Institutional Forces and Environmental Management Strategy: Moderating Effects of Environmental Orientation and Innovation Capability
Yuanfei Kang, Xinming He
Abstract: We examine the mechanisms through which firm capabilities moderate the impact of institutional forces upon firms’ adoption of environmental management strategy (EMS). Viewing the limitation of institutional perspective in explaining the heterogeneity in firms’ EMS, we suggest that an important source of variation is the idiosyncratic capabilities of the firm in acquiring and allocating resources. Based on the strategic response theme of institutional theory and resource-based view, we argue that the influence of institutional forces on EMS is contingent on the presence of environmental orientation and innovation capability. Using data collected from China, we test these notions. Our empirical results suggest that both environmental orientation and innovation capability positively moderate the effect of institutional forces on firm’s EMS. By demonstrating how institutional forces and firm capabilities interact with each other, we enhance understanding of how firms succeed in developing EMS.
The CEO Horizon Problem and Managerial Slack in China
Junxiong Fang, Lerong He, Martin J. Conyon
Abstract: This study investigates how CEO behavior and incentives change during the CEO’s final years in office, known as the horizon problem. We examine how the horizon problem alters managerial slack, a measure of operational inefficiency and managerial value diversion. Using data on Chinese publicly traded firms between 2003 and 2011, we find that managerial slack increases in the last two years of CEO tenure compared to earlier years. In addition, we find that the increase in managerial slack in CEO final years in office is smaller in privately controlled firms than in state-owned enterprises, smaller in firms with CEO equity ownership and more independent boards compared to those without. We conclude that higher quality corporate governance mechanisms ameliorate the perverse incentives associated with the CEO horizon problem, and reduce CEOs’ tendency to increase managerial slack during their final years in office.
Revisiting the Relationship between Justice and Extra-Role Behavior: The Role of State Ownership
Abstract: State ownership is an important phenomenon in the world economy, especially in transition economies. Previous research has focused on how state ownership influences organizational performance, but few studies have been conducted on how state ownership influences employees. I propose that different ownership structure triggers different relational schemas among employees, who pay attention to organizational justice consistent with their schema to guide their extra-role behavior. Specifically, state-owned organizations reinforce employees’ relational concern and direct employees’ attention to procedural justice, whereas privatized organizations highlight the instrumental concern and direct employees’ attention to distributive justice. I leverage a sample of organizations in China to explore how different ownership structure activates different relational schemas among employees and alters the relationship between organizational justice and employees’ extra-role behaviors. I find that state ownership attenuates and even reverses the positive relationship between distributive justice and extra-role behaviors. Conversely, state ownership exaggerates the positive relationship between a critical procedural justice dimension (participation in decision making) and employee extra-role behaviors. Implications for the micro-foundations of corporate governance and institutional change, organizational justice literature, and cross-cultural research are developed. This study also generates new insights for the transition economies such as China.
Family Involvement in Middle Management and Its Impact on the Labor Productivity of Family Firms
Qiongjing Hu, Yanlong Zhang, Jingjing Yao
Abstract: Family business owners and researchers tend to overwhelmingly focus on the top-level structure of the firms but ignore the middle-level practice – involving family member in middle-management team. Compared to top managers at the strategic apex, middle-level managers are mainly responsible for internal operations and control, and the composition of the middle-management team has an immediate and direct impact on the overall workforce efficiency of family firms. Integrating agency theory and organizational justice perspective, we proposed that family involvement in middle management would have a negative impact on the labor productivity of family firms. We further corroborated this effect by identifying three boundary conditions at the individual (i.e., familial CEO), organizational (i.e., firm size), and regional (i.e., labor mobility) levels. Using a sample of 1,284 privately owned family firms in China, we found that family involvement in middle management, measured as the percentage of familial middle-level managers, was negatively associated with labor productivity. Furthermore, this negative relationship existed only when the CEO is a family member rather than a professional manager, when the size of the firm is large rather than small, or when the firm is located in regions with low rather than high labor mobility. These findings contribute to family business literature and provide practical implications for human resource management in family firms.
The Darker Side of Social Networks in Transforming Economies: Corrupt Exchange in Chinese Guanxi and Russian Blat/Svyazi
Päivi Karhunen, Riitta Kosonen, Daniel J. McCarthy, Sheila M. Puffer
Abstract: This article addresses corruption as a negative practice displaying the ‘darker side’ of social capital in Chinese guanxi and Russian blat/svyazi networks. It presents a conceptual framework integrating several research streams to establish a conceptual linkage between social network characteristics and three forms of corruption between business persons and public officials: cronyism, bribery, and extortion. We argue that the forms of corruption in a society are determined by the nature of social network ties and their underlying morality, with particularistic and general trust being key factors. Our framework depicts networks as three concentric circles representing three types of corruption resulting from their corresponding types of reciprocity: open, closed, and negative. We then apply the framework to the practice of guanxi in China and blat/svyazi in Russia. We propose that different network characteristics and different forms of corruption may help explain what we label the ‘China-Russia paradox’ of why corruption and high economic growth have co-existed in China, at least in the short term, but less so in Russia. We conclude with ethical and legal implications for doing business in those two transforming economies and offer suggestions for future research.
A Note on Business Survival and Social Network
Chenlin Zhao, Ronald S. Burt
Abstract: We extend Burt, Burzynska, and Opper’s cross-sectional network prediction of relative success among Chinese entrepreneurs by predicting which ventures are still active five years later. The cross-sectional analysis is corroborated in three ways (despite the vicissitudes of a national anti-corruption campaign): (1) Businesses run in 2012 by CEOs with a network rich in structural holes are more likely to be active five years later, in 2017. (2) Survival odds are improved if the large, open network around a CEO in 2012 was initially a supportive ‘cocoon’ closed network when the business was founded. (3) Both results are contingent on capturing the guanxi ties valuable early in the history of the business. The two network effects disappear when the network around a CEO is limited to his or her currently valued contacts. Beyond corroboration, we find that advantage is concentrated in ventures that began well and had become successful. Network advantage here does not compensate for weakness – it is a mechanism for cumulative advantage, amplifying the success of businesses already doing well.