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Keywords:

  • strategic groups;
  • competitive groups;
  • performance;
  • pharmaceuticals;
  • U.K.

Abstract

Strategic group research originated in the 1970s and a number of notable studies centered on the U.S. pharmaceutical industry. Results were, however, conflicting. This paper explores the nature of strategic groups in the U.K. pharmaceutical industry. The study confirms the presence of between six and eight strategic groups across the period studied, 1998–2002. The study also demonstrates a statistically significant relationship between these strategic groups and performance using three performance measures. The paper then compares strategic groups with competitive groups and concludes that the distinction is important and may explain the contradictory findings in earlier strategic group research. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.