Portfolios of Strategic Initiatives: A Complexity Perspective

Item Type Monograph (Working Paper)

This study examines the impact of portfolios of strategic initiatives on performance in large, multibusiness firms. Conceptualizing multibusiness firms as complex systems, we draw on complexity theory to argue that portfolios of strategic initiatives have an effect that exceeds the cumulative effects of single initiatives. We suggest that managers can address three types of complexity that have differing performance effects by employing the design principles of goal variety, modularization, and formalization. With the help of a unique, longitudinal data set in the European financial-services industry, we find evidence of the hypothesized portfo-lio effect. Our results suggest that goal variety and formalization are positively related to per-formance, which partially supports our theory. In addition, we find that modularity has a cur-vilinear effect.

Authors Boppel, Michael; Keil, Thomas & Lechner, Christoph
Language English
Keywords Strategic initiative, portfolio, strategic renewal, complexity theory
Subjects business studies
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
HSG Profile Area SoM - Responsible Corporate Competitiveness (RoCC)
Refereed No
Date 2013
Publisher University of St. Gallen and University of Zurich
Depositing User Michael Boppel
Date Deposited 19 Aug 2013 10:30
Last Modified 23 Aug 2016 11:17
URI: https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/publications/225029


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Boppel, Michael; Keil, Thomas & Lechner, Christoph: Portfolios of Strategic Initiatives: A Complexity Perspective. , 2013,


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