Clusters and benchmarks on the dynamics of nanoscience and nanotechnology
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Competitive positioning within and across a strategic group structure: The performance of core, secondary and solitary firms

Book or journal references : Strategic Management Journal, vol. 24, pp. 161-181 (2003).

Author(s) : McNamara , G. and Deephouse , D. L. and Luce , R. A.

Abstract :

Drawing from economic and cognitive theories, researchers have argued that firms within an industry tend to cluster together, following similar strategies. Their positioning in strategic groups, in turn, is argued to influence firm actions and firm performance. We extend this research to examine performance implications of competitive positioning not just among but also within groups. We find that performance differences within groups are significantly larger than across groups, suggesting that some firms within groups develop better resource or competitive positions. We also find that secondary firms within a group outperform both core firms within the group and solitary firms, the latter being those not belonging to any multifirm strategic group. This suggests that secondary firms may be able to effectively balance the benefits of strategic distinctiveness with institutional pressures for similarity. We conclude that the primary implication of strategic groups does not relate to the ability of firms to create stable, advantageous market segments through collusion. Instead, strategic groups represent a range of viable strategic positions firms may stake out and use as reference points. Moreover, our results concerning secondary firms indicate that firm positioning within a group structure can have performance implications. Copyright (C) 2002 John Wiley Sons, Ltd.


Keywords :

strategic groups; institutional pressures; differentiation RESOURCE-BASED VIEW; GROUP MEMBERS; ORGANIZATIONAL CONFIGURATIONS; INSURANCE INDUSTRY; MOBILITY BARRIERS; GROUP-DYNAMICS; RIVALRY; BANKING; ADVANTAGE; MARKET

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