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Patterns, Paths, and Rationales of Resource Allocation in Portfolio Configuration

abstract The dissertation and thus the submitted research project plan aim at examining the dynamics of portfolio configuration of multibusiness firms based on their underlying (configurational) resource allocation. Due to an increasingly complex environment, the meaning and activity of portfolio configuration, as the way multibusiness firms change their business portfolio through investments, divestments, and cooperations, have increased considerably over several decades. However, process-oriented research of how multibusiness firms dynamically allocate their configurational resources in order to manage their portfolio of businesses has been rare. The question of how the activity of portfolio configurational unfolds over time, whether there are differences in the pattern and path of the underlying resource allocation, and what rationales may account for differences in varying contexts have remained untested. Thus, the patterns, paths, and rationales of portfolio configuration are examined in a three-level analysis of three research papers/analyses which build upon each other.

The purpose of this dissertation is to advance the theory of how multibusiness firms dynamically change their portfolio of businesses by analyzing the patterns, paths, and rationales in their underlying resource allocation. To account for the complexity and dynamics of portfolio configuration, this dissertation introduces quantitative time series methodology from complexity theory and econometrics and connects it with classical case study research from the fields of management and organization science in an interdisciplinary way.
   
keywords portfolio configuration, resource allocation, complexity/chaos theory, path dependency, configuration rationales
   
partner Universität St. Gallen - Institute of Management (Prof. G. Müller-Stewens), UCLA - Anderson School of Management (Prof. B. McKelvey)
type dissertation project
status ongoing
start of project 2007
end of project 2008
additional informations
topics Portfolio Configuration
methods Dynamical Systems Theory, Econometrics
contact Alexander Alscher