A One-Week

Taught by Jean-Luc Arregle
November 19-23, EMLYON Business School


This course covers different advanced topics in Strategy. Based on your previous courses in Strategy, the objective is to explore more deeply a selection of important research subjects in Strategy. These different research questions cover different facets of strategy research.


Homepage, arregle@em-lyon.com

Jean-Luc Arregle teaches Strategy and International Strategy. His research interests are semi-globalisation strategies, family firms' strategies and the roles of institutions in firms' strategic decisions. He serves on the editorial review board of several academic journals (JIBS, MIR, RFG…) and he is an editor of M@n@gement. He has published articles in several French and international academic journals, including the Strategic Management Journal and Journal of International Business Studies. He has taught in several countries.

Keep reading for details on the seminar…


You are expected to do all required readings, attend all classes, and participate actively in discussions.


As other PhD courses, the course is taught through a set of readings. To make the class successful, you must participate actively. Therefore, you must read the assigned material for each session. The most rewarding classes are marked by constructive debate.
Preparation includes assessing the readings in the following general areas:

1.    Identify basic argument and especially contribution of each article to the domain. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the underlined argument in each article.
2.    What differentiates this argument from others you have read?
3.    What are the scope conditions? Under what circumstances and for what kinds of organizations is the argument meant to apply?
4.    What modifications would be necessary to extend the argument to other empirical domains?
5.    If you disagree with the argument, what would it take to convince you?
6.    For empirical articles: How well is the research designed? What, if any, alternative explanations could account for the empirical findings?
7.    Find possible areas of further research out of this reading.

My role is to facilitate and direct the discussion; your role is to engage each other in developing the best critical understanding of each paper.

During the last session on Multilevel methods, we will use statistical softwares specially designed to implement them on several datasets that I will provide and related to some of my previous articles.


Class Presentation & Participation: 70%
Individual paper: 30%

Class Presentation & Participation: For each session, you have to read all the articles and participate in the discussion and make a presentation on one article. We will have four presentations per session, which means a total of 24 presentations for the course and six presentations per students during the course. I will organize the presentations for the six sessions.

This presentation should last 20-30mn and covers (at least) the seven points listed page 1 and the following points:
1.    What important articles have been published on the topic studied in the article since its publication? What are their key new insights?
2.    Propose some topics linked to the article that we could debate in class.

You have to decide with the other students presenting in a session which article you are going to present in the list of readings. Just send me by November15th, the title of the articles you are going to present.

Individual paper (five to six pages maximum):
The individual paper is an analysis of an article that is not discussed within the class room but related to one of the topics covered in this course. Once you have selected a paper, you must contact me to get my approval. Then, you can write your review.

The manuscript is due December 21st.


Monday November 19: 9am-12pm: Performance of the firm (1)

  • Knott, A.M.. Persistent heterogeneity and sustainable innovation. Strategic Management Journal, 24:687-705.
  • Powell, T. C. 2003. Varieties of competitive parity. Strategic Management Journal, 24(1): 61-86.
  • Ray G, Barney JB, Muhanna WA. 2004. Capabilities, business processes, and competitive advantage: choosing the dependent variable in empirical tests of the resource-based view. Strategic Management Journal 25(1): 23-37.
  • Powell, TC. 2001. Competitive advantage: logical and philosophical considerations. Strategic Management Journal 22(9): 875-888.
  • Powell, TC, Rahman, N., Starbuck, WH. 2010. European online casino and North American origins of competitive advantage, in Baum Joel A.C., Joseph Lampel (ed.) The Globalization of Strategy Research (Advances in Strategic Management, Volume 27), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.313-351
  • Rindova, V.P., Fombrun, C.J. 1999. Constructing competitive advantage: the role of firm-constituent interactions. Strategic Management Journal, 20: 691-710.

Optional reading:

  • Arend, RJ. 2004. The definition of strategic liabilities, and their impact on firm performance. Journal of Management Studies, 41(6): 1003-1027.

Monday November 19: 2pm-5pm: Performance of the firm (2)

  • Denrell, J. 2003. Vicarious learning, undersampling of failure, and the myths of management, Organization Science, 14(3): 227-243.
  • Gimeno, J., Folta, T., Cooper, A., and Woo, C., 1997. Survival of the fittest? Entrepreneurial human capital and the persistence of underperforming firms. Administrative Science Quarterly, 42: 750-783.
  • Leibenstein, H., Maital, S. 1994. The organizational foundations of X-inefficiency. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 23: 251-268.
  • Powell, T.C., Arregle, J.L. 2007, Firm Performance and the Axis of Errors, Journal of Management Research, 7(2): 59-77.
  • Powell, T. C., Lloyd, C. J. 2005. Toward a general theory of competitive dominance: comments and extensions on Powell (2003). Strategic Management Journal, 26(4): 385-394.

Tuesday November 20: 9am-12pm: Performance of the firm (3)

  • Denrell, J. 2004. Random walks and sustained competitive advantage, Management Science, 50: 922-934.
  • Starbuck, WH. 2004. Methodological challenges posed by measures of performance, Journal of Management and Governance, 8: 337-343.
  • March, JG, Sutton, RI. 1997. Organizational performance as a dependent variable, Organization Science, 8(6): 698-706.
  • Schwab, A., Abrahamson, E., Starbuck, WH., Fidler, F. 2011. Researchers should make thoughtful assessments instead of null-hypothesis significance tests, Organization Science, 22(4), 1105-1120.
  • Powell, TC. 2011. Neurostrategy, Strategic Management Journal, 32(13): 1484-1499.

Tuesday November 20: 2pm-5pm: International Strategy

  • Goerzen, A., Beamish, P.W. 2003. Geographic scope and multinational enterprise performance, Strategic Management Journal: 1289-1306.
  • Johansson, J., Vahlne, J-E. 1977. The internationalization process of the firm – a model of knowledge development and increasing foreign market commitments, Journal of International Business Studies, Summer-Spring: 23-32.
  • Kumar, MVS. 2009. The relationship between product and international diversification: The effects of short-run constraints and endogeneity. Strategic Management Journal, 30: 99-116.
  • Vermeulen, F., Barkema, H. 2002. Pace, Rhythm and Scope: Process Dependence in Building a Profitable Multinational Corporation. Strategic Management Journal, 23: 637-654.
  • Yiu, D., Makino, S. 2002. The choice between joint venture and wholly owned subsidiary: an institutional perspective. Organization Science, 13: 667-683.
  • Chan, CM, Isobe, T, Makino, S. 2008. Which country matters? Institutional development and foreign affiliate performance. Strategic Management Journal, 29(11): 1179-1205.

Optional reading:

  • Sapienza, HJ, Autio, E, George, G, Zahra, SA. 2006. A capabilities perspective on the effects of early internationalization on firm survival and growth. Academy of Management Review, 31(4): 914-933.

Wednesday November 21: Break

Thursday November 22: 9am-12pm: Globalization or semi-Globalization?

  • Aguilera, RV, Flores, RG, Vaaler, PM. 2007. Is it all a matter of grouping? Examining the regional effect in global strategy research. In International Strategic Management: A New Generation, Tallman S (ed). Edward Elgar Publishers: Northampton, MA; 209-228.
  • Arregle, J.L., Beamish, P.W. Hebert, L. 2009, The Regional Dimension of MNE’s Foreign Subsidiary Localization. Journal of International Business Studies, 40(1): 86-107.
  • Arregle, J.L., Miller, T., Hitt, M.A., Beamish, P.W. 2013. Do regions matter? An integrated institutional and semi-globalization perspective on the internationalization of MNEs. Strategic Management Journal, forthcoming.
  • Buckley PJ, Ghauri PN. 2004. Globalization economic geography and the strategy of multinational enterprises. Journal of International Business Studies, 35(2): 81-98.
  • Ghemawat, P. 2003. Semi-globalization and international business strategy. Journal of International Business Studies, 34(2): 138-152.
  • Rugman, AM, Verbeke, A. 2004. A perspective on regional and global strategies of multinational enterprises. Journal of International Business Studies, 35(1): 3-18.

Optional readings:

  • Osegowitsch, T., Sammartino, A. 2008. Reassessing (home-) regionalisation. Journal of International Business Studies, 39(2): 184-196.
  • Rugman AM, Verbeke A. 2005. Towards a theory of regional multinationals: a transaction cost economics approach. Management International Review, 45(1): 5-17.

Thursday November 22: 2pm-5pm: Multilevel methods and Strategy research

  • Arregle, J.L., Hebert, L., Beamish, P.W. 2006. Mode of International Entry: Advantages of Multilevel Methods. Management International Review, 5: 557-618.
  • Bliese, P.D., Hanges, P.J. 2004. Being both too liberal and too conservative: The perils of treating grouped data as though they were independent. Organizational Research Methods, 7(4): 400-417.
  • Hitt MA, Beamish PW, Jackson SE, Mathieu JE. 2007. Building theoretical and empirical bridges across levels: multilevel research in management. Academy of Management Journal 50(6): 1385-1399.
  • Klein, J.K., Dansereau, F., Hall R.J. 1994. Levels issues in theory development, data collection, and analysis. Academy of management Review, 19(2): 195-229.
  • Misangyi, V. F., Elms, H., Greckhamer, T., Lepine, J. A. 2006. A new perspective on a fundamental debate: a multilevel approach to industry, corporate, and business unit effects. Strategic Management Journal, 27(6): 571-590.
  • Hofmann, D.A. 1997. An overview of the logic and rationale of hierarchical linear models. Journal of Management, 23: 723-744.

Friday November 23: 9am-12pm: Multilevel methods and Strategy research: Workshop (using HLM and SuperMix statistical softwares)

  • Peterson, M.F.,  J.L. Arregle, J.L., Martin, X. 2012. Multilevel Models in International Business Research, The Journal of International Business Studies, 43(5): 451-457.

As the name implies, these seminars are:

  • open. Although part of EMLYON Ph.D. program, these seminars are also opened to Ph.D. students and faculty members from other institutions. The fee for other institutions is €200 for PhD students and €400 for faculty members.
  • intensive. These high level doctoral seminars consist in intensive training courses about very specialized topics, representative of HEC scientific research community.

For additional information about the seminar, and to register, send an email message to Ms. Catherine Perrier: perrier@em-lyon.com