Research

Our research has been focusing on the intersection of corporate (collaborative) strategy, organization theory and corporate sustainability. In more concrete terms, we aim at understanding how managers can develop and guide the sustainable evolution of the business firm within its legal boundaries and beyond through the innovative use and development of collaborative, long-term oriented initiatives. From a theoretical perspective, the distinctive take on such complex processes relies on the introduction of a stakeholder-based view of the firm into (inter-)organizational design and change research. Most recently, this line of research has been extended in an inter-disciplinary manner to the individual-level of analysis by investigating sustainable and collaborative strategic decision-making of corporate managers within their organizational and institutional boundaries. Methodologically, we combine survey-based and large scale empirical approaches, case/field studies and, more recently, experimental work.

The research of the group links two interdependent research streams:

(1) Combining organizational theory/economics, resource-based theory and perspectives on trust and learning, the first stream aims at understanding strategic decision-making with regard to the design and dynamics of (collaborative) growth activities, such as strategic alliances.

(2) Investigating, how firms change their organizational design and strategic decision-making to move beyond a shareholder-centered model towards a stakeholder model of the firm. Leveraging the collaborative strategy research, this stream focuses on the question how a collaborative, stakeholder-oriented approach can help firms designing and changing (within and beyond the borders of the firm) organizational structures, processes (e.g. incentive systems, governance structures), and strategic decision-making processes in a way that allows them to introduce a long-term, stakeholder-based perspective and to evolve towards sustainable business activities.

 

As such, our research focuses on the following broad areas:

  • Business organization’s change towards sustainable enterprise models
  • Individual- and organizational level explanations of long-term and responsible decision-making
  • Management of corporate development activities, particularly collaborative relationships
  • (Inter)-organizational design, learning and change
  • Integration of the stakeholder theory of the firm in the study of corporate growth

 

Current working papers/research projects

  • Exploring conditions for environmental legitimacy in the energy sector; K. Neumann with E. Bettinazzi (EM Lyon), A. Jacqueminet (Bocconi U.) and P. Snoeren (Tilburg U.), empirical work
  • Interdependent governance mechanisms and performance feedback in strategic alliances; K. Neumann with E. Mollona (Bologna U.) and M. Zollo (Bocconi U.), simulation modelling approach
  • The liability of prior ties: how routines and trust bias strategic decision-making (in the context of corporate development activities), K. Neumann, conceptual work
  • The impact of cooperative routines and cognitions on stakeholder orientation; K. Neumann with P. Snoeren (Tilburg U.) and M. Zollo (Bocconi U.), empirical work
  • A stakeholder-based theory of corporate growth; K. Neumann with E. Bettinazzi (EM Lyon), J. Mahoney (U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), P. Snoeren (Tilburg U.) and M. Zollo (Bocconi U.), conceptual work
  • Micro-foundations of responsible and sustainable decision-making; inter-disciplinary research project aiming at the implementation of individual- and organizational-level experimental interventions; K. Neumann with S. Doering (Med. U. Vienna) and C. Lamm (U. Vienna), conceptual stage.