact Me page!

16 Dec 2017

In this article, the authors look at the internal reaction of non-profits to an external threat. The article shows many aspects of strategy formulation and implementation, ranging from problem of incentives to implementation of strategies and firm culture. I will share my complete observations soon...

External Shocks

The sexual harassment and misconduct allegations, especially in workplace settings, have received a lot of attention in the past months. A quick search on Factiva, using only keywords "sexual harassment" and "sexual misconduct" brings up 346,000 related articles in the last 5 years, of which 217,000 belong not only to 2017, but almost all to October, November and December (see Figure 1). While the rapid rise of these news not only shows that such actions were under-reported, they also have an important implication for firms: The cultural environment has changed and very quickly. This change in the environment is an external shock to the firms, and now the firms have to act accordingly. They have to make sure not only that such misconduct is not present under their roof, but also show it. 

The notion of external shocks is very important in strategy research as well as many other social sciences. With the emergence of neo-institutional school of sciences in the past decades, the approach to social systems moved from mechanistic relationship between social units to self-organizing units (Radzicki, 1990) that are in constant interaction with others and their environments. Such a shift in perspective brings up the questions of resilience against external disturbances (Radzicki, 1990). As the external disturbances can be of any magnitude, most of them pass by without effect on the firms. However, some of them lead to disruptions, spanning from firms going bankrupt to firms getting engaged in internal revolutions. Moreover, the timescales of the shocks are very important. Managers of every firm look out for developments outside to protect their positions against such shocks. So, if an environmental change is expected, the firms might have a contingency plan, which is an important area of research. When an environmental change happens fast enough that the firms either can not anticipate it or can not react to it quickly, then we see observe disruptions and extreme changes in firms. The external disturbances or shocks can have many origins from political, economic to natural. In this article, we are observing a shock in the cultural environment, where legitimacy of reporting such misconducts increased, the attention of public is attracted towards these issues and the firms are under much higher scrutiny from a new perspective. I will continue to share my observations about their reactions to the shock soon...

Figure 1
Radzicki, M. J. (1990). Institutional dynamics, deterministic chaos, and self-organizing systems. Journal of economic issues, 24(1), 57-102.