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T he impact of European Deregulation on Banking Strategies

Barreto, I. T. (2000). T he impact of European Deregulation on Banking Strategies. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


This dissertation examines which factors determine firms’ adjustment to a major environmental change. The study is divided in two Parts. In Part One I investigate whether organizational forms determine a better realized adjustment to a major environmental change. Dominant streams of strategic management literature typically analyse the determinants of firms’ actions and performance at firm-level or industry-level. I extend these approaches by suggesting the relevance of an intermediate level, the organizational form level. Drawing mainly on organizational ecology, but considering a contingent inertia concept (rather than its traditional structural inertia concept) as the main mechanism and continuous performance (rather than failure rates) as the outcome, I argue that more flexible and responsive organizational forms perform better. Findings strongly support my hypotheses that selection forces favor generalist, private-owned and local firms in detriment of specialist, state owned and foreign firms. Moreover, larger and younger firms also benefit from selection forces. In Part Two, I examine whether imitation influence firms’ adjustment choices when they face a major environmental change and which are the consequences. Central to important theoretical perspectives in strategic management field is the idea that firms differ. In this study, I take a distinct perspective mainly based on institutional isomorphism (from institutional theory) and herd behavior models (from financial economics) and suggest that there is interfirm imitation on major strategic choices even in the presence of negative payoff externalities. I also argue that such kind of imitation should lead to negative contribution to firms ’ performance. Finally, I suggest that perceptions of managers and legitimacy-providers on intraindustry categorization are most relevant to determine who follows whom in a mimetic process. The findings fully support these hypotheses. The study discusses the implications of the results of both Parts and concludes that endogenous and exogenous constraints on managerial choices should attract a growing attention in future strategy research.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Departments: Bayes Business School
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