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Industrial evolution through complementary convergence: the case of IT security


  • Jens Frøslev Christensen


The article addresses the dynamics through which product markets become derailed from early product life cycle (PLC)-tracks and engaged in complementary convergence with other product markets or industries. We compare and contrast the theories that can explain, respectively, the PLC and the derailing of this cycle into a process of complementary convergence. The article challenges the standard industry conception and proposes a distinction between the emergent industrial sector, the emergent product market (or niche) and the industry as a more well-established entity. Based on empirical evidence from the IT security sector, two trajectories of complementary convergence are identified, "lower-order integration", the integration of different product markets in a sectoral context, and "higher-end integration", the integration of product markets into the offerings of established industries. While young ventures dominate lower-order integration, incumbents in established industries dominate higher-order integration. For both trajectories mergers and acquisitions represent a central means for realizing convergence. Copyright 2011 The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Associazione ICC. All rights reserved., Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Jens Frøslev Christensen, 2011. "Industrial evolution through complementary convergence: the case of IT security," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(1), pages 57-89, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:20:y:2011:i:1:p:57-89

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kiminori Matsuyama, 1991. "Increasing Returns, Industrialization, and Indeterminacy of Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 617-650.
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    7. Aoki Masahiko, 1995. "An Evolving Diversity of Organizational Mode and Its Implications for Transitional Economies," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 330-353, December.
    8. Kandori, Michihiro & Mailath, George J & Rob, Rafael, 1993. "Learning, Mutation, and Long Run Equilibria in Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 29-56, January.
    9. Masahiko Aoki, 2013. "Horizontal vs. Vertical Information Structure of the Firm," Chapters,in: Comparative Institutional Analysis, chapter 5, pages 57-58 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. Itoh, Hideshi, 1987. "Information processing capacities of the firm," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 299-326, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hans van Kranenburg & Gerrit Willem Ziggers, 2013. "Dynamic competition and ambidexterity," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Digital Creative Economy, chapter 6, pages 57-66 Edward Elgar Publishing.

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