Coevolution of alliance portfolios and organizations: A cross sector analysis of new technology based firms in the European Mobile Internet industry / Tillmann von Schroeter, EXIST-HighTEPP at the University of Bamberg. Strategic alliances and partnerships have extensively been studied over the past twenty years. Research has shown that they are a way to gain resources in a cost-efficient manner, especially for new firms with limited resources. In addition, alliances can help to spread technological development risks. One may conclude, that for new technology-based firms (NTBF) strategic alliances are a logical and timely response to intense and rapid changes in economic and technological environments. Given that the benefits of a partnership change over time, it is difficult however, to determine how the optimal alliance portfolio should be structured. NTBFs frequently face the problem that some partnerships in their alliance portfolio (defined as the collection of all partnerships) are not efficient (defined as time and resources devoted over the received benefits). Therefore, it is important on one hand to understand how benefits are derived from an alliance portfolio and what its impact on the organizational development is. On the other hand, it is critical to recognize the superior forces, which drive the alliance portfolio dynamics. One partnership intensive industry, which is both high-tech and entrepreneurial, is Mobile Internet. Four forces - high levels of required investments, changing industry barriers, significant dependencies due to a highly integrated value chain, and fast technological innovations - largely explain why this is the case. This study analyzes how alliance portfolios influence the organizational development of NTBF’s in this industry, and what impact an efficiently managed alliance portfolio has on company performance. In addition, it researches if organizational changes trigger structural changes concerning the alliance portfolio and, therefore, its dynamics. The research is based on nine in-depth case studies selected from three sectors of the mobile Internet industry and comprises three major steps: (1) Industry analyses based on secondary data (industry reports and white papers), conferences, and preparatory interviews with industry experts such as mobile operators and consultants. (2) Company analyses based on secondary data including annual reports, press clippings, Internet sites, and databases such as Factiva, OneSource, and Hoover's. (3) Two-hour face-to-face interviews with one or two founders or managers from the companies, with follow-up telephone interviews on specific questions. In summary, 400 pages of interview transcripts, 5,000 pages of corporate information and 15 industry reports are the basis of this study. A profile has been established for each company showing its organizational development over time (characteristics such as its structure, management style, and resource requirements), its alliance portfolio (partnership foundation, degree of intensity) and its performance (survival, revenue development, profits and employees, and awards as a proxy for technological achievements). The efficiency of alliance portfolios is analyzed by comparing resource requirements with the shape of the alliance portfolio at every development stage. Pajec, a software tool to analyze large social networks, supports this analysis. The research on alliances has focused more on dyadic relationships than on alliance portfolios. This explains why later research suffers from the deficiency that the process of alliance portfolio formation and transformation has not been fully addressed. Although recent studies have stressed the portfolio approach, they have predominantly assessed static scenarios. The impact of organizational development stages on the alliance portfolio structure remains largely undiscovered. The contribution of this research, offering an extensive analysis of the alliances of NTBFs in the European Mobile Internet industry, is twofold: (1) Life cycle approaches, the RBV, and network theory (approaches which have until now been regarded separately most of the time) are linked into one comprehensive model. This model adds to the underdeveloped area of the dynamics of alliances. It contains the - time-dependent - aspect of alliance portfolio efficiency by comparing NTBF's portfolio structure with its resource requirements depending on the position in its life cycle. (2) It provides managers of NTBFs with a tool to structure and manage their alliance portfolio pro-actively.
Worker participation at the supervisory board has always been subject to controversial debate. It is not the aim of this paper to examine worker participation as to its advantages and disadvantages, but to give the reader an overview of how companies can determine the depth, form and level of worker participation by choosing between different legal structures within the EU. Generally speaking, three alternatives can be identified. First of all, companies that do business across boarders in the EU/EEA and are organised as joint-stock companies may establish a European Company (Societas Europaea = SE) from October 8th, 2004 on. The Council of Ministers has agreed on the European Company Statute during the Nice Summit in December 2000 after more than 30 years of controversial debate. In this context two legal instruments have been enacted, the council regulation (No. 2157/2001) on the Statute for a European Company, which rules the internal corporate governance structure of the SE, and the council directive (2001/86/EC) supplementing the Statute for a European Company with regard to the involvement of employees on the company level, which emphasises voluntary negotiations between employees' representatives, a so-called special negotiating body, and the management. The negotiation's outcome primarily depends on the negotiating skills of the parties involved. If no agreement is achieved, the management, however, still wants to establish a SE, standard rules are applied that are specified in the Annex of the Directive. Secondly, companies continuously organise their activities by choosing a legal form that is provided by national law. According to rulings as to freedom of establishment by the ECJ, member states have to recognise companies that have been established according to legal provisions in another member state as long as this member state follows incorporation theory. This means, for instance, for the management that it may establish a British private limited company. Then the ltd. can even transfer its administrative centre to Germany. In order to do business there, the ltd. must be registered in the German commercial register. Consequently, German legislation regarding worker participation at the company level cannot be applied. Finally, the proposal for a EU directive on cross-border mergers of companies with share capital is mentioned in this context. The proposal provides two alternatives concerning worker participation in the case of a merger. On the one hand, one ore more companies participating are subject to any form of worker participation so far and there are no national provisions on worker participation in the member state, where the new company is incorporated. In this case a procedure in accordance with the SE Directive will have to be established. On the other hand, the member state, in which the new company is incorporated, offers national provisions regarding worker participation. They will have to be applied in consequence. In sum, the above-mentioned organisational alternatives might put considerable pressure on the different industrial relations systems persistent in the EU. In the long run, this pressure might result in a convergence not only of the industrial relations systems but also of the corporate governance systems.
Companies doing cross-boarder business in Europe can choose between several national and European legal alternatives. In the centre of this paper, are two of them: alternatives provided by the freedom of establishment and the European Company Statute. The focus of this paper is not on the practical implications of these two action alternatives for enterprises, but on the judicial issues arising in this context. After presenting the current rulings of the European Court of Justice regarding the freedom of establishment and the basic contents of the legal acts, council regulation No. 2157/2001 and council directive No. 2001/86/EC, regarding the European Company (SE), two issues of great importance are examined in this context: the issue of the governing law and the issue of harmonisation. Finally it is presented to the reader to what extent those European provisions are consistent, respectively, restrict one another.
This study is a collection of essays in empirical labor economics with a focus on labor supply. The topics chosen are from different fields of research that are not on the top of economists' agenda and therefore are underresearched. First, it is examined whether religion affects individuals' economic outcomes. The effects of substance use, measured by smoking behavior on absenteeism and earnings are subject of another essay. The final essay explores secondary jobholding. Both cross-sectional and panel estimation techniques are employed. The latter are more appropriate to control for unobservable individual heterogeneity. The studies mainly use data that are drawn from the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP).