Configurations and Performance: The Role of Complementarities in the Design of Law Firms
50 Pages Posted: 18 May 2011
Date Written: April 28, 2011
Despite the theoretical appeal of configurational approaches, little empirical research to date has found a clear relationship between configuration membership and firm performance. In this paper, we argue that complementarities among strategic and structural characteristics establish configurations and account for performance differences between firms. We analyze a panel data set of US law firms from the period of 1992-1999, using a fuzzy clustering approach to measure the firms’ affiliation to theoretically derived configurations. The results show that the degree to which firms conform to these complementarity-driven configurations has a significant positive effect on their performance.
Keywords: Configuration, complementarity, performance, professional service firms
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