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How imitation of multiple reference groups drives the evolution of firm strategy

Author

Listed:
  • Jaime Gómez

    (Universidad de La Rioja)

  • Raquel Orcos

    (Universidad de La Rioja)

  • Henk W. Volberda

    (University of Amsterdam)

Abstract

This research explores how the strategy of firms evolves as a result of the imitation of several reference groups. In particular, it analyzes the extent to which firms replicate the strategic behaviors of successful firms, direct rivals and firms from the same category. Additionally, it examines potential variations in the speed of imitation depending on the reference group that is considered. Using a sample of firms of the Spanish retail banking sector from 1994 to 2009, our results show that, over time, firms tend to imitate the strategies of the three reference groups considered. The results also reveal significant variations in the speed of imitation depending on the reference group. We find that imitation to firms from the same category is faster than imitation to successful firms and direct rivals.

Suggested Citation

  • Jaime Gómez & Raquel Orcos & Henk W. Volberda, 2021. "How imitation of multiple reference groups drives the evolution of firm strategy," Review of Managerial Science, Springer, vol. 15(8), pages 2319-2350, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:rvmgts:v:15:y:2021:i:8:d:10.1007_s11846-020-00422-z
    DOI: 10.1007/s11846-020-00422-z
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