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To be different, or to be the same? An exploratory study of isomorphism in the cluster

Listed author(s):
  • Tan, Justin
  • Shao, Yunfei
  • Li, Wan
Registered author(s):

    Entrepreneurial firms are argued to struggle between being different and being the same. To join the debate, we asked this question: How can entrepreneurial firms in a geographically concentrated locale gain both competitive advantage and legitimacy, given the competitive pressures for differentiation and the institutional pressures for conformity? Drawing from the network perspective, we conducted the research in a furniture cluster in Southwestern China. Based on qualitative and quantitative data, we found that peripheral firms tended to be institutionally and competitively isomorphic, while central firms could avoid the tradeoff between institutional conformity and competitive differentiation by creating and using their networks to innovate and at the same time to shape the institutional environment.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0883902612000444
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Business Venturing.

    Volume (Year): 28 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 83-97

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jbvent:v:28:y:2013:i:1:p:83-97
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusvent.2012.02.003
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jbusvent

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    1. Niels Beerepoot, 2005. "Collective Learning By Artisanal Subcontractors In A Philippine Furniture Cluster," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 96(5), pages 573-584, December.
    2. Norman, Patricia M. & Artz, Kendall W. & Martinez, Richard J., 2007. "Does it pay to be different? Competitive non-conformity under different regulatory regimes," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 60(11), pages 1135-1143, November.
    3. Scott, Allen J., 2006. "The Changing Global Geography of Low-Technology, Labor-Intensive Industry: Clothing, Footwear, and Furniture," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 1517-1536, September.
    4. Tan, Justin, 2006. "Growth of industry clusters and innovation: Lessons from Beijing Zhongguancun Science Park," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 827-850, November.
    5. Tan, Justin & Yang, Jun & Veliyath, Rajaram, 2009. "Particularistic and system trust among small and medium enterprises: A comparative study in China's transition economy," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 544-557, November.
    6. Pettigrew, Andrew M., 1997. "What is a processual analysis?," Scandinavian Journal of Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 337-348, December.
    7. Hagedoorn, John & Cloodt, Myriam, 2003. "Measuring innovative performance: is there an advantage in using multiple indicators?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1365-1379, September.
    8. Jennings, Jennifer E. & Jennings, P. Devereaux & Greenwood, Royston, 2009. "Novelty and new firm performance: The case of employment systems in knowledge-intensive service organizations," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 338-359, July.
    9. Amason, Allen C. & Shrader, Rodney C. & Tompson, George H., 2006. "Newness and novelty: Relating top management team composition to new venture performance," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 125-148, January.
    10. Melissa A. Schilling & Corey C. Phelps, 2007. "Interfirm Collaboration Networks: The Impact of Large-Scale Network Structure on Firm Innovation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(7), pages 1113-1126, July.
    11. Gilbert, Brett Anitra & McDougall, Patricia P. & Audretsch, David B., 2008. "Clusters, knowledge spillovers and new venture performance: An empirical examination," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 405-422, July.
    12. Cliff, Jennifer E. & Jennings, P. Devereaux & Greenwood, Royston, 2006. "New to the game and questioning the rules: The experiences and beliefs of founders who start imitative versus innovative firms," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 633-663, September.
    13. Stuart, Toby & Sorenson, Olav, 2003. "The geography of opportunity: spatial heterogeneity in founding rates and the performance of biotechnology firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 229-253, February.
    14. Porter, Michael E, 1979. "The Structure within Industries and Companies' Performance," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(2), pages 214-227, May.
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