Long Range Planning Special Issue Call for Papers

Long Range Planning Special Issue on

The Strategic Management of Dynamic Growth

Deadline for submissions: December 31, 2014

Web site:

Guest editors:

Arturo Capasso
University of Sannio at Benevento

Giovanni Battista Dagnino
University of Catania

David King
Iowa State University

Janne Tienari
Aalto University

Firm growth is a classic theme in strategic management research and practice that dates back to Edith Penrose’s 1959 celebrated book. A great deal of theoretical and empirical work has been done on this topic, but there is growing concern among researchers and practitioners about its usefulness. Major changes in the business environment during recent decades have made it important for strategy researchers to rethink established theories of growth. How is growth sustained in the face of blurring boundaries among markets and technologies, increased competition and intense competitive dynamics, and the rising importance of intangibles and knowledge?

Mainstream theories of firm growth assume that internal growth is characteristic of high-growth emergent industries and external growth is typical of mature industries. Stable markets make it more convenient to acquire existing production capacity and market share rather than making risky commitments to new capacity and market development. However, the pace of change today makes it critical for firms to reconsider their growth strategies. In this changing business environment, traditional strategic options may not achieve desired levels of growth. For this reason, combinations of growth strategies such as organic growth, acquisitions, joint ventures, or alliances have become a means to accelerate growth in both established firms and small hi-tech firms and innovative startup initiatives.

We may need to take a new look at long-standing strategy issues related to planning and implementing growth and develop a new understanding of how firms, networks, ecosystems and platforms achieve longer term growth. The goal of this special issue is to provide strategy scholarship with new perspectives that consider contemporary environmental dynamism in the analysis of growth. In order to achieve this aim, the LRP special issue welcomes theory-driven, theory-building, and empirical papers investigating the strategic management of firm growth for a range of industries and firms. We are particularly interested in papers addressing topics related to:

  • Planning and implementing acquisitions in high-growth and technology industries;
  • Outlining the relationship between growth by acquisition or internal investment;
  • Typology of alliance forms and internal growth options;
  • Network effects, or strategic alliances as formalized interorganizational relationships to manage growth;
  • Capabilities needed to manage growth in firms for different growth modes (acquisition, internal investment, or hybrid options);
  • Small business growth dynamics that drive external growth and/or make small businesses acquisition targets;
  • Start up or new venture strategic trade-offs between internal and external growth;
  • Differences and commonalities between start-up and restart strategies;
  • Managing dynamic growth in and between established firms;
  • How competitive dynamics affects the choice between internal and external growth strategies;
  • How coopetition among firms can influence the choice between internal and external growth.

The topical list reported above should be seen as illustrative more than prescriptive, and scholars may wish to complement the proposed list with other topics related to industry and firm growth strategies.

We aim to attract robust submissions and offer a well balanced mix of papers using various relevant methodologies (both quantitative and qualitative), as well as strong conceptual papers. We would particularly welcome research work applied to samples and cases from emerging countries and hi-tech settings as well work on more traditional geographic spaces and industries that reveal new insights on growth. We would also welcome papers that study the strategic management of dynamic growth in-depth by comparing different industries and/or geographical spaces.

Our ultimate goal is to craft a special issue of LRP presenting an excellent combination of high-quality papers that make a relevant contribution to advance investigation of strategies for dynamic growth.

Peng, M. W., & Heath, P. S. (1996). The growth of the firm in planned economies in transition: Institutions, organizations, and strategic choice,. Academy of Management Review, 21(2):, 492-–528.

Penrose, E. T. (1959). The theory of the growth of the firm. Oxford: Basil Blackwell

Pettus, M.L. (2001) The resource-based view as a developmental growth process: Evidence from the deregulated trucking industry, Academy of Management Journal, 44: 878-896.

Vandaie, R. & Zaheer, A. (2013). Surviving bear hugs: Firm capability, large partner alliances, and growth, Strategic Management Journal, DOI: 10.1002/smj.2115, published online.

Villalonga, B. & McGahan, A. (2005).The choice among acquisitions, alliances, and divestitures, Strategic Management Journal, 26(13): 1183-1208.

Special Issue Workshop
Subsequent to the first round of reviews, it is our intention to organize a paper development workshop for the authors of the papers that have passed the first round of reviews. The invitation of authors to the workshop will not guarantee publication in LRP. The special issue workshop will be hosted in Southern Italy, at the University of Catania or at the University of Sannio-Benevento, in the Summer of 2015.

Submission guidelines and deadline
Papers for the special issue should be prepared according to LRP’s guidelines for authors. All papers will undergone the usual double blind review process of LRP. Submit full manuscripts to the online submission system of LRP by the special issue submission deadline of 31 December, 2014:

Additional information
For additional information, refer to the special issue guest editors:

Arturo Capasso, University of Sannio at Benevento – E-mail:
Giovanni Battista Dagnino, University of Catania – E-mail:
David King, Iowa State University – E-mail:
Janne Tienari, Aalto University –E-mail:

Bio sketches

Arturo Capasso is Professor of Corporate Governance, Director of the Graduate Program in Economics and Management and Director of the Master in Clinical Governance at University of Sannio at Benevento, Italy. He is also Professor of Corporate Finance and Professor of Business Valuation at the Masters in Economics and Finance (MEF) of the University of Naples “Federico II”. He received is MBA from Columbia University in New York, and his Ph.D. in Corporate Finance from the University of Bergamo and Catholic University of Milan. His main research interests lie in the areas of corporate strategy (M&As), corporate governance, finance, project finance, shipping finance, venture capital and private equity. He was panelist and track organizer in several Academy of Management Conferences and European Academy of Management Conference. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Management and Governance and review papers for numerous international journals. He has published articles and chapters in international outlets and authored/edited six books.

Giovanni Battista Dagnino is Professor in the Department of Economics and Business of the University of Catania, Italy, where he is Coordinator of the PhD Program in Economics and Management and Academic Director of GRIM-Group of Research on Insurance and Banking Economics and Management. In addition, he is faculty member of the European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management (EIASM) in Brussels, Fellow of the Strategic Planning Society in London, Friend of the European Investment Bank Institute in Luxembourg, and representative at large of the Competitive Strategy Interest Group of the Strategic Management Society. He has held visiting positions at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, Wharton School, London Business School, IESE Business School, Grenoble Ecole de Management, the University of Mannheim and IAE Business School, Universidad Austral, Buenos Aires. He has served or is serving as guest editor for special issues of outlets such as Strategic Management JournalIndustrial Marketing ManagementInternational Studies of Management and OrganizationJournal of Management and GovernanceGlobal Strategy Journal, and Management Research. His current research revolves around the strategic theory of the firm with specific focus on coopetition strategy dynamics, the role of anchor firms and networks in regional innovation and development, the relationships between strategy, governance and entrepreneurship, and the evolution of strategy paradigms. He has authored/edited eleven books and several articles in leading management journals.

David King. Dr. King earned his Ph.D. in Strategy and Entrepreneurship from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, following a military career where he managed multi-million dollar development and procurement programs, he joined Marquette University in 2010 as Associate Professor of Management, and Iowa State University in 2013. His research focuses on merger and acquisition (M&A) integration and performance, technology innovation and defense procurement with articles appearing in leading journals. His work has been published in Academy of Management JournalJournal of ManagementJournal of Management StudiesOrganization Science, and Strategic Management Journal. He is an Associated Editor of Journal of Management Studies, and has also edited a special issue of the Journal of Cost Analysis and Management and a forthcoming book on M&A published by Routledge.

Janne Tienari is Professor of Organizations and Management at Aalto University, School of Business, Finland. He also works as Guest Professor at Stockholm University, School of Business, Sweden. He is associate editor of Organization and on the editorial board of Organization Studies. Tienari’s research and teaching interests include managing multinational corporations, strategy work, gender and diversity, cross-cultural management and communication, and management, new generations and the future. He has published in journals such as the Academy of Management ReviewOrganization ScienceOrganization Studies, Journal of Management StudiesHuman RelationsBritish Journal of ManagementOrganization, and Journal of Management Inquiry.