Articles Published & Forthcoming in Refereed Journals
Gatignon, A. & Bode, C.(2023). When Few Give to Many and Many Give to Few: Corporate
Social Responsibility Strategies under India’s Legal Mandate, Strategic Management Journal, 44(9), 2099–2127.
We investigate firms' corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies under India's 2013 legal mandate. We study 12,086 firms and 86,755 projects from 2014 to 2017. Using an abductive approach, we examine firms’ choices of social causes, geographic locations, implementation channels, and number of projects through four theoretical lenses. Firms adopt two main CSR strategies: the first and most common has a narrow focus, while the second, pursued by few (typically leading firms and State-owned enterprises), is broader. Both strategies appear primarily driven by instrumental stakeholder concerns. While the second leads to stronger differentiation and holds greater potential for social impact, neither strategy leverages firms’ comparative efficiency over nonprofit actors. These insights shed light on how firms address grand challenges and can inform CSR regulations.
Gatignon, A., Gama, M. & B. DeMello, R. (2023). The Returns to Nonmarket Strategies during Institutional Transitions: Investor Reactions to Actor and Tie Characteristics, Organization Science. 34(2):916-934.
We explain how investor perceptions concerning the legitimacy and thereby value of nonmarket strategies changes during institutional transitions towards greater legal compliance. Indirect influence strategies should be better aligned with the transition and therefore become more legitimate than those associated with direct co-optation and control. Moreover, investors should assess this alignment based on two defining characteristics of firms’ nonmarket strategies, namely the nonmarket actors and the ties involved. We therefore expect investors to value firms’ ties to NGOs more than to political actors, and ties formed via donations more than board ties. We test our hypotheses in the context of seven police raids in Brazil in 2014; these raids launched “Operation Car Wash,” perceived by investors as a signal of institutional transition at that point in time. Our findings integrate nonmarket strategies' political and social facets by showing how actor and tie characteristics jointly explain their success or failure. They also contribute to explaining which firms will be better positioned to weather institutional transitions between legal capture and legal compliance.
Gatignon, A. (2022). The double-edged sword of boundary-spanning Corporate Social Responsibility programs. Strategic Management Journal, 43( 10), 2156– 2184.
This paper builds theoretical arguments and shows empirical evidence of the direct benefits and indirect costs of corporate volunteering in developing countries. Spanning corporate and humanitarian sectors to work in challenging environments should activate motivational and learning benefits for participating employees. However, results from a field study of a 10-year partnership between logistics provider TNT and the United Nations World Food Program show that such boundary-spanning corporate social responsibility (CSR) can be a double-edged sword. Task interdependence with nonprofit peers while volunteering strengthens employees' partnership identification and institutional learning. However, institutional learning triggers identity strain (associated with attrition) when they return, unless firms foster a sense that they recognize CSR experiences as valuable. The findings inform the behavioral and micro-foundations of the potential consequences of CSR.
Gatignon, A. & Capron, L. (2023) The firm as an architect of polycentric governance: Building open institutional infrastructure in emerging markets. Strategic Management Journal. 44:48-85.
We apply pattern‐matching techniques to contrast qualitative case study data with perspectives from strategic management and institutional economics about how a firm can address voids in market‐based institutions. We identify a novel approach whereby the firm builds an open institutional infrastructure (OII) by investing in a pool of resources widely accessible beyond its exchange partners. To collectively govern OII, the firm must
empower other actors within multilateral cross‐sector partnerships,
and it must enforce the resulting rules through relational norms based on alignment between public and private value creation. These findings, achieved by adapting Elinor Ostrom's principles of polycentric governance to corporate actors who take the lead in building OII, advance our understanding of new organizational forms that transcend the traditional boundaries of firms and markets.
Ballesteros, L. & Gatignon, A. (2019) The Relative Value of Firm and Non-Profit Experience: Tackling Large-Scale Social Issues across Institutional Contexts, Strategic Management Journal, 40: 631– 657.
Nonprofit organizations (NPOs) are often identified as a natural vehicle for the engagement of firms in large‐scale social issues. We evaluate this argument by examining the conditions under which NPO experience is more valuable than firm experience in overcoming the key challenges associated with corporate disaster giving. Findings from a quasi‐experiment across the 4,396 natural disasters worldwide between 2003 and 2015 demonstrate that firms could donate more by implementing the
aid through NPOs (on their own) in countries with low (high) institutional development, especially where they lack (have) market operations. However, we also observe that firms more frequently than not opted into the allocation model that yielded comparatively low aid, raising questions about incentive alignment and communication across the business and nonprofit sectors.
Gatignon, A. & Gatignon, H. (2011) Transaction Costs in Action: Erin Anderson and the Path-Breaking Work of TCE in New Areas of Business Research, Journal of Retailing, 86(3): 232-247
This review article synthesizes Erin Anderson's academic contribution, with an emphasis on two path breaking aspects of her work, namely the operationalization of TCA in different contexts and the refinement of the theory. We review the measures that she developed to reflect key TCE constructs, and identify five contexts in which Erin Anderson's application of TCE concepts broke new paths. These are employee or representative salesforces, choice of foreign entry mode, new market entry and innovation, countertrade, and ethics. We highlight a number of ways in which her research integrates other theories to transaction cost economics, thereby deepening our understanding of key issues involving make or buy decisions. Finally, we draw attention to directions for future research identified through her work.
Gatignon, A., Charles, A., & Van Wassenhove, L.N. (2010) The Yogyakarta Earthquake: Humanitarian Relief through IFRC's Decentralized Supply Chain, International Journal of Production Economics, 126(1): 102-110
Humanitarian operations rely heavily on logistics in uncertain, risky, and urgent contexts, making them a very different field of application for supply chain management principles than that of traditional businesses. We illustrate how optimal supply chains can be designed and implemented within this sector via a study of the process through which the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) decentralized its supply chain. We examine how the process was implemented through a 10-year retrospective of the organization's evolution. We then evaluate the decentralized supply chain's performance in responding to humanitarian crises through an analysis of the IFRC's operations during the Yogyakarta earthquake in 2006. This was the first operation to benefit from the support of Regional Logistics Units (RLUs), the core element of the IFRC's new decentralized supply chain for disaster relief. Our analysis demonstrates the benefits of the decentralized model in humanitarian operations. We find that its implementation requires an alignment between organizational readiness and the adoption of fundamental logistics components, namely standardized tools and processes, traceability through adapted information systems, and appropriate competencies within the organization.
Gatignon, Aline. 2022. Scaling Up Collaboration for Social Impact: The Governance and Design of Corporate-Nonprofit Partnerships, in: Handbook on the Business of Sustainability (eds. G. George, M.R. Haas, H. Joshi, A. McGahan, P. Tracey), Edward-Elgar publishing. see abstract
Gatignon, Aline & Bode, Christiane. 2020. When Opposites Detract From Cross-Sector Collaboration: An Empirical Analysis Of CSR Implementation After The 2013 Reform To The India Companies Act. In Guclu Atinc (Ed.), Proceedings of the Eightieth Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management.