Generic Strategies: Likelihood, Direction, and Performance
J. Zajac and Stephen M. Shortell,
Strategic Management Journal, Vol. I0, 413-430 (1989)
study argues for greater research attention to the issue of
changing generic strategies over time. The study proposes
two sources of theoretical tension relating to changing strategies:
(1) the notion of equally viable generic strategies versus
particularly appropriate strategy/environment combinations,
and (2) the relative influence of process (ability to change
strategies) versus content (desire to change strategies) issues.
Questions relating to these tensions are then examined empirically
in an industry-specific analysis of the likelihood, direction,
and performance implications of an organization’s changing
its strategy in response to an environmental shift. The findings
suggest that the changes in generic strategy are not rare,
and that organizations do not perceive generic strategies
to be equally viable in different environments across time.
Performance differences were also found across generic strategies,
but not between firms that changed their strategy versus those
that did not.
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