Strategies for superior performance in recessions: pro or counter-cyclical?

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Claudio Ramos Conti
Rafael Goldszmidt
Flávio Carvalho de Vasconcelos

Abstract

Recessions are recurring events in which most firms suffer severe impacts while others are less affected or may even prosper. Strategic management has made little progress in understanding such performance differences. In a scenario of decreased demand, intensified competition, and higher uncertainty, most firms try to survive by pro-cyclically cutting costs and investments. But firms could take advantage of undervalued resources in the market to counter-cyclically invest in new business opportunities to overtake competitors. We survey Brazilian firms in various industries about the 2008-2009 recession and analyze data using PLS-SEM. We find that while most firms pro-cyclically reduce costs and investments in recessions, a counter-cyclical strategy of investing in opportunities created by changes in the market enables superior performance. Most successful are firms with a propensity to recognize opportunities, an entrepreneurial orientation to invest, and the flexibility to efficiently implement investments.

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How to Cite
CONTI, C. R.; GOLDSZMIDT, R.; VASCONCELOS, F. C. de. Strategies for superior performance in recessions: pro or counter-cyclical?. RAE - Revista de Administracao de Empresas , [S. l.], v. 55, n. 3, p. 273–289, 2015. Disponível em: https://periodicos.fgv.br/rae/article/view/49250. Acesso em: 16 apr. 2024.
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