Doctoral Seminar in Strategy Process
Philip Bromiley
Spring 2010
Course Outline
This seminar focuses on the processes of strategy formulation and implementation. It
seeks to introduce participants to the major areas of research on behavioral influences on
Course Requirements
The course has no prerequisites. Students should carefully read each paper in the course
and think about them both theoretically and in terms of designing research.
Each week, you should be ready to identify a question, comment, or concern concerning
each reading. Come to class with something to say about each reading.
Beginning day 3, students will submit a research project outline at each class. This
means connecting a question derived from theory or prior literature with an empirical
setting where you could obtain relevant data and an empirical approach to address the
question. The outlines should take one or two pages. Outlines are due at beginning of
class. Students may be asked to discuss their proposals in class.
On the Readings
Although efforts have been made to include what the instructor sees as the most important
papers in the field, numerous papers of somewhat lower quality have been included. To
understand the field and develop taste, you need to see the range of work done in the
Academic Integrity
While I encourage students to talk about the readings and assignments, unless explicitly
stated, all work you offer in this course must be own work. Following University and
scholarly practices, I will assume submission of any work in this course constitutes a
statement that the work is entirely your own except as documented otherwise. In addition,
while discussing the assignments with others is fine, any assistance that involves much
more than that must be documented in the material handed in.
Day 1: Introduction
Bromiley, P., Behavioral Foundations for Strategic Management.
Hansen, G. S. and Wernerfelt B. 1989. Determinants of Firm Performance: The
Relative Importance of Economic and Organizational Factors. Strategic Management
Journal. 10: 399-411.
Allison, G. T. 1969. Conceptual models and the Cuban missile crisis. The American
Political Science Review, 63: 689-718.
Day 2: Decisons 1
Barr, P., Stimpert, J. L., and Huff, A. S. 1992. Cognitive Change, Strategic Action, and
Organizational Renewal. Strategic Management Journal. 13:15-36.
Dutton, J., Ashford, S., O’Neill, R., Lawrence, K.A. 2001. Moves that Matter: Issue
Selling and Organizational Change. Academy of Management Journal. 44(4) 716-737.
Tripsas, M. and Gavetti, G. 2000. Capabilities, Cognition, and Inertia: Evidence From
Digital Imaging. Strategic Management Journal. 21(10-11): 1147-1161.
Day 3: Decisions 2
Miller, K. D. and Shapira, Z. 2004. An Empirical Test of Heuristics and Biases Affecting
Real Option Valuation. Strategic Management Journal. 25(3): 269-284.
Reger, R. K. and Huff, A. S. 1993. Strategy Groups: A Cognitive Perspective. Strategic
Management Journal. 14(2) 103-124.
McNamara, G., Luce, R.A., and Thompson. 2002. Examining the effect of complexity
in cognitive strategic group knowledge structures on firm performance. Strategic
Management Journal. 23(2) 153-170.
Eisenhardt, K. M. 1989. Making Fast Strategic Decisions in High-Velocity
Environments. Academy of Management Journal. 32(3): 543-576.
Day 4: Predicting Strategic Change: Risk
March, J. G. & Shapira, Z. 1987. Managerial perspectives on risk and risk taking.
Management Science, 33: 1404-1418.
Bromiley, P. 1991. "Testing a Causal Model of Corporate Risk-taking and Performance,"
Academy of Management Journal, 34(1), 37-59.
Greve, H. R., 1998. Performance, Aspirations, and Risky Organizational Change,
Administrative Science Quarterly, 43: 58-86.
Day 5: Top Management Teams
Michel, J. and Hambrick, D. 1992. Diversification Posture and Top Management Team
Characteristics. Academy of Management Journal. 35(1): 9-37.
Wiersema, M. and Bantel, K. 1992. Top Management Team Demography and
Corporate Strategic Change. Academy of Management Journal. 35(1): 91-121.
Carpenter, M. 2002. The Implications of Strategy and Social Context for the
Relationship Between Top Management Team Heterogeneity and Firm Performance.
Strategic Management Journal. 23(3): 275-284.
Day 6: TMT Diversity and Conflict
Zajac, E. J. 1990. CEO Selection, Succession, Compensation, and Firm Performance:
A Theoretical Integration and Empirical Analysis. Strategic Management Journal. II:
Zajac, E., & Westphal, J. D., 1996. Who Shall Succeed? How CEO/Board Preferences
and Power Affect the Choice of New CEOs. Academy of Management Journal, 39(1)
Westphal, J. D. 1999. Collaboration in the Boardroom: Behavioral and Performance
Consequences of CEO-Board Social Ties, Academy of Management Journal, 42(1) 724.
Week 7: CEO’s and Boards 2
Carpenter, M. and Westphal, J. 2001. The Strategic Context of External Network Ties:
Examining the Impact of Director Appointments on Board Involvement in Strategic
Decision Making. Academy of Management Journal. 44(4): 639
Westphal, J. and Fredrickson, J. 2001. Who Directs Strategic Change? Director
Experience, the Selection of New CEOs, and Change in Corporate Strategy. Strategic
Management Journal. 22(12): 1113-1137.
Davis, G. Yoo, M., Baker, W. 2003. The Small World of the American Corporate Elite,
1982-2001. Strategic Organization. 1(3): 301-327.
Mintzberg, H. and Waters, J. A. 1982. Tracking Strategy in an Entrepreneurial Firm.
Academy of Management Journal. 25(3): 465-499.