Over the last decade, insights from the strategic management discipline have increasingly been applied to ports. A review of literature shows that in the analysis of port authority strategy mainly outside-in approaches are applied.
The latest port study of PortEconomics members Larissa van der Lugt and Peter de Langen along with Lorike Hagdorn (VU Amsterdam) adds to the emerging understanding of the port authority’s strategy by applying a cognitive perspective. Specifically, the strategic cognition of firms’ executives is one of the explanatory variables behind firms’ strategic decisions. Furthermore, cognitions are influenced by the organisational contexts in which port authority executives have worked. As a result, managerial ‘mental maps’ may vary across industry contexts and over time.
The research investigates the strategic cognition of a global set of port authority executives through a survey-based instrument. The results show that, to a large extent, PAs resemble ‘regular’ for-profit companies, but that they possess some specific beliefs that distinguish them from ‘regular’ companies.