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Longevity of business firms: a four-stage framework for analysis

Author: Doz, Yves L. ; Michaud, Claude ; Van Der Heyden, Ludo ; Hogarth, Robin M.INSEAD Area: Strategy Series: Working Paper ; 91/55/SM Publisher: Fontainebleau : INSEAD, 1991.Language: EnglishDescription: 51 p.Type of document: INSEAD Working Paper Online Access: Click here Abstract: A four-stage framework is presented for analysing the activities of business firms with a view to understanding how these impact long-term viability. The stages are: privileged access; transformation; leverage, and regeneration. "Stage one" activities result from privileged access to primary resources and/or markets (eg to natural resources, capital, labour, product markets). At stage two, firms transform resources into products. This may be achieved by a superior process inherited from the past. However, firms operating at this stage lack the capacity for changing processes which must eventually become imitable, thereby excluding the possibility of long-run, excess returns. In contrast, at stage three, firms are able to change processes and can generate excess returns over longer periods of time. They demonstrate capacities for both adaptation and evolution. "Stage four" activities permit the generation of new stage three activities across time..
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A four-stage framework is presented for analysing the activities of business firms with a view to understanding how these impact long-term viability. The stages are: privileged access; transformation; leverage, and regeneration. "Stage one" activities result from privileged access to primary resources and/or markets (eg to natural resources, capital, labour, product markets). At stage two, firms transform resources into products. This may be achieved by a superior process inherited from the past. However, firms operating at this stage lack the capacity for changing processes which must eventually become imitable, thereby excluding the possibility of long-run, excess returns. In contrast, at stage three, firms are able to change processes and can generate excess returns over longer periods of time. They demonstrate capacities for both adaptation and evolution. "Stage four" activities permit the generation of new stage three activities across time..

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