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Measuring Sales Cannibalization in Information Technology Markets: Conceptual Foundations and Research Issues


  • Novelli, Francesco


Sales cannibalization – i.e., intra-organizational sales diversion – bears a prominent role in the competitive upheavals within Information Technology markets. However, detection and measurement thereof have only raised lukewarm interest among Information Systems scholars so far. To their defense, relevant methodological contributions are scattered across several disciplines, base themselves on equivocal definitions of cannibalization, present an overwhelming range of model specifications, and overlap with research on product and technology substitution. Therefore, we provide an interdisciplinary review of the literature on cannibalization, formulate a novel, clear-cut definition of the phenomenon, and clarify its relationship with substitution. Our other contributions are an exhaustive list of the modeling requirements necessary to describe the phenomenon, a compendium of cannibalization measurement models, and a summary of the findings with regard to Information Technology artifacts. This work should provide an adequate foundation and identify promising topics of study for further research endeavors in this domain.

Suggested Citation

  • Novelli, Francesco, 2013. "Measuring Sales Cannibalization in Information Technology Markets: Conceptual Foundations and Research Issues," Publications of Darmstadt Technical University, Institute for Business Studies (BWL) 61301, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute for Business Studies (BWL).
  • Handle: RePEc:dar:wpaper:61301
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