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Dynamics of competitive repositioning: a multidimensional approach

Author: Gimeno, Javier ; Chen, Ming-Jer ; Bae, JonghoonINSEAD Area: StrategyIn: Advances in Strategic Management, vol. 23, 2006 Language: EnglishDescription: p. 399-444.Type of document: INSEAD ArticleNote: Please ask us for this itemAbstract: We investigate the dynamics of competitive repositioning of firms in the deregulated US airline industry (1979-1995) in terms of a firm's target market, strategic posture, and resource endowment relative to other firms in the industry. We suggest that, despite strong inertia in competitive positions, the direction of repositioning responds to external and internal alignment considerations. For external alignment, we examined how firms changed their competitive positioning to mimic the positions of similar, successful firms, and to differentiate themselves when experiencing intense rivalry. For internal alignment, we examined how firms changed their position in each dimension to align with the other dimensions of positioning. This internal alignment led to convergent positioning moves for firms with similar resource endowments and strategic postures, and divergent moves for firms with similar target markets and strategic postures. The evidence suggests that repositioning moves, in terms of target markets and resource endowments, are more sensitive to external and internal alignment considerations, but that changes in strategic posture are subject to very high inertia and do not appear to respond well to alignment considerations.
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We investigate the dynamics of competitive repositioning of firms in the deregulated US airline industry (1979-1995) in terms of a firm's target market, strategic posture, and resource endowment relative to other firms in the industry. We suggest that, despite strong inertia in competitive positions, the direction of repositioning responds to external and internal alignment considerations. For external alignment, we examined how firms changed their competitive positioning to mimic the positions of similar, successful firms, and to differentiate themselves when experiencing intense rivalry. For internal alignment, we examined how firms changed their position in each dimension to align with the other dimensions of positioning. This internal alignment led to convergent positioning moves for firms with similar resource endowments and strategic postures, and divergent moves for firms with similar target markets and strategic postures. The evidence suggests that repositioning moves, in terms of target markets and resource endowments, are more sensitive to external and internal alignment considerations, but that changes in strategic posture are subject to very high inertia and do not appear to respond well to alignment considerations.

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