Crying Wolf: The Impact of Strategic Issue Categorization Imbalances on Performance

Item Type Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Abstract

Recognizing and properly dealing with strategic issues is central to firm performance. While research has highlighted that strategic issues can be framed as ‘opportunities’ or ‘threats’, results are inconclusive about which type of framing is conducive to performance. Findings on the issue categorization of organizations and the distribution of threats to opportunities further lack a longitudinal component. To shed more light on these concerns, we conducted a process study of six organizational trajectories in the context of a multi-competitor (fleet) sailing race. Through content analysis we illuminate the underlying process of strategic issue categorization, the distribution of threats to opportunities over time and the subsequent performance impact. By analyzing the strategic issue categorizations (as threats or opportunities), we find that organizations which have a high ratio of threats-to-opportunities, i.e. are ‘imbalanced’ over time, show poorer performance. Our study presents in-depth cases in which the focal organizations manage to escape such a critical imbalance between identified threats and opportunities, through either changes in leadership or organizational learning. We thus contribute to the threat-rigidity theory by offering solutions to address the rigidity induced by continuous threats and further by showing the link of imbalanced issue categorization to performance.

Authors Hauptmann, Gunnar; Ambos, Björn & Ambos, Tina
Language English
Subjects business studies
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
Date 10 August 2018
Event Title 78th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management
Event Location Chicago, Illinois, USA
Event Dates August 10-14, 2018
Depositing User M.A. HSG Gunnar Hauptmann
Date Deposited 17 Apr 2018 11:29
Last Modified 17 Apr 2018 11:29
URI: https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/publications/254041

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Hauptmann, Gunnar; Ambos, Björn & Ambos, Tina: Crying Wolf: The Impact of Strategic Issue Categorization Imbalances on Performance. 2018. - 78th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management. - Chicago, Illinois, USA.

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https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/id/eprint/254041
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