Essays in behavioral strategy

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

1052 Downloads (Pure)


This dissertation is composed of three quantitative empirical essays. Using social psychology, psychology and economic theory, the first essay explores how fear of death, belief in afterlife, self-esteem and generation influence the way employees project themselves in the future of their working organization. Using data from an online survey, the study confirms the impact of the proposed concepts on individual long-term orientation at work. Based on social identity theory, the central essay theorizes on the impact of top management’s existential concerns on the time horizon of investments within organizations. An empirical longitudinal analysis based on a sample of death events within the management team of US public firms confirms the existence of a short-lived effect of death salience on firm’s asset portfolio composition. This relationship is moderated by the relative performance of the firm and the level of identification between the firm and the deceased executive. In the third essay, we investigate how conceptual change may influence the perception of the space of the firm, ultimately influencing decisions about its boundaries. We propose a theory explaining the link between a steady increase of outsourcing in developed economies and the wide application of quality management by many firms. The results generally support our theory: we show that external R&D expenses are positively associated with prior quality management initiatives. Moreover, the relationship between quality management initiatives and R&D outsourcing is positively moderated by firm’s international exposure. Overall this dissertation represents an effort toward more understanding of the perception of time and space within organization at individual and group level. It proposes and tests empirically a number of neglected determinants of these perceptions in order to explain cognitions and decisions within firms. Doing so, we contribute to the field of behavioral strategy.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Tilburg University
  • van Witteloostuijn, Arjen, Promotor
  • Golovko, Elena, Co-promotor
Award date18 Mar 2016
Place of PublicationTilburg
Print ISBNs9789056684679
Publication statusPublished - 2016


Dive into the research topics of 'Essays in behavioral strategy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this