The Forward-looking Disclosures of Corporate Managers: Theory and Evidence
IWH Discussion Papers,
We consider an infinitely repeated game in which a privately informed, long-lived manager raises funds from short-lived investors in order to finance a project. The manager can signal project quality to investors by making a (possibly costly) forward-looking disclosure about her project’s potential for success. We find that if the manager’s disclosures are costly, she will never release forward-looking statements that do not convey information to external investors. Furthermore, managers of firms that are transparent and face significant disclosure-related costs will refrain from forward-looking disclosures. In contrast, managers of opaque and profitable firms will follow a policy of accurate disclosures. To test our findings empirically, we devise an index that captures the quantity of forward-looking disclosures in public firms’ 10-K reports, and relate it to multiple firm characteristics. For opaque firms, our index is positively correlated with a firm’s profitability and financing needs. For transparent firms, there is only a weak relation between our index and firm fundamentals. Furthermore, the overall level of forward-looking disclosures declined significantly between 2001 and 2009, possibly as a result of the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
The Economic Optimality of Sanction Mechanisms in Interorganizational Ego Networks – A Game Theoretical Analysis –
IWH Discussion Papers,
Even though small- and medium-sized firms (SMEs) were believed not to proceed beyond exporting in their internationalization routes, we can observe new types of co-operation intensive entrepreneurial firms – so-called “micromultinational enterprises” (mMNEs) – entering the global landscape. These firms face the challenge to manage and control a portfolio of national and international alliances simultaneously (ego network). The aim of this paper is to provide game theoretically consolidated conditions in order to analyze the effectiveness and efficiency of interorganizational sanction mechanisms in an alliance portfolio setting. A game theoretical framework is developed over three stages with increasing complexity. Results show that two out of six analyzed sanction mechanisms do not fulfill the game theoretical condition for effectiveness. The efficiency analysis sensibilizes for discretionary elements in governance structures and demonstrates that not one single sanction mechanism but rather the right choice and combination of different types of sanction mechanisms leads to efficient results. We contribute to the international business, alliance, and network literature in several ways by focusing on alliance portfolios held by mMNEs. In doing so, we move beyond the dyadic level and analyze sanction mechanisms from an ego network perspective, a still widely under-emphasized topic in the literature.
Race to the Market: Can Standards Survive the Acceleration of Innovation and Product Life Cycles?
Spatial Dispersed Production and Network Governance, Papers Presented at the 11th Uddevalla Symposium, 15 – 17. May 2008, Kyoto, Research Report 2008,
Plagiarism of emerging market countries has for a considerable time been seen as the main challenge to the western approach of codifying and securing intellectual property rights (IPRs). This neglects the fact that historically all countries which tried to converge to the level of successful economies copied technology. The discussion shadows our view that the more imminent question is whether the steady increase in competition intensity which shortens product life cycles and puts pressure on the invention and innovation system, provides enough time to patent and to standardize. As patent activity not only provides incentives for sinking costs into R&D but is also a first step in the dissemination of technologies, and as standards, especially formal standards, generate level playing fields in broad and reliable markets, this may be critical in the long run. Furthermore, the migration of technologies as a result of a steady reorganization of the spatial division of labor may lead to the adverse situation that countries harboring technologies do not have appropriate institutions for knowledge codification.
Exogenous factors that – at least in the short run – cannot be influenced by the standardization bodies are the level of cooperation among interested parties (and mutual trust and institutional linkage), the competitiveness of the technology, the ability to generate externalities by knowledge codification, and the productivity of the technologies. The most important single success factor that standardization bodies can influence is the speed with which a committee proceeds to timely publish formal standards. With reference to a game-theoretical model and based on data for 1997 and 2007 on published formal standards, we show that until now, standardization bodies seem to have successfully coped with the situation.
Network investment and the threat of regulation: avoiding monopoly or infrastructure extension
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
In summer 2005, Deutsche Telekom announced its plans for the buildup of a new fiber glass network. At the same time, it formulated the condition that this network was not to be regulated concerning pricing or use by other providers (network access). In order to make this investment possible, in its coalition treaty the big coalition agreed to exclude the new network from the ex-ante regulation and to include this freedom from regulation in the telecommunication law. The question is now how investments can be facilitated and, at the same time, welfare losses through monopoly gains can be avoided. Applying game theory, it can be shown that a regulation authority like the ‘Bundesnetzagentur’, which is responsible for German telecommunication sector, should signal an increasing tolerance for deviations from its calculated and determined regulatory price in the face of increasing uncertainty concerning expected cost and returns. Thus, the threat of regulation alone leads to tolerable prices, without the actual regulation taking place. In the future, the ‘Bundesnetzagentur’ should reduce information asymmetries and the optimal level of tolerance in order to achieve a more precise intervention price and a more effective threat of regulation. The effectiveness of such a threat decreases if the legislation prevents the regulation authority from using this instrument by law. Against this background, the recent Federal Government resolution from March 17th 2006 noveling the telecommunication law heads for the economically right direction but it has to prove its incentive compatibility in the daily legal practice.
A Game Theoretic Analysis of the Conditions of Knowledge Transfer by New Employees in Companies
IWH Discussion Papers,
The availability of knowledge is an essential factor for an economy in global competition. Companies realise innovations by creating and implementing new knowledge. Sources of innovative ideas are partners in the production network but also new employees coming from another company or academia. Based on a model by HECKATHORN (1996) the conditions of efficient knowledge transfer in a team are analysed. Offering knowledge to a colleague can not be controlled directly by the company due to information asymmetries. Thus the management has to provide incentives which motivate the employees to act in favour of the company by providing their knowledge to the rest of the team and likewise to learn from colleagues. The game theoretic analysis aims at investigating how to arrange these incentives efficiently. Several factors are relevant, especially the individual costs of participating in the transfer. These consist mainly of the existing absorptive capacity and the working atmosphere. The model is a 2x2 game but is at least partly generalised on more players. The relevance of the adequate team size is shown: more developers may increase the total profit of an innovation
(before paying the involved people) but when additional wages are paid to each person a greater team decreases the remaining company profit. A further result is
that depending on the cost structure perfect knowledge transfer is not always best for the profit of the company. These formal results are consistent with empirical studies to the absorptive capacity and the working atmosphere.