Matthew Josefy is an Assistant Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship in at the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University. His areas of expertise include, resource acquisition, strategic leadership, organizational survival, firm size, strategic entrepreneurship, natural language processing and anti-human trafficking.
Industry Expertise (1)
Areas of Expertise (7)
Natural Language Processing
Strategic Research Foundation Dissertation Grant
Outstanding Reviewer, Business Policy and Strategy Division, Academy of Management Conference
Texas A&M University: Ph.D., Strategic Management
Texas A&M University: M.S., Financial Management
Texas A&M University: B.A., Accounting
Media Appearances (2)
Lifespans Of American Companies Have Grown Shorter, Study Reveals
Study Finds online
“The history of American businesses was centered around these family enterprises,” says lead researcher Matthew Josefy in a university release. “The whole reason of incorporating was so the organization would live longer than the founder, giving them a sense of immortality. Here’s the irony: These large corporations aren’t even going to live as long as the founder, much less get passed down to the next generation of owners”...
US public companies have increasingly shorter lifespans, research says
PHYS ORG online
These findings are based on an empirical analysis of nearly 32,000 U.S. publicly listed companies between 1960 and 2015 by Rene Bakker, assistant professor of management and entrepreneurship, and Matthew Josefy, assistant professor of strategy and entrepreneurship. The researchers believe that long-held views about the age of companies have changed as organizations have become increasingly temporary in nature. Research on firm age dates back to the mid-1960s, but little has been done since the early 1990s. Bakker and Josefy question whether firm age today is anything more than a number and suggest that it may no longer predict organizational success...
Living and Dying: Synthesizing the Literature on Firm Survival and Failure across Stages of DevelopmentAcademy of Management Annals
2017 Understanding why some firms survive while others fail is a central question of strategic management research. Indeed, many consider survival the quintessential indicator of firm performance. As such, survival research is vast, but also frustratingly disjointed across several thematic areas in the organizational literature. In this review of firm survival and failure, we organize this research across three stages of firm development: new ventures, single-business units, and diversified firms. We therefore add order to the diverse survival literatures and clarify how scholars’ conceptualizations of survival differ. Notably, the conceptualization of survival of different streams reflects a multifaceted construct including three dimensions: operations, ownership, and solvency. Identifying these dimensions provides a lens that adds clarity when reviewing the literature as well as important richness to better situate future work on survival and failure. In addition, we highlight outdated assumptions prevalent in this research, which have further limited the theoretical development of survival and failure. This review also sheds light on the timely question: “who benefits or suffers from survival and failure?,” as scholars and policymakers alike seek to understand factors that promote entrepreneurial activity and grapple at the other end of the spectrum with “too big to fail” policies.
The Role of Community in Crowdfunding Success: Evidence on Cultural Attributes in Funding Campaigns to “Save the Local Theater”Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice
2017 Despite increased interest in examining the factors that influence crowdfunding success, the effects of community context have been relatively unexamined. We address this void by examining the role of cultural context in crowdfunding success. Our unique data set of crowdfunding projects to “save the local theater” are homogenous in their goal, allowing us to test whether crowdfunding campaigns in certain communities lead to better funding outcomes than others. Theoretically, our results suggest the need for further integration of community and cultural constructs into models of venture funding, as such variables may have more relevance than previously believed.
Conflict and Confluence: The Multidimensionality of Opportunism in Principal–Agent RelationshipsJournal of Business Ethics
2017 Conventional agency theory typically focuses on a unidirectional problem, in which an agent behaves opportunistically against the interests of a principal. Yet, this conceptualization is too limited to fully describe all aspects of principal–agent relationships. This article presents a more comprehensive framework explaining a potential three-directional problem—that is, (i) agents behave opportunistically against the interests of principals, (ii) principals behave opportunistically against the interests of agents, and (iii) relationships between agents and principals representing confluence of interests affect the interests of third-party stakeholders. The article provides evidence of these problems, describes their unique characteristics, and outlines implications for society. It concludes with a discussion focusing on the implications of the proposed framework for purported governance solutions, the ongoing debate between shareholder and stakeholder views of the firm, and business practices.
Agent and Task Complexity in Multilateral Alliances: The Safeguarding Role of Equity GovernanceJournal of International Management
2017 Multilateral alliances are an inherently complex organizational form; managing these complexities is particularly difficult for alliance partners because alliances are plagued by both internal and external uncertainty. Using insights from transaction cost economics, our study identifies, articulates and tests different forms of alliance complexity and their impacts on alliance governance structure. Specifically, we investigate two forms of alliance complexity: agent and task. We decompose agent complexity into organizational and partner complexity, and decompose task complexity into geographic, transaction and technological complexity. Using a sample of 327 trilateral alliances, the most frequent form of multilateral alliances, we find that three forms of alliance complexity involving internal uncertainty (organizational, partner and technological complexity) favor equity-based governance, whereas external uncertainty in the form of geographic complexity discourages equity-based governance.
Corporate Sociopolitical Involvement: A Reflection of Whose Preferences?Academy of Management Perspectives
2016 The management literature has devoted increased attention to nonmarket activities of firms, such as political involvement and social responsibility, including philanthropy. While these activities may be presumed to have the intent of improving the competitive position of firms or enhancing their reputation, firms have recently increased their support for or opposition to a wide array of politically charged social issues with no direct performance motivation. These “sociopolitical issues” are vastly different from corporate social responsibility and corporate political activities, as they are divisive, emotionally charged, and institutionally contested social issues. In this article, we explore sociopolitical issues and develop a distinct model that relies on multiple theoretical perspectives—agency theory and a push-versus-pull perspective of stakeholder theory—to provide complementary or at times competing explanations for firm involvement in such controversial issues. We also explore the contexts (or facilitating institutional environments) that enable management to get involved in sociopolitical issues. In addition to drawing attention to this growing phenomenon, the article provides guidelines for future research on corporate participation in politically charged social issues.
All Things Great and Small: Organizational Size, Boundaries of the Firm, and a Changing EnvironmentThe Academy of Management Annals
2015 Research findings have established a relationship between organizational size and a substantial set of organizational outcomes, resulting in size's distinction as “perhaps the most powerful explanatory organizational covariate in strategic analysis”. We draw on the theory of the firm to provide a theory-driven definition of firm size and as a framework to organize the diverse research on firm size. We examine studies over the last 20 plus years since the last review of research on organizational size that have expanded our understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of larger firms, the environmental factors that have changed the merits of firms relative to markets, the managerial bias to pursue growth, and the most recent findings on the performance implications of organizational size. In doing so, the review provides extensions to our understanding of the theory of the firm, by integrating contingency theory, the resource-based theory of the firm, leadership theories, and the knowledge-based view of the firm. In addition, based on an extensive review of the measurement methodologies for the most common control variable employed by strategy scholars, this review outlines a rich and robust set of opportunities for future research to explore the nature of organizational size and its effects.
Tipping point: managers’ self-interest, greed, and altruismJournal of Leadership & Organizational Studies
2015 We explore the potential effects of managers’ greed and altruism on their behaviors and firm outcomes. Greed represents extreme self-interest whereas altruism reflects concern for others. We argue that managerial greed leads to a focus on short-term decisions and short-term firm performance. Alternatively, managerial altruism normally produces a focus on longer term decisions and long-term firm performance. Managerial greed is also more likely to produce wrongdoing, whereas managerial altruism produces greater corporate citizenship behaviors. Managerial greed is likely to lead to turnover for non-performance–related reasons whereas managerial altruism is more likely to produce managerial turnover for performance reasons. Overall, we conclude that measured self-interest keeps managers focused on the firm’s goals and measured altruism helps the firm to build and maintain strong human and social capital. The extremes of either greed or altruism likely will harm firm performance. Thus, balance between managerial self-interest and managerial altruism leads to the greatest success.