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Strategies for Survival in Fast-Changing Industries

Author

Listed:
  • Clayton M. Christensen

    (Harvard Business School, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts)

  • Fernando F. Suárez

    (Escuela de Negocios de Valparaiso, Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, Chile)

  • James M. Utterback

    (Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts)

Abstract

Technology strategy variables tend to predominate as predictors of survival in the fast-changing rigid disk drive industry. Building on these previous studies, we here test the hypothesis that the technological and market strategies of a new entrant are highly interrelated and that their joint effect plays an important role in a firm's probability of survival. In particular, we propose that firms that target new market segments with an architectural innovation will tend to be more successful than those that target existing markets or innovate in component technology, even after controlling for all the competing predictors of survival. This paper advances the existing literature on innovation by tracing the main technical elements of a dominant design in the rigid disk drive industry over time, and provides a much more rigorous definition of the concept of a dominant design than we have had in the past. We find the notion of first-mover advantage is not applicable in the rigid disk drive industry. Instead, we propose the idea of an entry-window tightly linked to the emergence of the dominant product design as defined.

Suggested Citation

  • Clayton M. Christensen & Fernando F. Suárez & James M. Utterback, 1998. "Strategies for Survival in Fast-Changing Industries," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(12-Part-2), pages 207-220, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:44:y:1998:i:12-part-2:p:s207-s220
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.44.12.S207
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Christensen, Clayton M. & Rosenbloom, Richard S., 1995. "Explaining the attacker's advantage: Technological paradigms, organizational dynamics, and the value network," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 233-257, March.
    2. Christensen, Clayton M., 1993. "The Rigid Disk Drive Industry: A History of Commercial and Technological Turbulence," Business History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 67(04), pages 531-588, December.
    3. Utterback, James M. & Suarez, Fernando F., 1993. "Innovation, competition, and industry structure," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 1-21, February.
    4. Utterback, James M & Abernathy, William J, 1975. "A dynamic model of process and product innovation," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 3(6), pages 639-656, December.
    5. Iansiti, Marco, 1995. "Technology integration: Managing technological evolution in a complex environment," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 521-542, July.
    6. Klepper, Steven, 1996. "Entry, Exit, Growth, and Innovation over the Product Life Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 562-583, June.
    7. Clark, Kim B., 1985. "The interaction of design hierarchies and market concepts in technological evolution," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 235-251, October.
    8. Cooper, Arnold C. & Schendel, Dan, 1976. "Strategic responses to technological threats," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 61-69, February.
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