• Inserting financial instability in strategic management of commercial real estate companies: A corporate perspective on the meaning of the phenomenon of financial instability

      Cai, Charlie X.; Li, Jing; Zueva-Owens, Anna; Sagemann, Bernd J.
      The global financial system was marked by several crises frequently connected to Commercial Real Estate (CRE). As a precursor to financial crisis events, the phase of Financial Instability (FI) is generally considered from a more macroeconomic perspective with a focus on systemic risk to better identify environmental dynamics in the run-up to such a crisis. However, there is no common understanding about FI on a corporate level that enables organisations to undertake such a strategic analysis. This study aims to explore the corporate meaning of the phenomenon from a managerial perspective. It emphasises executives` lived experience in FI and the underlying procedures in organizational sensemaking. The data was collected using semi-structured interviews with senior executives of German CRE companies with reference to the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) 2007/08. Within the social constructivist paradigm, the study adopts a hermeneutic phenomenological research approach using the theoretical lenses of van Manen's ‘lifeworld existentials' and Weick's ‘properties of sensemaking'. The corporate definition of FI that emerged from this study extends existing ones. The revealed procedures indicate that organisational sensemaking was underrepresented in such a phase. From this, qualitative indicators and implications are developed grounded in behavioural dynamics of the market participants. The findings of this research contribute to theoretical and applied knowledge about FI. The study proposes the systematic incorporation of this definition and sensemaking procedures by executives and institutionalises the monitoring of the developed indicators in SM to better control a CRE company prior, during, or after a phase of FI.