Diversification, Organizational Adjustment and Firm Performance: Evidence from Microdata
This paper proposes that diversification taxes firms’ existing organizational systems by altering routines, formal contract structures and strategies. I test the proposition that organizational adjustment costs associated with diversification erode incumbent competitive advantage, using novel microdata on taxicab firms from the Economic Census. The tests exploit exogenous local characteristics of taxi markets to identify the impact of diversification on firm organization and performance. Supporting the contention that diversification leads to organizational adjustments, the results show that diversifying firms are less likely to adopt computerized dispatching systems for their taxicabs and make significant changes in their formal contract structures governing asset ownership. Consistent with the theory, diversification is associated with falling taxi productivity. Comparing the productivity of diversified and focused start-ups and incumbent firms reveals that the organizational change component of diversification accounts for an 18% decrease in paid ride-miles per taxi. The results support the core contention of the paper that diversification taxes firms’ existing organizational capital.
|Date of creation:||Oct 2007|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (301) 763-6460
Fax: (301) 763-5935
Web page: http://www.census.gov/cesEmail:
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:07-29. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Fariha Kamal)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.