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Complementarities and competition: Unpacking the drivers of entrants' technology choices in the solar photovoltaic industry

Authors

  • Rahul Kapoor,

    Corresponding author
    1. Management Department, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
    • Correspondence to: Rahul Kapoor, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, U.S.A. E-mail: kapoorr@wharton.upenn.edu

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  • Nathan R. Furr

    1. Organizational Leadership and Strategy Department, Marriott School of Management, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, U.S.A.
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  • Both authors contributed equally; our names are in reverse alphabetical order.

Abstract

Entrants in new industries pursue distinct technologies in hopes of winning the technology competition and achieving sustainable competitive advantage. We draw on the complementary assets framework to predict entrants' technology choices in an emerging industry. Evidence from the global solar photovoltaic industry supports our arguments that entrants are more likely to choose technologies with higher technical performance and for which key complementary assets are available in the ecosystem. However, diversifying entrants are more likely to trade off superior performance for complementary asset availability whereas start-up entrants are more likely to trade off complementary asset availability for superior performance. This difference is largely due to diversifying entrants with pre-entry capabilities related to the industry. The study offers a novel illustration of how complementarities and competition shape entry strategies. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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