Professor Murmann's Blog: Will give two presentations at Strategic Management Conference in Madrid, Sep 21-22

Will give two presentations at Strategic Management Conference in Madrid, Sep 21-22

1. The Strategic Process and Competitive Dynamics of Industry Convergence

Date: Sunday, September 21, 2014
Time: 11:15 – 12:30
Room: Viena
Session Co-Chairs:

Samina Karim, Boston University
John Prescott, University of Pittsburgh


  * Alfonso Gambardella, Bocconi University
  * Anita McGahan, University of Toronto
  * Johann Peter Murmann, University of New South Wales
  * Fernando Suarez, Boston University

Understanding how industries change has attracted considerable attention because it blurs industry boundaries, redefines the competitive landscape, creates opportunities for new strategies to emerge, destroys competitive advantages while solidifying others, challenges cognitive maps and establishes new institutional arrangements. In this session, expert panelists will bring us up-to-date on the phenomenon of industry convergence (IC) by sharing their perspectives regarding (1) the antecedents, dynamics, and consequences of IC; (2) how to conceptualize strategic management processes and how they may inform the dynamics of IC; (3) how scholars should evaluate the attractiveness of, and rivalry within, IC industries; and (4) promising research directions including theory development and empirical studies.


2. How Does Headquarters Create Value in a Diversified Multi-Business Firm: The Case of Wesfarmers 
by Johann Peter Murmann and George Shinkle

Session on Corporate Structure, Resource allocation, and Portfolio planning
Date: Monday, September 22, 2014 Time: 14:45 – 16:00 Room: Londres (our talk is at the beginning of the session)

Abstract: Aside from emphasizing target setting, high-level monitoring, and aligning incentives, the strategy literature provides very little guidance on how headquarters of a large multi-business corporation should interact with its business units to create and capture value. We examine Wesfarmers Ltd. (Australia) because the long-term high performance of this unrelated conglomerate is unexpected by much of the strategy literature. Our investigation promises to shed light on effective management practices. Contrary to what the literature expects, the Wesfarmers CEO and other headquarters (HQ) staff (chiefly the CFO and Business Development personnel) are significantly involved in defining, monitoring, and redefining the operational goals at the business unit level and the means (strategies and initiatives) to accomplish them. Furthermore, HQ adjusts its management practices to respond to particular needs of each business unit, being most involved in the period following and acquisition and when units are not meeting the targets set by HQ.