• competitive dynamics;
  • managerial cognition;
  • information processing


Prior competitive dynamics research has drawn on theories of information processing to model the subjective antecedents of executives' retaliation choices. This prior work has made great progress in developing our understanding of the retaliation choices most firms will make to a given type of attack. What the information processing perspective has not been able to do is explain firm-specific behavior to predict which competitive moves individual firms will challenge, or explain why individual firms differ in the types of actions that they are most likely to challenge. The goal of this paper is to sharpen the theoretical and empirical focus on predicting firm-level retaliation proclivities. We leverage managerial cognition research to examine the relationship between firm-level differences in the cognitive frameworks that executives possess, and firm-level differences in whether and how quickly firms challenge a market move. Results from a longitudinal study of the airline industry suggest that the addition of a cognitive perspective provides important insights into competitive retaliation. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.