Article | Strategic Management Journal | May 2014

Clear and Present Danger: Planning and New Venture Survival amid Political and Civil Violence

by Shon R. Hiatt and Wesley Sine

Abstract

Although entrepreneurs constitute a key economic driving force for many countries, they often face unstable environments due to violence and civil unrest. Yet, we know very little about how environments characterized by high levels of political and civil violence affect new venture processes and survival. Moreover, it is unclear whether standard theories about organizational strategy, such as planning, hold true in such environments. We explore these issues using a sample of 730 new ventures in Colombia from 1997 to 2001. We find that political and civil violence decreases firm survival, increases the benefits of incremental (operational) planning, and decreases the benefits of comprehensive (strategic) planning.

Keywords: conflict; violence; political turmoil; civil unrest; Entrepreneurship; Business Startups; Government and Politics; Balance and Stability; Crime and Corruption; Business Strategy; Planning; Colombia;

Citation:

Hiatt, Shon R., and Wesley Sine. "Clear and Present Danger: Planning and New Venture Survival amid Political and Civil Violence." Strategic Management Journal 35, no. 5 (May 2014): 773–785.