Strategic Responses to Crisis

A Virtual Special Issue edited by Matthias Wenzel, Sarah Stanske, and Marvin Lieberman

Currently, the pandemic crisis is affecting the lives of people and organizations around the world. As the coronavirus continues to spread, more and more governments are implementing strong measures to save people’s lives, such as the prohibition of events, lockdowns, and shutdowns. These measures contribute to slowing down the spread of the coronavirus in order to avoid lethal capacity overloads of national healthcare systems. At the same time, they threaten the survival of firms across all sectors and industries at a global scale—with potentially devastating individual, societal, and economic outcomes, such as massive job losses and social precarity. Therefore, the corona crisis raises important questions about how firms can respond effectively to crises such as the current pandemic.

In this Virtual Special Issue, we gather and discuss key articles published in the journals of the Strategic Management Society (SMS) that shed light on how firms respond to crisis. Our overview focuses on 13 articles that substantially inform our understanding of this issue.

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Directed by Words: How Entrepreneurs Rely on Salient Frames to Devise a Market Entry Strategy

by Kisha Lashley Language is powerful; scholars have shown that organizations rely on language to guide stakeholder interpretations to create value for the focal firm. For example, entrepreneurial firms can use language to access resources and to generate other support … Continue reading Directed by Words: How Entrepreneurs Rely on Salient Frames to Devise a Market Entry Strategy

A Strategy Contribution to the Immigration Debate

by Esther Leibel Do skilled ethnic migrants steal jobs from local skilled workers? According to Prithwiraj (Raj) Choudhury and Do Yoon Kim, this question may originate from a flawed assumption—that domestic and foreign workers carry equal skills, and are essentially interchangeable. Yet, evidence from their recently accepted SMJ paper reveals that foreign and domestic workers differ in the knowledge they carry, as well as in their ability to recombine such knowledge. In “The Ethnic Migrant Inventor Effect: Codification and Recombination of Knowledge Across Borders Firms,” Choudhury and Kim suggest that firms hiring skilled ethnic migrants may benefit twice—first, they can access … Continue reading A Strategy Contribution to the Immigration Debate

Reflections on Hannah and Eisenhardt’s “How Firms Navigate Cooperation and Competition in Nascent Ecosystems”: Exploring Bottlenecks as a Central Concept in Innovation Ecosystem Theory

by David Clough Industries in an early phase of emergence are steeped with uncertainty. When this is combined with a complex, novel technology, managers face a deeply challenging environment in which to strategize. In an article forthcoming in the Strategic Management Journal, Douglas Hannah and Kathleen Eisenhardt explore the strategies managers used in the emerging US residential solar industry. This industry has the character of an innovation ecosystem: value is created for customers when complementary components are brought together in a system. Managers must jointly determine which components they will produce and how closely they will cooperate with external partners—all while … Continue reading Reflections on Hannah and Eisenhardt’s “How Firms Navigate Cooperation and Competition in Nascent Ecosystems”: Exploring Bottlenecks as a Central Concept in Innovation Ecosystem Theory