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Institutions, Inertia, and Changing Industrial Leadership

Author

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  • Paul L. Robertson

    (University College, University of New South Wales)

  • Richard N. Langlois

    (The University of Connecticut)

Abstract

Institutional factors, especially those embodied in capabilities and routines, can both improve the ability of a firm to exploit an existing technology and make it more difficult to innovate by generating an inertia that is hard to overcome. As a result, periods of technological change are often relatively short and dynamic in comparison to lengthy periods of consolidation in which firms gain full mastery over innovations. Not all organizations are equally well equipped to adapt to change, however, and firms that are adept at using an existing technology may have fewer of the capabilities required to cope with innovation than a new entrant or a firm that was less successful under the old regime. When this is true, a change in industrial leadership is probable, with the hitherto dominant firms becoming either followers or leaving the industry altogether because they are no longer competitive.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul L. Robertson & Richard N. Langlois, 1994. "Institutions, Inertia, and Changing Industrial Leadership," Industrial Organization 9406005, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:9406005
    Note: 34 pages. Forthcoming in Industrial and Corporate Change
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Paul L. Robertson & David Jacobson & Richard N. Langlois, 2009. "Innovation Processes and Industrial Districts," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Industrial Districts, chapter 21 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Pacala Anca, 2012. "Recent Theories Of The Firm: A Critical Approach," Annals of Faculty of Economics, University of Oradea, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1(1), pages 562-567, July.
    3. Geels, Frank W., 2014. "Reconceptualising the co-evolution of firms-in-industries and their environments: Developing an inter-disciplinary Triple Embeddedness Framework," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 261-277.
    4. Robertson, Paul L. & Langlois, Richard N., 1995. "Innovation, networks, and vertical integration," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 543-562, July.
    5. Chassagnon, Virgile & Haned, Naciba, 2015. "The relevance of innovation leadership for environmental benefits: A firm-level empirical analysis on French firms," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 194-207.
    6. Yolande E. Chan & James S. Denford & Joyce Y. Jin, 2016. "Competing Through Knowledge and Information Systems Strategies: A Study of Small and Medium-Sized Firms," Journal of Information & Knowledge Management (JIKM), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 15(03), pages 1-37, September.
    7. Somma, Ernesto, 1999. "The effect of incomplete information about future technological opportunities on pre-emption," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 765-799, August.
    8. John Finch, 2000. "Is post-Marshallian economics an evolutionary research tradition?," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(3), pages 377-406.
    9. Karantininis, Kostas & Sauer, Johannes & Furtan, William Hartley, 2010. "Innovation and integration in the agri-food industry," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 112-120, April.
    10. Vicky Long & Staffan Laestadius, 2011. "New Patterns in Knowledge Transfer and Catching Up: Chinese R&D in ICT," Chapters,in: Knowledge Transfer and Technology Diffusion, chapter 10 Edward Elgar Publishing.

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    JEL classification:

    • L - Industrial Organization

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