The Strategy research line seeks to examine the factors associated with the sector, firm or location that generates persistent differences in performance among organizations in terms of productivity and profitability. Research has shown that there is a high degree of performance heterogeneity among firms. In certain cases, these differences can persist over years, which is a phenomenon called “sustainable competitive advantage” in the field of strategic management. In other cases, the differences are temporary due to the industry’s competitive dynamics (namely entry and imitation processes).
Given the program’s nature, research in the field of Strategy will be heavily based on microeconomics (including game theory and industrial organization) and complemented by the recent advantages in management literature. Furthermore, the research will be supported by advanced identification and estimation techniques. Once the business strategies are chosen by the firms, attention must be devoted to solving problems involving endogeneity and self-selection. Note that much of the latest research in the literature on strategic management does not adequately address this problem. Therefore, there is a big opportunity for research in the Strategy line of the Doctoral Program in terms of helping to refine the empirical analysis of various business strategies.
Students in the Strategy line will have a relevant advantage in terms of microeconomic fundamentals and quantitative techniques for identifying the various factors that influence organizational performance.
Students can conduct research in four Strategy sub-areas:
- Analyzing competitive dynamics, market strategies and price formation factors within industries.
- Analyzing how firms establish their horizontal and vertical boundaries; i.e., which factors affect the corporate portfolio of businesses selected by the company.
- What are the implications of the internal organizational choices made by firms involving a set of aspects from decision and control rights to incentive contracts involving performance-based remuneration.
- How business strategies interact more broadly with the institutional environment (e.g., how firms respond to a weaker institutional context in terms of the protection of property rights or an uncertain regulatory environment).