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Some animals are more equal than others: What makes strategic initiatives survive the firm's internal selection environment?

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abstract In this paper we use an intraorganisational ecology perspective to build a theory of the antecedents of initiative selection. Thus, we wish to explain what it is about initiatives that facilitates positive internal selection. We hypothesise several initiative characteristics that may more or less favourably interact with the firm's internal selection environment and which may thus influence initiative selection. We test these hypotheses using data on 1,116 initiatives we collected from the global R&D organisation of a multinational firm.
Our findings show that initiative survival is positively influenced by the sponsoring unit's geographical closeness to corporate headquarters, by the past success record of the manager responsible for the initiative (i.e., the number of already recognised initiatives championed by that manager). In contrast, initiatives that entail project complexity when implemented and initiatives that propose exploratory rather than exploitative innovation are less likely to survive than others. Past success is also found to positively condition the negative influence of initiative complexity and exploratory content on survival. Finally, the theoretical implications of these findings are discussed.
   
type conference paper (English)
   
keywords structual context, strategic context, initiative, R&D, selection environment
   
project Subsidiary Initiatives in International Research and Development: A Survival Analysis
name of conference Strategic Management Society Conference (Washington DC)
date of conference 13-10-2009
title of proceedings nominated for best paper award
page(s) 29
publisher Inderscience
review double-blind review
   
citation Keupp, M. M., Floyd, S., & Gassmann, O. (2009). Some animals are more equal than others: What makes strategic initiatives survive the firm's internal selection environment?. In nominated for best paper award, pp.29: Inderscience.