August 9, 2016

Start Expanding Your Ideas: Christina Carnes

Christina Carnes
In a study recently accepted to Strategic Management Journal, Dr. Christina Carnes, assistant professor of management at the College of Business Administration at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, examined the importance of time in strategic management. “Friends or Strangers? It All Depends on Context: A Replication and Extension of Beckman, Haunschild, and Phillips (2004),” delves into the effect of firm-specific uncertainty and market uncertainty on cooperative partnerships between companies using data taken from the largest 300 firms listed by Fortune in 1990.
Her research affirms the influence of time and the need for a greater understanding of the established research within the field of management. The research will be featured alongside others in a unique issue of Strategic Management Journal devoted solely to replication studies. This is the first time the journal has accepted replications.
Christina Carnes
“Considerable focus within publications is given to fresh research, with relatively few replications completed in the field of management. Once fresh research is published, it is used as an established basis for further studies to build from,” Carnes explained. “Replication offers an important avenue for researchers to test the accuracy of these studies.”
Understanding interorganizational relationships is essential to strategy research, given their impact on innovation, firm performance and strategic decisions such as acquisitions and international expansions. Carnes’ research demonstrates the importance of replication and context within strategic management and contributes to the understanding of the complexity of relationships between organizations over time.
In the study, Carnes found differing results from the study by Beckman, Haunschild and Phillips once the timeframe was relaxed, providing evidence that temporal considerations may be important boundary conditions to understanding alliance and interlock formations. The original study utilized data from 1988 to 1993. Implementing data on the 300 firms from 1988 to 2010, the results revealed that companies experiencing firm-level uncertainty may seek reinforcing alliances rather than broadening, as was found in the original. Also in contrast, Carnes found market uncertainty increases the likelihood of broadening alliances across the full sample period, and diminished evidence that multiplex ties (those in which both alliances and interlocks are pursued) are affected by market uncertainty.
“The results demonstrate the important idea that most everything changes over time. Just being aware of the results of studies can change behavior in the social sciences. The results also show established research isn’t always accurate, and the field has now made an effort to address that by allowing replication studies,” said Carnes.
Used in tandem, the two studies provide a more nuanced perspective of uncertainty by capturing the role of context and providing critical insights into the complexity surrounding the development of interorganizational relationships. 

Carnes is featured in another article published in Strategic Management Journal July 11 titled “Competitive repertoire complexity: Governance antecedents and performance outcomes”. Carnes, along with Brian Connelly and David Ketchen of Auburn University, Lazlo Tihanyi of Texas A&M University and Walter Ferrier of the University of Kentucky, studied the antecedents and outcomes of complex competitive repertoires and discovered that implementing these diverse and dynamic arrays of actions is beneficial to company performance. A video abstract of the article can be viewed here: