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Technological Discontinuities and Competitive Advantage: A Historical Perspective on Formula 1 Motor Racing 1950-2006

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  • Mark Jenkins

Abstract

This paper considers the interplay between technological discontinuities and competitive performance. Much of the work on technological discontinuities has focused on macro levels of analysis such as industries and technologies rather than specific firms. This study uses a historical perspective on Formula 1 motor racing to explore the dynamics between firm level performance and technological discontinuities over a 57 year period. The study supports the findings of previous research that incumbent firms are often unable to adapt to the impact of exogenous shocks. However the study also reveals situations where a relatively small number of firms are able to sustain their competitive superiority through a number of successive discontinuities. I suggest that, in addition to dynamic capabilities, these firms possess sustaining capabilities - munificent resource configurations which extend the time available for firms to adapt to technological changes - thereby allowing them to remain competitive across discontinuities. Copyright (c) 2010 The Author. Journal compilation (c) 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd and Society for the Advancement of Management Studies.

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  • Mark Jenkins, 2010. "Technological Discontinuities and Competitive Advantage: A Historical Perspective on Formula 1 Motor Racing 1950-2006," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(s1), pages 884-910, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:47:y:2010:i:s1:p:884-910
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Glasmeier, Amy, 1991. "Technological discontinuities and flexible production networks: The case of Switzerland and the world watch industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 469-485, October.
    2. Cusumano, Michael A. & Mylonadis, Yiorgos & Rosenbloom, Richard S., 1992. "Strategic Maneuvering and Mass-Market Dynamics: The Triumph of VHS over Beta," Business History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 66(01), pages 51-94, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Goodall, Amanda H. & Pogrebna, Ganna, 2012. "Expert Leaders in a Fast-Moving Environment," IZA Discussion Papers 6715, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Mario Coccia, 2017. "Disruptive technologies and competitive advantage of firms in dynamic markets," IRCrES Working Paper 201704, Research Institute on Sustainable Economic Growth - Moncalieri (TO) ITALY - former Institute for Economic Research on Firms and Growth - Moncalieri (TO) ITALY.
    3. Mary O'Sullivan & Margaret B. W. Graham, 2010. "Guest Editors' Introduction," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(s1), pages 775-790, July.
    4. Lawton, Thomas & Rajwani, Tazeeb & Doh, Jonathan, 2013. "The antecedents of political capabilities: A study of ownership, cross-border activity and organization at legacy airlines in a deregulatory context," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 228-242.
    5. Giachetti, Claudio & Marchi, Gianluca, 2017. "Successive changes in leadership in the worldwide mobile phone industry: The role of windows of opportunity and firms’ competitive action," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 352-364.
    6. Mario Coccia, 2017. "Disruptive firms," Papers 1710.06132, arXiv.org.
    7. Bell Andrew & Smith James & Sabel Clive E. & Jones Kelvyn, 2016. "Formula for success: Multilevel modelling of Formula One Driver and Constructor performance, 1950–2014," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 12(2), pages 99-112, June.

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