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The value of operational response in varied industries during the Great Recession

IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management. August 16, 2018

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What type of operational response did the U.S. stock market value during the 2008 Great Recession? Based on the contingency theory as an overarching framework, contingent on high-tech or low–medium technology (LMT) industry, we propose the role of survival (improving production efficiency or operational hedging) and adaptation (investing in new operational assets) related operational responses in firm performance. In a sample of 749 publicly traded U.S. manufacturing firms from 2003 to 2012 and using 2008 as the recession year, we find that for LMT firms, while the newness of operational assets or operational hedging has no effect on the market value (Tobin’s Q), increasing the production efficiency limits the decline in the market value. Conversely, for high-tech firms, the newness of operational assets has a negative influence, increasing the production efficiency has a positive influence, and operational hedging has no influence on the market value. The findings provide a much-needed understanding of the value of operational response during the 2008 recession.