Essays on Firm Innovation in Dynamic Product Markets: Examining Competitive Interactions During Technological Commercialization
How can firms gain competitive advantage from available technologies is a key question in strategy. In my dissertation, I develop new theory and provide evidence to show that a firm’s focus in selective technological areas may play a central role of creating competitive advantage in industries with rapid product turnover. Firms commit limited resources when selecting which technologies to develop, affecting the composition of their product portfolios and allowing some firms to subsequently capture greater value relative to others. I examine how firm attention to technologies within an industry affect their ability to swiftly incorporate them into products (essay 1); establish a theoretical foundation for firm-to-firm matching in the market for alliances (essay 2); develop an econometric methodology based on the insights from a firm-to-firm matching market (essay 3); and investigate how common technological interests attract partners in the market for interfirm collaboration (essay 4). Across four essays, I find that competitive advantage varies with the firm’s technological composition, its current focal area of technological development, and the collection of potential alliance partners. These findings contribute to understanding conditions under which a firm captures value from the component technologies scattered across its industry, and the key tradeoffs associated with allocating its technological focus.
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