24 February 2015

This monthly selection of articles has been carried out by Philippe Gugler and Michael Keller, the Center for Competitiveness, University of Fribourg. A full selection of the previous articles is available here.

Competition and competitiveness in the U.S. airline industry

By : Thomas J Hannigan, Robert D Hamilton and Ram Mudambi. Competitiveness Review, Volume 25, Issue 2, 2015.

Abstract: « This study employs a resource-based lens to explore the competitive implications of firm strategies under conditions of market commonality and shared resource pools. The firms’ core capabilities in these environments may focus on operational efficiency, as firms seek to compete under significant resource heterogeneity constraints. Using data from the U.S. airline industry from 1996-2011, we find that price has a positive relationship with firm performance, while quality has a negative relationship. Operational efficiency is a driver of both strategies. Firms that focus on non-core activities perform less well. The results offer insight into an industry that has interested strategy researchers for many years and may suggest an application to other industries with similar characteristics.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


The role of joint actions in the performance of IT clusters in Mexico

By : Isis Gutierrez-Martinez, Francois Duhamel, Luis Luna-Reyes, Sergio Picazo-Vela and Isabel Huerta. Competitiveness Review, Volume 25, Issue 2, 2015.

Abstract: «This article shows the importance of joint actions and institutions for collaboration (IFCs) in the development and performance of IT business clusters in the context of Mexico. A review of the literature suggests the type of linkages that clusters must develop to be successful in the context of emerging countries. Two IT clusters in the region of Puebla and Jalisco are compared to highlight the factors that differentiate successful and less successful clusters in this type of environment.The presence of an IFC, such as the Information Technology Institute of Jalisco (IJALTI) in Jalisco, is a determinant factor of the performance of the IT cluster there, contrary to Puebla. A model of dynamic interactions in clusters is proposed as a result of the analysis of the two cases. In the context of the relative scarcity of formal institutions in emerging country settings, the purposive collaboration of both private and public sectors in institutions for collaboration is necessary to ensure long standing development and performance of business clusters. In this article, we show the specific role of institutional arrangements in cluster development and performance in emerging countries, which has seldom been investigated both theoretically and empirically.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


The influence of the tax system on the location of holding companies in Switzerland

By : Gilberto Cardenas Cardenas and Sofía García Gamez. Competitiveness Review, Volume 25, Issue 2, 2015.

Abstract: «The goal of this study is to determine the extent to which the tax system constitutes a first-order element influencing the location of holding companies in Switzerland. To achieve this goal, we have estimated an econometric model using Ordinary Least Squares. We also provide a unique statistical database of holding companies established in Switzerland. The independent tax variables revolve around concepts of tax burden and effort, while the non-tax variables are generally those referred to in the literature on location of investments. The study concludes that, in addition to the tax burden, there are other qualitative variables that show the same influence on the geographic location of holding companies in Switzerland. The study of holding companies as instruments of international tax planning is usually linked to law offices or consulting firms that specialize in the international tax system — not university academic research per se. The interaction of academic theory and international fiscal praxis provides an interesting perspective from which to approach this topic.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Influence Of Automotive Clusters In Regional Development

By : Constantin Bordei. SEA - Practical Application of Science, Volume 2, Issue 3, Pages 149-158.

Abstract: « This paper proposes an overview of the evolution in the automotive sector in the process of regional development. The fundamental changes made by the component supplier sector improved the regional development and manufacturing process. Automotive industry is one of the modern sectors in many countries that benefits of a high technology impact and creates jobs that reduces unemployment across Europe. The auto industry changed cities, regions and countries into poles of development and it becomes more and more efficient. The high foreign direct investments from the automotive sector play an important role in regional development process. Continuous changes are being made in the economy, society, and company; in conclusion the automotive clusters will always be a subject of analysis.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


The Icelandic Geothermal Cluster, the Transition to Clean Energy in Emerging Markets and the Role of International Financial Institutions

By : Hilmar Þór Hilmarsson. Journal of Applied Management and Investments, Volume 3, Issue 4, Pages 220-229.

Abstract: « Iceland has received international attention for its use of geothermal energy for space heating and electricity production. The focus of this article is on the potential of an Icelandic geothermal exporting cluster engaging cross border in emerging markets. This could include provision of consultant and advisory services, construction, operations and maintenance of geothermal power plants, as well as sponsors and shareholders in geothermal projects. Being a sponsor/shareholder would require cross border capital investments. Given the higher risk profile in emerging market countries, than in many high income countries, the participation of international financial institutions and export credit agencies will be discussed as sources of funding and risk mitigation for geothermal projects.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


The Rise of Hollywood East: Regional Film Offices as Intermediaries in Film and Television Production Clusters

By : Pacey Foster, Stephan Manning and David Terkla. Regional Studies, Volume 49, Issue 3, Pages 433-450, 2015.

Abstract: « Prior research on project-based organizing in creative industries has emphasized the importance of regionally embedded institutions, creative networks and intermediaries in the development of regional project ecologies. Recently, film and television production in the United States has expanded beyond traditional clusters in Hollywood and New York to new locations in the United States, Canada and overseas, raising important questions about the dynamics of increasingly mobile creative project networks. Using data on the Massachusetts film and television industry between 1998 and 2010, it is argued that regional film offices play an increasingly important role as network intermediaries in connecting mobile creative professionals and project entrepreneurs from outside a cluster with labour pools, service providers and production locations inside a cluster on a project-by-project basis.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Creation of firm performance through resource orchestration: the case of ÜLKER

By : Rifat Kamasak. Competitiveness Review, Volume 25, Issue 2, 2015.

Abstract: «This study aims to investigate the complex interaction of different resource sets and capabilities in the process of performance creation within the context of resource-based theory. An inductive case study approach that included multiple data collection methods such as in-depth interviews, observation and documentation was utilised. Organisational culture, reputational assets, human capital, business processes and networking capabilities were found as the most important determinants of firm performance within the context of Ülker case study. Although large-scale empirical studies can be used to explore the direct resource-performance relationship, these quantitative methods bypass the complex and embedded nature of intangibles and provide only a limited understanding of why some resources are identified as strategic but others are not, what their roles are, and how these resources are converted into positions of competitive advantage. However, understanding of complex nature of resources that are embedded in organizations designates the need for more fieldwork based qualitative studies. This study aims to address this gap by providing a thorough understanding about the managerial and organizational processes through which the resources become valuable.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


Are the parents to blame? Predicting franchisee failure

By : Ilan Alon, Michèle Boulanger, Everlyne Misati and Melih Madanoglu. Competitiveness Review, Volume 25, Issue 2, 2015.

Abstract: «To appreciate how franchisor characteristics influence franchisee failure, we developed a heuristic model using the methodology and power of predictive analytics. We use data from the World Franchising Council’s and from the SBA. The data cover 271 diverse US franchise chains that are present in both databases. Our model predicts potential defaults of SBA-backed loans issued to American franchisees and we identify 13 variables that help explain franchisee failure. We offer guidance for stakeholder groups—lenders, franchisors and franchisees— to minimize the risk of lending and business failure. Our paper contributes to the franchising literature by considering parent firms’ characteristics to predict franchisee failure.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


The impact of multilevel networks on innovation

By : Jiancheng Guan. Research Policy, Volume 44, Issue 3, Pages 545–559, 2015.

Abstract: « Different from previous studies analyzing the influence of network structure on actors’ performance by using a single network perspective, this article explores the impact of multilevel networks on innovation. Using a sample of 41,007 patents in the field of alternative energy of the USPTO database, we construct inventor collaboration networks at city and as well as country levels. In the empirical analysis, we use panel data and negative binomial regression models with fixed effects. To keep our results reliable, we use an instrumental variables approach to solve potential endogeneity problems and perform a series of robustness tests. The results show that inter-country collaboration network structure moderates the relationships between inter-city collaboration network structure and innovation performance. Our findings show that when country's centrality and structural holes are high, the positive effects of city's centrality and structural holes on innovation performance are enhanced, and the negative effects of city's clustering coefficient are weakened. Implications of the findings for complex innovation network theory and innovation policies are discussed.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]