Session 6

Processes and Practices of Decision Making

Track D

Date: Thursday, March 18, 2010


Time: 15:15 – 16:45


Room: Kokoustila 4

Session Chair:

Title: Capabilities On-Demand: Problem-Finding and –Solving in Emergent Situations


  • Paavo Ritala, Lappeenranta University of Technology
  • Pia Hurmelinna-Laukkanen, University of Oulu
  • Bruce Heiman, San Francisco State University

Abstract: This paper develops a Problem Finding and Problem Solving (PF/PS) logic for emergent problems in organizations. Building on prior work on Problem Solving Perspective, and drawing on the Dynamic Capabilities literature, we argue that as managers identify and solve problems, they face decision points influenced by awareness of biases, human and environmental biases themselves, and problem characteristics (e.g., complexity). Good managers make appropriate choices using a logic of economizing discriminating alignment. For problem finding this means discovering, choosing and implementing feasible process choices related to issue(s) they are intended to address, including using existing capabilities (sometimes in new ways) versus developing new, temporary capabilities. We offer multiple propositions that help unpack our approach.

Title: Dynamic Capabilities: What Could They Also Be?


  • Sebastien Picard, IAE, Toulouse of Management

Abstract: The concept of dynamic capabilities has emerged in the literature fifteen years ago and tries to overcome the weakness of the resource-based view. Both the distinctive and embedded perspective help to understand what dynamic capabilities are, how they may help at transforming the firm to cope with environmental change and how to deliver superior value to customer. However, as they have distinct foundations, they call for new researches to illustrate, integrate or overcome them. By studying dynamic capabilities in the extraordinary context of the French Special Forces, we illustrate that managerial decisions and/or institutional forces play a critical role in dynamic capabilities. Linking sensemaking and decision-making in action, we developed the concept of ‘learning-in-doing’ which could be the base of a dynamic strategy-making approach.

Title: Strategic Judgment for Anticipation Under Conditions of High Risk and Uncertainty


  • Amit Karna, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad
  • Sunil Sharma, Indian Institute of Management - Ahmedabad
  • Mukund Dixit, Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad

Abstract: This paper identifies organizational capabilities for firms’ capacity to undertake sound strategic judgment process to anticipate outcomes under conditions of high risk and uncertainty. This is achieved by adopting a more refined approach under compositional methodology used to study strategic judgment. We create four outcome focused scenarios-two confirmatory and two contradictory- to map organizational processes of firms engaged in oil and gas exploration business with their ability to anticipate correctly the outcomes of bidding process. This paper contributes to research on decision making and knowledge based capabilities. It shows that strategic judgment is driven by the strategy and the resources of the firm.

Title: Toward a Better Understanding of Entrepreneurial Initiative Selling within Organizations


  • Dirk De Clercq, Brock University
  • Xavier Castaner, University of Lausanne
  • Imanol Belausteguigoitia, Mexico Autonomous Institute of Technology

Abstract: We develop and test a motivational framework to explain the intensity with which individuals sell entrepreneurial initiatives within their organizations. We argue that initiative selling efforts are driven by several factors that have not been given full consideration: initiative characteristics, individuals’ anticipation of rewards, and dissatisfaction. On the basis of a survey of managers of a mail service firm who proposed an entrepreneurial initiative, we find that individuals sell their initiatives more intensively when they (1) believe that the organizational benefits of the initiative are high, (2) perceive that the initiative is consistent with current organizational practices, (3) believe that their immediate organizational environment provides extrinsic rewards for initiatives, and (4) are satisfied with the organizational situation. These findings have important theoretical and managerial implications.

All Sessions in Track D...

Thu: 13:15 – 14:45
Session 2: Capability Dynamics in MNCs
Thu: 15:15 – 16:45
Session 6: Processes and Practices of Decision Making
Thu: 17:00 – 18:30
Session 4: Processes and Practices of Building Dynamic Capabilities
Fri: 10:15 – 11:45
Session 7: Orchestrating Dynamic Capabilities
Fri: 13:15 – 14:45
Session 8: Operationalizing the Concept of Dynamic Capabilities

Strategic Management Society