Strategic Management Review > Vol 1 > Issue 1

Growing and Shrinking

Jody Magliolo, Cox School of Business, Southern Methodist University, USA, , Tammy L. Madsen, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University, USA, , Gordon Walker, Cox School of Business, Southern Methodist University, USA,
Suggested Citation
Jody Magliolo, Tammy L. Madsen and Gordon Walker (2020), "Growing and Shrinking", Strategic Management Review: Vol. 1: No. 1, pp 159-178.

Publication Date: 04 Mar 2020
© 2020 now publishers, Inc.
Strategic Management
Competitive heterogeneitygrowthperformancereal options


Login to download a free copy
In this article:


In this paper, we expand the research that decomposes the variance in firm outcomes into separate factors so that they can be ordered~in substantive importance. The outcome we study is growth option value, which denotes the expected return from a firm's investments which can be identified but have yet to be made, in contrast to the net present value of investments that have already been made. In our framework, we separate time periods in an industry into those when revenues are rising and those when revenues are falling. We argue that the idiosyncratic firm effect on growth option value is smaller when industry revenues are rising than the effect when revenues are falling. Our theory is that rising revenues reduce the conflict between short- and long-term investments and falling revenues raise this conflict. Greater conflict in turn increases the influence of organizational factors on managerial decision-making which, assuming these factors are specific to each firm, amplifies the firm effect on growth option value. In addition to this hypothesis, we present a number of moderating influences that may dampen the difference in the firm effect in rising and falling markets. Finally, we suggest that our theory has important implications for research on organizational growth, dynamic capabilities, and organizational hysteresis.