This article examines the influence of complementary resources on the performance of incumbents after a radical technological change. In investigating this relationship, we join the technological management literature and the institution-based view of strategy and maintain that the value of complementary resources is contingent on the institutional environment in which the firm operates. In particular, we submit that formal institutions, both economic and political, moderate the relationship between the stock of complementary assets and firm performance. We test our hypotheses in the context of the world mobile telecommunications industry (39 countries and 134 mobile service providers). Our findings reveal how these resources are more valuable for incumbents in markets where market-supporting institutions are weaker and political stability is higher. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.