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Unobservable Effects and Business Performance

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  • Robert Jacobson

    (University of Washington)

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    Abstract

    While “unobservable” factors such as corporate culture, access to scarce resources, management skill, and luck can be postulated to be principal determinants of business success, their effects are all but ignored in studies of business performance. This study, making use of the PIMS data base, reports empirical evidence indicating that failure to control for unobservable factors influencing profitability both biases and exaggerates the effect of strategic factors. Indeed, the influence of unobservable factors is so pervasive as to invalidate many of the conclusions drawn from studies failing to control for their effects.

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mksc.9.1.74
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Marketing Science.

    Volume (Year): 9 (1990)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 74-85

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormksc:v:9:y:1990:i:1:p:74-85

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    Related research

    Keywords: business performance; marketing strategy; unobservable effects;

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    Cited by:
    1. Jijun Gao & Pratima Bansal, 2013. "Instrumental and Integrative Logics in Business Sustainability," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 112(2), pages 241-255, January.
    2. Covin, Jeffrey G. & Slevin, Dennis P. & Heeley, Michael B., 2000. "Pioneers and followers: Competitive tactics, environment, and firm growth," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 175-210, March.
    3. Aharonson, Barak S. & Baum, Joel A.C. & Plunket, Anne, 2008. "Inventive and uninventive clusters: The case of Canadian biotechnology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(6-7), pages 1108-1131, July.
    4. Buzzell, Robert D., 2004. "The PIMS program of strategy research: A retrospective appraisal," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 57(5), pages 478-483, May.
    5. Mouri, Nacef & Sarkar, M.B. & Frye, Melissa, 2012. "Alliance portfolios and shareholder value in post-IPO firms: The moderating roles of portfolio structure and firm-level uncertainty," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 355-371.
    6. Zheng, Yanfeng & Liu, Jing & George, Gerard, 2010. "The dynamic impact of innovative capability and inter-firm network on firm valuation: A longitudinal study of biotechnology start-ups," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 593-609, November.
    7. Fritz, Wolfgang, 1993. "Die empirische Erfolgsfaktorenforschung und ihr Beitrag zum Marketing: Eine Bestandsaufnahme," Working Papers 93/12, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Institute of Marketing.
    8. Tim J. Rowley & Joel A. C. Baum & Andrew V. Shipilov & Henrich R. Greve & Hayagreeva Rao, 2004. "Competing in groups," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(6-7), pages 453-471.
    9. Annacker, Dirk & Hildebrandt, Lutz, 2002. "Unobservable effects in structural models of business performance," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2002,22, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
    10. Amit Saini & Rajdeep Grewal & Jean Johnson, 2010. "Putting market-facing technology to work: Organizational drivers of CRM performance," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 365-383, December.
    11. Duysters, Geert & Vanhaverbeke, Wim & Beerkens, Bonnie & Gilsing, Victor, 2007. "Exploration and Exploitation in Technology-based Alliance Networks," MERIT Working Papers 020, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    12. Baum, Joel A. C. & Silverman, Brian S., 2004. "Picking winners or building them? Alliance, intellectual, and human capital as selection criteria in venture financing and performance of biotechnology startups," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 411-436, May.
    13. Annacker, Dirk & Hildebrandt, Lutz, 2004. "Unobservable effects in structural models of business performance," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 57(5), pages 507-517, May.
    14. Rothaermel, Frank T., 2001. "Complementary assets, strategic alliances, and the incumbent's advantage: an empirical study of industry and firm effects in the biopharmaceutical industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 1235-1251, October.
    15. Fritz, Wolfgang, 1994. "Die Produktqualität: Ein Schlüsselfaktor des Unternehmenserfolgs?," Working Papers 94/03, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Institute of Marketing.
    16. Hoenen, Sebastian & Kolympiris, Christos & Schoenmakers, Wilfred & Kalaitzandonakes, Nicholas, 2014. "The diminishing signaling value of patents between early rounds of venture capital financing," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(6), pages 956-989.
    17. Rothaermel, Frank T. & Thursby, Marie, 2007. "The nanotech versus the biotech revolution: Sources of productivity in incumbent firm research," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 832-849, July.
    18. Pierre Rostan & Alexandra Rostan, 2012. "Assessing the Predictive Power of Customer Satisfaction for Financial and Market Performances: Price-to-Earnings Ratio is a Better Predictor Overall," International Review of Management and Marketing, Econjournals, vol. 2(1), pages 59-74.

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