Research Note and Commentary
Decoupling market incumbency from organizational prehistory: Locating the real sources of competitive advantage in R&D for radical innovation
Article first published online: 27 AUG 2012
Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Strategic Management Journal
Volume 34, Issue 2, pages 245–255, February 2013
How to Cite
Lourdes Sosa, M. (2013), Decoupling market incumbency from organizational prehistory: Locating the real sources of competitive advantage in R&D for radical innovation. Strat. Mgmt. J., 34: 245–255. doi: 10.1002/smj.2012
- Issue published online: 26 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 27 AUG 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 17 AUG 2012 09:10AM EST
- Manuscript Revised: 15 AUG 2012
- Manuscript Received: 25 FEB 2011
- de alio;
- de novo;
The creative destruction literature has argued that differences in R&D performance of incumbent vs. entrant firms can be explained through organizational change theories about established vs. de novo firms. A disconnect exists between these theories and the available empirical evidence because often the best performing firms are established firms as well. I propose to resolve this disconnect by distinguishing between market incumbency (presence in a market prior to a discontinuity) and organizational prehistory (organizational experience prior to a transition, whether between technologies or between markets). Doing so allows me to contrast incumbent vs. entrant and de alio vs. de novo studies, and to suggest more robust future research designs. I illustrate my proposition using qualitative data from the anticancer and AIDS-treatment drug markets. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.