COMPETITIVE GROUPS AS COGNITIVE COMMUNITIES: THE CASE OF SCOTTISH KNITWEAR MANUFACTURERS*

Authors


  • *

    This research was funded by the Competitiveness Programme of the Economic and Social Research Council of Great Britain. Additional support was provided by the Centrefor Business Strategy at the London Business School. The authors would like to express their gratitude to the managers of the firms who participated in the study. Additional thanks go to John Stopford, David Taylor, Kiran Palmar, and Sebastian Green for comments and help in the collection of data.

Address for reprints: Joseph Porac, Department of Business Administration, University of Illinois, 350 Commerce (West), 1206 S. Sixth St., Champaign, Illinois 61820, USA.

ABSTRACT

This article explores how the mental models of organizational strategists determine perceptions of competing organizations and responses to competitive conditions. We first outline a cognitive perspective for discussing competitive strategy, and then use this framework to analyse the particular case of the Scottish knitwear industry. We show how the structure of that industry both determines and is determined by managerial perceptions of the environment. We conclude by drawing out a few general implications of our framework for research and theory on competitive strategy.

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