In any market, firms face at least two major challenges. One challenge is to acquire inputs and transform these into products or services. Companies must strive to optimize this process in order to stand the test of competition in the market place. A second challenge is to find ways to deal with ever changing market conditions. This requires an efficient allocation of resources and the ability to change internal processes and organizational structures. The firm can therefore be viewed as an agent operating in a complex and ever changing market environment as well as an organization of agents shaping market conditions and continuously adapting to changes in the business environment. To successfully face these challenges, firms formulate strategies. Strategies are an essential tool for organizations to optimize the fit between the external and internal environment of the firm. The leading view in our research program is that the firm is neither just a black box, nor only a collection of distinct entities. Rather, we consider it to be an open system.
This view is reflected in the multidisciplinary nature of our research, which is positioned in GSBE, the Graduate School of Business and Economics of the Maastricht University School of Business and Economics. We promote high quality research in the areas of Industrial Organization and Entrepreneurship, International Business and Strategic Management, Organizational Theory and Behavior as well as the interrelationships between these disciplines. In all these fields, our faculty publishes regularly in international renowned journals. Examples of which include: Academy of Management Journal; Academy of Management Review; Journal of Financial Economics; Journal of Monetary Economics; RAND Journal of Economics; Journal of Business and Economics Statistics and Management Science. Below you find a brief description of research within the three main sub-disciplines of the department.
Industrial Organization and Entrepreneurship
Research in the field of Industrial Organization and Entrepreneurship concentrates on the (dynamics of the) supply side of the economy. Key issues include the structure of industries, the conduct of market players and their performance in terms of profitability, efficiency and innovativeness. Important research topics comprise firm entry and exit, antitrust, family firms, characteristics of entrepreneurs, small and medium sized firm performance, innovation and cooperation, regional markets, productivity and mobility. We cooperate with various other universities, including University of Amsterdam (ACLE), Erasmus University Rotterdam (ESE and RSM), University of Hasselt (KIZOK), Indiana University, University of Bologna, University of Mannheim (ZEW), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Université de Namur and University of Western Ontario.
International Business and Strategic Management
Research in the field of International Business and Strategic Management concentrates on the behavior of undertakings which operate in an (international) competitive environment. In particular, it focuses on strategies adopted by a firm and its competitors. This includes analyses of how companies respond (or should respond) to changing market circumstances such as new technologies, market entry and modifications in the socio-economic structure of the industry. Main topics of study are strategic alliances, mergers and acquisitions, inter-firm networks, innovation, investments, acquisition of technology and technology transfers. Part of the research is conducted in cooperation with the Georgia Institute of Technology, University of California: Riverside, Brandeis University, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Copenhagen Business School, Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Lille and the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration. Moreover, this research program is affiliated with the Stanford SCANCOR program.
Organizational Theory and Behavior
Research in this field concentrates on organizational theory and behavior and (strategic) human resource management issues such as social relationships within organizations (e.g., leadership and working within teams, mentoring, networking, social support issues). Complementary research is done in the area of international management and cross-cultural management. Research is conducted in cooperation with a variety of international schools such as the Texas Tech University and the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.