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Toward an Integrative Explanation of Corporate Financial Performance

This volume is a milestone on our journey toward developing a more comprehensive understanding of the underpinnings of corporate financial performance. Weare concerned with both the factors that cause the financial performance of some firms to be others at a point in time and those factors that influence the trajectory of firm financial performance over time. In addressing these issues, we consider theoretical and empirical work on financial performance, drawn from several literatures, as well as present the results from our own empirical study. The review of the theoretical and empirical work is contemporary; the major portion of data comprising the empirical study was collected in the early 1980s as part of the Columbia Business School project on corporate strategic planning, but some data sequences extend into the mid-1980s and early 1990s. Our goals are to improve understanding of firm financial performance by developing a more integrated framework and to develop a research agenda based on what we have learned. This volume consists of four chapters, 12 appendices that provide detailed technical support and development for various portions of the discussion and an extensive set of references. It interweaves results from published literature in various fields with our original empirical work and develops an integrative approach to the study of firm fmancial performance.
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Table of Contents

Preface. I. What Determines Corporate Financial Performance? II. What we Know (or Think we Know) about the Causes of Superior Financial Performance. III. An Empirical Examination of Financial Performance: Distilling the Essential Causal Factors. IV. Improving Financial Performance: Summary and Research Agenda. Appendices: I: A Short Selected Background to the Building Blocks. II: A Brief Description of the Empirical Study of 113 Major U.S. Manufacturing Firms. III: An Empirical Test of In Search of Excellence. IV: Conducting the Meta-Analysis. V: Detailed Results of the Partial Replication of the `Top 100 Plus' Studies. VI: Survival in our Sample of Fortune 500 Firms. VII: Developing the Scales that Summarize Environment, Strategy and Organization. VIII: Detailed Statistical Results on How the Scales Relate to Financial Performance. IX: Technical Characteristics of the Translog Performance Function. X: Toward Estimating Scale Values from Publicly Available Data. XI: Developing Firm profiles by Cluster Analysis. XII: Authors who have Studied the Underlying Concepts Summarized in our 34 Scales. References. Index.

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