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Sub-Track 4.1 (in collaboration with "Long Range Planning")

Theme: New Perspectives On Firm Growth: Between Traditional And Emerging Issues (in collaboration with “Long Range Planning”) Firm growth is a classic theme in strategic management research and practice that dates back to Edith Penrose’s 1959 celebrated book. While a vast body of theoretical and empirical studies exists in this vein, an increasing dissatisfaction on the usefulness and applicability of current stock of knowledge has recently spread out among academics and scholars as well as practitioners. A few revolutionary environmental features (such as the blurring boundaries among markets and technologies, increased competition and intense competitive dynamics, the rising importance of intangibles and knowledge, the wider diffusion of Internet-based firms) make it critical for the strategy community to rethink the received growth options and reorient efforts toward promoting and sustaining growth. While mainstream theory of firm growth assumes that internal growth is generally the one employed in high-growth emergent industries and external growth should be preferred in mature industries (since stable markets make it more convenient to acquire existing production capacity and market share rather than betting on developing brand new plants and taking clients away from existing competitors), today’s accelerated pace of economic and financial transformation makes it critical to firms to reconsider growth strategies. For example, chains of acquisitions usually occur in markets where (dynamic) capabilities are a central feature of competition among firms. In a similar vein, joint ventures, alliances and venture capital are frequently used to maintain or accelerate growth trajectories especially for small, high-technology firms or innovative start up ventures. In this shifting scenario, traditional strategic options become not necessarily  accomplished desired levels of growth. This also raises questions of longer term growth and the need to rejuvenate long-standing strategy issues, such as planning and implementing growth. On this ground, the main goal of this special issue is to provide strategy scholarship with fresh perspectives on such established issues related to firm growth that consider environmental dynamism as an essential strategic topic. In order to achieve this aim, the LRP special issue welcomes theory-driven,  theory-building, and empirical papers investigating the strategic management of firm growth as a relevant strategic issue for a range of industries and firms. Therefore, we are particularly interested in papers addressing topics related to:

This LRP special issue should ideally provide a number of intriguing investigation guidelines on patterns and processes that may help improve our understanding of strategic growth options. Since we do not subscribe a dogmatic approach, the topical list reported above should be seen as illustrative more than prescriptive, and scholars may wish to complement the proposed list with other intriguing views of industry and firm growth strategies.

  Publication Opportunities A special issue of the Long Range Planning (LRP) on the conference theme will be edited by by A. Capasso, G.B. Dagnino e J. Tienari. Authors whose papers are accepted for presentation in this Track are encouraged to submit their papers for the LRP special issue. Papers submitted for this special issue will undergo the normal journal review process. LRP submissions will be accepted from October 1, 2013 to November 15, 2013.

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