Session 273

Complexity in Competition

Track E

Date: Monday, October 5, 2015


Time: 08:00 – 09:15


Room: Governor's Square 15

Session Chair:

  • Samina Karim, Northeastern University

Title: Adaptive Capacity and the Dynamics of Operational Capabilities


  • Vikas Aggarwal, INSEAD
  • Hart Posen, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Maciej Workiewicz, ESSEC Business School

Abstract: The extant strategy literature characterizes operational capabilities as relatively static, requiring the intervention of higher-order dynamic capabilities in order for firms to adapt to external change. We suggest that operational capabilities may themselves have the capacity to adapt in the context of external change, influencing our understanding of the need for dynamic capabilities. In the spirit of recent work on the microfoundations of capabilities we employ a computational model in which operational capabilities are a macro (organization-level) outcome of the micro phenomenon of individual-level learning. Using this model we find that operational capabilities may adapt in turbulent environments, even in the absence of dynamic capabilities, and identify mechanisms through which inter-firm heterogeneity in the adaptive capacity of operational capabilities may emerge.

Title: Characteristics Demand and Platform Competition: A Game-Theoretic Argument for Strategic CSR


  • Stephen Downing, National Chiao Tung University
  • Jin-Su Kang, National Chiao Tung University

Abstract: We propose a framework for reconciling Lancaster’s (1966) characteristics demand with traditional consumer theory, which provides specific meaning to the utility function exponents. We then demonstrate the model’s usefulness with a game-theoretic analysis, which accounts for both attributes demand and network effects, and we show that a hedonic policy (e.g., a platform-wide CSR policy) offers the potential for competitive advantage through differentiation as a best response strategy when consumer preferences for hedonic attributes are non-negative. Finally, we propose empirical specifications to apply our model in future empirical study of strategic CSR.

Title: Interdependence of Tasks and Resources: Examining Concepts of Decentralization and Fungibility


  • Samina Karim, Northeastern University
  • Manuela Hoehn-Weiss, Oregon State University

Abstract: Drawing on organization design’s modularity literature and the resource-based view, in this research we investigate the impact of different task and resource structures on firm performance. Specifically, we examine how the sequential nature of tasks as well as resource specificity within tasks affect the firm. We test our hypotheses on a sample of private and public firms in the U.S. passenger airline industry during 1995-2011. We find that greater task decentralization and use of fungible resources within tasks benefit firms. In addition, task decentralization and resource fungibility within tasks are substitutes, where jointly they exhibit a negative effect. Together, our findings imply that not only do task interdependencies matter, but so do the interdependencies of the resources used to accomplish tasks.

Title: Product Complexity, the Speed of Component Change and the Mirroring Hypothesis


  • Nicholas Burton, Northumbria University
  • Peter Galvin, Curtin University

Abstract: The mirroring hypothesis – the assumed architectural mapping between firms’ strategic choices of product architecture and firm architecture, and between firms’ architectural choices and industry structures – has received mixed empirical support. The focus in thus shifting from ascertaining whether the mirroring hypothesis holds, to the product architecture and component-level conditions that may support the mirroring of architectures at different levels. We utilize an industrial economics perspective to develop a stylised product architecture typology and hypothesise how the combined effects of product architecture type, product complexity and the rate of product component change may be associated with phases of mirroring or misting (imperfect mirroring). Our framework helps to reconcile some of the existing mixed support for the mirroring hypothesis.

All Sessions in Track E...

Sun: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 28: The Latest and Greatest in Empirical Methods for Strategy Scholars
Sun: 09:45 – 11:00
Session 29: The Elephant in the Room: How public policy and institutions help drive innovation, entrepreneurship, and firm performance
Sun: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 30: Heterogeneity in Firms and Their Pre-entry Capabilities: Implications for Firm and Industry Evolution
Sun: 16:15 – 17:30
Session 229: How Resources Change in Dynamic Situations
Sun: 17:45 – 00:00
Session 313: Competitive Strategy Business Meeting
Mon: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 273: Complexity in Competition
Mon: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 244: Legitimacy, Stakeholders, and Competition
Mon: 13:45 – 15:00
Session 242: Value Creation in Buyers-Supplier Relationships and Ecosystems
Mon: 16:45 – 18:00
Session 238: Temporary and Long Term Competitive Advantage
Session 243: Competitive Dynamics and Market Positioning
Tue: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 272: Competitive Dimensions of Firm Boundary and Location Decisions
Tue: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 230: Multi-Market Competition and Mutual Forbearance
Session 264: Emerging Technologies and Industries
Tue: 14:15 – 15:30
Session 267: Healthcare Industry Dynamics, Relationships, and Activities
Tue: 15:45 – 17:00
Session 269: Exploration, Exploitation, and Competition
Tue: 17:30 – 18:45
Session 263: Developing a Value Creation Theory

Strategic Management Society