Session 349

Leaders, Laggards and Competition

Track E

Date: Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Time: 08:00 – 09:15


Room: Bruselas

Session Chair:

  • PuayKhoon Toh, University of Texas at Austin

Title: How Much We Are Alike and When We Fight? An Examination of Competitive Technology Adoption


  • I-Chen Wang, Suffolk University
  • Lihong Qian, Portland State University

Abstract: To what extent is a firm’s decision to adopt a risky technology driven by its competitors? Using the competitive dynamics lens, this study examines how inter-firm similarity in technology and market affect a focal firm’s likelihood to engage in a technology move. For a pair of firms, they can be similar to each other in terms of their technological capabilities and their target market. With a select sample of technology adoption actions from the global flat panel display industry, we find supportive evidence for a combinative effect of technology and market similarity on technology adoption. This study contributes to the technology management literature by integrating technology and market factors, and to the multimarket contact literature by specifying some boundary conditions on the mutual forbearance prediction.

Title: The Laggard’s Choice: Search vs. Follow


  • Aleksey Korniychuk, HEC Paris

Abstract: We develop a model of costly organizational search and analyze the adaptive behavior of the disadvantaged firm. We show that imitation is not uniformly superior strategy of the laggard. Ignoring the leader may result in a greater rate of performance convergence. We further show that when the leader has numerous development opportunities, imitation may lead to aggravation of competitive disparity. Optimality of the laggard’s strategy depends on the profoundness of its disadvantage. As the gap from the leader expands, the relative payoff to substitution decreases till at some point imitation becomes rational. The extent of competitive disadvantage that justifies this shift in strategy depends on the level of laggard’s development as well as its ability to perceive distant alternatives.

Title: Where do Dominant Technologies Come From? The Role of Firms’ Technological Scope and Specialization


  • PuayKhoon Toh, University of Texas at Austin
  • Cameron Miller, University of Minnesota

Abstract: Prior research studying technological evolution focuses on firms’ adaptation to dominant technologies and suggests that technological scope enhances adaptation. We inquire instead how firms create dominant technologies, and propose a tradeoff between scope and specialization. When return to scope is salient via greater interdependence between technological areas, scope enhances a firm’s propensity to create dominant technologies. Conversely, when return to specialization is salient via rivals’ actively innovating, scope (specialization) decreases (increases) such propensity. Using the ‘chop-shop’ and matched-pair methods to isolate scope’s and specialization’s effects, we find empirical evidence in the U.S. communications equipment industry. These findings stress that strategies for adapting to and creating of dominant technologies may not align, and remind that the origin of dominant technologies can be endogenous to the firm

Title: Who Should a Leader Imitate in Multiple Competitor Settings?


  • Dmitry Sharapov, Imperial College London
  • Jan-Michael Ross, Imperial College London

Abstract: Building on prior work in competitive dynamics that shows leader-follower imitation to be a viable competitive strategy in uncertain environments, this paper seeks to answer the question of whom the leader should imitate in multiple competitor settings. Using a neo-computational simulation model, we evaluate the effectiveness of alternative imitation strategies in two and three competitor contexts, and in environments of varying uncertainty. We then proceed to examine whether the predictions of the simulation model hold in a real-world competitive setting using data on multi-competitor (fleet) sailing races in the America's Cup World Series 2011-2013. With this work, we hope to contribute to the literatures on competitive dynamics, imitation, and to neo-computational work treating imitation as a heuristic for search on rugged landscapes.

All Sessions in Track E...

Sun: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 282: The Latest and Greatest in Empirical Methods for Strategy Scholars
Sun: 09:30 – 10:45
Session 1: Frontiers of Value Capture Research: Complementary Developments in the Theory and Empirics
Sun: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 284: The Strategic Process and Competitive Dynamics of Industry Convergence
Sun: 15:45 – 17:00
Session 341: Stakeholders, Board of Directors and Competitive Strategy
Sun: 17:15 – 18:30
Session 601: Competitive Strategy IG Business Meeting
Mon: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 366: Markets, Brands, Customers and Competition
Mon: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 342: Resource Based View
Mon: 14:45 – 16:00
Session 368: Firm Scope and Industry Competition
Mon: 16:30 – 17:45
Session 348: Differentiation and Competitive Strategy
Tue: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 349: Leaders, Laggards and Competition
Session 367: What Drives Firm Heterogeneity Across Time?
Tue: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 350: Governance, Organization and Competition
Tue: 15:30 – 16:45
Session 364: Conceptual developments in Competitive Strategy
Tue: 17:15 – 18:30
Session 343: What Drives Competition?

Strategic Management Society