The implementation and development of a community of practice in the field of innovation : the case of Groupe SEB

This thesis focuses on the establishment and development process of communities of practice in the field of innovation. The field study has been conducted at the SEB Group, a French multinational company specializing in electrical appliances. The empirical study, developed from a longitudinal perspective, is based on 63 semi-structured interviews, observations and internal documents. The analysis indicates the existence of four phases that characterize the establishment and development of a community of practice. It also shows the compatibility of two types of communities identified in the literature: intentionally created and emerging communities. The obtained findings reveal that the dynamics of development varies according to the type of community. Furthermore, they highlight that active and effective coordination is a key factor influencing the dynamics of intentionally created communities of practice. The answers obtained in the context of our research can contribute to a better management of communities of practice and serve as a guide for other organizations that wish to deploy these social structures in the field of innovation.

Access the dissertation



Location strategies and value creation of international mergers and acquisitions

Market globalization and the evolution of the economic environment motivate companies to accelerate their international expansion through mergers and acquisitions. These external growth operations have important advantages, but they also generate risks and their performance remains mixed. This doctoral research focuses on the location and value creation of mergers and acquisitions conducted by French companies. The presented analysis has two components: (1) studying the influence of the characteristics of the target country on the choice of acquirers to conduct operations in mature or emerging countries; (2) identifying the determinants of value creation of mergers and acquisitions related to the characteristics of the acquirer, the target and the operation, according to their location. The empirical study is based on a sample of 395 operations realized between 2010 and 2012 by acquirers listed on the SBF 120 index. The statistical analysis (mainly logistic regressions and event studies) shows that factors characterizing the target country, particularly the quality of institutions, are determinant for the acquirer’s choice to realize mergers and acquisitions in mature or emerging countries. The results also indicate that variables concerning the acquiring company and the operation have a significant influence on the value creation of mergers and acquisitions, unlike factors associated with the targets, which do not seem to play an essential role.

Access the dissertation


Dr Christopher MELIN

The coordination of intra- and inter-organizational relationships within the global factory : the case of Renault Trucks (Volvo Group)

Facing the geographic dispersion of their activities, multinational companies (MNCs) are involved in the management of increasingly complex intra- and inter-organizational relationships. This doctoral research focuses on the coordination of these relationships in the context of the global factory, which represents a particular form of the network-firm. It is based on an action research project conducted at Renault Trucks (Volvo Group). The empirical study covers 63 interviews, interactive panels and the organization of two workshops, completed by secondary data. The results highlight the important role played by the lead firm for the management of relationships with international partners. Depending on the configuration of the partner (level of operational autonomy and frequency of the transaction), it is recommended to choose specific coordination mechanisms. A set of 21 proposals intends to improve our understanding of the global factory in terms of configuration and internal operations. Finally, an organizational design of the global factory is developed.

Access the dissertation

Dr Mathias WALTHER

Careers Upon Repatriation: comparing the Re-Entry into the German and French Labor Markets Based on Bourdieu’s Theory of Practice

A significant amount of German and French career agents are involved with international careers. Applying Bourdieu’s Theory of Practice, Matthias Walther compares the repatriation of German and French career agents into the external labor markets of their parent country career fields. A qualitative content analysis of 40 semi-structured interviews shows that the German and French career agents’ career capital and habitus develops during expatriation, which has an important impact on the re-integration into the parent country career field. The Author shows that in an international career mobility context, the rules of the game change compared to the rules in a pure national career context, which challenges the pertinence of national career models in understanding repatriation in a Franco-German context.

Access the dissertation




The motivations of the French executives to accept an international assignment : an empirical study based on the theory of Ajzen

In the context of international mobility, we aim to explore in this thesis the motivations of the French executives regarding their intentions to accept an international assignment. Our study is based on the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) and enabled us to conclude that the intentions to accept international assignment does not depend solely on the attitudes. The perceived behavioral control also contribute to the determination of this intention. The theoretical contribution of our research is to apply the model of TPB on the French executives who have the intention to accept an international assignment. The managerial contribution is to offer the firms some key guidelines to broaden their understanding pertaining to the improvement in their practices of mobility by identifying the motivations of the executives for an international assignment. The methodological contribution is the proposition of scenarios based on country of destination for exhibiting the contribution of three determinants of this intention in terms of attitudes, social norms and perceived control.

Access the dissertation



SMEs’ internationalization and implementation of gateway strategies

Abstract: Internationalization represents a challenge for small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) allowing them to access new markets and accelerate their growth. This research focuses on the implementation of gateway strategies, defined as the decision   to establish a subsidiary abroad in   order to access neighbouring markets. We refer to the literature related to SMEs’ internationalization –more specifically the processual and born global approaches – and to location strategies. The empirical study is twofold: (1) an  exploratory  phase  concerning  18  SMEs  identified  through  manufacturing  SMEs  located  in  the  Rhône- Alpes  region  with  at  least  one  subsidiary  abroad,  (2)  a multiple  case  study  developed  with  five  of  them.

We   conducted   66   interviews   and   five   non-participant   observations.   Our   results   show   that   the implementation  of  gateway  strategies  can  be  explained  by  motivations  linked  to  companies,  networks and gateway and target countries. We highlight the main actions developed as well as difficulties faced by SMEs using this type of approach. Our  research  emphasizes  the  key  role  of  individuals  and  networks,  as well as the existence of four main stages of implementation: (1) sporadic exports to target countries, (2) the  analysis  of  target  markets,  (3)  the  harmonization  of administrative  procedures and  information systems,  (4)  the  increase  of  local  commitment.  Gateway  strategies  can  facilitate  foreign  market  entries while  limiting  the  commitment  of  resources  and  exposure  to  risks. They represent a new form of internationalization allowing SMEs to value their assets in mature and emerging countries.

Access the dissertation




Influence of perceived risk on purchase intention of a generic product: The drug case.

This thesis aims to understand the obstacles to the purchase of generic drugs in patients-consumers. More specifically, it aims, through a qualitative and a quantitative study, to improve the efficiency of communication of health actors to reduce the perceived risk in buying generics. More precisely, it intends to examine the variables that explain the patients-consumers attitudes towards the substitution, to understand the mechanisms involved in this process and to highlight the most likely variables that explain the intention of purchasing a generic (vs brand name) drug. Thus, we aimed to explore the factors that explain the perception and reduction of risks towards the generic drugs by conducting individual semi-structured interviews with 24 patients-consumers. The results of the quantitative study of 303 individuals point out that (1) the perceived risk towards the substitution and the attitude towards generic drugs mediate the relationship between the perceived risk towards generic drugs and attitude towards substitution, (2) the trust in the information source (pharmacist and physician) moderates the relationship between the attitude towards substitution and the intention of purchasing a generic (vs brand name) drug and (3) the interaction effect between the brand equity of generic drug : low (vs strong ), the chronicity of disease : non chronic (vs chronic) and the repayment rate : 65% (vs 100%) on the intention purchase generic (vs brand name) drug is validated. Theoretically, the research sheds light on the literature on the perceived risk in health, including mobilizing a concept from the medicine “Nocebo effect”. The managerial implications are manifold for generic pharmaceutical industry as well as for pharmacists, physicians, and, finally government makers of communications policies for generic drugs.

Access the dissertation