Identification and analysis of industry cycles
Ever since Schumpeter first identified industry cycles as the characteristic form of capitalist development, with upturns creating opportunities for profit and downturns providing scope for restructuring, the topic has attracted occasional interest by business researchers - but never the sustained interest that the subject warrants. Most studies in cyclical dynamics focus on the macroeconomy, and largely deal with forecasting. This article focuses by contrast on cyclical dynamics at the sectoral level, where cyclical upturns and downturns create essential and unavoidable strategic issues for management. This introductory paper discusses the fundamentals of industry cycle identification, and analysis in both the time domain and the frequency domain with a view to drawing strategic insights. The study illustrates these approaches with industrial data from the global semiconductor industry. The argument is that the study of cyclical industrial dynamics provides the foundation for wider studies of innovation and technology management.
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