The Interplay of Firm Positioning and Firm Resources
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CitationHou, Young. 2021. The Interplay of Firm Positioning and Firm Resources. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
AbstractHow do firm positioning and resources dynamically interact in the context of competition? The literature on competitive strategy has extensively studied positioning-based and resource-based strategies but the interplay between the two remains underexamined. This dissertation aims to advance our understanding of this interplay by examining how firm positioning affects the value of firm resources (such as brand value) and vice versa and how those dynamics, in turn, affect performance. This, I hope, will contribute to a more dynamic and integrated understanding of competitive strategy.
Methodologically, this dissertation uses econometric analyses at the product, portfolio, and firm levels. While much of the competitive strategy literature has focused on the industry or firm levels, this dissertation uses large-sample data at granular units of analysis to examine in depth the interactions and interdependencies between a given firm’s positioning, underlying resources, and performance. This dissertation focuses on the performance implications of (a) co-opetition between manufacturers and retailers, (b) induced repositioning as a result of regulatory constraints, and (c) CEO activism on controversial issues.
My findings contribute to the competitive strategy literature by (a) unpacking the dynamics, tradeoffs, and boundary conditions of vertical co-opetition, (b) shedding light on how induced repositioning constrains firms and affects the value of resources, and (c) evaluating whether non-market actions (such as CEO activism) can serve as an intangible resource to enhance a firm’s positioning. The practical implications of this research include helping organizations evaluate when it is optimal to cooperate with competitors and how to respond to environmental shocks.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37368195
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