The contingent nature of public policy and the growth of U.S. commercial banking

Christopher Marquis, Zhi Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


That public policy affects organizational behaviors is well accepted, but less explored is how these effects may depend on other external environmental factors. We investigated policy as a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for understanding the growth of commercial banking in the United States, 1896-1978. We highlight a trade-off for banks between centralized and dispersed growth strategies and show that which strategy prevails depends on how policy enabling branching interacts with technological, economic, and cultural environments. Our findings contribute to understanding the contingent effects of policy on organizations and on the growth of large corporations in the 20th century.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1222-1246
Number of pages25
JournalAcademy of Management Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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